Marc Emery is Just the Latest Prohibition Victim

Re: “Prince of Pot’s” punishment was no surprise (Daily News, Sept. 29)

For the record, Marc Emery is not the “self-proclaimed” Prince of Pot. His royal title was first bestowed by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and later popularized by CNN.

Several factors make Emery’s case unique, and different from that of a common “drug pusher.” Emery donated his profits to individuals and organizations working to reform cannabis laws. Canadian and U.S. authorities were aware of this. In a press release following Emery’s arrest, Karen Tandy, of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, announced, “Hundreds of thousands of dollars of Emery’s illicit profits are known to have been channeled to marijuana legalization groups active in the United States and Canada. Drug legalization lobbyists now have one less pot of money to rely on.”

Extradition laws require that signatory countries need not honour them when “the conduct in respect of which extradition is sought is a political offence or an offence of a political character.”

Given that dozens of Canadians are currently doing what Emery did — shipping cannabis seeds to the U.S. with impunity — it seems fair to conclude that Emery’s arrest was politically motivated.

Further, extradition laws require what is called “dual criminality.”

The offender must have committed a crime punishable by two or more years of incarceration in both countries. While selling cannabis seeds is technically an imprisonable offence in Canada, only one other Canadian has ever been charge with the crime, and he was fined $200. Emery openly exported seeds and paid taxes as a self-proclaimed cannabis seed vendor for several years.

When charged by Canadian authorities in 1998, Emery was fined $2,000.

Emery’s “crime” is different than that of an adult who lures children across the border over the internet in that no one was victimized. It was equivalent to selling wine grape seeds to Americans during alcohol prohibition.

Emery’s arrest, extradition and incarceration are not the least bit surprising to those of us who agree that cannabis prohibition is politically motivated, expensive, wasteful, hypocritical, ineffective, disproportionately enforced, unjust and patently absurd. Emery’s case grotesquely illustrates what innumerable parliamentary committees, criminologists, economists and social activists have been saying ad nauseam for decades.

Matthew Elrod

Victoria

– Letter to the Editor from The Nanaimo Daily News on October 5, 2009.

Comments

10 Comments

  1. Dog on

    straight up Marc Emery is a victim of the unitary executive dictatorship created by the rich, the entertainment industry in Hollywood. He will be a political prisonor in prison and his life is in great danger for being incarcerated with no merit. The Harper government was created by Hollywood to inprison or kill off people undemocratically with political excuses with funding through monitary funds created to incarcerate or kill people through political reasons like how much money your father earns a year, personal attacks on genetics and humanity. Monitary funds are political accounts that fund illegal acts that result in murder/genocide with the help of corrupt officials abusing their powers for political gain that issentually called sanctions or torture for their own personal pleasure…

  2. Anonymous on

    Canadian politics are concerned with one thing, what will get them the most granny votes. They know that grannies do most of the voting (everybody else is too busy to bother) so they do whatever they think will impress them. Grannies all hate and fear anything that politicians tell them is a dangerous drug so the best way to get their vote is to oppress Cannabis users. Simple as that. There’s no science behind any of the drug law policies of the major political parties. They ignore their own Senate reports and all other reports that favor reduced control of Cannabis. This is commonly known as vote whoring and they ALL do it shamelessly. By “all” I mean all three major Canadian parties. They are acting in the best interest of themselves and their parties to the detriment of the country. It has literally come down to a battle for control of country between the grannies and the rest of us. So far, the grannies have been winning.
    In regard to the extradition, even if laws are on the books giving viable Cannabis seed the same penalties as Cannabis flowers, how can the penalty be said to have a two year sentence when such a sentence has never been given in the history of the country? A few cases have been prosecuted and none have resulted in even a one year sentence so in effect there really is no two year sentence at all.

  3. Anonymous on

    Indeed, Canada wants a full scale drug war just like the US so there is no point in fighting between us. Canada is hellbent on making big mistakes like the US and if any one could get outside this drug war paradigm we could make progress in things that matter, like health, and justice. Everyone needs to wake up, the citizens of North America are being manipulated and controlled. This can be changed, we can fix it. In fact, there are MORE of us than them, we just need to come together and stand up.

  4. Anonymous on

    Fighting amongst ourselves is the wrong way to go. Canadians and Americans are in the same boat together at this point in the game. It’s going to take a unified effort to bring an end to this mess.

    Civil rights struggles require a unified, majority effort. That’s why we need to educate people, show them how their money is really being used, educate them on facts, and encourage them to investigate claims made by all parties involved.

    Show them why their govt “can’t afford” to pay for services anymore. Show them how much it costs to arrest, process, and imprison a person per year. Then show them how many people are being arrested and imprisoned each year.

    Most people have forgotten how much this costs them in taxes each year. They’ve forgotten what it’s like to have police focusing on real crimes and showing up when they need them — instead of being tied up arresting marijuana users.

    The main reason so many people still fear legalization and regulation is due to misinformation being pushed year after year to them by drug enforcement parties looking to protect their jobs. Show the inconsistencies in their claims — how the claims change over the years to fit their purpose. Poke holes in stories and encourage people to research everything with multiple sources.

    The drug enforcement people are good at dividing groups and pointing out their differences. I’m pointing out something we have in common — we are all tired of seeing people filling our prisons due to marijuana use and having our rights trampled on. Marijuana users and non-users alike.

  5. Anonymous on

    We sure want to keep our potheads in Canada but its your damn DEA thats causing problem. And all those Americans who insist on buying seeds from Canadian dealers or who cross the borders to come buy seeds in Canada are part of the problem.I would have expected much better from neighbors
    who boast to be on the way to pot legalization.Keep your f….grass to yourself and we’ll keep ours.
    And further south dont dare blame the Mexicans if it snows in New York

  6. Anonymous on

    Too late, Mike. It’s plain that the Canadian government is every bit as fucked up as the American government – perhaps only on a smaller scale, but in principle it’s all the same game.

  7. Mike on

    I wish the Americans christian fundamentalist fascist government would worry about their own country and stay the fuck out of ours. No wonder everybody around the world hates America with their oil war,and failed drug war. America says they stand for peace and freedom but that’s absurdly wrong. They took advantage of our spineless pussy conservative government because Harper wont say no to them. I dont hate America, I just don’t want my country fucked up like theirs.

  8. Anonymous on

    Dammit Canada, keep your potheads to yourself! Seriously, keep Marc Emery in your own country. We(Americans)don’t need another harmless cannabis user sucking up our ever waning tax money and taking up space in a federal penn.
    I wonder how much money is being thrown at the BC3 bust and court proceedings in total? Couldn’t the DEA use that $ for dangerous drug busts like meth, crack or heroin? You know…REALLY dangerous stuff. This could be an even bigger waste of federal resources than the Tommy Chong Bong fiasco. What lame ass brain damaged fool makes these calls? Drug cartels, gangs, and the like could use a little more attention and these simple potheads can use a little less.

  9. river cat on

    oops put my name in the wrong slot…lol. shit happens….

  10. Anonymous on

    The only way to stop the oppressers is to create or own party and legalize ganja yourself. Marc knew that, and the u.s.a who are so hell bent on keeping it ileagle used their bitch the canadian government to throw him in a max security prison. They know he stands for peace and they hate him for it, the bastards!