Canadian Politicians Condemn Marc Emery’s Extradition

Embattled marijuana activist Marc Emery and his wife Jodie Emery, policing critic for the Green Party, take questions from reporters just before Marc turned himself in to Canadian authorities to be extradited to the US. (Photo by Jeremiah Vandermeer)Embattled marijuana activist Marc Emery and his wife Jodie Emery, policing critic for the Green Party, take questions from reporters just before Marc turned himself in to Canadian authorities to be extradited to the US. (Photo by Jeremiah Vandermeer)CANNABIS CULTURE – Politicians from nearly all of Canada’s major political parties have come forward to oppose the extradition of Marc Emery by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative government.

Since the decision to extradite Emery was announced on Monday, elected members of several of Canada’s political parties have released statements or made comments in support of Emery, the embattled marijuana activist and former publisher of Cannabis Culture who is facing five years in a US prison for selling marijuana seeds online.

On Monday, Deputy Leader of the federal New Democratic Party (NDP) Libby Davies (MP – Vancouver East) sent a letter to Conservative Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, the official responsible for making decisions regarding the Treaty Transfer process – a US/Canada agreement that allow prisoners to serve their time back in a Canadian jail. The process was accepted as common practice under the former Liberal government, but the ruling Conservatives have stubbornly refused to bring many prisoners home.

An Open Letter to the Public Safety Minister on the Extradition of Marc Emery
May 10, 2010 Open Letters to Ministers & Public Officials
The Honourable Vic Toews
Minister of Public Safety
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A6

Dear Minister Toews,

I write to ask that you stop the extradition of Canadian Marc Emery to the United States and allow him to serve his prison sentence in Canada.

Your government took a rare and unnecessary step today, by extraditing a Canadian citizen to serve a prison sentence in America for actions that are not worthy of prosecution under Canadian laws. Further to this uneven approach, it is my understanding that American officials were amiable to Mr. Emery serving his sentence in Canada. Yet your government has refused to cooperate.

I therefore urge you to act in best the interest of this Canadian citizen and in the interest of Canadian sovereignty and allow Mr. Emery to serve his sentence in Canada.

I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible on this urgent matter.


Libby Davies, MP
Vancouver East
NDP Spokesperson for Drug Policy

“It’s about Canadian sovereignty,” Davies told Vancouver’s Georgia Straight newspaper. “Why would we cart off a Canadian to serve time in America for something he wouldn’t have been charged with in Canada? Now what we’re left with is trying to press that he at least be allowed to serve his time in Canada.”

In the same interview, Liberal Party MP Ujjal Dosanjh (Vancouver South) told the The Straight that Emery faces a “disproportionate sentence that he wouldn’t have received in Canada.”

“I believe in that case we as a country should ensure that he’s at least able to serve his sentence in a Canadian prison,” Dosanjh said. “He’s not a dangerous offender.”

On May 11, The Green Party, the party by far the most supportive of Emery and dedicated to ending the War on Drugs, released this statement:

Green Party condemns extradition of Marc Emery

OTTAWA — Federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson yesterday confirmed that marijuana activist Marc Emery will be extradited to the United States, a move that the Green Party of Canada condemns. The decision was made shortly after Marc Emery turned himself in to the authorities as his bail expired May 10, 2010.

Marc was arrested in 2005 as a result of an undercover investigation of his online marijuana seed-selling business. Last summer, Emery entered into a plea bargain with American authorities that will likely see him thrown in a U.S. jail for at least five years for distributing marijuana seeds. The extradition ends his 5 year battle to avoid the US drug charges.

“It is wrong that Marc is being sent to a US prison for an offense for which there is almost no penalty in Canada,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May. “We ask the Justice Minister to reconsider. At the very least, Marc should serve his term in a Canadian prison.”

Members of Parliament from Conservative, Liberal, and New Democratic Parties presented petitions to the House of Commons on March 15, 2010 with thousands of signatures seeking to stop Marc Emery’s extradition to the US.

“Marc is not a dangerous criminal,” said Adriane Carr, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada. “He is a legitimate entrepreneur who believes strongly in what he is doing. The sentence that he has been given is completely disproportionate and now to be forced to serve time in another country is a real injustice.”

Jodie Emery, Green Party federal candidate for Vancouver-South and wife of Marc Emery has supported him throughout this ordeal.

“I am absolutely devastated that this Conservative government has opted to send my husband, a Canadian citizen, to the United States for a ‘crime’ that amounts to a $200 dollar fine in Canada,” said Jodie Emery. “This case is about silencing my husband for his marijuana activism. This Conservative government has declared a culture war in Canada and my husband is its latest victim.”

On March 15, 2010, in a show of cross-party support rarely seen in the House of Commons, Davies, Dosanjh and Conservative MP Scott Reid presented thousands of petitions to Parliament with over 12,000 signatures asking Minister of Justice Rob Nicholson to stop the extradition. Davies and Dosanjh appeared on CBC News the next day with Emery and Nicholson to discuss the case.

Shortly after Emery had turned himself in to authorities on Monday, May 10, expecting to renew his bail, Cannabis Culture learned the Justice Minister had made his decision to send the activist to face a US sentencing judge and an expected 5-year sentence.

“I have considered, both separately and cumulatively,” Nicholson wrote in a statement confirming the extradition order to Emery’s lawyers, “all of the submissions which you have made on Mr. Emery’s behalf and conclude that Mr. Emery’s unconditional surrender to the United States on the offences for which his extradition was sough would not be unjust or oppressive under all of the circumstances. I have also determined that there are no other considerations which would justify ignoring Canada’s obligations under the treaty with the United States.”

YOU CAN HELP! Please contact Judge Ricardo Martinez in Seattle, Washington and tell him he should let Marc Emery return home to Canada with no prison sentence instead of the 5-year term in the plea deal.

Mail: Honorable Ricardo S. Martinez
U.S. Courthouse
700 Stewart Street, Suite 13134
Seattle, WA

You can also contact Conservative Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews and tell him to allow Marc to serve his time in Canada as part of the Treaty Transfer process.

Office of Public Saftey
Phone: 613-944-4875
Web Contact Form:
CLICK HERE for more contact info.

You can also call the Minister of Justice’s Rob Nicholson and voice your displeasure in his decision.

Honourable Robert Nicholson
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

(613) 995-1547
(905) 353-9590
(905) 871-9991
(905) 354-0527
[email protected]

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