‘Free Marc’ Protest at Conservative MP Cathy McLeod’s Office

Regan Swallow talks with police inside MP Cathy McLeod's office around 10 a.m. Monday. Swallow and four others were protesting for the release of Marc Emery who has been extradited to the U.S. for selling cannabis seeds across the boarder. (Photo by Shane Kurki)Regan Swallow talks with police inside MP Cathy McLeod’s office around 10 a.m. Monday. Swallow and four others were protesting for the release of Marc Emery who has been extradited to the U.S. for selling cannabis seeds across the boarder. (Photo by Shane Kurki)A small group of demonstrators took their protest over the recent deportation of marijuana activist Marc Emery to the riding office of MP Cathy McLeod Monday.

The four protesters, aligned with the web-based protest FreeMarc.ca, were also objecting to Bill S10, legislation currently before the Senate that proposes mandatory minimum sentences for dealing marijuana.

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With the House in session, McLeod was in Ottawa, but her staff told the protesters they could not put up posters at the riding office or prevent constituents from entering.

RCMP were summoned and convinced the group to take their protest outside.

Bill S10, an amendment to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, is aimed at organized crime, not recreational pot users, McLeod said.

The bill has drawn widespread protests from people who advocate decriminalization of marijuana. They argue the legislation will lead to the imprisonment of thousands of Canadians for victimless crimes.

“We’re trying to cut off the lifeline of organized crime and our party has no intention of legalizing marijuana,” McLeod said.

Regan Swallow, one of the protesters, said the legislation will only put money in the hands of organized crime.

“It doesn’t make sense to fine people for a harmless drug,” Swallow said.

Emery, dubbed the Prince of Pot, was recently deported to the U.S. for distributing cannabis seeds across the border. He successfully plea-bargained for a five-year sentence in order to prevent two of his associates, one of whom is battling cancer, from also being extradited.

“What we’re hoping for is that when Marc is sentenced in August he can apply for a transfer back to Canada” so he can serve his sentence here, Swallow added.

The local protest followed a sit-in demonstration at the Ottawa office of Justice Minister Rob Nicholson last week.

– Article from The Kamloops Daily News.

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