Marc Emery calls on Canadians to ‘punish’ Conservative governmen
Vancouver — The Canadian Press Published on Monday, May. 10, 2010 10:07AM EDT Last updated on Thursday, May. 13, 2010 2:26PM EDT
The federal Justice Department announced that the minister had signed off on Marc Emery's extradition to Washington state.
Mr. Emery could be turned over to American authorities within days.
As he surrendered himself to sheriffs in Vancouver earlier in the day, not yet sure whether he would be extradited, Mr. Emery urged his supporters to punish the Conservative government if he ended up in the U.S.
“I think the best thing that could happen to our movement is that the minister decides, foolishly, to extradite me. Canadians will be very, very angry and punish this government,” Mr. Emery told reporters, his wife by his side and supporters carrying “Free Marc” placards standing behind him.
“If I'm extradited, I've told my supporters that every Conservative member of Parliament is to be hounded endlessly and unmercifully until they are defeated in the next or following elections. It's to be a life project for them as long as I am incarcerated in the United States or Canada.”
Mr. Emery had been out on bail since last fall, when he was released from custody as the federal justice minister considered whether to allow the extradition.
By Monday, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson had made up his mind.
“The minister ordered the surrender of Mr. Marc Emery to the United States,” department spokeswoman Carole Saindon said in a brief email statement, adding the minister wouldn't be commenting further.
Mr. Emery was charged by a U.S. grand jury in 2005. American prosecutors allege he has sold about four million marijuana seeds through his magazine and website, and that 75 per cent of those went to customers in the U.S.
Last year, he reached a deal with American prosecutors to plead guilty. In exchange, he was given a five-year prison sentence and his two co-accused received probation.
An official with the United States Attorney's Office in Seattle declined to comment until Mr. Emery is on American soil.
One of Mr. Emery's lawyers, Kirk Tousaw, said Mr. Emery would be applying to serve his sentence in a Canadian prison.
“The United States has already agreed to support Mr. Emery's treaty transfer back to Canada to serve his sentence here,” Mr. Tousaw, a former Marijuana Party campaign manager, said in an interview. “We certainly would anticipate the minister of public safety would agree.”
Mr. Emery had fought the extradition in court, but after reaching the plea agreement said he'd give up that fight. That didn't stop him and his supporters from urging the federal government to block the extradition.
The Justice Department statement notes Mr. Emery could ask the B.C. Court of Appeal to review the decision. Mr. Tousaw wouldn't say whether he's considering that option.
Documents obtained by Mr. Emery's lawyer reveal that a U.S. undercover agent posing as a marijuana seed buyer worked in Canada to secure the criminal charges filed against Mr. Emery in Washington state.
A briefing memo to the justice minister dated Feb. 10, 2010, said U.S. undercover agents made numerous mail-order purchases between March 2004 and March 2005, and an undercover U.S. Drug Enforcement agent was then sent to Vancouver under the supervision and approval of Vancouver's police department.
The documents say the agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration made several deals to purchase marijuana seeds in exchange for cash and that Mr. Emery knew she was going to smuggle the seeds over the border.
Mr. Emery is a longtime advocate for the legalization of marijuana, having been arrested more than a dozen times across the country and once spending a three-month stint in Saskatoon Correctional Centre.
He has run for office numerous times as president of the B.C. Marijuana Party, publishes Cannabis Culture Magazine and owns the Cannabis Culture store in Vancouver, which sells marijuana paraphernalia.
Mr. Emery has never denied sending seeds through the mail.
“I think of myself as a great Canadian – I've worked my whole life for individual freedom in this country, I've never asked for anything in return,” Mr. Emery told reporters.
“And now I will be possibly handed over to the United States for a five-year sentence for the so-called crime of selling seeds from my desk to consenting adults all over the world and the United States. I'm proud of what I've done, and I have no regrets.”
Obviously, Most Canadians will be hoping Marc Emery appeals the decision to
the B.C. Court of Appeal.
What Mr. Harper fails to realize is an incredible percentage of Canadians smoke pot. If you look at the number of people who smoke tobacco, just divide that in two.
I've lost count of the number of Crown Attornies and police officers I've seen smoking regular weed and many were well known for smoking pot occasionally too.
Canadian Law, legal tactics, often flow over the border into Canada. Unfortunately, the insane republican 'get tough on crime" "war on drugs" follows with it.
It relies on the venom of inflammatory, paranoia news items, and political dogma of the likes of Fox News and the Republican controlled media.
Its sick, the United States increasingly incarcerates more and more of its citizens while removing safety nets, that protect those at the bottom of the economic groups of society.
Prohibition only made crime worse, as does the criminalization of pot, and all other drugs which breeds crime.
Hopefully, this insane and expected decision of the Harper government will strike a cord with that very large percentage of smokers in Canada who will vote him out of office.
I recall meeting Mr. Emery over ten years ago. He was an extremely honest passionate caring person, a credit to Canadian society, he undoubtedly will be a future member of parliament and will remain there a very long time.
The incarceration of Marc Emery will only keep the issue of pot legalization front and centre while he is incarcerated.
The only good news out of this is that it's another nail in the political coffin of Mr. Harper and it's mindless Republican doctrine.
Mr. Harper is more worried about his own very serious criminal offenses,
"obstruction of justice", "contempt" "failing to disclose" all in the name of
avoiding a War Crimes charge.
While this hangs over his head, he creates diversions at the expense of Helena Guergis and now he can win brownie points and a new poodle collar from his republican masters.
Just one problem, these diversions have the potential to end his governments reign on power.
Now, if Mr. Emery were the leader of the Liberal Party we would have someone with real vision of Canada's future and a ethical track record that makes him destined for great achievements in the future.
The Liberals should be talking to him now. Its about time they got a leader with passion and vision.