Calling his U.S. pot charges a “great injustice,” Canadian marijuana activist Marc Emery says he hopes his looming prison sentence below the border will stoke up support for the cannabis movement.
Emery, who gave up a four-year extradition battle on three drug charges, launched a farewell tour in Calgary Sunday. In September, he plans to plead guilty in a Seattle courtroom to one charge of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana.
The goodbyes are “bittersweet,” Emery said in an interview before taking part in several community events in Calgary Sunday.
Emery, known as the Prince of Pot, has been arrested 23 times in Canada and jailed 17 times in eight different provinces, he said.
The U.S. charges are the first time he’s faced time in a prison below the border, he said.
The drug charges stem from a joint U.S.-Canadian investigation into his Vancouver-based mail-order business. In 2005, he was busted for selling marijuana seeds to U.S. customers. Two of the charges — conspiracy to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to engage in money laundering — will be dropped in exchange for the guilt plea.
Emery believes U.S. authorities will push for a six to eight year sentence, but is asking for maximum five years and a transfer to a Canadian prison.
The charges come as the marijuana movement has stalled on the Canadian political landscape. Major political parties have said they aren’t interested in any moves to legalize marijuana.
– Article from the Calgary Herald.
“Prince of Pot” says good-bye to Canada
by CTV News
The so-called “Prince of Pot” launched his farewell tour Sunday in Calgary. Marc Emery has given up his long fight to avoid extradition to the U.S. for selling cannabis seeds. He plans to turn himself in to Seattle authorities in the fall, and then he’ll likely serve a lengthy prison sentence in an American jail.
Calgary is Emery’s first stop on a 32-city farewell tour.
“I’m being taken to a U.S. prison for something I did in Canada as innocuous as selling seeds, which don’t even have any drug quality, and yet I have to face a five year term for that.”
Emery plans to surrender himself to U.S. authorities in September. He’s giving up on his fight to avoid extradition for selling cannabis seeds to customers in the United States.
“It’s difficult to say what will happen in a U.S. federal penitentiary. It’s never very pleasant. American jails aren’t run nearly as well as Canadian jails.”
And Emery would know: he’s been arrested more than a dozen times in his 20 years of activism. He says he’s on tour to bid farewell to his friends and encourage them to keep up the fight to legalize cannabis.
“I’m going away for a long time so I expect everybody to do their best and pick up the slack for me.’
Calgary cannabis activist, Keith Fagan, say Emery’s farewell tour helps keep the issue in the public eye.
“It does help to get the message out there. Marc and I don’t agree on everything. He’s a smoke cannabis out in the public type, and I’m of course not. But we still work together. We’re still friends.”
Emery wants activists to fight bill C-15. The federal bill will introduce mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana in Canada. It has passed the House of Commons and it is currently before the Senate.
Emery says the NDP, the Bloc, and the Green Party are all cannabis-friendly political parties that activists should support.
Other stops on Emery’s farewell tour include Banff on Monday, Lethbridge on Tuesday, Saskatoon on Wednesday, and Edmonton on Thursday.
– Article from CTV News.