Survey Says Canadians Want ‘Prince of Pot’ Home

The majority of Canadians want B.C.’s self-proclaimed ‘Prince of Pot’ to return north of the border to serve his prison sentence for marijuana offences, according to a recent survey.

In an online survey of 1,010 people by Angus Reid Public Opinion, most Canadians said the federal government should take action to bring Marc Emery home.

Emery was jailed in the U.S. in September on charges of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, conspiracy to distribute marijuana seeds and conspiracy to engage in money laundering.

Fifty-four per cent of respondents agree with the Canadian government approving a citizen transfer. One-third of those surveyed oppose it.

The highest level of support for allowing Emery to serve his sentence in Canada is in Atlantic Canada (65 per cent) and Quebec (59 per cent).

Mario Canseco, vice president of communications for Angus Reid Public Opinion, said Emery appears to have a national appeal to Canadians.

“I don’t think we’d see something like this for anyone else in jail,” Canseco told ctvbc.ca. “There’s a bit of a folk hero appeal when it comes to Emery in this country, especially with young people.”

In September, Emery was sentenced to five years in federal prison for his crimes. Thirty-four per cent of those surveyed felt the sentence is correct for the offence, while 19 per cent say he should have been punished more. More than one-third, or 35 per cent, believes it is too harsh.

Canseco said most Canadians don’t view marijuana as harshly as other so-called “hard drugs,” like cocaine or crystal meth.

“So what he’s pleading guilty for isn’t something Canadians see as something totally terrible. He didn’t do anything that was going to merit prosecution in Canada, so in that vein why not allow him to serve his sentence here?” he said.

A recent survey found that public support for the legalization of marijuana stands at 50 per cent in Canada.

Fifty-four per cent of British Columbians surveyed said they want to see marijuana legalized.

– Article from CTV News


Majority of Canadians Want Marc Emery to Serve Sentence in Canada

Angus Reid, November 30, 2010

About three-in-five men and respondents aged 34-to-54 support issuing a citizen transfer for the Canadian jailed in the United States.

Most Canadians believe that the federal government should take action so that Marc Emery—who was jailed in the United States in September—can serve his sentence in Canada, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,010 Canadian adults, 54 per cent of respondents agree with the Canadian government approving a citizen transfer so that Emery can serve his sentence in Canada. One third (33%) oppose this course of action.

The highest level of support for allowing Emery to serve his sentence in Canada is in Atlantic Canada (65%) and Quebec (59%). The only area where a plurality of respondents disagrees with issuing a citizen transfer in this case is Alberta.

Men (59%) and respondents aged 35-to-54 (57%) are more likely than women (49%) and respondents over the age of 55 (45%) to urge for a citizen transfer.

Emery was indicted by a U.S. federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, conspiracy to distribute marijuana seeds, and conspiracy to engage in money laundering. In May 2010, Emery pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana in a Seattle court. In September 2010, he was sentenced to five years in prison.

While 34 per cent of Canadians believe a five-year sentence is correct for this type of offence, 35 per cent believe it is too harsh and 19 per cent deem the sentence too lenient.

Analysis

A survey conducted earlier this month showed that public support for the legalization of marijuana stands at 50 per cent in Canada. For the past three years, it has become clear that Canadians are decidedly more likely to seek different guidelines for cannabis than for so-called “hard drugs”, such as cocaine or crystal meth.

On this particular case, a majority of respondents suggest that the federal government should allow Emery to return to Canada to serve his sentence—a recommendation first issued by his defence team in September 2010 and which was met with the concurrence of District Court Judge Ricardo Martinez.

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)

Methodology: From November 29 to November 30, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,010 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

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