Upbeat Marc Emery on Way to Jail

Canada’s Prince of Pot finds great irony in his pending extradition south of the border.

“They’re going to legalize marijuana in California, in Nevada, and much of the United States very soon,” Marc Emery noted in a phone interview with the Georgia Straight. “It’s quite possible I’ll be incarcerated even though I’m one of the people who provided the wherewithal for all these legalization movements to happen. I’ll be in jail being persecuted while they’re out, Americans are actually out, celebrating.”

Emery is currently on bail from the North Fraser Pretrial Centre. He faces a five-year sentence in a U.S. prison for selling marijuana seeds from his Vancouver shop.

Although all Emery can hope for is an immediate transfer to a Canadian jail, he has huge optimism about the future of the marijuana-legalization crusade that he helped nurture.

In 2009, measures to tax and regulate recreational marijuana were filed in the state assemblies of California, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Washington. The group Nevadans for Sensible Marijuana Law has started work on a ballot initiative in 2012 to create a legal market. Several states allow medical marijuana use.

“Let’s face it: the majority of Canadians want to legalize marijuana, and now the majority of Americans do as well,” Emery said.

He said he has no doubt why American federal authorities are out to get him: it was all told in the media statement by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration when he was arrested on July 29, 2005. Then DEA administrator Karen Tandy declared that his arrest was “a significant blow not only to the marijuana trafficking trade in the U.S. and Canada, but also to the marijuana legalization movement”.

What Emery considers particularly egregious is that Canadian federal authorities have been working with the Americans to get him extradited. “The thing is rather than even charge me here, the Canadian government conspired with the U.S. to have the justice system outsourced to them so they could punish me more severely,” he said.

According to information provided by Emery’s Cannabis Culture on-line magazine, there are two precedent cases involving the sale of marijuana seeds in Canada. In one, the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled that a $200 fine, not a prison sentence, is the appropriate punishment. In the other case, the same appellate court determined that the penalty shouldn’t be harsher than one month in prison and one year of probation.

Emery’s bail will expire on January 8. Although he entered into a plea bargain with U.S. authorities last summer that will likely see him sentenced to at least five years in prison, it will still take the signature of Justice Minister and Attorney General Rob Nicholson, a federal Conservative, to extradite the marijuana activist to the U.S.

Emery said he hopes that one day the full details of what went on between the Canadian and American governments to put him away will finally come to light. Through an access-to-information request, he has received from the justice ministry 6,000 pages of reports and correspondence, all of which have been blacked out. “It’s amazing,” he said. “It took us a year before they would actually get it back to us. A lot of them can’t be revealed because they’re communicating with the Americans.”

The federal NDP’s Libby Davies is also interested in knowing the background to Emery’s extradition. The Vancouver East MP related that she didn’t learn very much when she put in a question on the order paper in the House of Commons. She noted that her office recently filed a request for information with the Justice Ministry.

“I just feel that the whole process was very bad,” Davies told the Straight by phone. “And the Canadian government has never been clear about its involvement or what its interactions or discussions have been with the U.S. drug-enforcement officials.”

For Davies, information surrounding Emery’s case is a matter of Canadian interest. “He’s really done no harm,” she said. “He’s not hurt anybody.”

– Article from The Georgia Straight.



  1. jodie on

    Our lawyer for the extradition, Ian Donaldson, fell deathly ill with pleurisy and won’t be back at work until January. The deadline for his final submission to the Justice Minister — which is the last thing we need to do before the Justice Minister makes the decision — is January 8th. That means the Justice Minister can sign at any time after that. We assume it’ll happen mid-January, but no one knows for sure. The Justice Minister can take up to 90 days to make the decision.

  2. Anonymous on

    I sympathise with everything you wrote anonymous 11.03 exept for your conclusion about Marc at the end.

    Marc is a Warrior, One that came as good as any of your former Chiefs.

    You are a Warrior too, as well as me and as well as many if not most of the ppl participating on this forum and else where.

    It’s in the powers of this Sacred Herb to reverse power back to the righteous.

    Hence we call it Sacred!

    pls show respect to all that’s Sacred ano 11.03

    You unconditionally have mines already

    By G.G..

  3. Anonymous on

    What if we the people of the world had a truely evil enemy…say and alien race come to inhabit this world and do with us as they please?

    We would drop our petty reasons to hate each other I would hope and unite…if not …we dont deseve to survive.

    If hate was removed we could have such wonderful world to live in , but no , we hate to hate, we have to be selfish, we have to ruin all around us.

    This goes for our wrong headed leaders and the racist laws they enforce on those that dont want or need.

    When I look around , it just sickens me. This world with so much possiblity is filled with putride ideas of right and wrong. Maybe the Idea of “leaders” should be outlawed. Ever notice how those who feel they must dominate are the same ones that dont feel their laws apply to them? Our world needs a code of conduct concerning valuing the lives of each other, the respect of each other. Yes ..maybe those who dominate need to be outlawed so the rest of us can live.

  4. Sponge Bob Marley on

    >> Nobody needs marijuana either but i notice they still devote a major portion of their waking hours for decades on end hoping to get some..

  5. Taylor on

    well said. the good people of the world are too divided into their self appointed groups to actually stand together and achieve a new humanity that moves forwards into the future rather then fight while time passes. perhaps having no culture to call my own makes it hard for me to understand why some people will hate one other group so intensely. too me i only see two groups, people who want to live together and the people who want to live off everyone else. the oligarchy keeps their power by keeping the world divided. your tv, religion, media on your blackberry, the olympics and the school system are all examples of how people have become distracted from what life has to offer, people working together, music, sex and above all the glorious world that we all share, the forrest is magnificent. get out side be in nature, be silent and enjoy what life has to offer.

    no one needs a Bently.

  6. Anonymous on

    People are too pathetic to listen to the mexican guy, they just brush off his comment but he makes some good points. The only reason pot is illegal is because of white politicians that keep it that way. I disagree with parts of his comment, like whining about a “genocide” when the diseases would’ve killed a large portion of the native population regardless of whether or not they were used as weapons by white people.
    There was also no laws at the time of european migration to the new world, so calling europeans illegal immigrants is stupid. Laws are irrelevant. They’re not a physical barrier. Disobey them and change them by force if necessary.

    But like he said, we look at these small things as big victories, but they aren’t victories. They’re illusions. I just hope the mexicans can kill all the white politicians that oppress native people and poor people of all kinds. It wouldn’t be difficult for them to do, so why don’t they? White people are too lazy and weak to have another violent revolution. So why can’t someone do something before it’s too late?

    Is it going to take getting to the point of us all having microchips up our asses by force before somebody grows a pair and does something about these tyrants?

    Forests are poisoned because of white supremacist elitist laws against pot and non whites. Forests that shouldn’t be in the hands of selfish white people in the first place.

    I don’t like the fact that I need permission to enter the forests. I don’t like white people telling me what to do when what they do is damaging the forests and what I do does no harm. They like to put animals in cages so people can look at them, they like to put people in cages and make tv shows about it. It’s all disgusting.
    …….Aww look how caring we are reintroducing animals to the wild. Oops, we’re the ones that caused them to nearly become extinct. Forgot. All so disgusting.

    People need to harden the fuck up. It’s extremely pathetic to think we’d have to wait decades for pot to become legal. It’s also extremely pathetic when people pretend mexicans aren’t native american.

    I’m glad people try to change things in a peaceful way, but it’s just taking too long and not really making much progress.
    ….Maybe one good thing about the invasion of the new world by europeans is the fact that the native tribes aren’t warring much at all except maybe in remote regions of south america. People should become stronger from their losses, not weaker. Look on the bright side of things.

    China and Japan are examples of civilizations that were closed off from the rest of the world for a time by their leaders because they felt they had nothing left to gain from the outside world. That was a mistake, because they were behind technologically but now they’re catching up, and I just hope native americans catch up one day and take back their land. Don’t whine so much. Whining is only words. Take action. Get shit done.

    If it weren’t for the white supremacist fascist government of the united states, freedom may become legal in the rest of the world cause they wouldn’t have that big bully to push them around anymore.

    Another thing I disagree with that the mexican dude said is when he whined about how natives were promised land and the promise was broken. The mexican government did the same thing to white settlers in texas.Most white settlers weren’t genocidal racist monsters. Most simply wanted to find a better life in the new world and escape oppression. Both sides have done wrong. Nobody is perfect, but if people keep blaming each other then it’s a lot harder to do the right thing.

    If you work together, if all the good people of the world do, things will get done much faster. The whole world could be a utopia if all good people would stop hating each other and unite. The elite continue to use the same divide and conquer strategy. People need to wake up.

    I’m done ranting anyway. Good luck to all of you that are good people.

  7. Anonymous on

    When is the justice minister going to sign?

    Does anybody have any clue when this is supposed to happen?

    What’s the delay?

  8. Steve on

    Marc’s plight is the result of political pressure and not a valid public safety issue that had to be resolved. As marijuana laws are beginning to fall in the US, Marc’s extradition makes no sense. Perhaps raising some of the more controversial issues with your Congressman or Senator would help, and if the Justice Department begins to get a number of Congressional inquiries they might look at it again. With calls for legalization and taxation of marijauan beginning to grow louder, spending a half million to “rehabilitate” Marc for five years seems like a waste. That can be a powerful argument.