It's Official: Conservatives Extradite Marc Emery
CANNABIS CULTURE - The order to extradite marijuana activist Marc Emery to the United States for an expected five-year prison term has been signed by the Canadian Minister of Justice, Rob Nicholson.
Cannabis Culture has learned that Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada made their decision shortly after Emery turned himself in to Canadian authorities this morning: The Prince of Pot will be handed over to the United States for selling marijuana seeds over the Internet.
"I am absolutely devastated that this Conservative government has opted to send my husband, a Canadian citizen, to the United States for a 'crime' that amounts to a $200 dollar fine in Canada," said Marc's wife Jodie Emery. "This case is about silencing my Husband for his marijuana activism. This Conservative government has declared a culture war in Canada and my husband is it's latest victim."
Marc spoke to reporters outside of the downtown Vancouver Law Courts before turning himself in, and said orders to extradite him would be the equivalent of outsourcing our justice system. He said he hopes some good comes from his imprisonment.
"If he sends me away, it will anger millions of Americans and millions of Canadians," he told the press. "I need them to be angry, otherwise we won’t get any change on this drug war."
Marc's lawyer and fellow marijuana activist Kirk Tousaw told Cannabis Culture that in all likelihood, Marc would be sent south across the border by the end of the week where he will eventually appear before a sentencing judge. Marc is expected to be sentenced to five years as part of a plea deal arranged with American prosecutors.
Opting to wait until Marc was in custody on a bail technicality, Nicholson sent the order to Marc's lawyers shortly after he entered custody. Marc had expected to be out on bail again today as the Justice Minister was expected to request another extension on the controversial move.
Marc's case started in 2005 when American Authorities raided his Vancouver store and offices with the help of the Vancouver Police Department. Marc, whose business sold marijuana seeds to "Overgrow the Government" donated all the proceeds of his business to various activism groups working to legalize marijuana and medical marijuana.
"Today's decision is another step in Canada's adoption of the failed and harmful drug war approach that, ironically, the American government is moving away from," said Tousaw. "Canadians are deeply opposed to this extradition and the outsourcing of Canadian criminal justice policy. This unpopular decision is sure to hurt the Conservative government at the ballot box in the next election. Mr. Emery is resolute and told me, from his jail cell, to never give up the fight for cannabis freedom."
MORE INFO AS IT BECOMES AVAILABLE...
Incoming media reports:
Video from YouTube.
‘Prince of Pot’ will be extradited, lawyer says
by The Globe and Mail
Marc Emery's lawyer says the self-described “Prince of Pot” has been ordered extradited to the United States.
Kirk Tousaw says he received word from the federal justice department shortly after the long time marijuana advocate turned himself into custody today that the minister has decided to sign off on his extradition.
Mr. Emery has been out on bail since last fall, when he was released from custody as the minister made the final decision in his case.
He made a plea deal with U.S. prosecutors last year, agreeing to plead guilty in connection to his Vancouver-based seed-selling business in return for a sentence of five years in prison.
It's not clear when Mr. Emery will be sent to the U.S., but Mr. Tousaw says he expects it will happen within the week.
Mr. Emery says he's instructed his supporters to hound MPs in the Conservative government and ensure they pay a political price for the decision.
Calling himself a “great Canadian” who has spent his life advocating for the legalization of marijuana, Mr. Emery turned himself in Monday morning to face possible extradition to the United States.
“I think of myself as a great Canadian – I've worked my whole life for individual freedom in this country, I've never asked for anything in return,” Mr. Emery told reporters outside B.C. Supreme Court in downtown Vancouver, with his wife by his side and a throng of supporters carrying “Free Marc” signs.
“And now I will be possibly handed over to the United States for a five-year sentence for the so-called crime of selling seeds from my desk. I'm proud of what I've done, and I have no regrets.”
Mr. Emery has been out on bail since last fall, when he was released from custody as the federal justice minister made a decision on whether to extradite him.
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson must decide whether to turn Mr. Emery over to American authorities, keep him in Canada, or again request more time to make his final decision. The minister was not immediately available for comment.
Mr. Emery has been eligible for extradition since early January.
Mr. Emery made a plea deal with U.S. prosecutors last year, agreeing to plead guilty in connection to his Vancouver-based seed-selling business in return for a sentence of five years in prison.
American prosecutors allege through Mr. Emery's magazine and website he has sold about four million marijuana seeds and that 75 per cent of those went to customers in the United States.
Documents obtained by Mr. Emery's lawyer revealed that a U.S. undercover agent posing as a marijuana seed buyer worked in Canada to secure the criminal charges against Mr. Emery south of the border.
The U.S. undercover operation is described in a briefing memo to Justice Minister Rob Nicholson dated Feb. 10, 2010, which outlines the case against Mr. Emery.
The memo said numerous mail order purchases were made by U.S. undercover agents between March 2004 and March 2005 and an undercover U.S. Drug Enforcement agent was then sent to Vancouver.
The memo said the agent was under the supervision and working with the approval of Vancouver's police department.
Allegations against Mr. Emery include that staff at his Cannabis Culture store in Vancouver counselled the agent on how to smuggle seeds across the border and how to grow the marijuana.
“It is alleged that [the store employee] told agent Mendez that border inspectors do not conduct strip searches of females, so she should hide the seeds somewhere on her body,” the memo stated.
The documents say the DEA agent made several deals to purchase marijuana seeds in exchange for cash and that Mr. Emery knew she was going to smuggle the seeds over the border.
The information was obtained under the federal Access to Information Act by Kirk Tousaw, a lawyer and former Marijuana Party campaign manager.
In addition to his seed-selling business and marijuana paraphernalia store, Mr. Emery is the president of the B.C. Marijuana Party.
He was originally charged with conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana and money laundering. Two of his Cannabis Culture employees were also accused, but charges were dropped as part of the plea agreement.
The minister's memo states the federal government has received more than 2,700 letters about Emery and virtually all of them ask that Mr. Nicholson refuse to extradite him.
Mr. Emery said he has public support on his side.
“I feel it will be very politically unpopular if [the minister] proceeds with the extradition because, let's say five to seven million Canadian's use marijuana ... I have the support of hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of Canadians.”
If he is extradited to the United States, Mr. Emery hopes he'll be allowed to return to Canada to serve out his jail sentence.
- Article from Globe and Mail.
Marc Emery to be extradited, lawyer confirms
Marc Emery's lawyer says the self-described "Prince of Pot" has been ordered extradited to the United States.
Kirk Tousaw says he received word from the federal justice department shortly after the longtime marijuana advocate turned himself into custody today that the minister has decided to sign off on his extradition.
Emery has been out on bail since last fall, when he was released from custody as the minister made the final decision in his case.
He made a plea deal with U.S. prosecutors last year, agreeing to plead guilty in connection to his Vancouver-based seed-selling business in return for a sentence of five years in prison.
It's not clear when Emery will be sent to the U.S., but Tousaw says he expects it will happen within the week.
Emery says he's instructed his supporters to hound MPs in the Conservative government and ensure they pay a political price for the decision.
- Article from CTV.
Canada's 'Prince of Pot' ordered extradited to US
by Jeremy Hainsworth, Associated Press
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The lawyer for Canada's so-called Prince of Pot said Monday that his client has been ordered extradited to the United States.
Marc Emery has sold millions of marijuana seeds around the world by mail over the past decade, drawing the attention of U.S. drug officials, who want him extradited to Seattle.
Emery's lawyer, Kirk Tousaw, said Canada's Minister of Justice Rob Nicholson signed off on his extradition shortly after the marijuana advocate turned himself in on Monday to authorities.
The justice minister's spokeswoman, Carole Saindon, would not comment on the order or the timing of his surrender, saying only that Emery has the option of a court appeal of the order.
The department said Emery's extradition was sought on charges of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, conspiracy to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to engage in money laundering.
Emery reached a plea deal with U.S. prosecutors last year, agreeing to plead guilty to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana in return for a sentence of five years in prison.
The charges are in connection with his Vancouver, British Columbia-based seed-selling business.
Emery's wife, Jodie Emery, said she was appalled that the Canadian justice minister would order the extradition.
"It's the worst option. We didn't even entertain it as an option," she said. "I'm just stunned."
She accused Nicholson of wanting "to silence the most vocal opponent of the drug war."
Marc Emery has long maintained that the prosecution was politically motivated in the U.S. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has repeatedly denied that.
Emery has been out on bail since Nov. 17, when he was released from custody as the minister made the final decision in his case.
Keith Stroup, founder of the Washington, D.C.-based National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana laws, said Emery has been open about his activities in Canada for years.
"The Canadian authorities have not seen fit to treat him as a criminal," Stroup said. "Why in the world they would want to send him to the United States, I don't understand."
Stroup said putting Emery in jail will galvanize the marijuana movement and turn him into "more of a hero and an icon."
Jodie Emery said supporters will begin lobbying to have Emery serve his time in a Canadian prison as others have been allowed to do.
It is not clear when Emery will be sent to the U.S. Tousaw said he expects it will happen within the week.
- Article from The Washington Post.
Extradition order issued for pot activist Emery
by CBC News
CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEOS of Jodie Emery and Kirk Tousaw talking about Marc's extradition
Vancouver's so-called Prince of Pot will be turned over to U.S. authorities to face drug charges five years after he was first arrested for selling marijuana seeds to U.S. residents, his wife and lawyer have confirmed.
Marc Emery, 51, turned himself in to authorities at B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Monday after his bail, granted in November, expired.
His wife, Jodie, told CBC News she has learned that federal Justice Minister Robert Nicholson has signed an order clearing the way for Emery to be extradited to the U.S.
Emery's lawyer, Kirk Tousaw, said as part of a plea bargain deal, Emery will not appeal the extradition order and will likely be transferred to Seattle within a week.
Busted in Canada for breaking U.S. laws
Emery was arrested in 2005 — following an investigation by Canadian and U.S. police — for allegedly selling marijuana seeds over the internet from Vancouver to residents of the U.S.
He made an agreement with U.S. prosecutors last year that he would plead guilty to one charge of drug distribution in exchange for a five-year sentence.
Under the terms of the deal, Emery is expecting return to Canada to serve his sentence, said Tousaw.
The marijuana advocate surrendered for extradition last September but was later freed on bail in November, because Nicholson had not yet signed the order.
Before turning himself in on Monday, Emery told CBC News he was hopeful that Nicholson would decide to stay his extradition after he turned himself in.
Emery has said previously that he made the plea agreement with U.S. prosecutors so that his two co-accused — Michelle Rainey and Greg Williams — would each be given two years' probation and to avoid a criminal trial that could result in a prison sentence of up to 50 years.
Meanwhile, The Canadian Press is reporting that a briefing memo to Canada's justice minister said a U.S. drug enforcement agent worked in Canada to secure U.S. criminal charges against Marc Emery.
The memo also said thousands of letters have been sent to government urging the minister not to extradite the pot advocate.
Emery said he isn't surprised by the support because millions of people oppose the idea of Canada bending to American will.
- Article from CBC News.
Canada's 'Prince of Pot' turns himself in for US extradition
VANCOUVER, Canada — Canada's self-styled "Prince of Pot" rallied supporters on Monday before turning himself in to Canadian authorities to be extradited to the United States to face a five-year jail term.
Marc Emery, 52, is alleged by US prosecutors to have sold more than four million marijuana seeds through the mail via his website. About 75 percent of the seeds went to US customers.
His wife Jodie Emery told AFP her husband expected to be extradited within "days or a week" after exhausting all legal challenges and an appeal for clemency to Canada's justice minister.
"It?s absolutely devastating to think that I might not see my husband for five years," she said. "It?s a harsh reality."
The couple are still holding out hope that Emery may be allowed to serve his sentence in a Canadian jail to be near his family, if Canada's Public Safety Minister Vic Toews consents.
"We hope to have him transferred here," she said. Meantime, "I am going to keep busy by running our store and our website online, keeping the cause alive, rallying to bring him back home to Canada."
Speaking outside the British Columbia Supreme Court before turning himself in, Marc Emery touted his activism to legalize marijuana as "the work of a great Canadian."
As well, he downplayed his "so-called crime of selling seeds from my desk here in downtown Vancouver to consenting adults all over the world and in the United States."
Marc Emery, who is the publisher of "Cannabis Culture" magazine and president of the British Columbia Marijuana Party, claimed Canada has five million to seven million pot smokers and he asked them to join his fight for freedom.
"I'm proud of what I have done and have no regrets," he said, flanked by two dozen of his supporters and claiming to have millions more in Canada and the United States.
"I have told my supporters every Conservative member of Parliament (from the ruling party) should be hounded endlessly, unrelentingly and unmercifully until they are defeated in the next or following election.
"It's to be a life project for them," he said. "As long as I am incarcerated in the US or Canada they are not to give the members of Parliament any peace in my regards."
Emery's troubles started in 2005 when Vancouver police simultaneously raided his store and party headquarters at the request of the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
The DEA claimed his operation generated nearly five million US dollars in profits annually and charged him and two co-defendants on three counts of conspiracy to distribute marijuana, marijuana seeds and money laundering.
No charges have ever been pursued in Canada.
- Article from AFP.
Video from YouTube.
Marijuana activist Marc Emery to be extradited to United States
by Stephen Thomson, The Georgia Straight
The wife of Vancouver pot activist Marc Emery says the decision to extradite her husband to the United States is a “dark scar on our Canadian sovereignty and justice system”.
Jodie Emery told the Straight by phone today (May 10) that Justice Minister Rob Nicholson has approved the extradition of her husband, who for six months had been on bail in Canada for selling marijuana seeds over the Internet.
Read more at The Georgia Straight.
Canada's 'Prince of Pot' to be extradited to U.S.
by The Montreal Gazette
VANCOUVER – Canada's so-called Prince of Pot was ordered extradited Monday to face drug and money-laundering charges in the United States.
Marijuana entrepreneur and activist Marc Emery surrendered to authorities, leaving reporters and assembled friends with the words: "Go Canucks Go."
Jodie Emery, a Green party candidate, said she was concerned for her husband's future in a U.S. prison where he expects to spend at least five years for crimes associated with his marijuana seed-selling business.
The B.C. Court of Appeal said in 2008 that the appropriate sentence for someone convicted of selling marijuana seeds by mail was a month or two in jail, and a year's probation.
Canadians are torn on Emery's case. An online survey conducted last year found 46 per cent of respondents agree with extraditing Emery, while 48 per cent disagree.
- Article from Montreal Gazette.
Canadian extradited to face U.S. charges
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 10 (UPI) -- A Canadian marijuana activist will be extradited to the United States to face sentencing on drug and money-laundering charges, officials say.
Marc Emery of Vancouver, B.C., Canada's self-proclaimed "Prince of Pot," was given a five-year prison sentence last fall after pleading guilty to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana stemming from a mail-order business selling pot seeds from Vancouver to U.S. residents, The (Vancouver) Province reported Monday.
Emery, who has been out of jail on bail since November awaiting a decision on the extradition, turned himself in to Canadian authorities Monday.
Emery said he thought Justice Minister Rob Nicholson delayed his decision because extraditing Emery could be seen as a potential political liability for the Conservative government, the newspaper said.
"I think he would rather say yes if they had a majority government where there would be no repercussions, but we could have an election called in two weeks or even in the fall," Emery said.
"I think there's a great deal of shock and disappointment," Emery's attorney Kirk Tousaw said. "It's clear to me that this is a deeply unpopular move by the Conservative government."
Emery says he hopes to be transferred back to Canada to serve his time.
"If he sends me away, it will anger millions of Americans and millions of Canadians," Emery said of the extradition order. "I need them to be angry, otherwise we won't get any change on this drug war."
- Article from UPI.
Vancouver MPs voice opposition to Marc Emery's extradition
by Stephen Thomson
Two Vancouver MPs are decrying a decision to support the extradition of marijuana activist Marc Emery to the United States.
In 2005, Emery was arrested as part of a joint Canada-U.S. law enforcement effort on charges that relate to an alleged online marijuana seed-selling business based in Vancouver.
Emery had been out on bail for the past six months from the North Fraser Pretrial Centre. With the period of his release set to expire, Emery surrendered himself to authorities this morning (May 10) at the Vancouver courts to await a decision on extradition.
Emery’s wife, Jodie, told the Straight earlier today that she had learned federal justice minister Robert Nicholson approved an extradition order.
The decision has now come under fire from NDP MP Libby Davies and Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh. Both MPs tabled a 12,000-signature petition earlier this year in the House of Commons that opposed Marc Emery’s extradition.
“It’s about Canadian sovereignty,” Davies, the MP for Vancouver East, told the Straight. “Why would we cart off a Canadian to serve time in America for something he wouldn’t have been charged with in Canada? Now what we’re left with is trying to press that he at least be allowed to serve his time in Canada.”
Dosanjh, the MP for Vancouver South, told the Straight that Emery faces a “disproportionate sentence that he wouldn’t have received in Canada”.
“I believe in that case we as a country should ensure that he’s at least able to serve his sentence in a Canadian prison,” Dosanjh said. “He’s not a dangerous offender.”
The federal department of justice could not be reached for comment.
- Article from The Georgia Straight.