On July 29, US Drug Enforcement Agents and Vancouver Police conducted a combined raid against the BC Marijuana Party Store and Headquarters at 307 West Hastings St.
BC Marijuana Party Leader Marc Emery was arrested in Halifax, where he was attending a cannabis rally. Two of his employees were also arrested, Michelle Rainey and Greg Williams. US cops have accused them of selling marijuana seeds to Americans by mail-order from Canada.
The trio face absolutely no charges in Canada, where they have openly operated their business for many years. However, American authorities are demanding that the Canadian government send the three Canadian citizens the US.
US feds want them to all stand trial under US law, where they would each face a minimum 10 year jail sentence.
Yet in Canada, where their “crimes” were committed, selling pot seeds is considered to be a trivial offence. Indeed, the Canadian government has collected significant taxes on Emery’s seed business every month, fully aware of his operations.
Michelle Rainey has already been released on bail, while Emery and Williams are being held until Tuesday, August 2, when they will have a bail hearing.
Rainey’s bail conditions include being banned from the 300 block of West Hastings, being forbidden from using a cell phone or pager, and being unable to contact Emery or Williams. She is also forbidden from communicating about marijuana seeds in any way, including over the Internet.
It is expected that Emery and Williams’ bail conditions will also include such restrictions.
Police spent about eight hours occupying and searching the BC Marijuana Bookshop, but they did not seize any of the pipes, bongs or books. Police also did not take any of the Pot-TV computers or equipment.
Happily for the many people who have ordered seeds from Emery’s seedbank, no information such as client lists or incriminating records are kept for police to find. Emery’s operation has never kept any long-term client records or any incriminating information.
Those whose orders are in the mail will have to be patient to find out how their letters will be dealt with. Observers don’t expect incoming letters to be intercepted or blocked by Canada Post, but caution and awareness are advised. Monday is a holiday in BC, and more information will be available after the long weekend.
However, at this point Marc Emery Direct Seed Sales is no longer in business. Although Emery has had only very limited outside communication since his arrest and incarceration in Halifax, it is clear that he will be unable to continue selling pot seeds upon his release.
Without his seed business, it seems unlikely that Emery will be able to continue most of his many activist legalization projects. It is quite possible that Pot-TV will be shut down, and Cannabis Culture Magazine is placed in a very difficult and precarious financial position.
WHO IS MARC EMERY?
Marc Emery is a Canadian citizen, born in London, Ontario. He is Canada’s foremost marijuana activist and advocate for the cannabis culture.
Marc is the founder of the BC Marijuana Party, the owner of Pot-TV, and the publisher of Cannabis Culture Magazine. He has twice run for Mayor of Vancouver.
Without Marc Emery’s efforts and brave leadership, there would be no marijuana seeds for sale anywhere in Canada. Even bongs, pipes, grow books and pot magazines were unavailable in Canada until Emery began selling them in his store in 1995.
Marc’s other projects have included the Iboga Therapy House, the Museum of Psychoactive Substances, the annual Vancouver Tokers Bowl, and creating the US Marijuana Party.
Marc is an astute businessesman, and funnels the profits from his seed sales and other businesses back into the pot legalization movement. Marc has been a major source of funds for virtually every activist and legalization effort in North America.
Marc Emery is a hero to the global marijuana movement. He was dubbed “The Prince of Pot” by CNN in a 1997 feature story. The royal title stuck, and was even listed on the warrant used to arrest him.
WHY DOES AMERICA WANT HIM?
Marc Emery has been arrested and jailed many times in Canada, but always on minor marijuana charges, such as selling marijuana seeds, or “trafficking” by giving away small amounts of pot.
The longest jail sentence Marc has received was in Saskatoon, where he was sentenced to 90 days in 2004 for passing a single joint.
The illegality of marijuana seeds is questionable in Canada, and even the Vancouver Police do not consider selling pot seeds to be an “arrestable offence.”
Unsatisfied with Canada’s tolerance for marijuana and political activism, American authorities decided to bypass Canada’s judicial system and secretly charge Marc Emery under US law.
US cops then worked with Vancouver police to arrest Marc and two co-workers with the recent raid on the political headquarters of the BC Marijuana Party.
Marc faces no charges in Canada. He is a Canadian citizen who has not even been to the US for over 15 years. Yet US authorities are claiming jurisdiction over him, and are demanding that he be sent to America to stand trial, and then receive a minimum sentence of 10 years to life imprisonment.
Will Canadians allow their fellow citizens to be extradited and jailed in the US for things which are not even considered a crime in Canada?
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
If Emery is extradited to the US then it will set a very dangerous precedent.
Canadians must protect our sovereignty, and our ability to create laws that are right for Canadians.
As a nation, Canada must not tolerate foreign police coming into our country to arrest our citizens for “crimes” committed on Canadian soil.
If Emery has committed a crime, then let him be charged by Canadian police, and tried in Canada under our nation’s laws.
If Canada’s government agress to bypass our own justice system, and sends Marc Emery to the US for trial and imprisonment, then it will mark the end of Canada’s status as a self-determining nation.
Which other politically active Canadians will US authorities next decide should be locked up in American jails?
Who will be next? Will American cops begin carting off Canadians who steal US satellite signals? Will they take away Canadians who perform gay marriages, which are banned in the US? We must stand up for our nation’s sovereignty, and demand Canadian justice for Canadians!
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
We need your help to ensure that Marc Emery is not extradited to the USA.
Please take the time to call all the numbers on the back of this flyer. Be polite, and tell those people why you think Marc Emery should remain in Canada.
Also please contact the media, newspapers, call in to radio talk shows, and find other ways of spreading the word about this terrible attack on Canadian sovereignty.
Come to our huge rally at the US Consulate (1095 W Pender) on September 10. This will be a major event with good music and fine cannabis for everyone. Please be sure to attend this massive protest and make our voice be heard.
Also come and visit our store at 307 W. Hastings. We are still open every day, and remain in business selling books, bongs, clothes, rollies and everything else related to cannabis and hemp, except for the marijuana seeds!
We need your support, and frankly we need your money! Please make a donation to the BC Marijuana Party (it is tax deductible!) or buy a new bong if you need one. Every penny helps our ongoing efforts!
Together, we will make a difference!
WHO TO CONTACT
No matter where you are in the world, please take the time to call these three people and tell them how important it is that Canada not send Marc Emery to a US prison.
* Vancouver Mayor, Larry Campbell: 604-873-7621
* BC Attorney General, Wally Oppal: 250-387-1866
* Canadian Justice Minister, Irwin Cotler: 613-995-0121
Also write letters to the newspaper, call in to radio shows, and spread the word about this injustice!