As the leader of the B.C. Marijuana Party, Marc Emery faces extradition to the United States. That leaves the future of the grassroots cannabis-fueled lobby group in doubt. But according to a local weed activist, the charge could spark further publicity for possible pot legalization.
As Mik Mann smoked a marijuana joint in his home Monday, he noted that the five-year sentence faced by Emery for mailing seeds to buyers has created a catalyst among those who want anti-pot laws ousted.
“I think Marc’s being set up as a martyr, or at least something to that degree,” he said while leaning back in his office chair and taking a long puff. “I think this will shock and outrage people to take action.”
Mann, who was the party’s candidate in Victoria in 2001 and then in Port Alberni in 2005, is a veteran of the marijuana legalization push and is often considered by the party to be a go-to guy for anyone wanting to become involved in the movement.
“We intend to hound the Conservative government and piss on their corn flakes,” he said.
He noted that the Marijuana Party wants the Conservatives to stop their “tough on crime” campaign. It has seen bills in the last several months that call for a six month minimum prison sentence for small-time pot growers and the ousting of two-for-one credit for time served in remand centres, which Mann said could lead to overpopulation in jails.
“Jails are going to be taken up by a bunch of pot heads,” he said. “I hope this kind of thing really gets people paying attention to what the Conservative government is doing, at a $10-billion expense.”
But the Marijuana Party won’t be without their leader, as Emery prepares for his sentencing trial in Seattle, set to take place in nearly two weeks.
The often dubbed ‘Princess of Pot’ Jodie Emery, Marc’s wife, said her husband will continue to fight for the marijuana culture throughout B.C.Jodie said she has recently worked with Marc to develop strategies where she can complete activism tasks, and to promote the elimination of prohibition.
“We will have an enormous protest outside the court house at the sentencing hearing, letting everyone know that people want Marc to be sent home,” she explained. “The judge is not bound by the five-year [sentencing]agreement, but most judges don’t sway from that.”
Marc agreed to serve five years in prison to avoid a sentence that could possibly exceed 30 years, according to U.S laws.
From his cell, Marc will advise his wife about what needs to be accomplished. “Nothing much will change, except for the noticeable absence of Marc, who is wonderfully upbeat and optimistic,” she said.
But Jodie said much of the activism will be done by of the Green Party, after the two parties agreed to amalgamate in January 2009.
Jodie recently accepted the position as the director-at-large of the B.C. Green Party.
“After the Green Party adopted legalization, there was no need for the Marijuana Party,” she noted. “We still let people use the Marijuana Party name to complete activism tasks in their respective communities.”
Emery was ordered to be extradited on Monday, May 10, after the ‘Prince of Pot’ ended his five-year fight where he tried to avoid facing the heavy hand of U.S. courts.
– Article from Times Colonist.
Port Alberni pot prince protests in local MP’s office
by Wawmeesh G. Hamilton, Alberni Valley News
A local man rolled marijuana joints inside Nanaimo-Alberni MP James Lunney’s Port Alberni constituency office Tuesday morning to protest the federal extradition of a popular pot enthusiast.
Mik Mann, who also heads up the local chapter of the marijuana political party, sat inside the doorway of Lunney’s office taking pot out of a silver tin and rolling marijuana joints.
“It’s Burmese homegrown,” Mann said as he sprinkled pungent small green leaves onto a rolling paper. “I grow it myself at home.”
Mann says he is protesting the federal government’s recent decision to extradite Canadian citizen Marc Emery to the US, where he is to serve a five-year prison sentence for selling pot seeds to US customers via the Internet.
“I had better things to do with my day than this,” Mann said. “But duty calls.”
Mann’s protest coincides with others that are being staged across the country.
Port Moody-Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam MP James Moore’s office was the site of similar protest last week and others are scheduled in the weeks to come, Mann said.
Rolling pot joints inside Conservative MPs’ offices is a unique form of protest, but Mann says he and others have no choice.
Mann says he is particularly concerned with the proposed federal S-10 bill. If legislated, the bill would enact mandatory minimum prison sentences of six to nine months for growing six or more marijuana plants, and 12-18 months for making hashish.
The bill will succeed only in plugging jails with people who have committed victimless crimes, Mann said. “Besides – I’ve seen figures that show 50 per cent of Canadians want pot laws relaxed.”
Mann and others have tried to lobby the federal government for relaxed pot laws, but to no avail. “They refuse to debate the issue of relaxing pot laws in this country,” he said. “They won’t listen to us, so we’re going to ramp it up with things like this and take it to them.”
An RCMP officer arrived at the office and spoke to Mann, but although marijuana was in full view no arrest was made. “I’ve got a medical license to use and carry it because of spinal arthritis,” Mann said. “And I didn’t smoke it in the building – that’s illegal.”
RCMP responded to calls from the office. “We were there to respond to the concerns of a constituency worker and to ensure he wasn’t there for a criminal purpose,” RCMP Sgt. Kevin Murray said. “Our member spoke to him and it was a peaceful protest.”
Lunney is familiar with Mann and heard about the incident. While he respects Mann’s right to protest, he’s clear about Emery’s rights.
Mann was the Marijuana party candidate who ran against Lunney in the last federal election.
“I understand Mik was well behaved this morning and I appreciate that,” Lunney said. ”But Marc Emery is no hero.”
Emery repeatedly broke US law when he sold marijuana seeds to customers there “…and there was a consequence to that.”
Some citizens disagree with posted speed limits for instance, but they set themselves up for consequences if they repeatedly violate them, Lunney said.
“You might get away with it a few times, but you’ll get stung if you do it habitually.”
– Article from Alberni Valley News.