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Puget Sound Radio    GENERAL CHAT    General Chat  ›  Prince of Pot to serve 5 years in Canadian jail

Prince of Pot to serve 5 years in Canadian jail  This thread currently has 684 views. Print
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GS850
January 14, 2008, 5:01pm Report to Moderator
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Marc Emery agrees
to five years in Canadian prison

  
Ian Mulgrew
Vancouver Sun
Monday, January 14, 2008


Marc Emery

VANCOUVER - Marc Emery, Vancouver's self-styled Prince of Pot, has tentatively agreed to a five-year prison term in a plea bargain over U.S. money laundering and marijuana seed-selling charges.

Facing an extradition hearing Jan. 21 and the all-but-certain prospect of delivery to American authorities, Emery has cut a deal with U.S. prosecutors to serve his sentence in Canada. He also hopes it will save his two co-accused - Michelle Rainey and Greg Williams, who were his lieutenants for so much of the past decade.

The three were arrested in August 2005 at the request of the United States and charged even though none had ventured south of the border. Since then, they have been awaiting the extradition hearing. With the proceedings about to begin, Emery says his lawyer brokered the best deal possible.

If accepted by the courts in both countries, Emery said he will serve the full term and not be eligible for Canada's lenient get-out-of-jail-early rules.

"I'm going to do more time than many violent, repeat offenders," he complained. "There isn't a single victim in my case, no one who can stand up and say, 'I was hurt by Marc Emery.' No one."

He's right.  Whatever else you may think of Emery - and he grates on many people, what is happening here is a travesty of justice. Emery's case mocks our independence as a country. Prosecutors in Canada have not enforced the law against selling pot seeds and all you need do is walk along Hastings Street between Homer and Cambie for proof.

There are numerous stores selling seeds and products for producing cannabis. Around the corner, you'll find more seed stores. You'll find the same shops in Toronto and in other major Canadian cities.

The last time Emery was convicted in Canada of selling pot seeds, back in 1998, he was given a $2,000 fine. Emery has flouted the law for more than a decade and every year he sends his seed catalogue to politicians of every stripe.

He has run in federal, provincial and civic elections promoting his pro-cannabis platform. He has championed legal marijuana at parliamentary hearings, on national television, at celebrity conferences, in his own magazine, Cannabis Culture, and on his own Internet channel, Pot TV.

Health Canada even recommended medical marijuana patients buy their seeds from Emery. From 1998 until his arrest, Emery even paid provincial and federal taxes as a "marijuana seed vendor" totalling nearly $600,000.

He is being hounded because of his success. The political landscape has changed dramatically as a result of Emery's politicking for cannabis. Emery challenged a law he disagrees with using exactly the non-violent, democratic processes we urge our children to embrace and of which we are so proud.

But along the way he has angered the anti-drug law-enforcement community - the same gang that insists we must continue an expensive War on Drugs that has failed miserably for more than a quarter century and does more harm than good.

Canadian police grew so frustrated that neither prosecutors nor the courts would lock up Emery and throw away the key, they urged their U.S. counterparts to do the dirty work. And that's what's wrong.

Emery is being handed over to a foreign government for an  activity we are loath to prosecute because we don't think it's a major problem. His two associates were charged only as a way of blackmailing him into copping a plea.

It's a scandal.

Emery is being made a scapegoat for an anti-cannabis criminal law that is a monumental failure. In spite of all our pricey efforts during the last 40 years, and all the demonization of marijuana, there is more pot on our streets, more people smoking dope and more damage being done to our communities as a result of the prohibition.

There is a better way and every study from the 1970s  Le Dain Commission onward has urged change and legalization.

Regardless of what you think of Emery, he should not be facing an unconscionably long jail term for a victimless, non-violent crime that generates a shrug in his own country. Emery is facing more jail time than corporate criminals who defrauded widows and orphans and longer incarceration than violent offenders who have left their victims dead or in wheelchairs.

And while he has long seemed to court martyrdom, Emery is by no means sanguine about what is happening. He is angry at local lawyers for failing to come up with a viable defence.

"They had two years and $90,000 and they came up with nothing," he fumed. "John Conroy called me up and said 'take the deal - Michelle will die in jail. Michelle will die in jail!' What can I say to that?"

Rainey, who has a medical exemption to smoke marijuana, has Crohn's disease. Incarceration in the U.S. would deprive her of her medicine, and she fears it could lead to her death.

"It's an ugly situation but Marc expects miracles," Kirk Tousaw, one of the lawyers involved, told me. "There aren't any here."

He's right. Our extradition law puts Canadian citizens at the mercy of foreign governments and judges can't do much about it. Emery is being forced to accept a deal because not only are two of his friends in jeopardy if he doesn't, but also to go south for an unfair trial would mean serving as much as 20 years in prison, perhaps more.

One of his friends, for example, was handed a 30-year sentence for growing 200 plants. This is wrong.

If Emery has been breaking the law and must be jailed, our justice department should charge him and prosecute him in Canada. It's time for Justice Minister Rob Nicholson to step in and say, sorry, Uncle Sam, not today - not ever.

imulgrew@png.canwest.com

Vancouver Sun
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cds
January 15, 2008, 12:52am Report to Moderator
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What a bunch of bull$hi!. Like he said, violent offenders do less time.
The other thing is no Canadian should ever face extradition for a "crime" not committed on US soil.
If they say a Canadian broke their law, that had better of happened in their country or they can go to he!!  >:(

And to the Canadian legal cowards who let the American bully's do them up the ***, you should rot in hell.
So much for the safety of our own citizens and the protection of our government and so much for Canadian sovereignty.
This is a cowardly act by a cowardly government.
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treenab
January 15, 2008, 4:31am Report to Moderator
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Ya, like the East Indian guy that ran over and killed the 77 year old guy in North Van. His punishment:
Dhaliwal has been released on bail, and has been banned from driving except for his employer.
So.. what doe's this say about our pathetic court and law system!
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juliana1969
January 15, 2008, 6:06am Report to Moderator
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This is a travesty.
Its just too bad Emery couldn't take "sanctuary" in say, a church, a synagogue or some such, with an angry, baying mob of supporters to keep the law at bay.
But that sort of thing could never happen here.
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TommyD
January 15, 2008, 7:00pm Report to Moderator

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Yes there are worse people that should be taking up that space in prison but if it takes Emery off the news then so be it.  He's had his 15  minutes.

(Thanks for comin' out, drive safe)

:P


"always leave them wanting more"
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580 CKPR
January 16, 2008, 2:14am Report to Moderator
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We hear from Emery because our asinine laws continue to make marijuana illegal. I want to hear the last of him, when he no longer has an issue.
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TommyD
January 16, 2008, 4:39am Report to Moderator

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...and I guess if he no longer had an issue, idiots would stop endangering my life and my community growing that crap in their homes.


"always leave them wanting more"
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CRS
January 16, 2008, 11:52am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from TommyD
...and I guess if he no longer had an issue, idiots would stop endangering my life and my community growing that crap in their homes.


tell it like it is Tommy!  
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