B.C. Pot Activist Denied Transfer to Canada

U.S. prison authorities have denied jailed Canadian pot activist Marc Emery a chance to serve the bulk of his five-year term in Canada.

Mr. Emery is also being transferred from a minimum- to a medium-security prison in Mississippi, leading his lawyer to express concerns for his safety and question whether he is being singled out for extra punishment because of his outspoken opposition to marijuana laws.

“There is no doubt that the prison population in a U.S. medium-security prison will increase the level of risk to him as an individual,” Kirk Tousaw said Friday, after learning of the switch and rejection of Mr. Emery’s request for a transfer to Canada.

Although the judge who sentenced Mr. Emery recommended the transfer and he meets requirements, American officials cited the seriousness of his offence and unspecified “serious law enforcement concerns” for their decision to keep him incarcerated in the United States.

Mr. Emery, 52, was sent to jail last September, after being convicted of selling mail-order marijuana seeds to U.S. customers from his cannabis headquarters in Vancouver.

“He meets all of the factors for a transfer. This is deeply disappointing,” said Mr. Tousaw, who pledged to exhaust all possible legal avenues to have his client’s removal to Canada approved.

“It is disturbing to me that the United States continues to punish Mr. Emery for his political activity by denying this transfer. This is a terrible tragedy.”

He questioned how serious Mr. Emery’s offence could be, given that he was never charged in Canada and openly carried on his marijuana seed business for years, before U.S. drug enforcement officers sought his arrest.

U.S. Justice Department spokeswoman Laura Sweeney said the department does not comment on specific cases. Last year, 44 prisoners were transferred to Canada under the two countries’ prisoner-exchange program.

Mr. Emery’s wife, Jodie, said she was heartbroken by the decision and her husband devastated.

“He’s already having a rough time in the transfer centre he’s in. He’s feeling pretty lonely. This is quite a shock. It seems to be a personal thing they have against Marc.”

In addition to recommending that Mr. Emery be returned to Canada to serve out his sentence, U.S. judge Ricardo Martinez suggested that minimum security was appropriate for his prison time in the United States.

Earlier this year, a number of Canadian politicians, including former Vancouver mayors Larry Campbell and Sam Sullivan, former B.C. premier Ujjal Dosanjh and a dozen Liberal and NDP MPs sent a letter to Paula Wolff, chief of the U.S. prisoner transfer program, urging approval of Mr. Emery’s application.

“While we do not sanction the actions that resulted in his conviction, we find enough about Mr. Emery’s character to commend him for repatriation and transfer into the Canadian correctional system as soon as possible,” their petition said.

The politicians pointed out that Mr. Emery was a first-time, non-violent offender, who accepted responsibility for his actions.

A letter from Ms. Wolff to the Canadian Correctional Service said Mr. Emery may re-apply for a transfer in two years.

She said his application would more likely be accepted “if he has attempted to address those reasons for denial over which the prisoner has some control.”

Mr. Tousaw speculated that U.S. authorities were not happy over a regular blog maintained by Mr. Emery, which criticized conditions where he was being held.

– Article from The Globe and Mail



  1. Bhonze on

    We Americans do not have anything to do with these dumb ass polotitions! I do not want my tax dollars spent on keeping Marc in a US prison. I also Love Canada, I have been there many times and love the freedoms you have. Americans are sick of the War on Drugs and soon as we get the rest of these old choots out of here things will begin to change. so don’t hate we are all doing what we can.

  2. Joe on

    Bottom line marijuana is competition for the big pill companies 75% of there sale would be competing for our dollars. And THC kills Cancer. The medical establishments do not want to go out of business. Rockefellers lobbied the government when ford cars ran on Alcohol not gasoline to prohibit alcohol. Once gas took over it was repeal. What is needed to day is a class action law suit the government open press with expert scientist witness of the suppression of THC kills cancer tumors in lab rats but it always never jumps to human trials the government always pulls the funding and cancels the studies. To me that is a crime.

  3. Beatnuck on

    If the US would stop spending billions of dollars on communist interventionist policies that get no results, America would not be in a deficit today. But the communists that run the DEA couldn’t care less that their Marxist-Leninist views will be the downfall of America. All they care about is fattening their own wallets at the expense of American taxpayers. America is not only fiscally bankrupt but morally bankrupt because of these irresponsible socialists. Marc Emery is a free-market dissident who’s views are considered extremely dangerous to all those who have a personal interest in the war against marijuana. The communists would rather see America destroyed financially than do what is best for their country.

  4. Big Lungs on

    the views of these people do not reflect the American people. most of us dont care about marijuana it is not an issue there are so many things to worry about and i cant believe the amount of tax dollars wasted on this case alone incarcerating marc and transporting him everywhere cant be cheap

  5. Anonymous on

    whoever these american officials are, they perpetuate the drug war and punish innocent people.THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WHEN IT COMES TO MARIJUANA ARE FULL OF HYPOCRISY AND CONTRADICTIONS AND AS USUAL THEY PICK ON THE CANADIANS TO DENY THEM OF THEIR RIGHTS… and in the meantime they speak about conquering the business world of marijuana….Keep the shit to yourself if you want to but leave our canadian fellow citizens out of this…

  6. andy on

    It really seems doesn’t it that this Marijuana plant is the heart of the Beast

  7. andy on

    A stalemate, Marc has found the Easter egg but they refuse existance of the holiday. He sold seeds that all human beings who naturally have a right under God to possess as part as a whole of creation, to fund a political campaign against its prohibition and they put the gun in his face, sudden death or slow death, but death. Used to comment in the local newspaper online anonymously, now all those articles have a lock, the population anonymously were in agreement and it got rowdy, shut it down! Now coralled onto ya’all’s website out of common thinking circles, the administrators and blue collared, leveraged. Marc Emery is one of how many in man’s debacle, think of all the time and the waste for the prosperity of a continuous few. King Obama