‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery Sentenced To Five Years in US Prison

CANNABIS CULTURE – Marc Emery, well-known Canadian marijuana activist and founder of Cannabis Culture Magazine, was sentenced by a federal judge to five years behind bars in a US prison on September 10th.

Targeted by the DEA for his political activism and his efforts to fund marijuana legalization groups, our good friend Marc finally learned his fate this afternoon in a Seattle courtroom: a five year sentence for selling marijuana seeds, in accord with a plea deal arranged with US prosecutors.

CLICK HERE to join THE WORLDWIDE RALLIES to FREE MARC EMERY on Saturday, September 18

The sentencing was short; government prosecutor Todd Greenberg and Marc’s attorney Richard Troberman made brief remarks before Marc himself was allowed to make a final statement to the court.

Judge Ricardo S. Martinez seemed sympathetic in handing the activist his sentence, but implied that his hands were largely tied by the conditions of the plea agreement. As the judge noted during the proceedings, delivering a shorter sentence would allow government prosecutors to pull out of the deal, leaving Marc vulnerable to a trial and longer punishment. Judge Martinez recommended that Marc be moved to the Federal Correctional Institution in Lompoc California, as per his wishes, and made an informal recommendation to the Justice Department that a Treaty Transfer be approved to send Marc back to Canada to serve his sentence.

A group of about 40 supporters held signs, shouted chants and sounded off to American and Canadian media about what they see as a disgraceful affront to justice and Canadian sovereignty – the imprisonment of a peaceful political activist and dedicated advocate and fundraiser for drug policy reform.

Marc’s wife Jodie, a Green Party director-at-large and accomplished cannabis activist in her own right, condemned the treatment of her husband and other victims of the Drug War. Speaking with reporters after the sentencing Jodie said that today’s sentencing provoked “a mix of emotions”.

“Marc’s deal has dragged on since 2005 and it’s good to have it over with,” she said, “but to face the 5-year sentence ahead…that’s quite a long road to look down.”

The following stories and videos appeared online in the hours after Marc’s sentencing.


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Canada’s ‘prince of pot’ gets five years in U.S. prison

by Emanuella Grinberg, CNN

The man once known as Canada’s “prince of pot” is now a federal inmate in the U.S. system after a judge in Washington sentenced him Friday to five years in prison.

Marijuana activist Marc Emery pleaded guilty in May in U.S. District Court in Seattle, Washington, to a single count of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana after an 18-month investigation into the seed-selling business Emery operated from his head shop in Vancouver, British Columbia.

By imposing the five-year sentence, which includes four years of supervised probation, U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez honored a plea deal that Emery, 52, entered into with U.S. authorities to avoid a lengthier sentence.

“There is no question your actions were illegal and criminal and your actions ensured that others broke the law and suffered the consequences,” the judge told Emery during the hearing.

Dozens of Emery’s supporters gathered outside Seattle’s federal courthouse to protest the sentence, which marks the end of a five-year legal battle against a man once described by U.S. authorities as one of its most wanted international drug trafficking targets — and the only one from Canada.

Emery is the founder of the British Columbia Marijuana Party and the website CannabisCulture.com. His status in Canada as a tireless advocate for marijuana legalization has been cemented through years of sit-ins, demonstrations and runs for political office. By his own account, he has been arrested at least a dozen times since 1995 related to his activism, and Vancouver police have raided his shop several times since it opened in 1994.

In his plea agreement, Emery admitted to operating a marijuana seed selling business with two co-defendants, who entered pleas this year to lesser offenses and were placed on probation in Canada. He also admitted to selling seeds to customers in the United States through mail and telephone orders and in his Vancouver retail store.

“Marc Emery decided that U.S. laws did not apply to him, but he was wrong,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan in a statement Friday. “Emery put his personal profits above the law. He made millions of dollars by shipping millions of seeds into the U.S. He sold to anyone who would pay him — with no regard for the age or criminal activities of his customers. Now, Emery is paying the price for being part of the illegal drug trade that damages lives, homes and the environment.”

But Emery and his supporters worldwide have maintained from the start that his prosecution was politically motivated, citing a 2005 DEA press release touting his arrest as a “significant blow” to the marijuana legalization movement.

“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 have one less pot of money to rely on,” former DEA Administrator Karen Tandy said in the July 2005 statement, which can no longer be found on the DEA’s website.

Emery’s lawyer reminded the judge of the press release in his presentencing memorandum, claiming there are other seed selling businesses in Canada that the U.S. government chose not to go after.

“The only thing that makes Mr. Emery unique or different from most of these other seed sellers is that Marc donated his proceeds to help fund lawful marijuana legalization efforts throughout the United States and Canada. On this record, no one can (or should) take the government seriously when it claims that this case was not politically motivated,” Richard Troberman wrote.

But the U.S. Attorney’s Office said that Emery’s personal politics had nothing to do with his prosecution.

“Through the years, and in various contexts, Marc Emery has meant different things to many people. But in the context of this federal criminal prosecution, Emery stands before the court as many others have before him — as an admitted drug dealer who has entered a plea of guilty to a large scale marijuana trafficking conspiracy,” the U.S. attorney’s office wrote in its presentencing memo. “The government’s case was investigated and prosecuted without regard for Emery’s personal politics, his political agenda or the ways in which he chose to spend the proceeds of his drug crimes.”

With Emery in prison, his wife, Jodie, has become the face behind their cause, which has not fallen dormant in his absence. Rallies to support Emery and the legalization movement will be held in more than 70 cities across the globe on September 18, she said.

“It’s going to be a long, difficult road ahead, but we’ll be able to make it with all the support we have,” she said.
Emery also remains firm in his beliefs, though in a letter to the court, he admitted his means may have been self-defeating.

“It was my sincere belief that the prohibitions on cannabis are hurtful to U.S. and Canadian citizens and are contrary to the U.S. and Canadian constitutions. I was, however, overzealous and reckless in pursuing this belief, and acted arrogantly in violation of U.S. federal law. I regret not choosing other methods — legal ones — to achieve my goals of peaceful political reform.”

– Article from CNN.


U.S. jails Canadian ‘Prince of Pot’ for five years

By Rod Mickleburgh, Globe and Mail

The long arm of American justice has reached out for Canada’s so-called Prince of Pot and sent him to U.S. federal prison for five years.

A chastened Marc Emery, who was sentenced in U.S. District Court here Friday for selling millions of marijuana seeds to customers south of the border, admitted to arrogance in flouting American law and promised never to advocate civil disobedience again in the United States or Canada.

His statement represented a change of attitude for Mr. Emery, 52, who had openly pedalled his illegal products to the U.S. and smoked pot in public on a regular basis in Canada, daring authorities to charge him.

Yet, even as he was led away in dowdy prison fatigues, waving to his wife and supporters, winds of a changing, more tolerant attitude towards marijuana prosecutions are beginning to gust in the United States.

Some now wonder whether Mr. Emery’s relatively harsh punishment for a business that was never closed by Canadian authorities could soon be a rare event in a country that has waged a relentless war against marijuana for decades.

“It won’t be the last, and it’s still an uphill battle, but more and more, people are saying that criminalizing marijuana does more harm than good,” said Ethan Nadelmann, founder and executive director of the U.S.-based Drug Policy Alliance. “Things are definitely changing.”

Most strikingly, the very person who indicted Mr. Emery in 2005, former U.S. Attorney John McKay, came out strongly last weekend in favour of legalizing, regulating and taxing the sale of cannabis, smoked by an estimated 15 million Americans.

Meanwhile, citizens of the country’s largest state, California, will vote this November on whether to legalize the drug, other states are expected to have similar ballots next year, and increasing numbers of former and current law enforcement officials, including ex-Seattle police chief Norm Stumper, are speaking out for change.

Even Judge Ricardo Martinez, who handed down Mr. Emery’s sentence as part of a plea-bargain, expressed sympathy for the Canadian pot crusader on his coming incarceration.

Noting that he had received many letters in support of Mr. Emery that were well-written and thoughtful “and made some very interesting points,” Judge Martinez told him: “I know five years is a long time, but I wish you the best when you get out.”

Judge Martinez recommended that Mr. Emery be returned to Canada to serve out his sentence. But both governments have to agree, and the federal Conservatives have shown little sympathy for drug offenders.

As for Mr. McKay, while labelling Mr. Emery “an idiot” for smoking marijuana, he said that “as [his]prosecutor, however, I’m not afraid to say out loud what most of my former colleagues know is true.

“Our policy of criminal prohibition of marijuana has utterly failed. It is dangerous, and wrong, and should be changed,” declared Mr. McKay, currently a law professor at Seattle University. “Brave agents and cops continue to risk their lives in a futile attempt to enforce misguided laws that do not match the realities of our society.”

Mr. McKay declined a request to elaborate on his views, contained in an opinion piece for the Seattle Times.

U.S. District Attorney Todd Greenberg told the crowded courtroom that Mr. Emery “openly flouted United States drug laws.” He said five years was the longest term anyone in the district had received for being part of the “marijuana supply chain.”

Before sentencing, Mr. Emery said he regretted his actions. “I admit that I was arrogant. … When I get out, I won’t ever advocate criminal disobedience again. … I will pursue conventional methods to change the law.”

– Article from the Globe and Mail.


Canada’s prince of pot sentenced to five years in jail

Ian Mulgrew, Vancouver Sun

SEATTLE, Wash. — Sentenced to five years behind bars, Canada’s Prince of Pot Marc Emery was led off to an American penitentiary Friday repenting his seed-selling sins and professing love for his wife.

“I love you Jodie!” he mouthed silently to her as he was led away.

There may be a place for and time for a debate over the legalization of marijuana the judge told him, but this is not the time or the place — marijuana is illegal.

In a beige prisoner’s jumpsuit, Emery sat throughout the 15-minute hearing with his hands folded under his chin.

His wife Jodie Emery sat stoically the public gallery with about 40 supporters, press and undercover law-enforcement officers.

Seeds traced to grow houses in every region of the U.S. were linked to Emery according to the prosecution, and the original DEA press release called Emery one of the “most wanted international drug trafficking organizational targets — one of only 46 in the world and the only one from Canada.”

Judge Ricardo Martinez, of the western Washington district court, told the 52-year-old Vancouver businessman that he had grown up along the Canadian border and was saddened by what illegal drugs have done to both countries.

“I regret the example we set,” Emery told him, “and I won’t be doing that again.

“I’d like to point out though that it made it sound like I’m a bad guy . . . but I had very good intentions and wanted to be considered a proper participant in our society. I do believe that these prohibition laws create a lot of problems and create organized crime.”

It was a sad emotional end to a 30-year public career by the staunch libertarian most Canadians considered a benign and charismatic political prankster.

The U.S. prosecutors said he was the “largest [pot seed]distributor in North America and at least the largest into the United States . . . .no doubt he sold millions of marijuana seeds that produced millions of marijuana plants in the U.S.”

Outside the federal courthouse, a small group protested his sentence.

Emery said he now realizes that some of the methods he chose to fund his efforts to repeal the marijuana prohibition were “ill-conceived and ultimately destructive.”

In a letter given to the judge prior to sentencing, Emery said he was “over-zealous and reckless” and “acted arrogantly in violation of U.S. federal law.

“I regret not choosing other methods — legal ones — to achieve my goals of peaceful political reform.”

It sounded as sincere as Galileo’s confession.

Emery has been a political activist for three decades — fighting Sunday business-closing laws in Ontario, Canada’s national ban on drug literature and, of course, the marijuana prohibition.

A Canadian citizen and president of the B.C. Marijuana Party, Emery has run for office several times.

In furtherance of his goal of legalizing cannabis, for many years he sold marijuana seeds around the world through catalogue sales.

“This was not a business that operated underground, or even in the shadows,” Richard Troberman, Emery’s lawyer told the court.

“On the contrary, Marc openly operated his seed distribution business (“Marc Emery Direct”) from a storefront in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, as well as over the internet; through telephone sales; direct mail sales; and though other media outlets. Revenue Canada gladly accepted taxes on all of his sales, which were duly reported to the appropriate taxing authorities. Virtually all of the profits from the business went to funding lawful efforts to legalize marijuana in Canada and the United States through the political process.”

Crown counsel in Canada refused to prosecute Emery but under the former Republican presidency the U.S. ramped up its war on drugs and targeted Emery because of his political profile.

“The Attorney General’s true motive — which was to silence Mr. Emery’s political activity — could not be more clear,” Troberman said.

Emery was indicted in Seattle on May 26, 2005 for conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and arrested in Halifax on an extradition warrant a few days later.

He was held in custody from Aug. 2 through Aug. 5, 2005. Emery remained free until Sept. 2009 when a tentative plea bargain was reached and he surrendered himself into custody Sept. 28.

He remained imprisoned in Canada until Nov. 18, when he was released to await the Justice Minister’s final determination of his extradition.

On May 10, Emery was told the minister had refused his last-ditch appeal and went back into jail.

He was transported to the U.S. May 20 and has remained imprisoned since.

Emery admitted selling more then 4 million seeds, 75 per cent to U.S. customers.

He asked to be housed in the federal correctional institution at Lompoc, Calif., so he can continue to be visited by his wife. The judge recommended that.

After his sentencing, Emery’s lawyers delivered a request to the Canadian consul for a prison transfer to Canada.

His B.C. lawyer Kirk Tousaw said that if all went well, Emery could be serving his time in a Canadian institution within a year.

“I received hundreds of letters and emails, most of them favourable to you,” Judge Martinez said.

“One in crayon,” he quipped, “others quite well written, very thoughtful, making some very interesting points. I know five years is a long time. I wish you the best.”

– Article from The Vancouver Sun.


Prince of Pot jailed 5 years in U.S. for selling seeds

by The Toronto Star

SEATTLE—Canada’s flamboyant Prince of Pot has been sentenced in a U.S. court to five years in prison for being one of the largest marijuana seed suppliers in America.

U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan told the court Marc Emery made millions of dollars by shipping seeds into the United States and now he’s paying the price for being part of the illegal drug trade.

“Marc Emery decided that U.S. laws did not apply to him, but he was wrong,” Durkan said in a news release Friday.

“Emery put his personal profits above the law . . . He sold to anyone who would pay him — with no regard for the age or criminal activities of his customers.

“Now, Emery is paying the price for being part of the illegal drug trade that damages lives, homes and the environment.”

When U.S. District Court Judge Ricardo Martinez sentenced Emery in Seattle on Friday, he told him there was no question his actions were criminal and that Emery ensured others broke the law by selling them the seeds.

Emery was indicted in 2005, but it wasn’t until May of this year that he was extradited from Canada and left for Washington State after a plea agreement.

His lawyer arranged the five-year sentence on the charge of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana.

Emery’s wife, Jodie Emery, said in an interview that her husband is holding up, but his fight is not over.

She said right after court adjourned on Friday, his lawyer went to the Canadian consulate in Seattle to submit the paperwork to have Emery transferred back to Canada to serve his sentence here.

The arrangement requires the consent from Public Safety Minister Vic Toews and Jodie Emery conceded she’s not hopeful the Tory government will act quickly.

“I am not very optimistic just judging by the track record of this government,” she said in an interview. “They have been neglecting and refusing the applications from Canadians abroad ever since they came into power and they certainly don’t care for marijuana or marijuana drug law reform. So they haven’t really expressed any interest in helping Marc.”

The court noted that Emery claimed on his website to have made about $3 million a year for selling about four million seeds over the years from his Vancouver headquarters.

In his letter to the Seattle court, Emery said he “arrogantly violated U.S. law” and said he regrets he did not use legal methods to support his beliefs.

Last year, two employees of Emery Seeds were sentenced in Seattle to two years of probation for conspiracy to manufacture marijuana.

Michele Leonhart, a spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Administration, said Emery didn’t consider whether his actions harmed families or led to violence.

“Due to the extraordinary co-operation between Canadian and U.S. law enforcement, Emery’s conspiracy was shattered and he is now a convicted felon,” she said.

– Article from The Toronto Star.


Canada’s ‘Prince of Pot’ sentenced to 5 years

by The Associated Press

SEATTLE — Canada’s so-called Prince of Pot, who sold millions of marijuana seeds to U.S. customers before his 2005 arrest, has been sentenced to five years in prison after earlier pleading guilty to a drug charge.

At his sentencing Friday in U.S. District Court in Seattle, Marc Emery told the court that he “arrogantly violated U.S. law.”

Extradited from Vancouver, British Columbia, in May, the 52-year-old pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana.

On his website, Emery claimed to have made about $3 million a year selling seeds and to have sold more than four million seeds over the years.

U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan says Emery “sold to anyone who would pay him — with no regard for the age or criminal activities of his customers.”

– Article from The Associated Press.


Pot activist Marc Emery gets 5 years in U.S. jail

by CTV News

Canadian pot activist Marc Emery has been sentenced to five years in a U.S. federal prison for selling marijuana seeds south of the border.

The 52-year-old Vancouver resident learned his fate on Friday afternoon in a U.S. district court in Seattle. His lawyer brought about the five-year prison term on the charge of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana.

Emery’s sentence also includes four years of “supervised release” to follow his prison term, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office that described Emery as the largest marijuana seeds vendor in the U.S. when he was indicted in 2005.

“There is no question your actions were illegal and criminal and your actions ensured that others broke the law and suffered the consequences,” U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez told Emery in his sentencing decision.

Emery signed a plea agreement stating that he and two associates, Michelle Rainey and Gregory Keith Williams, who helped run a business distributing marijuana seeds. Rainey, 39, and Williams, 54, both worked for Emery Seeds. They were each sentenced to two years of probation on conspiracy to manufacture marijuana charges last year in a Seattle court.

In a statement from Emery quoted by The Globe and Mail, he said it was “arrogant” to defy U.S. law.

“My zealous pursuit of what may be an honourable goal of repeal of a bad law blinded me from recognizing that my example of flouting the law is a bad example to set for others,” Emery’s statement reads.

“I promise to never advocate civil disobedience, or condone civil disobedience, or ever flout Canadian or U.S. laws ever again.”

The U.S. Attorney’s office said that three-quarters of the seeds that Emery’s company sold between 1995 and 2005 wound up in the United States. It also charged those seeds were linked to illegal marijuana-growing operations “protected by guns and booby traps.”

“Marc Emery decided that U.S. laws did not apply to him, but he was wrong,” U.S. attorney Jenny A. Durkan said in a statement. “He sold to anyone who would pay him — with no regard for the age or criminal activities of his customers.”

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson ordered that Emery be extradited to the U.S. in May, after a five-year legal battle over Emery’s business.

In a blog posting dated Sept. 8, the self-described “Prince of Pot” wrote that he hopes to be transferred to a Canadian prison.

“But that’s only if Public Safety Minister Vic Toews approves my transfer, and the US Bureau of Prisons approves my transfer,” Emery wrote.

If successful, he said he could be eligible for parole in November 2011.

– Article from CTV News.


Marc Emery gets 5 years in prison

by CBC News

Judge recommends he be allowed to serve sentence in Canada

B.C. marijuana activist Marc Emery has been sentenced to five years imprisonment on drug distribution charges by a U.S. federal judge in Seattle, Wash.

The sentence handed down Friday afternoon is in accord with a deal the Vancouver entrepreneur struck with U.S. prosecutors when he pleaded guilty in May.

U.S. District Court Judge Ricardo Martinez recommended that Emery, 52, be allowed to serve his time in a Canadian prison.

Prior to sentencing, Emery admitted breaking the law by selling marijuana seeds to U.S. customers and promised he would not break the law again.

Emery was arrested at his Vancouver shop in 2005 by Vancouver police, who were working with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. He was accused of selling marijuana seeds to U.S. customers through his mail order business.

Since Emery voluntarily surrendered for extradition in May, he has been held at the maximum-security SeaTac Federal Detention Centre.

He spent three weeks in solitary confinement after his supporters podcast a video recording he made in the prison, but has been in the general population since, said his wife.

– Article from CBC News.


‘Prince of Pot’ gets 5 years

by KOMO News

SEATTLE – A Canadian nicknamed the “Prince of Pot” was sentenced to five years in prison Friday for shipping millions of marijuana seeds into the United States.

Marc Emery, 52, of Vancouver, British Columbia, was the largest supplier of pot seeds in the U.S. at the time of his indictment, federal officials say. He sold mainly to marijuana grow operations across the country.

Emery was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez, who told him “there is no question your actions were illegal and criminal and your actions ensured that others broke the law and suffered the consequences.”

“Marc Emery decided that U.S. laws did not apply to him, but he was wrong,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. “Emery put his personal profits above the law. He made millions of dollars by shipping millions of seeds into the U.S. He sold to anyone who would pay him. … Now, Emery is paying the price for being part of the illegal drug trade that damages lives, homes and the environment.”

Outside the courtroom, a small group of protesters demanded that Emery be released. They waved signs saying “Free Marc Emery” and “Send Marc Home.”

Emery was indicted in 2005, and was extradited from Canada in May 2010. In his plea agreement, he admits that he and his co-conspirators Michelle Rainey and Gregory Keith Williams operated a marijuana seed distribution business known as Marc Emery Direct.

About 75 percent of the sales were to people in the United States. On his website, Emery claimed to have made approximately $3 million a year selling seeds, and to have sold more than 4 million seeds over the years, federal officials said.

Emery, a 12-time candidate for elected office in Canada and magazine publisher, spent millions of dollars gained through his mail-order seed business to advocate for marijuana law reform in Canada and the United States.

After a lengthy extradition fight, Emery pleaded guilty earlier this year to drug crimes, which he described as “civil disobedience.”

In a letter to the court, Emery was contrite. He’d previously fought extradition and, through his supporters, continues to conduct small rallies demanding his release.

“It has always been my sincere belief that the prohibitions on cannabis are hurtful to U.S. and Canadian citizens and are contrary to the constitutions of both countries,” the 52-year-old wrote in the Sept. 1 letter.

“I regret not choosing other methods — legal ones — to achieve my goals of peaceful political reform,” the former candidate for Vancouver, B.C., mayor continued. “I have no one to blame but myself.”

– Article from KOMO News.


Marijuana seed dealer who spent fortune on pot reform gets 5 years

by Levi Pulkkinen, Seattle Post Intelligencer

Canadian marijuana seed dealer and pro-pot activist Marc Emery has been sentenced to a five-year prison term, marking the end of a years-long legal fight once cast by federal authorities as a blow to the marijuana reform movement.

Imposing Emery’s sentence Friday, U.S. District Judge Ricardo Martinez honored a plea agreement struck earlier this year by Emery to avoid a potential 10-year prison term.

Emery — a 12-time candidate for elected office in Canada often described as the “Prince of Pot” — spent millions of dollars gained through a mail-order marijuana seed business to advocate for marijuana law reform in Canada and the United States. After a five-year extradition fight, Emery pleaded guilty earlier this year to drug crimes, which he described as “civil disobedience.”

Writing the court in preparation for Friday’s hearing, Emery cast his multi-million-dollar seed business as having been a tool in his fight against marijuana prohibition.

“I don’t think any society that’s a democracy should be punishing people for peaceful behavior,” Emery said in court Friday before being sentenced.

“I did flout the law and I do regret that,” he continued. “I had very good intentions.”

When he and two coworkers were arrested following a lengthy Drug Enforcement Administration investigation, Emery’s was one of dozens of businesses selling marijuana seeds. Federal prosecutors contend Emery’s was the largest such operation running at the time of this arrest.

For reasons never explained by the Justice Department, Emery was the sole Canadian on the attorney general’s most wanted list of drug traffickers. At the time, violence was on the rise among British Columbia-based gangs largely funded by the province’s illicit marijuana crop. Emery, by contrast, was paying taxes on the seeds he sold by mail and through a Vancouver storefront, and has never been tied publicly to organized crime.

At the time of Emery’s arrest, then DEA Chief Karen Tandy issued a statement saying: “Today’s DEA arrest of Marc Scott Emery, publisher of Cannabis Culture Magazine, and the founder of a marijuana legalization group, is a significant blow not only to the marijuana trafficking trade in the U.S. and Canada, but also to the marijuana legalization movement

“His marijuana trade and propagandist marijuana magazine have generated nearly $5 million a year in profits that bolstered his trafficking efforts, but those have gone up in smoke today. … Drug legalization lobbyists now have one less pot of money to rely on.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Greenberg argued in statements filed prior to Friday’s hearing that Emery’s arrest wasn’t political.

“From the Department of Justice’s perspective, the focus of this case always has been, and should remain, on Emery’s long term and repeated violations of the U.S. drug laws,” Greenberg told the court.

“The government’s case,” he continued, “was investigated and prosecuted without regard for Emery’s personal politics, his political agenda, or the ways in which he chose to spend the proceeds of his drug crimes.”

But Emery attorney Richard Troberman cited Tandy’s statement as evidence that his client was targeted for fighting against the drug war.

Troberman argued his client was targeted by the DEA because he, unlike his competitors in the marijuana seed business, used his profits to fund pro-pot initiatives, including medical marijuana reforms in several U.S. states.

“The only thing that makes Mr. Emery unique or different from most of these other seed sellers is that Marc donated his proceeds to help fund lawful marijuana legalization efforts throughout the United States and Canada,” Troberman told the court. “On this record, no one can or should take the government seriously when it claims that this case was not politically motivated.”

In a letter to the court filed prior to Friday’s sentencing, Emery was contrite. He’d previously fought extradition and, through his supporters, continues to conduct small rallies demanding his release.

“It has always been my sincere belief that the prohibitions on cannabis are hurtful to U.S. and Canadian citizens and are contrary to the constitutions of both countries,” the 52-year-old wrote in the Sept. 1 letter.

“I regret not choosing other methods — legal ones — to achieve my goals of peaceful political reform,” the former candidate for Vancouver, B.C., mayor continued. “I have no one to blame but myself.”

Speaking to her husband’s Cannabis Culture magazine, Jodie Emery reiterated that the seed business was run “with the explicit goal of funding the marijuana legalization movement.”

“He paid his income tax on seed sales, and operated openly and transparently,” Jodie Emery said, according to Cannabis Culture. “Marc and I have no savings, bonds, stocks, property, cars, homes, or anything of value. On the day of his arrest, he had $11 in his bank account.

Emery and his supporters have asked that he be allowed to serve his prison sentence in Canada. Unless and until that happens, Emery is expected to be housed at a Bureau of Prisons facility inside the United States.

– Article from Seattle Post Intelligencer.

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