Jodie Emery Creates a Problem For the Conservatives

Jodie Emery, the wife of marijuana activist and seed dealer Marc Emery, has declared her intention to run for a Liberal nomination in the NDP stronghold of Vancouver East. Emery’s husband, you will recall, was arrested in Nova Scotia in 2005 at the behest of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The DEA’s boss immediately called the arrest a “significant blow, not only to the marijuana trafficking trade but also to the marijuana legalization movement.” Not one of history’s happier forecasts, you’d have to say.

Mr. Emery, convicted of mailing contraband seeds to American buyers, served five years in American prisons before being released last week. Canada’s Conservative government had not only shanghaied Emery and extradited him for a crime practically deemed beneath notice by Canadian police, they intervened against a plea bargain he made with American prosecutors that would have allowed him to serve part of his sentence here. Now that he is free, he plans a tour of Canada in support of the Liberal party. It is a less rude version of what I would do in his place.

Jodie Emery stood by her husband during his American sojourn and served as his spokesperson. It is not surprising to find the Conservatives snickering at her proposed Liberal candidacy; it is a little surprising to find politically independent academics and pundits getting derisive about it, emphasizing the problems she would supposedly create for the Liberals. Are we really so sure she creates none for the Conservatives?

The Canada Revenue Agency was happy to cash enormous tax cheques from the Emerys’ seed business until the DEA waggled a finger. It is thus hard to see how Marc Emery’s arrest was morally distinguishable from kidnapping. One might even say it was a kidnapping mail-ordered from our Conservative government, in much the same manner as Emery’s seeds.

The people who applauded the arrest are those who ordinarily talk the loudest of Canadian sovereignty. Are they even slightly embarrassed that the U.S. federal government changed its policy while Marc Emery was still bunged up, and now suffers pot to be sold openly, in industrial quantities, in two U.S. states? I would ask on what principle this man was condemned, but even some mere excuse beyond sadistic frivolity would be nice.

– Read the entire article at MacLean’s.