cannabisculture.com, July 21/2009, Free Marc Emery: Rally For The Prince of Pot – Saturday, September 19, 2009
“Join ‘The Worldwide Rally For The Prince of Pot’, and show your support for Marc Emery, the marijuana activist who is going to jail in the United States for FIVE YEARS for selling marijuana seeds and funding the cannabis movement.
“Marc is expected to be sentenced in the Seattle Federal Court of Ricardo Martinez on or around Monday, September 21. The plea agreement is for a 5-year sentence in US Federal Prison. The global rallies in support of Marc will be on Saturday, September 19th — join the Facebook page!
“Marc Emery is a well-known activist, Vancouver retail store owner, and editor of Cannabis Culture Magazine. He was raided by Canadian police and the US DEA on July 29th, 2005, and arrested for selling marijuana seeds over the Internet….
“…In Canada, Marc would like his supporters from every community in the country to hold a rally at their local Government of Canada building. The government of Canada is responsible for the marijuana prohibition, as well as signing off on Marc’s extradition. We are hoping for organizers to come forward to host major rallies in support of Marc at US consulates in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, and the US Embassy in Ottawa….
“…It is important to inform your local media of the rally and its purpose, why you support Marc Emery. Tell them the extradition of a non-violent Canadian to an American prison is WRONG! Address the fact the DEA (US Drug Enforcement Administration) is in your country also, and should be expelled.”
“…I have always thought the Conservative government, since taking power in January 2006, has been politicizing the judiciary and law enforcement to take a more severe and punitive approach to the marijuana culture. They see it as a culture war, and Bill C-15 passing the House of Commons a few days ago is the most blatant salvo in the Conservative War on the Cities and the Sixties at the same time.
“The Cities are where the gang violence that stems from drug prohibition happens. The Cities are where policing budgets are escalating and unsustainable. They are where the addicts go to get prohibited drugs from gangs, and they’re where they steal and beg to finance their addiction. They are where the women prostitute themselves for drugs. The Cities bear the scars of social disorder caused by drug prohibition. Bill C-15 is going to make every person – every teenager and young adult – who sells some pot or MDMA to a few friends in a school yard or near a playground, or at a rave (“any place frequented by young people”), subject to mandatory jail times of 6 months, a year, two years or longer. Repeat offenders are dealt with even more harshly….
“…The more we enforce the drug war with jail time for young dealers, the more violence we manufacture….
“… I now know that my own country may be about to descend upon the same painful and wrong-headed policy that is drawing me to a US prison, a rapacious incarceration scheme that makes the US the most jailed place on earth.
“Now Canada is prepared to make every single marijuana grower in Canada subject to a minimum six months jail, eviction and forfeiture, and loss of children and employment. Cocaine and heroin users who sell illicit drugs to pay for their own use and those who carry and transport will to jail. Under pressure, they will implicate others….
“…The problems will all worsen – and then next year the police, and the politicians of the Liberal and Conservative Parties will demand more prisoners, more punishments, more laws, more police, and more taxpayer largesse to pay for what is clearly cruel, unsustainable, and morally unjustifiable. Drug users are not the problem, prohibition is….
“I would have some very good arguments in my favor at a sentencing hearing: I did all my activities openly, transparently, paid taxes on earnings in full view of all Canadians for ten years. I had clear political motives, gave away over $4,000,000 to the movement in that ten years, and there are no victims here…”
I published the following press release in 2005 for the Libertarian Party of Canada (the details about the Justice Minister are out of date):
Block the Extradition of Marc Emery
The War on Drugs is a War on Liberty
August 10, 2005 – Ottawa, Ontario. On July 29, the RCMP arrested Marc Emery, Leader of the British Columbia Marijuana Party along with fellow activists Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek and Gregory Williams. These arrests were the result of a U.S. Federal Grand Jury indictment on charges of Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana, Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana Seeds and Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering. Since Marc Emery is alleged to have sold many of his seeds to U.S. customers, the investigation in Canada was actually led by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration under the terms of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.
The most disturbing fact is that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has filed an extradition request with the Canadian government that all three Canadians be brought to Seattle to stand trial. If convicted in the U.S. on either of the marijuana charges, they could face cruel prison sentences ranging from a minimum of 10 years to life in prison.
Therefore the Libertarian Party of Canada calls upon Canada’s Minister of Justice, …, to block the extradition of Marc Emery and his associates, and to set them free. We also urge Parliament to narrow the types of crimes that are covered by extradition treaties in order to protect Canadians from legal domination by foreign governments.
Although the sale of cannabis seeds is also illegal in Canada, Marc Emery has not been charged by Canadian authorities, who are well aware that Canada has a medical-marijuana program in which patients can lawfully use marijuana.
U.S. officials have falsely characterized Marc Emery as motivated by greed, but the truth is that, in addition to serving those who are in desperate need of medical marijuana, the proceeds of his seed business have been directed towards political activism and compassionate aid for drug addicts.
It seems clear that Marc Emery was targeted because of his prominence as a political activist and this is another reason why the Minister of Justice should choose to rule against extradition. In these respects the Extradition Act states the following:
“44. (1) The Minister shall refuse to make a surrender order if the Minister is satisfied that
(a) the surrender would be unjust or oppressive having regard to all the relevant circumstances; or
(b) the request for extradition is made for the purpose of prosecuting or punishing the person by reason of their race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, language, colour, political opinion, …”
Libertarians believe in the principles of self-ownership and individual liberty. We believe that governments act aggressively when they violate these principles by interfering with an individual’s freedom to buy, sell or use drugs such as marijuana for medicinal or other purposes.
We believe that each individual should be free to live as they choose, as long as they do not aggress against the life and property of others. Non-coercive means should be used to discourage the abuse of dangerous drugs instead of the destructive application of the criminal justice system.
That is why we call on Parliament and the people of Canada to not only decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana but to also work towards the abolition of the disastrous policy of drug prohibition, which results in increased criminal activity and the unjust imprisonment of peaceful citizens.
The Libertarian Party of Canada is dedicated to the cause of personal and economic freedom for all Canadians. We believe that individual liberty is a necessary condition for a peaceful and prosperous society.
We welcome inquiries from all Canadians who wish to aid our cause.
Sign the Online Petition: Block Extradition of Emery
And here is some historical perspective on drug use from a time before certain drugs were made illegal! Whether it was healthy or not, there was much more personal freedom from government than we have now – before income tax too. We need to think about where we are now and get back to the ideals of freedom we have betrayed. (Credit LRC blog).