Marc Emery Marijuana Seed Mail-Order Associates Sentenced to Two Years Probation

The BC3: Greg Williams, Marc Emery, and Michelle Rainey.The BC3: Greg Williams, Marc Emery, and Michelle Rainey.After four years of politically charged legal wrangling, two employees of B.C.’s so-called “Prince of Pot” have avoided prison for their roles in exporting marijuana seeds to the U.S. by mail order.

The plea deal, finalized Friday, sets the stage for the Prince of Pot himself, Marc Emery, to surrender to U.S. authorities later this year to face prison time. That will finally close the long-running, high-profile case that had pitted some of Canada’s most vocal marijuana activists against the U.S. justice department in a war of words.

U.S. District Judge Ricardo Martinez accepted the deal for Michelle Rainey, 38, and Gregory Williams, 54, to be sentenced to two years of probation for conspiracy to manufacture marijuana. Both may return to Canada, where they remain active in the marijuana-legalization movement.

Rainey and Williams were indicted along with Emery in 2005 on drug and money-laundering charges for running a lucrative mail-order pot-seed business out of Emery’s Vancouver book-and-paraphernalia shop, which doubled as headquarters for B.C.’s Marijuana Party. Emery claimed to have sold some four million pot seeds, most to the United States.

Williams took phone orders and Rainey helped pack up the seeds and ship them.

Emery has been fighting extradition to the U.S. ever since, meanwhile maintaining his public persona as a “libertarian capitalist” and strident opponent of anti-marijuana laws.

He has said his seed business was a way to “overgrow” the U.S. war on marijuana, which he has called “immoral and lethal.” And he and supporters accused the justice department of indicting him and his employees for political reasons.

Federal prosecutors have vehemently denied that.

“We went after him for his criminal activities, not for his political views,” Emily Langlie, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle, reiterated Friday.

In court Friday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Greenberg asked Martinez to accept the plea deal for Rainey and Williams so the government could give up its expensive extradition fight for them and focus its energy on Emery.

Greenberg said Rainey and Williams played minor roles in Emery’s business and are otherwise law-abiding. And he noted that Rainey is seriously ill with Crohn’s disease and skin cancer.

“This is clearly a lenient sentence,” Greenberg told Martinez. But the extradition fight “has been four years running and it would be more years from here on out.”

Rainey and Williams both apologized to the judge for their crime, and pointedly offered no rhetoric about U.S. drug laws.

Though he accepted Greenberg’s reasoning for the deal, Martinez said he was frustrated by it, because while sparing Williams and Rainey, he is “forced to send so many young people to prison” in similar marijuana cases.

“Do you recognize that these are the laws of the United States, and until those laws are changed, you and people like you cannot do what you were doing?” Martinez asked Rainey.

She said yes. And she wept when Martinez said he would accept the deal.

“I’m very grateful,” she said afterward. “We broke the law in the United States. That’s what it comes down to.”

But she added that she will remain a leader in Canada against the “reefer madness” of marijuana prohibition. “There’s no moratorium on my career whatsoever,” she said.

In the meantime, Emery, 51, has been on a 30-city “farewell tour” of speaking engagements around Canada. On Friday, he spoke in Barrie, Ont., at a “water pipe and lighter superstore” called Liquid Chrome.

In a phone interview, he said he had struck a deal with prosecutors to surrender in late September or October in return for prosecutors agreeing to a five-year prison sentence.

Prosecutors won’t confirm any such deal.

Emery remains outspoken that the charges stem from his activism having “insulted” the Bush Administration.

“This is their revenge, but it will backfire on them, I’m convinced,” he said. “It’s all politically motivated. Only the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) denies that. To everyone else it’s patently obvious.”

Nonetheless, he said he was relieved prosecutors had backed off on his friends.

“I’m pleased they won’t be going to jail, and they’ll still be able to do their work in Canada,” he said.

– Article from The Vancouver Sun.


Vancouver ‘Prince of Pot’ activist’s associates sentenced in U.S. court

by The Canadian Press

SEATTLE – Two associates of Vancouver pot activist Marc Emery have been sentenced in a Seattle courtroom to two years’ probation.

Thirty-eight-year-old Michelle Rainey and 54-year-old Gregory Williams pled guilty to charges stemming from a 2005 grand jury indictment.

According to the facts in her plea agreement, Rainey worked for Emery from 1998 to 2005 and helped him send marijuana seeds and growing instructions to mail order customers – mostly in the U.S.

Williams’ plea agreement says he handled the phone orders and wire transfer information used for payment and also sold cannabis seeds at Emery’s store, numerous times to an undercover agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Williams also says in his plea agreement that Emery made more than $3 million a year selling marijuana seeds.
The so-called Prince of Pot has been on a cross-Canada farewell tour as he prepares for a minimum five-year sentence in the U.S.

– Article from The Canadian Press.

Comments

7 Comments

  1. CharlieJ on

    Excellent news for Michelle and Greg!!! Next victory…Marc! :)

    Peace,

    CharlieJ

  2. Freedom Fighters on

    Along time ago we had no rights that today people take so easily for granted, to find a Bong was a treasure because the Law made these simple items contraband and you only had rolling papers and your own creativity. It was people like Marc Emery who is the frontier of these times that people so easily take for granted simply do not think of and the fact that it is possible to go backwards once more and lose what precious freedoms we’ve gained this far.

    People like Marc Emery come only once in a rare lifetime to be able to see the world and effectively make changes in areas that help causes and is an amazing motivator, while sharing us knowledge, enough for us all who sat in our closets in fear of our Government while he taught, “You are not alone, Knowledge is their to defend with real truths”. So people like me and others who want to reach out and help that one person in the crowd to save someone but can’t, won’t or just don’t know how to help them or themselves. Marc is that one person, no matter what the criticisms out their may be, The screaming voice coming from the crowd yelling for help that everyone ignores and walks by, Marc reached out and so many others appeared from the crowd strengthened and ready to help, when just before they stood in apprehension saying to themselves should I even bother.

    It takes that one Leader from the crowd and soon you have the movement but if that one person never steps forward then it becomes the same repetitive sad story of, what can I do and nothing gets done. Marc said I know what to do and now he’s taking the bullet for being on that front line for us and it seems to me to be pretty honorable when the funds that he received went back to our cause and has nothing to his name to show for it but our memories and how we remember him. Sure Marc might have had multiple personal reasons which gave him his push but no one can say they have reached in this country as far as Marc has by changing the many peoples minds from old misinformation and lies to the truths. This Man gave it all away and is possibly about to lose many years and we will look back and see what he sacrificed just to make it so we the people don’t have to hide like we are ashamed and instead yell I am a better person because of Cannabis. I am thankful to Marc Emery who showed me I am not alone and I should not be ashamed but proud to choose a safer healthier lifestyle.

    So when Marc does come back, hopefully; someone will stand at the front line trying to make changes on our behalf until that day and see it might take bigger shoes then they ever thought possible.
    Sorry to put you on that pedestal Marc but someone has to be up their or there would be no Gandhi or Luther Martin King and you have that job for our cause in this country and I hope we remember this when he comes back and we may find after that time we have lost Marc this day forever because prison does change you on the inside..

    Please give till it hurts and try and make Marcs stay a little less hell like.
    Thanks again Marc for what you maybe giving up I hope you know you did reach many and you did take away the frustrations and fears by giving us truer knowledge,
    Thank you and God Bless.

  3. Anonymous on

    Emery’s lawyer should ask the Prosecutor to provide the judge with a description of the kind of damage Emery has inflicted upon US citizens, perhaps some statistics on how Cannabis wreaks havoc on its users’ lives. There must be quite a long list of people who have lost their jobs, homes and spouses to justify 5 or more years in a penitentiary. There must also be a rather high death rate. I’m sure the DEA must have those statistics on hand. How can the judge be expected to decide an appropriate sentence without knowing exactly what the aftermath of the crime was? If Emery had not sold the seeds, would people not have been able to get them from one of the companies selling and sending them from the UK, where they are legal? So why are they harassing Canadian citizens, because the orders arrived faster?

  4. Anonymous on

    Good to see that the plea bargain succeeded. I think Michelle apologizing to the judge for packing seeds was uncalled for, if that part was true. Why apologize for something which harmed nobody and helped many? The DEA should have been apologizing to her for putting her through that crap in her condition. Did they really need to include the seed packer in the case, or the phone answerer? That was just to get them to provide evidence against Emery. They put them both through those years of hell just to get at Emery. They did more harm right there than all the seed companies on Earth ever have or ever will do. What did they accomplish with this atrocity? There are more seed companies than ever sending to the US. There are more forums about growing Cannabis than you can even count. It’s actually ridiculous what little effect the DEA have on Cannabis cultivation. There is literally nothing they can do that would reduce it to a noticeable degree, it’s far beyond that point now. Their gross incompetence has resulted in the online seed business getting hopelessly out of hand. It’s now completely unstoppable. There’s no way they could ever prosecute them at a faster rate than new ones pop up. They got one seed company owner, whoopee. Damn, they’re good.

  5. mike on

    I got two words, JURY NULLIFICATION..
    All it would take is one smoker on the jury.

  6. Janx on

    I check this site daily…hoping and praying for good news. Finally, something worth smiling about. God bless all of you for the efforts you put forth on behalf of all of us. We’re praying for you, Marc, that someone steps in with reason. We also pray that Michelle finds a healing miracle. As for us, we’re packing up and leaving AL for Colorado asap. Greener pastures with a little more life for us in “The land of the free…”. Do what you do best ladies and gentlemen…run those mouths, piss them off, and give us some real heroes for a change.

  7. foam on

    Smoke one for me brother Greg!!