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B.C. marijuana store raided
July 29, 2005 - theglobeandmail.com
Vancouver - Police raided a business run by the head of the B.C. Marijuana Party on Friday based on a search warrant that was requested by the U.S. government.
Marc Emery, the leader of the party, was not at the store when it was raided but Chris Bennett, who witnessed the raid and is an employee of Pot TV, said Mr. Emery had been arrested in Halifax.
Authorization to conduct the raid was made Thursday by Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm of the B.C. Supreme Court under the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act.
Several officers, some in plain clothes, some in uniform, raided the marijuana seed and paraphernalia store on West Hastings Street in downtown Vancouver owned by Emery, who the search warrant also described by his alias 'The Prince of Pot'.
The search warrant named Mr. Emery, Gregory Williams and Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek. Mr. Bennett said Mr. Williams was taken into police custody at the store on Friday while Rainey-Fenkarek was arrested at her home on Thursday night.
Police were not immediately available to comment on whether any arrests had been made.
The store, named Toker's Bowl, is adjacent to the New Amsterdam Cafe where people have been smoking marijuana openly for years.
Several people gathered outside the store to protest the raid, many holding anti-American signs.
Police sealed off the store and covered the windows with paper while they conducted their search.
The search warrant sets out a long list of requests made by the United States to the Vancouver police department.
In the warrant, the U.S. alleges that those named in it have conspired to manufacture marijuana, conspired to distribute marijuana seeds and conspired to engage in money laundering.
The warrant requests that police seize cash and receipts, client lists and other records identifying purchasers of goods from Emery, and employee records, including applications for employment.
It also asks for business and company incorporation documents, leases, rental agreements, computers, hard drives, diskettes and CD-ROMS.
* Related stories:
Canada police raid Marijuana Party on U.S. request
U.S. seeks extradition of Canadian pot crusader
B.C. pot activist arrested in extradition bid
'Prince Of Pot' Arrested In Canada
* Related websites:
BC Marijuana Party
Last seen: 1 year, 27 days
Canada should tell the US to go fuck them selves on this one.
This is the only time I really feel alive.
Not an EggshellWalker
Loc: Cave of the Patr
Why is the U.S. involved? I don't understand why the Canadians couldn't have done this themselves.
So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.
I don't feel, and it feels great
Loc: between here and
Because america thinks it can police the world.
Not an EggshellWalker
Loc: Cave of the Patr
*knows it can
We've already done it countless times throughout the decades passed.
So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.
This is a big story on a few different levels.
You have the Canadian government raiding a business and arresting the head of a political party at the request (orders?) of the United States government in order to extradite him back to the US on drug charges. The Canadians have known about Mr. Emery, his business, and his views for years. If he was breaking Canadian laws, he would have been arrested long ago on serious charges (other than the passing a joint charge last year)
The US continues to aggressively pursue it's expensive and time consuming War on Pot while numerous government and private studies say that methamphetamine is the number one drug problem facing the US today. While the safe and legal drugs -tobacco and alcohol- continue to kill tens of thousands of US citizens every year.
Emery Seeds was doing $3million a year in seed sales. I imagine a good percentage of that business was to customers in the United States. With the seizure of the company's computers and client lists, it won't be long before the DEA starts rounding up people across the country.
The Heaviest OfThem All
Loc: British Columbia
Weed seeds aren't even illegal in Canada. It's a complete joke.
They are however illegal in the USA.
Last seen: 23 hours, 54 minutes
"The search warrant sets out a long list of requests made by the United States to the Vancouver police department. "
yeah like who do we arrest here.
anybody who ever bought seeds from emery eat your plants and lube up the ass.
im surprised it got out so fast but it was big nes i arrived at atlantic hemp fest as it ocurred
emery was there for a bit and left to get something at the store when they took him out. apparently they had been following him all the way from the airport he diddnt stand a chance.
alot of people got busted at the fest too apparently
Last seen: 13 years, 11 months
Wow, this is big news. It's a sad day when something like this happens.
About 200 rally in Vancouver in support of busted Marijuana Party leader
July 30, 2005 - 940news.com
VANCOUVER (CP) - About 200 people rallied in Vancouver on Saturday to protest the arrest of three B.C. Marijuana Party members, including leader Marc Emery.
One demonstrator sarcastically told CTV News Vancouver: "I'm an American, and I just wanted to visit our latest colony and see if all our Canadian slaves are behaving in a properly respectful way, because that's really what happened yesterday -- the Canadian police became a branch of the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency)."
An upside down U.S. flag had "DEA Go Away" scrawled on it.
All the cliches of a pot protest were there: the hackey-sac games, tie-dye T-shirts and small clouds of smoke floating above the crowd of about 200 people.
What wasn't to be expected at Saturday's rally to protest the arrest of three B.C. Marijuana Party members was the support it received from visiting Americans.
Party leader Marc Emery, Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek, financial agent for the party and Greg Williams, an employee of Pot-TV, all face American charges of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, distribute seeds and engage in money laundering.
Friday's arrests came at the request of the U.S., which wants the three extradited for trial. A conviction carries a sentence ranging from 10 years to life in prison.
Emery was arrested by RCMP on Friday in central Nova Scotia and was to spend the weekend in a Halifax-area jail before being returned to Vancouver.
Rainey-Fenkarek was released on bail Friday while Williams remained in custody in Vancouver.
Nick Frey, who was visiting from Los Angeles stumbled across the protest while walking through the "pot block," a city street that houses mostly marijuana-themed stores.
"I resent my (Drug Enforcement Administration) for infringing on Canadian policy," he said.
"It's not my problem because I don't smoke pot but people should be alarmed. People should be able to do what they want to do."
Nebraskan Scott Tanner echoed the sentiment.
"Our government has overstepped its bounds (by requesting the arrests of the Canadians)," he said. "Whatever happens on this side of the border, it's none of our business."
He said he would never expect to see such a protest in his hometown.
"In the mid-70s, they had 'Marijuana is Fun Day.' Now whatever happened to that, I don't know."
The uplifting psychedelic music blaring from the party headquarters didn't reflect the mood inside.
Signs at the entrance to the storefront, which doubles as a bookstore and sells marijuana paraphernalia, told the U.S., politely and not so politely, where to go.
A donation box was set up inside asking for help for Emery, Rainey-Fenkarek and Williams.
"All of them have been outspoken advocates for changing our marijuana policies, both domestically and throughout the world," said Kirk Tousaw, the party's campaign manager. "We believe that's why they've been targeted by the U.S. government."
Donation boxes aside, there were few indications inside the store that it had been raided less than a day earlier.
"We put these all in storage, this was in the bottom of my drawer," said Jodie Giesz-Ramsay, assistant editor of Cannabis Culture magazine, pointing to her T-shirt.
"We never thought we'd have to dig 'em out again. Today seems like a good day to do it."
The shirts feature a fist gripping a marijuana leaf and the caption Free Marc Emery.
Giesz-Ramsay said they were made last year after Emery was sentenced to three months in jail for passing a joint at a pot rally in Saskatoon.
It was his eleventh drug-related conviction but the first time he was sentenced to jail.
"This is an attack on not just a business or it's not just the drug war, it's that they want this person, who refuses to stand down to the United States," said Giesz-Ramsay.
Emery was in Lawrencetown, N.S., where he was scheduled to speak at a music festival that raises funds for the organization, Maritimers Unite for Medical Marijuana.
Officials in Seattle said Friday the three were indicted by a U.S. federal grand jury in May following an 18-month investigation by American police into the sale of marijuana seeds on the Internet and by mail.
I smoke penis
Althought I think Marc Emery is a lier and a scammer. This is deff fucked up.
Loc: Sailing the Seas
Another bullshit case. And another great post veggie.
Pot activist is scared, fiancée says
August 1, 2005 - theglobeandmail.com
Vancouver - The fiancée of pro-marijuana activist Marc Emery is "terrified" to think what the future holds after her partner was arrested in Halifax on Friday and charged with selling marijuana seeds over the Internet to customers in the United States.
"I think this is a complete outrage," said Cheryl Redick, who lives with the self-proclaimed "prince of pot" in a Vancouver apartment, not far from his hemp store in the city's Gastown district.
The couple's lives have been turned upside down after a U.S. federal grand jury indicted him on charges of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to engage in money laundering.
Mr. Emery, who is to appear at a bail hearing in Vancouver tomorrow, might be extradited for trial in the United States, where he could receive a jail term ranging from 10 years to life.
Ms. Redick, who talked to her fianc?e by phone for about five minutes Saturday, said he was still in a holding cell in Halifax and sounded depressed.
"It's a very bleak feeling for him right now," she said. "I think he feels scared."
After he was arrested by RCMP officers in Halifax, police in Vancouver burst into the couple's apartment at noon on Friday. They seized Ms. Redick's personal computer and other belongings, including an address book.
Now that Mr. Emery's Internet business -- Emery Seeds -- has been shut down, he will no longer be able to afford lease payments on his Ford Thunderbird and the couple will likely have to move in with relatives, according to Ms. Redick, who runs a furniture design business.
"It's outrageous that the U.S. should be allowed to come into Canada and interfere with our laws."
Two other marijuana activists, Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek and Gregory Williams, were arrested in Vancouver on Friday on the same charges.
Ms. Rainey-Fenkarek has been released on bail, according to Ms. Redick.
Some observers see the charges against the three activists as a sure sign that U.S. drug-enforcement officials are flexing their muscles to stem the flow of B.C. marijuana over the border.
RCMP officers in Halifax were acting on a search warrant signed by Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm of the B.C. Supreme Court, who agreed there were reasonable grounds to believe that conspiracy, a charge over which the United States has jurisdiction, had been committed.
The arrests raise the question of how far another country should be allowed to go in trying to influence the way in which Canadian police deal with a substance that many Canadians consider to be an acceptable recreational tool.
"If Mr. Emery was a person who had been suspected of homicide in the U.S., we wouldn't have any problem with what was done at all," said Neil Boyd, a criminology professor at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby.
He said Mr. Emery has been able to operate his marijuana seed business for more than a decade in Canada, where pot possession has traditionally not been vigorously policed as a criminal act.
"For us to send Mr. Emery to the U.S. to face what might be life imprisonment would seem to me to be ceding a certain amount of our sovereignty in terms of how we want to see Canadian citizens treated for certain kinds of behaviour."
Prof. Boyd said the arrest of a high-profile Canadian marijuana advocate is an indication that the United States is out of step with Britain and other European countries, which have been moving to decriminalize pot possession.
"Holland has been a regulator of marijuana for over 30 years," he added.
In addition to running his business, Mr. Emery leads the B.C. Marijuana Party and, according to his fianc?e, has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money to help heroin and cocaine addicts .
He has four children from previous marriages.
Da Bud Guru
Loc: Near Hilo
All creatures tremble when faced with violence. All creatures fear death, all love life. If we can only see ourselves in others, then how could we possibly hurt another creature?
Information for customers of Emery Seeds
July 31, 2005 - cannabisculture.com
Facts about the DEA raids and growing pot
Marc Emery's seed company was raided Friday, July 29, by Canadian agents acting under orders from the DEA.
The raids were a DEA operation; it is the US government that is laying charges against Emery and two co-defendants, who were all arrested.
If there ever is a trial related to these charges, the American drug warriors want it held in America.
US officials claim the investigation that led to the raid and arrests involved 50 DEA offices in many US states, especially Indiana, Florida, California, Tennessee, Montana, Virginia, Michigan, New Jersey and North Dakota.
Emery Seeds representatives say they always totally destroyed all customer records as soon as orders were filled. All efforts to ensure safety were in place. However, in today's world where governments can intrude on even the most private behaviors, there is no total safety for people who want to grow plants.
Enemies of Emery, including some of his business competitors in the marijuana seed sales industry, are spreading information designed to frighten his customers into believing that they could be raided if they ordered seeds from Emery since the beginning of 2004, when DEA says the investigation into his seed sales began.
It's hard to tell how reliable these reports are. The DEA itself has been known to lie, and it might surprise people to know that the seed business is seedy, with lots of backstabbing that has often involved sleazy spammers placing false negative postings on the Internet about Marc Emery in order to harm his business and activism.
On the other hand, honest warnings are in order. As ethical people who care about freedom and due diligence, Emery's reps would be remiss not to warn people who have ordered from Emery during the past two years should consider that they might be a target of police investigations, especially if they are involved in large-scale commercial cultivation.
If you are breaking the law, the police might be onto you, regardless of whether you ordered seeds from Emery, or from his competitors such as Gypsy Nirvana (Seeds Direct), Heaven's Stairway, etc.
If you grow plants that look like cannabis anywhere in the US and other parts of the world where cannabis is illegal, the police might be onto you, whether or not you ever ordered seeds from anyone.
"I'd guess that anybody who advertises cannabis seeds on the Internet or in a magazine, and their customers, could be a DEA target, whether they are located in Canada, England, Holland, wherever," explains an American grower. "If you buy pot seeds from anybody who has a pot seed internet site, you take a risk. It isn't just people who bought from Emery."
If you have plants growing, and if you think you are breaking the law, you have to decide for yourself if you are at risk, and what you want to do about that risk.
There are many ways to determine if you are under surveillance and at risk of an imminent raid. People who have been busted often say that they had an intuition that they were going to be raided, but they loved their plants so much, that they decided to roll the dice. They rolled, and came up with a losing gamble. They got raided, and regretted for the rest of their life that they had not been better safe than sorry, and shut down their garden before it was too late.
If you have a garden and you shut it down and you don't get raided, what have you lost? Plants. What are you left with? Freedom.
If you have a garden and you should shut it down but you don't, and you get raided, what do you have?
The answer is obvious.
During the press conference about the Emery bust, the DEA and their federal prosecutor allies said they wanted to shut down large grow operations and 'trafficking'.
If you're a small-time legal medical grower in a state that has legalized medpot, are you 100% safe? Probably a lot safer than somebody who has 40,000 watts worth of lights in the Midwest.
Maybe you ordered seeds and planted them outdoors far away from where you live, and you're absolutely sure nobody is following you every time you go walking in the woods with a water bag on your back. Perhaps you're thinking of running outside to the forest and killing all those plants, or just letting them grow on their own and never visiting them again.
Every grower has to decide what level of revolution they want to partake of, how much risk, how much they're prepared to gain and lose, how much worry, stress and pressure they can take.
Emery was always blunt about it. He knew he could be arrested at any moment. He said that people who grew plants were 'overgrowing the government.' If you try to 'overgrow,' or even 'overthrow' a government, even if you do it peacefully (how much more peaceful a revolution than one that consists solely of growing plants?), you might get hurt. Everybody should have known that, right?
Only you can decide how much hurt you can handle. If you have a family, lovers, children or others who can be hurt by your choices, you have to be extremely ethical in your calculations of risk, reward, and penalties.
After hearing of Marc Emery being arrested, a grower wrote to tell us that he was harvesting his Northern Lights crop one week early, selling it fast, and sending all the money to pay for Marc's legal fight to defeat the US extradition order.
This was a big crop, folks, and the grower was going to donate all but a few hundred dollars of the proceeds that had been counted on to pay for car repairs, medical bills, and a short vacation.
That's how some good people have reacted to the most devastating attack on marijuana culture in history.
Others have reacted by applauding the arrest. There are some marijuana websites, such as www.overgrow.com, where people who claim to be marijuana users celebrate Emery's demise. Funny that these so-called potheads say the same things about Emery that DEA agents have said. Some of them might be DEA agents. When people are on internet sites using fake names, they can be or say anything they want.
The bottom line is, if you are involved in revolutionary plant growing, you are at risk. Deal with it.
In regards to growing marijuana from a variety of seeds available from worldwide retailers, it is illegal for everyone involved.
If the DEA wants to shut down ALL marijuana seed retailers in the world, and screw a lot of growers, for sure they can do so. They have the power, they have the intent, and they have the guns.
It is very likely that the DEA, in alliance with the worldwide police state, is monitoring every website related to freedom, including cannabis seed websites. The US and Holland just entered into an anti-marijuana agreement. In the case of Marc Emery, the US ordered Canadian police to enforce American drug laws. If the American drug warriors can do all that, they can do anything, including ruining the ability of people to safely buy marijuana seeds from internet or in person retailers in the same manner they'd buy DVD's. It was good while it lasted, eh? We're not sure yet, but those days may be over.
And if they are over, you just have to go back to the way it was in 1970, long before Marc Emery created the worldwide marijuana seed industry.
How was it? Like this: people shared seeds, bred them, hid them, traded them.
Instead of killing your male plants, separate them from the females, gather their golden pollen, put it on a small, sterile paintbrush, put the pollen on the female flowers, and breed your own seeds.
Keep safe the genetics of all the herbs that our Creator has given us, and try not to let the drug warriors, the assholes who hate Marc Emery, or the evil governments scare you so much that you give up on being free.
That's the best advice we can give you.
Loc: The bridgesii br
<<People who have been busted often say that they had an intuition that they were going to be raided, but they loved their plants so much, that they decided to roll the dice.>>
This is so fucking true. If you are involved in something questionable and you get a very uneasy feeling, take the necessary steps to prevent any LEOs from obtaining evidence against you. I wish I had listened to my intuition when I got busted. I woke up nearly sweating from a dream just 5-6 hours before I was arrested. Everything I saw in my dream was 100% right on the money except for one very small detail. LISTEN to yourself. Us humans do have some sort of 'early warning system' if you want to call it that.
Thanks for the article Veggie
I need to stop spending all my money on plants and take up a cheaper hobby, like heroin.
Looking for Rauhocereus riosaniensis seeds or live specimen(s), me if you have any for trade
Marc Emery granted bail
August 2, 2005 - canada.com
VANCOUVER -- Pot activist Marc Emery has been granted bail on charges that he sold marijuana seeds to people in the United States.
The U.S. is seeking the extradition of Emery, the leader of the B.C. Marijuana Party.
He was indicted by a grand jury in the U.S. and faces a minimum of 10 years in jail for the drug charges.
Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm allowed Emery to go free on $50,000 bail.
He said Emery can continue his political work for the B.C. Marijuana Party, which is fighting for legalization of pot.
Emery will also be allowed to continue running his bookstore, where he allegedly sold pot seeds, and can resume operations at his Cannabis Culture magazine.
Canadian justice officials can't turn pot activist Marc Emery over to the U.S. to face possible life in prison after ignoring his sale of marijuana seeds in this country for nearly a decade, his lawyer said yesterday.
"For nine years he's been doing this quite openly," John Conroy told a news conference after Emery was granted bail. "They've known about it, the local authorities haven't done anything about it."
Emery is accused of selling seeds out of his bookstore in downtown Vancouver and over the Internet. He also runs Cannabis Culture magazine and is the leader of the British Columbia Marijuana Party.
Conroy said Emery has long had tacit permission from Canadian authorities to sell seeds, adding that even Health Canada has directed people who are allowed to possess pot for medical conditions to the Internet to buy seeds.
"Many of those people contacted Marc Emery through his website," said Conroy, who is well-known for defending people facing marijuana-related charges.
"Here we have a situation where they turn a blind eye locally and now they're in a position of assisting the U.S. to try to have him extradited to the U.S. where the penalties are substantially greater than here."
I'll be 'sacrificial lamb' if it gets pot legalized
August 5, 2005 - Vancouver Sun
Vancouver pot crusader Marc Emery said Thursday he is prepared to spend 20 years in a U.S. prison in order to galvanize the marijuana legalization campaign, claiming it to be his life's work.
"Ultimately, if I have to be the sacrificial lamb then this is a good thing, if it gets people motivated," said Emery, 47, who is being held at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Port Coquitlam until his bail is posted.
"It's what I've always wanted to do -- make Canada free," he said.
"Ultimately, I'm fit and ready for battle."
Emery, the leader of B.C.'s Marijuana Party, was arrested July 29 along with two others on U.S. charges of conspiracy to distribute marijuana seeds, produce marijuana, and launder money. If extradited and convicted, Emery could be sentenced to between 10 years and life.
The charges stem from an 18-month-long investigation into Emery's marijuana seed distribution business, Marc Emery Direct, which was led by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration with assistance from the Vancouver Police Department.
"Their [the VPD's] loyalty is to the police establishment first, and Canadians second," said Emery, who has been running his Hastings Street business since 1994.
"I thought we had carved out our territory in the 300 block of [West] Hastings Street as a safe place for our community."
His business was raided in 1997 by Vancouver police but no charges were laid, Emery said. Only recently did he suspect he might be under investigation.
"I realized [a few] weeks ago, when [a U.S. undercover agent] asked me over my cellphone for 10 pounds of marijuana," he said. "I told her that was a really stupid thing to do."
Shortly after, the undercover agent -- who went by the name Sarah -- visited Emery at his store with the same request.
"I lectured her," Emery said. "I told her that's not what I do.
"At that point, I thought that was a very strange conversation. So I thought perhaps the police were interested . . . but I [couldn't] let that deter me."
A few weeks later Emery, who says he smokes one or two joints a day, was arrested in Halifax.
Despite allegations that he laundered millions of dollars, Emery said he donated nearly all of the profits from his business -- between $3 and $4 million -- to marijuana-related activism.
Among his recent donations was $50,000 given to legalization campaigns in Nevada and Alaska.
"That's why I'm being targeted," he said, describing himself as "quite the irritant" for U.S. authorities.
According to statements made during his bail hearing, Emery pays $3,000 a month for his Vancouver apartment. But Emery said he does not own any assets or property.
"I don't need any possessions," he said. "I'm merely a conduit for possessions -- I'm not meant to handle them."
Emery, a father of four, said he also paid income tax -- about $380,000 over the past five years -- on his earnings from marijuana seed sales.
"The federal government was aware, because I told them," he said. "They said to me, 'You're the only guy that's ever admitted that.' The federal government is more complicit than I am by far."
However, Emery said his sales have declined lately because so many other seed distributors have opened. He estimates there are 50 marijuana seed sellers in Canada alone.
Marc Emery Direct, he says, was part of bigger plan to push the legalization campaign onto the front burner and "overgrow the government."
Emery, who has run for political office 10 times, including for Parliament in 1980, said he is looking forward to preparing his defence.
"The U.S. are engaged in a barbaric war," he said. "Canada needs someone to galvanize them, and I'm happy to be that conduit."
According to his lawyer, John Conroy, Emery is expected to be released Friday on bail of $50,000. The two others arrested July 29, Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek, 34, and Gregory Williams, 50, face the same charges. The next court date for all three is scheduled for Aug. 25.
Last seen: 2 years, 3 months
5 things you can do to help Marc Emery
by Dana Larsen (02 Aug, 2005) Please do your part to keep the US drug war out of Canada!
Marc during last summer`s legalization tour
I have received many emails and messages from people asking me what they can do to help prevent Marc Emery from being extradited to the US to face a lifetime in prison. Here are five simple, concrete things that anyone can do to make a positive impact on this situation.
If you can donate even two hours of spare time each week to doing some of these five things you will be making a real difference.
The first three things can and should be done by anyone in the world who supports this effort. The last two are for Canadians only.
Please don't just read this list and then do nothing. This is a very crucial battle and one we must win.
1) Call Irwin Cotler regularly.
Canada's Justice Minister is Irwin Cotler. It is largely his decision whether Canada will extradite Marc Emery. Cotler's biography describes him as a "peace activist" who has devoted his life to supporting international human rights, free speech, freedom of religion, women's rights, minority rights, war crimes justice and prisoners' rights, but he has not proven himself to be a friend to the cannabis culture.
Please call each of these three phone numbers twice every week, and politely repeat your message every time. The goal is to keep these lines constantly tied up with calls and voice mails about Marc Emery, so that the Justice Department phones are ringing steadily about the Emery case every day for the next few months.
When you call, always be very polite. Your goal is not to get into a debate with Cotler's secretary. Just say that you are calling because it would "shock your conscience" for Marc Emery to be extradited to the US for alleged marijuana seeds crimes committed on Canadian soil. Say that you believe that if Marc has broken the law in Canada, he should be tried in Canada, under Canadian laws.
If they say you are calling the wrong number ask what number you should call. But still call them again the next week regardless.
No matter where you are in the world, please call all three of these phone numbers every week. We definitely need active, vocal support from Americans and also from the international community.
* Irwin Cotler's Constituency Office: 514-283-0171
* Irwin Cotler's Parliamentary Office: 613-995-0121
* Justice Department Office: 613-992-4621
If you have access to a fax machine then please also send a daily or weekly fax supporting Marc Emery to each of these Justice Department fax numbers:
Don't bother sending emails to Cotler. Emails are easily ignored, deleted, or filtered out as spam. Weekly phone calls and faxes are much more effective in creating awareness and political pressure.
2) Donate and buy
This raid means the end of Marc Emery Marijuana Seeds, which was the pioneering business which Marc Emery used to fund activist efforts around the world. Marc, Michelle and Greg will all have huge legal bills, while at the same time losing their assets, income and livelihood.
Money-losing projects like Pot-TV will need to be curtailed, political activities will be shut down, Cannabis Culture Magazine will struggle greatly, and all our staff will suffer layoffs and paycuts.
Please make a donation or purchase with the BC Marijuana Party, and buy a subscription to Cannabis Culture magazine. Our store is still fully stocked with books, pipes, bongs, clothes and other cannabis products. The only thing we don't sell now is seeds! We need your business to survive, so please come down and pick up some new paraphernalia.
3) Write to Canadian media
Please contact all of the following newspapers and magazines, with a new letter every week.
Don't write a big long letter. Just write a short, snappy letter which offers your opinion on American efforts to extradite Marc Emery.
Don't just send one mass email to all of these media at once. Instead send them each individually the same emailed letter.
Write one letter every week, different letters but on the same topic, and send them to every one of these media outlets every week.
A more complete list of Canadian media outlets can be found here: http://mapinc.org/cmap/press.htm
National Post: firstname.lastname@example.org
Globe & Mail: email@example.com
Vancouver Sun: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vancouver Province: email@example.com
Victoria Times Colonist: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vancouver Courier: email@example.com
Burnaby Now: firstname.lastname@example.org
Calgary Herald: email@example.com
Calgary Sun: firstname.lastname@example.org
Edmonton Journal: email@example.com
Edmonton Sun: firstname.lastname@example.org
Regina Leader-Post: email@example.com
Guelph Mercury: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hamilton Spectator: email@example.com
Kamloops this week: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kamloops Daily News: email@example.com
Kelowna Capital News: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kitchener-Waterloo Record: email@example.com
Kingston Whig-Standard: firstname.lastname@example.org
Langley Advance: email@example.com
Langley Times: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lethbridge Herald: email@example.com
London Free Press: firstname.lastname@example.org
Montreal Gazette: email@example.com
Nanaimo News Bulletin: firstname.lastname@example.org
North Shore News: email@example.com
Ottawa Citizen: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ottawa Sun: email@example.com
The Saskatoon Star Phoenix: spnews@SP.canwest.com
Surrey Leader: firstname.lastname@example.org
Surrey Now: email@example.com
Toronto Star: firstname.lastname@example.org
Toronto Sun: email@example.com
Tri-city news: firstname.lastname@example.org
Victoria News: email@example.com
Whitehorse Star: firstname.lastname@example.org
Winnipeg Free Press: email@example.com
Winnipeg Sun: firstname.lastname@example.org
Windsor Star: email@example.com
Maclean's Magazine: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eye Magazine: email@example.com
NOW Magazine: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vancouver Magazine: email@example.com
The Walrus: firstname.lastname@example.org
4) Contact your MP and MLA
If you are in Canada, then contact both your MP and your MLA. Don't send them an email, make a phone call. Try to make an appointment for a personal visit. Also have every one of your friends and family members each make their own phone call as well. The more calls they receive the better.
You are not seeking your MP and MLA to support the legalization of marijuana. Just say that you are calling because you want your elected representative to oppose the extradition of any Canadian to a foreign country when their actions are not considered a serious crime in Canada.
Remind them that Emery is the leader of a legitimate political party, that the Canadian government has knowingly collected taxes from his US seed sales for a decade, and that Emery has operated openly without interference from Canadian police since 1998.
Tell your MP and MLA that Canada should not be sending political activists to jail in foreign countries, especially when their actions are not even considered to be an "arrestable offence" in Canada.
Your MP is your federal Member of Parliament. You can find your MP here: http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/people/house/PostalCode.asp?Source=SM
Your MLA is your Provincial Member of the Legislature. You can find your MLA online here:
Nova Scotia: www.gov.ns.ca/legislature/MEMBERS/index.html
New Brunswick: app.infoaa.7700.gnb.ca/gnb/pub/ListMLA1.asp
5) Rally in your community
If you are in Canada, then try to put on a rally in your community to protest this incursion of the US Drug War into Canada.
The focus of your rally should not be on the marijuana laws, but rather that Canadians within Canada are not subject to US law. The Canadian courts and people have decided that selling marijuana seeds is a trivial, non-arrestable offence.
The Canadian government has steadily collected sizable taxes from Marc Emery's US seed sales for 10 years. If Emery has broken the law in Canada then he should be charged and tried here. If he has broken no laws in Canada then he should not be extradited to the US for a life sentence. Who will be next? Will US police start extraditing Canadians who perform gay marriages for visiting Americans?
Try to put together a rally for Saturday, September 10, to coincide with the rally planned for Vancouver. If there is a US consulate office in your city then that is a good place to rally at. Otherwise find a park or other government building.
Please contact us at the BC Marijuana Party to let us know what you are up to. Tell us if you have contacted your elected representatives, if are planning a rally, and what else you are doing to help preserve Canadian sovereignty and keep the US drug war out of Canada.
Thank you for your help. Marc Emery has devoted his life to ending the drug war and ensuring that marijuana seeds are available to anyone who wants to grow this wondrous herb. Please follow his lead, become active, and help to end this vicious war.
* BC Marijuana Party: email@example.com, 604-684-2803
Emery ready for biggest battle yet
PRINCE OF POT: Calls his fight against extradition 'ultimate moment of my career'
August 7, 2005 - canada.com
Marc Emery is closing in on Marijuana Mission Accomplished.
As the longtime pot activist braces for his fight against extradition to the U.S. -- something he calls "the ultimate moment of my career" -- he credits the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency for giving him the platform of a lifetime for his crusade to legalize marijuana.
"They might have made me into something bigger than anything I could accomplish on my own," he says. "I get the ultimate opportunity to represent my people."
Since his arrest in Halifax eight days ago, Emery has been bombarded with media interview requests. A steady stream of people has visited the Marijuana Party headquarters on Vancouver's West Hastings since his release Friday.
But while he's elated to have both the Canadian and American public involved in the controversial debate over the two countries' differing drug policies, there's one person Emery is desperately trying to shield the news from: his mother.
With tears in his eyes, Emery admitted in an interview with The Province yesterday that family and staff at a London, Ont., seniors home have been trying to hide the news from his 78-year-old mother, Eileen.
"It's a shame that they have to hide from my mom what's happened, because they're very worried she'll get very agitated and anxious and I would feel bad if she died earlier of stress or something," Emery says, choking up.
It is the first time Emery is known to have cried over the ordeal, but he's quick to point out that it doesn't mean he isn't prepared for his upcoming battle.
During his seven days in custody, 47-year-old Emery said he spent much of his time thinking of his father, Alfred, who died seven weeks ago.
"The last thing he said to me was, 'You're the greatest son a father could ever ask for,'" he recalls, breaking down again.
An 18-month investigation by the U.S. D.E.A. led to charges against Emery of conspiracy to distribute cannabis seeds, produce marijuana and launder money. If extradited and convicted, he faces between 10 years and life in prison.
While it's no surprise that those in favour of the legalization of pot have come to Emery's aid, even non-supporters have become outraged over what some see as the U.S. trying to exert power over Canada's lax drug strategy.
The U.S. maintains Emery is a threat with an online business, Marc Emery Direct, that has allegedly sold marijuana seeds to people in 50 states.
"The grows that sprout from those seeds are often protected by armed criminals or rigged with lethal booby traps," the U.S. Attorney's office said in a release. "They do significant environmental damage and fuel the organized crime and drug trade that destroys lives."
U.S. authorities also allege that more than $5 million has gone in and out of Emery's bank accounts since 1999.
Emery says he doesn't own any assets and that he's donated millions of dollars to pot-advocacy groups as well as political parties, including the federal NDP, whose leader, Jack Layton, met with Emery at his Vancouver home last year.
The Beyond Prohibition conference held in Vancouver last year was also funded by a $15,000 grant he provided, Emery says.
The leader of the B.C. Marijuana Party promises to release details of his finances in the coming days, adding that he will rely on charity to fight against extradition.
But, although physically tired, Emery says he has "a great sense of clarity of mind and clarity of purpose -- and this is without the use of marijuana."
Loc: the sky
Acid doesn't give you truths; it builds machines that push the envelope of perception. Whatever revelations came to me then have dissolved like skywriting. All I really know is that those few years saddled me with a faith in the redemptive potential of the imagination which, however flat, stale and unprofitable the world seems to me now, I cannot for the life of me shake.
B.C. pot activist warns of entrapment
August 15, 2005 - canoe.ca
VANCOUVER, B.C. (CP) - B.C. pot activist Marc Emery is warning his marijuana seed customers their orders may have been intercepted by U.S. justice officials.
He also alleges that those people are now being sent letters by drug enforcement authorities in a surreptitious move to entrap them. "These people are being set up to be busted in their own homes," Emery said on Monday. "They should be very alarmed."
He called the move "ominous in a way Canadians aren't used to."
Emery is the Canadian activist wanted on drug charges in the United States on conspiracy to sell marijuana seeds in that country. The U.S. wants him extradited from Canada to face the charges.
A letter posted on the so-called Prince of Pot's website claims 200 to 300 June orders took unusually long to get to clients.
It reminds people that nothing in the envelopes sent from Emery Seeds incriminates or links the order to the client.
It alleges that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is sending letters out to trap people into incriminating themselves if they respond and acknowledge that they wish to buy seeds.
Emery says in Canada responses are to be directed to an address in North Vancouver.
"Prosecution will require that those people who get the scam letter from the DEA incriminate themselves by agreeing that they wish to receive seeds, and through acknowledging the letter, prove that they asked for and paid for seeds," the site says.
"This is a regrettable discovery, and means the DEA and RCMP and perhaps other agencies are co-ordinating a massive round-up of both Canadians and Americans in a considerable escalation of the Drug War," the site says.
U.S. consulate spokesman Ian Hillman said in Vancouver on Monday that he had not heard of the website warning.
He said if anybody in the U.S. were being looked into, "that would be part of the greater investigation.
"I don't know anything about DEA scam lettering," he said. "It's still an ongoing investigation."
Emery, the leader of B.C.'s Marijuana party, and two other activists were arrested in late July at the request of U.S authorities who accuse them of selling marijuana seeds over the Internet to Americans.
Emery is accused of selling seeds out of his bookstore in downtown Vancouver and over the Internet. He also runs Cannabis Culture magazine.
Emery's lawyer, John Conroy, has said his client has long had tacit permission from Canadian authorities to sell seeds, adding that even Health Canada has directed people who are allowed to possess pot for medical conditions to the Internet to buy seeds.
Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm of B.C. Supreme Court granted Emery $50,000 bail on Aug. 2. He faces 10 years to life in prison if convicted in the U.S.
Emery's co-accused, Greg Williams and Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek, were also granted bail.
They face charges of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, conspiracy to distribute marijuana seeds and conspiracy to engage in money laundering.
The U.S. wants the trio extradited after they were indicted by a federal grand jury in May following an 18-month investigation by American police into the sale of marijuana seeds on the Internet and by mail.
Emery spent three months in a Saskatchewan jail last year for passing a joint at a rally.
He returns to court Aug. 25.
Loc: Here & Now
He said if anybody in the U.S. were being looked into, "that would be part of the greater investigation.
Translation: there's a greater investigation going on in America...no one is safe.
"What is in us that turns a deaf ear to the cries of human suffering?"
"Belief is a beautiful armor
But makes for the heaviest sword"
- John Mayer
Making the noise "penicillin" is no substitute for actually taking penicillin.
"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." -Abraham Lincoln
Last seen: 15 years, 10 months
That is no bullshit that the FEDS might very well be investigating the US recipients of EMERY'S seeds. It happened to me back in the 90's when some moron from HOLLAND sent me an envelope of weed seeds in the mail. I got the letter but in the letter was the seed catalogue and a noctice that contraband in the letter has been seized and futher investigations were being inititiated. Right about that time, about 5 narcs were in back of my house checking it out for signs of weed growing and they had one of those infrared scanning devices (no illegal for the police to use in "searching" your house. I saw them and even went outside and talked to them. They all had leather jackets and great shoes - typical of narcs and when they saw me coming, a guy down the alley started shouting out numbers. He was reading the serial numbers on a trashed motorcycle frams to try and cover their work. They were narcs and after 15 minutes, they realized I had no grow op to be seen.
So without a doubt, EMERY'S seed shipments to the USA are a real bag of fun for the narcs.
Canadians Reject Extradition in Marijuana Case
August 20, 2005 - angus-reid.com
Many adults in Canada believe Marc Emery should not face trial in the United States, according to a poll by The Strategic Counsel released by CTV and the Globe and Mail. 58 per cent of respondents oppose the extradition of the Canadian citizen on drug charges.
On Jul. 29, Emery was arrested in Canada at the request of U.S. authorities on charges of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and distribute marijuana seeds, and money laundering. Emory-who is currently free on bail-faces extradition to the U.S. If convicted, he could be sentenced to at least 10 years in jail.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) claims that Emory sold marijuana seeds over the Internet to American customers. The DEA also alleges that Emory's business is worth $2.5 million U.S. a year.
In November 2004, the Canadian federal government re-introduced a controversial bill that seeks "alternate penalty frameworks" for the possession of small amounts of marijuana. If the bill passes, any person caught with 15 grams of the drug or less would face fines instead of criminal charges.
In July 2002, Canada became the first nation in the world to regulate the consumption of cannabis for medical reasons. In the 2004 federal election, the Marijuana party-which seeks the outright legalization of the substance-received 0.3 per cent of the popular vote.
You may be aware that a Canadian was recently arrested in Canada at the request of U.S. police on the charge of illegally exporting marijuana seeds to the U.S. via the internet. While this is a crime in the U.S., Canadian police are not currently enforcing similar laws on marijuana. Do you strongly support, support, oppose or strongly oppose this Canadian to be extradited to the United States?
Source: The Strategic Counsel / CTV / The Globe and Mail
Extradition hearing for pot crusader Marc Emery to begin Sept. 16
August 25, 2005 - brandonsun.com
VANCOUVER (CP) - Pot crusader Marc Emery said Thursday that all Canadians will be complicit if the United States succeeds in extraditing him to face drug charges in that country. Emery, 47, made the comment after a B.C. Supreme Court judge set Sept. 16 as the start of his extradition hearing that could net him life in prison if he is convicted on marijuana charges in the U.S.
The longtime pot activist is accused of selling marijuana seeds to Americans through the Internet and the mail, conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and conspiracy to engage in money laundering.
Emery's co-accused, Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek and Gregory Keith Smith, were also in court Thursday.
The trio was arrested July 29 after Vancouver police raided Emery's pot paraphernalia store following an 18-month investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Emery, who showed up in court with his fiancee and a few supporters, called the DEA "a Nazi-like military organization."
He said he's been selling his marijuana seeds for 11 years, during which time Canadians have benefited from the $4 million he's given away to various organizations.
Jack Layton, leader of the federal NDP, also reaped the rewards of his popularity because Emery's Internet-based Pot-tv solicited support for the party from viewers, Emery said.
"Everybody took the money, from the income tax departments representing the province and the federal government," said Emery, leader of the B.C. Marijuana party.
"I've never received a written complaint or a phone call in 11 years and I have a listed phone number.
"So if I get taken away for the rest of my life to a United States prison then every Canadian has let it happen because they have tacitly and complicitly condoned my behaviour."
He continued to vent against the DEA, calling it a well-armed beast.
"It's in the business of putting the marijuana culture away in prisons for a long time.
"As the leader of the marijuana people around the world they have targeted me and when I go to the United States, if I am extradited, you will never see me alive in Canada again."
Emery's supporters have requested Justice Minister Irwin Cotler step in but he has said the matter is now before the courts.
"He is selling out an exemplary Canadian citizen to appease their war on drugs," Emery said of Cotler.
Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm granted a request from lawyer John Conroy to have $15,000 of Rainey-Fenkarek's bail money returned so she could retain her own lawyer.
Conroy had asked Dohm to set a court date in September so Emery could continue a speaking tour across Canada.
While selling marijuana seeds is also illegal in Canada, no one has been arrested for years.
Emery, who last year spent three months in a Saskatoon jail for passing a joint at a pot rally in 2004, said he doesn't regret selling pot seeds to Americans and doesn't really fear spending life in prison.
His worst fear is that marijuana wouldn't be legalized in his lifetime.
"That's the only fear," he said, adding that people in the marijuana culture are peaceful and honest.
"We're total victims and to think that it would go on for longer than my lifetime is just a horrifyingly sad thought."
Not an EggshellWalker
Loc: Cave of the Patr
Like the Canadian higher-ups care about a pothead enough to risk U.S. relations? He's doomed.
So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.
Last seen: 7 years, 1 month
He may have gathered some high strings to pull in his time, thats the only option really
Last seen: 2 years, 3 months
BC Marijuana Party leader says if he goes to jail in the U.S., he'll die there
Last Updated Thu, 25 Aug 2005 20:16:59 EDT
The B.C. Marijuana Party leader said Thursday if he's extradited to the U.S. to face drug charges, he'll never get out of prison alive.
B.C. Marijuana Party leader Marc Emery (CP Photo)
Marc Emery spoke in Vancouver after a judge set Sept.16 for the start of his extradition hearing.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency wants Emery extradited on charges of drug trafficking and money laundering, claiming he sold marijuana seeds to Americans over the internet.
Emery said if he's sent to the U.S. he'll either die in jail or be murdered there.
He said all Canadians will be complicit if the U.S. succeeds in extraditing him because Canadians have tacitly condoned his behaviour.
Emery said he's been selling marijuana seeds for 11 years, during which time Canadians have benefited from the four million dollars he's given to various organizations.
He called the U.S. DEA "a Nazi-like military organization."
Not an EggshellWalker
Loc: Cave of the Patr
Sounds like somebody's afraid to take responsibility for his actions.
You sell narcotics or narcotic materials like cannabis seeds and you lose. He should've known better than to break US law.
So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.
Trippin' fool -M
Last seen: 17 years, 4 months
Fuck that propaganda!
The U.S. laws to ban a natural plant is both insane, and unconstitutional!
The U.S. government has been taken over by assholes, bottom fucking line.
No plant or other naturally occuring substance should be illegal, and it is our duty to resist laws which defy the common sense and decency of the ordinary average man!!
Through the excercise of patience, one may learn humility..
Smoke plenty of green, and eat fungus!!!!
Last seen: 2 years, 3 months
'Prince of Pot' in hot water over Nazi tag
Marc Emery defends description of Justice Minister as a 'Nazi-Jew'
CanWest News Service
Saturday, August 27, 2005
OTTAWA - Marijuana crusader Marc Emery has found himself under fire this week as bloggers scrutinize the content of his Web sites, including a posting from his "jail blog" last summer in which he called federal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler a "Nazi-Jew."
With the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration after him, the case of British Columbia's "Prince of Pot," has become a cause celebre. Since his arrest a month ago, he has been facing possible extradition to the United States for selling marijuana seeds to U.S. customers.
Supporters of Mr. Emery, who calls himself "the leader of the marijuana people around the world," include federal NDP leader Jack Layton, who has argued against the extradition.
Mr. Emery, 47, was serving a three-month sentence in Saskatoon last summer for passing a joint at a pot rally when he wrote the "jail blog," which he dictated to associates over the phone, who then posted it on the Internet.
In it, he complained that Mr. Cotler went from being a human rights advocate to a justice minister who, as attorney-general, allows for the prosecution of cannabis users.
"I thought the term Jewish-Nazi, or Nazi-Jew, was an oxymoron until Cotler became the Injustice Minister," Mr. Emery's posting said. "What a disgrace he is to his Jewish roots. He should -- so much -- know better."
In June, the content on his main Web site -- cannabisculture.com, which he edits, publishes and uses to help sell millions of dollars worth of marijuana seeds -- prompted NDP House leader Libby Davies to write to one of Mr. Emery's employees, Chris Bennett.
"I have been extremely disturbed by the tone and characterization of the Minister of Justice, Mr. Cotler, as a Nazi-Jew and the Gestapo," wrote Ms. Davies, who has tried to help one of Mr. Emery's associates, Renee Boje, who also faces potential extradition to the United States. "I have been advocating for Renee against the extradition and will continue to do so, but find the anti-Semitic characterization of Mr. Cotler based on his religious beliefs to be very offensive and completely counterproductive."
Four days after Ms. Davies' letter was posted to the site by Mr. Bennett, Mr. Emery -- temporarily taking a view that the Nazi metaphor "disengages almost everyone" -- said he had a better word for Mr. Cotler: "capo."
"If you're going to make comparisons," he advised, "the term for Irwin Cotler might be 'capo'. These were the Jews during the Holocaust who were fated to deliver their fellow Jews to their death...."
In this case, Mr. Cotler would deliver his fellow Canadians to his American "masters," Mr. Emery's posting explained.
This month, a doctored picture of Mr. Cotler in a Nazi uniform, with a caption calling him a "neocon-kapo," was removed by one of the site's administrators after it had been posted by one of the regular participants of the site's discussion groups. Several bloggers, including smalldeadanimals.com, later began to draw attention to that posting and to Mr. Emery's "capo" comment.
On Monday, the same regular member on the cannabisculture Web site posted a cartoon that depicted an Israeli soldier shooting a Palestinian in the back. An Orthodox Jew with an exaggeratedly large nose then says to the soldier, "Hush ... We Don't Want to Wake Him Up" while gesturing toward a large, dozing, globe-headed figure labelled "world opinion." A man in a kaffiyeh, checking the pulse of the sleeping figure says "Wake Him Up? He's Dead..."
When Mr. Emery, who is out on bail, was asked by the Ottawa Citizen about this cartoon in an interview on Tuesday, he said that while he didn't endorse it, it was "probably legitimate political commentary."
On Wednesday, he changed his view, posting a statement above the cartoon saying: "This illustration is offensive to our Jewish friends and cannot possibly help our cause... "
An administrator banned the person who posted the cartoon from the site.
Mr. Emery said when he originally used the term "Nazi-Jew" he was in a very emotional state.
"When you're in jail, you can be seized by despair," he said.
Yet, he said that while he did not wish to be "insulting" to Mr. Cotler, ultimately he believes the Nazi metaphor is fair.
"To me a Nazi is a person who would inflict pain, punishment, incarceration or death on anyone who's acting peacefully and honestly," he said. Mr. Cotler, he said, fits into the category.
Mr. Emery said it is his respect and admiration for Jewish people that is behind his belief that Mr. Cotler should be held to a higher standard.
"I have a great sensitivity to the Jewish pogroms and I'm very steeped in knowledge about them. I love studying Jewish history, cultural history. A lot of people have always thought I was a Jewish wanna-be," Mr. Emery said.
David Matas, chief legal counsel for B'nai Brith Canada, said it trivializes the atrocities of the Holocaust "to call everything that happens in this world with which you disagree Nazism."
At the same time, Mr. Matas said Mr. Emery's use of the metaphor, although "totally inappropriate," is not an act of anti-Semitism, a brand of hatred which, he said, is generally based on conspiracy theories.
"I don't think this guy is in that business," Mr. Matas said.
He said, though, that Mr. Emery should restrict his criticism to Mr. Cotler's record and leave his religion out of it.
Mr. Cotler declined to be interviewed for this story. A spokesperson said because Mr. Emery is facing possible extradition, he does not want to risk prejudicing the case.
Pot activist Marc Emery rallies supporters in front of U.S. consulate
September 10, 2005 - theglobeandmail.com
Vancouver - Marc Emery took a quick hit from a joint as his fans smoked and screamed for his freedomin front of the U.S. consulate.
The self-proclaimed Prince of Pot, faces extradition for seed sales - a crime that isn't prosecuted in Canada - and up to life in prison if convicted by a U.S. court.
In the same breath, supporters gathered around him demanded sovereignty for Canada and the world-wide legalization of pot under a billowing cloud of smoke from spliffs being waved in the air.
People everywhere are outraged and scared it could happened to them, declared Mr. Emery, 47.
"I want to tell you," he shouted above the yells, "you are part of a great awareness. Today, 40 cities around the world, from Warsaw, Moscow, Russia, London, Paris, Madrid, Italy, they are rallying at Canadian consulates around the world. In Melbourne, Australia, and Sydney, Canadian embassies are being picketed!"
He said Canada has made a huge mistake.
"The government is threatening to extradite me to the U.S. to certain death for doing something no one has ever gone to jail for, that people only ever receive minor fines for."
Mr. Emery said there are about 50 pot seed companies in Canada selling seeds every day. The businesses, people who buy from them, people who smoke pot, believe in Canadian sovereignty, are all appalled he said. Mr. Emery referred to a poll by the Globe and Mail that showed the majority of Canadians are opposed to his extradition.
"People understand if it happens to me, it can happened to a New Zealander, a Mexican person. It can happen to an Australian or a person in England or Paris."
"Americans don't honour treaties. We've seen that with softwood lumber. They can spear people away from any of these countries and put people away for long draconian periods of time."
Police officers looked on as Mr. Emery spoke and clouds of pot smoke billowed above the crowd. One officer commented that it was a nice day and that he was glad it didn't rain.
A number of parents stood in the crowd with babies in strollers. Greg Popler had his two-year-old son with him as he joined in to support Mr. Emery.
"For me this is more about Canadian sovereignty. I support the legalization of all street drugs, but I'm most against the idea of the U.S. being able to take Canadians down to face their brand of justice, which is different from ours."
Mr. Emery's extradition hearing starts Sept. 16 in B.C. Supreme Court.
The 47-year-old long-time pot activist is accused of selling marijuana seeds to Americans through the Internet and the mail, conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and conspiracy to engage in money laundering.
His co-accused are Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek and Gregory Keith Smith.
The trio was arrested in July after Vancouver police raided Mr. Emery's pot paraphernalia store following an 18-month investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Mr. Emery was picked up in Lawrencetown, N.S., while speaking at a music festival to raise funds for a medical marijuana organization.
He was detained in a Halifax-area jail cell for several days before being transferred to Vancouver.
During his brief tour and incarceration on the East coast, Emery made quite an impression. Supporters rallied for him in Halifax in front of city hall Saturday.
"Halifax is important for this demonstration because this is where Marc Emery was arrested originally . . . and this whole procedure started," said Marc-Boris St-Maurice.
Mr. St-Maurice, who founded the Marijuana Party before jumping to the federal Liberals, said if Mr. Emery broke the law he should be prosecuted in Canada.
The Strange and Seedy Case of Marc Emery
September 22, 2005 - LA City Beat
Facing life in a U.S. prison, the ?Prince of Pot? sparks an extradition war that could test the limits of the War on Drugs ? and legalize pot in Canada at last
Looking back, Marc Emery says it was like a scene out of Bonnie and Clyde. The publisher of Cannabis Culture magazine and Canada?s leading marijuana rabble-rouser, Emery was sitting in Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia ? the Lawrencetown Restaurant, in fact ? getting himself together to speak at a legalization rally. It was July 29, 2005, and the second annual Atlantic Hemp Fest was already in full swing, with bands and speakers organized by Maritimers United for Medical Marijuana already entertaining a crowd of about 400-500 people.
Suddenly, the lunchtime crowd vanished. The air changed. ?Then I notice the waitresses getting jittery, and oddly encouraging me to leave in an unfriendly way that you never find on the East Coast,? Emery says.
Not connecting this weirdness to himself ? he wasn?t breaking any laws ? he paid his tab and walked outside to his car. Which, oddly, he found boxed in; ordinary-looking cars were right on his bumper in front and behind. As he stood there, looking around for whoever needed to move their cars, a large black man got out of another car parked nearby. Ever polite, Emery quipped, ?Hello.?
?Marc Emery?? said the man, not waiting for an answer, ?you are under arrest ??
This was a mild shock, even though Emery has intentionally had himself arrested 11 times since 1994 on pot-related charges as a form of protest. The man Canadians call the ?Prince of Pot? knew such arrests to be mostly pro forma exercises in his country, which he?d used to prove that pot was de facto legal there. But nothing prepared him for the remaining clauses of this stranger?s brief proclamation.
?? for extradition to the United States, on charges of Conspiracy to Manufacture Marijuana, Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana Seeds, and Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering.?
This was no exercise. Cars with flashing lights screeched to a halt all around him, and 10 members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police ? the Mounties ? swarmed him in full tactical gear and ski masks over their faces. As he spent the night in a Halifax holding tank, the reality hit him cold turkey: He wasn?t under any charges in Canada, and never would be. Canada?s federal Justice Ministry didn?t think his crime ? selling marijuana seeds to fund activist causes ? was worth prosecuting. But it was the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that had nailed him, and they?d also grabbed two of his comrades at Emery Seeds in Vancouver ? Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek, 34, and Greg Williams, 50 ? on the same charges. All three ? now known as the ?B.C. 3? ? face the same sentences. The DEA had reached across the border into Canada, exerting heavy pressure on that country?s federal law enforcement, and were going to drag them all to a hellish federal prison in the United States. Possibly for life.
The conflicting attitudes regarding pot could not be framed in more stark terms: Canada, no charges; U.S., 10 years to life. Canadian response to the arrest has turned the spotlight back on the U.S. federal government?s ruthless prosecution of marijuana users and activists. It also mirrors the conflict between the feds and the various states, like California, which have legalized pot for medical use. The disparity between state laws and federal mandatory minimum sentences are often so huge that activists say they violate the 8th Amendment guarantee against disproportionate punishment.
Emery Seeds is one of about 50 seed companies operating in Canada, most of which continue to operate today. In her bizarre press release of July 29, DEA chief Karen Tandy left little doubt as to why they singled out Emery?s operation.
?Today?s DEA arrest of Marc Scott Emery, publisher of Cannabis Culture magazine, and the founder of a marijuana legalization group ? is a significant blow not only to the marijuana trafficking trade in the U.S. and Canada, but also the marijuana legalization movement,? it begins, adding: ?Hundreds of thousands of dollars of Emery?s illicit profits are known to have been channeled to marijuana legalization groups in the United States and Canada. Drug legalization lobbyists now have one less pot of money to rely on.?
Last anyone checked, funding ballot initiatives wasn?t illegal in the U.S., and this kind of hubris has threatened to turn Emery?s extradition proceedings into a slugfest. Under treaty, the Canadians are bound to turn him over. But the Prince of Pot might prove the exception to the rule. The Canadian press has erupted in a campaign of vitriol against the U.S. for targeting Emery, who was already a kind of national antihero for opening up the country?s outdated censorship laws with Cannabis Culture and his British Columbia Marijuana Party Bookstore. Now he?s morphing into a symbol of Canadian sovereignty. Members of Parliament have taken up his case, angry over high-handed efforts by U.S. Drug Czar John Walters to force the Canadians to join the U.S.?s failed Drug War. The former mayor of Vancouver has lashed out. The Canucks are pissed.
The U.S. government insists that it is not engaging in a ?war on marijuana.? But marijuana, it seems, is going to test the relationship between the U.S. and Canada.
Overgrowing the Government
One thing is very clear about Marc Emery: He definitely broke the law, and on both sides of the border. And he did it on purpose, in front of God and everyone else, making a point of calling attention to his lawbreaking activities in his magazine, on his celebrated web video channel, Pot-TV, and in the Canadian press. But where the Canadians saw an activist, the U.S. government evidently saw a guy with a target painted on his back.
??Overgrowing the government,? that?s my phrase for 10 years,? Emery says by phone from the Cannabis Culture offices in Vancouver. ?The idea is that we?d sell seeds, people would grow lots of pot, empower themselves by not needing to buy on the black market, by being self-sufficient in marijuana and medical marijuana. Hopefully, people would grow so much pot that the DEA could never eradicate it all, and it would be futile spending all that money. Then Americans would simply say, ?Well, why should we spend all this money when it?s impossible to stop? We should legalize it.? That was the strategy on one hand.
?And then, from the money people sent me,? he adds, ?we would give that away to organizations and groups advocating peaceful democratic change and an end to the Drug War. So the money would be totally useful at both ends.?
?You might want to get the press release from our office, as opposed to Karen Tandy?s,? says Todd Greenberg, Assistant U.S. Attorney from the Western District of Washington, distancing his office from the overzealous DEA chief, ?because I want to emphasize this: He?s entitled to publish his magazine. He?s entitled to run for mayor, or do whatever the hell he wants with his Marijuana Party [chuckles]. It has nothing to do with this case. He?s being prosecuted because he?s a one-stop shop for large marijuana grows that we have busted throughout the U.S.?
And that?s in every state in the union, according to the U.S. Justice Department. Here?s where Emery?s unique political strategy becomes problematic. His enterprise is what Allen St. Pierre, a Washington, D.C.-based spokesman for the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws, or NORML, affectionately calls a ?seed wrap.? Emery Seeds began in 1994, selling high-potency marijuana seeds via mail order and using his magazine and his well-made Internet site to hawk them to customers. Those sales are illegal in both the U.S. and in Canada.
And business is good. A single marijuana plant might yield 4,000 to 5,000 seeds, which are sold for anywhere from $2 to $20 apiece. Do the numbers. They add up quick. He?s been doing it for 11 years, and in 2003 alone, Emery estimates, the seeds pulled in about $2.2 million Canadian.
But, apparently, Emery keeps almost none of it. He pays out $1 million a year to suppliers, he says, about $400,000 to support the magazine, the website, and to advertise (his last paid advertisement was in the San Francisco Chronicle, in June, for his ?Medical Marijuana Pak?), and another $300,000 for staff. That leaves about $300,000 to $400,000. Which he gives away. He even paid taxes on that money in Canada before giving it away, and on his revenue forms he marked his business as ?Marijuana Seed Vendor.? He says he doesn?t own a car, a house, investments, or any property, and luckily all his ex-wives and his four adopted children are self-sufficient now.
?I gave away, over a period of 10-11 years, close to $4 million Canadian,? Emery says now, ?to various activists, organizations, ballot initiatives, politicians, political parties, conferences, rallies ? you name it.?
That includes $19,000 for a medical marijuana ballot initiative in Arizona. And $7,000 for one in Alaska. Then $5,000 for one in Washington, D.C. He?s tabulating this stuff now, but says his U.S. contributions total ?probably no more than half a million.?
He?s also given loads of money to Canadian politicians and political parties ? even when he was running for mayor or Parliament himself.
?Politicians of every stripe both took my money and showed up at conferences to speak on legalizing marijuana,? he notes. ?Jack Layton, the leader of the New Democratic Party, came to my home 18 months ago and filmed an interview to be broadcast on Pot-TV. The mayor came to a conference that I put on with seed money last year called ?Beyond Prohibition 2004.? Every politician in Parliament had a subscription to our magazine for the last eight years. And in all that time, I never had a complaint from anybody about selling seeds.?
Nobody in the U.S. has ever worked like this. In fact, says NORML?s St. Pierre, we haven?t seen anything like this since a cat known only as Neville first started selling seeds via mail order in the Netherlands in the 1980s. ?Nobody has ever been as plotting and as pragmatic about trying to combine commerce, politics, and rabble-rousing, than Marc has,? says St. Pierre. ?He is a complex individual. In this country, the closest example are Yippies. But Marc has taken it further. Unlike a number of folks that are about enriching themselves personally, in a semi-Messianic way he?s developed a wont to give as much as he can back towards the politics of changing the laws.?
The U.S. Justice Department is unmoved by these facts. U.S. Attorney Greenberg says not only have they connected Emery Seeds to big commercial grows ? more than just DIY medical marijuana patients ? but Emery?s website (now shut down) also offered all the other paraphernalia one would need to grow or smoke pot. ?He would send 8- to 10-page instruction booklets on how to grow,? says Greenberg. ?Then he had a part of his business on the website called the Little Grow Shop. He sold the large apparatus to grow marijuana ? plus lights, fans, fertilizer, irrigation-type systems.?
Plus, he used the Internet to solicit worldwide. Any money that went across the Canadian border, in either direction, constitutes money laundering.
Jeff Eig, spokesman for the DEA in Seattle, says he doesn?t expect any problems getting Emery extradited out of Canada.
?The bottom line is that he?s facing three significant charges in federal court,? Eig says. ?He faces significant exposure to the law, facing in anywhere from 10 to 40 years, or up to life, on those charges.?
?Oh, I?m outraged, I see this as a purely political maneuver by the U.S. government and the Drug Czar. It?s political pressure,? says Libby Davies, Member of Parliament ? the equivalent of a U.S. member of Congress ? from East Vancouver. Emery?s bookstore office, where he sold the seeds, is near her district. ?What is he guilty of ? selling marijuana seeds on the Internet. He?s been doing that for over a decade, and no one in Canada has prosecuted him.
?There?s not a shadow of a doubt in my mind that this is entirely politically motivated, and it is to back Canada into a corner,? she adds, ?sort of the old adage from Bush, ?Are you with us or are you agin? us???
Canada has been softening its laws regarding marijuana possession for years, and some of the most progressive harm reduction policy has been implemented in Vancouver. Davies backed heroin maintenance studies and helped create the country?s first safe injection site for IV drug users there, where HIV and hepatitis were ballooning out of control. The current mayor of Vancouver, Larry Campbell, has championed a ?Four Pillars? drug strategy which prioritizes harm reduction, prevention, and treatment, using law enforcement specifically ?targeting organized crime, drug dealing, drug houses,? and ?problem business involved in the drug trade.? Drug users are not listed as targets, like they are in the U.S., where they are the focus of the overwhelming majority of prosecutions. Nor did ?problem business? evidently include Emery Seeds. Campbell?s office says it is not currently discussing the Emery case.
For several years, a federal bill to decriminalize marijuana possession has plodded through the Canadian Parliament, and U.S. Drug Czar John Walters has campaigned through the Great White North to try to squash it. In 2002, Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN), chair of a key congressional drug-policy committee and infamous anti-pot crusader, told Toronto?s Globe and Mail that Canada is free to make its own laws but passage of the decriminalization bill could cause Congress to tighten the border with Canada ? thus threatening the flow of goods to that country?s biggest trading partner.
These threats are not laughed off. There is a caucus within the ruling Liberal Party who believe Canada ought to liste Walters. But many find his efforts there offensive.
Former Vancouver Mayor Philip Owen told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in August that he met with Walters on one of his pro-Drug War tours in 2002, and called it ?the most unsatisfactory meeting of my life. The pressure was intense.?
?I feel that, politically, they cannot sanction the fact that Canada is taking a different perspective, and that we?re much closer to a European model when it comes to drug policy reform,? says MP Libby Davies. ?I think there are a lot of Americans ??16 who would like to ? adopt more of a Canadian approach on a number of things, whether it?s health care or equal marriage rights for same-sex couples, or drug policy.?
Davies says she and other members of government will lobby Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler to refuse extradition of Emery. Under treaty with the U.S., Cotler was apparently required to provide Mounties to execute the U.S. arrest warrant, and will be required to present Emery for extradition hearings. Even if a judge decides to send him to the U.S., however, Cotler still has broad discretion to say no.
Vancouver Sun columnist Peter McKnight, in a September 10 piece laying out the several options for refusing extradition, wrapped it up with the idea that Emery?s ?persecution? might actually advance the legalization cause, writing: ?That leaves Cotler with one last way to refuse extradition, and it?s a way that, for both legal and moral reasons, Cotler ought to take. Whether he wants to admit it or not, selling viable cannabis seeds is de facto legal in Canada, and Cotler can therefore refuse to surrender Emery on the grounds that what he is charged with in the U.S. is not an offence [sic] in Canada.?
Chris Girouard, a spokesman for the Justice Ministry, says selling viable pot seeds is a crime in Canada, but that the U.S. can determine what conduct should be treated as a crime in the U.S., ?so the frequency of the prosecution in Canada is not a factor.?
The Prince of Pot
The fact that mainstream Canadian columnists like McKnight are going to bat for a pothead is attributable, in many ways, to the work of Marc Emery himself. When he launched Emery Seeds in 1994, Canadian laws were more strict than the U.S. Even distributing literature about pot could get you six months in jail. No store dared to carry bongs or pipes. Or a pair of hemp shoes. He opened a bookstore and began importing Jack Herer?s hemp bible, The Emperor Wears No Clothes, then went door-to-door selling High Times and books about industrial hemp and medical marijuana. He started the BC Marijuana Party, which spawned a U.S. equivalent, and ran for mayor twice, the provincial legislature three times, and federal Parliament once. His Cannabis Culture magazine and website enjoy heavy readerships and his Pot-TV programs have received as many as 10 million viewers ? including, he says, the children of Justice Minister Cotler.
Coconspirator Michelle Rainey was the financial agent for the BC Marijuana Party, and worked out of the bookstore. Greg Williams, an employee of Pot-TV, was also arrested there.
These new institutions notwithstanding, Emery built his reputation through Yippie-like national campaigns that put the pot issue on Canada?s front pages. In 2003, he launched the Summer of Legalization Tour, contending that pot was legal and demonstrating this by smoking a bong or a huge joint in front of police stations in 18 cities across Canada. Ultimately, he was charged in six cities and five provinces.
?All those charges were dropped because I was right, pot really was legal and their courts just hadn?t acknowledged it,? crows Emery.
He operated so openly, and with such impunity, that it came as a bit of a shock when he was actually convicted on a similar offense in 2004. He was barreling along on a 22-city speaking tour of university campuses, once again making a show of a few token tokes, when he was busted flat in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, for passing a joint. It seemed a laughable charge, but the judge was upset, saying Emery was arrogant and flouting the law ? which he clearly was ? and gave him 92 days in the pokey. He served 62 ? a fairly severe sentence in Canada. In 11 years, it has been his only custodial conviction. The other 10 sentences were either fines or probation.
?I?ve been very, very busy, and we?ve gotten books and magazines legalized, hemp stores are everywhere in the country, pipes and bongs are everywhere ? we have legal medical marijuana and a vibrant hemp industry, in the space of 11 years,? says Emery. ?On the ground, too, people have gone from 26 percent support for legal marijuana to 57 percent in Canada.?
After all that living way out front, Emery has earned some support from the Canadian people. But not all of his rapid-fire extemporizing has worked. After his arrest in July, he called Cotler a ?Jewish Nazi? and compared marijuana prohibition to the Holocaust, drawing howls from online commentators. He has also made a habit of telling reporters that, since selling 60,000 seeds would make him a ?kingpin? under Newt Gingrich?s draconian federal drug statute, he could be subject to the death penalty. U.S. Attorney Todd Greenberg insists he is not subject to that charge, which would make extradition illegal.
?If I?m extradited, Canadians will never see me alive again,? Emery says. ?And even if the Canadian government tried to make an arrangement to have me sent back to a Canadian prison, I am certain that I?d be murdered or damaged mentally by the time I got to Canada, so I could never actively work against the government again.?
In the battle of bluster, he and DEA head Karen Tandy seem made for each other.
Do Not Respond to the Blue Letters!
Then again, Emery has plenty of strange evidence to fuel his conspiratorial fears. First of all, the DEA statement seems to indicate they?re investigating not only his customers but also the activists and politicians who?ve taken his money. Then, shortly after his arrest, customers who had ordered seeds from Emery received mysterious letters, printed on blue stock, which seemed like a sting operation.
The letters, printed on the Cannabis Culture website (www. cannabisculture.com), acknowledge the shutdown of Emery Seeds, offer a hip-hooray to Emery himself with some weird cult-of-personality cheers ? ?Smoke For Our Leader! Overgrow The Government!? ? then ask for another $100 to fill the already-paid order. Customers are instructed to go to either Western Union or Wal-Mart to send the $100 to someone in Vancouver, using a different name each time, like Mike Wong or Patrick Oliver, and to use a specific password, ?SWAP.?
In order to complete the order and receive seeds, customers were required to e-mail a confirmation of their order, the Money Control Number, the real name of the sender, and their home address (no P.O. box accepted) to a Yahoo e-mail. Which would give an agent every piece of information they would need to arrest and convict someone for buying pot.
Evidently, no one was fooled. Instead, scores of customers all over the world simply sent the letters back to Emery as evidence. The splash page on his now-closed seed company website barks in huge block letters: ?DO NOT RESPOND TO THE BLUE LETTERS!?
Todd Greenberg laughs at the idea that this is a sting: ?You?ve gotta think: His customers, many of them, are engaged in criminal activity,? he says. ?Would it shock you that they?d seize upon this as a way to make some money? I think he?s paranoid.?
Asked if this is a DEA operation, Jeff Eig says, ?Not that I know of.?
For his part, Emery is girding for political battle. He is terrified, but also energized. He?s accustomed to the bittersweet quality of his notoriety: Every time he?s been profiled by major media, he?s been busted ? a month after appearing on the cover of The Wall Street Journal, a month after a profile in Rolling Stone, two months after being the subject of a CNN Special. This time, the situation is flipped. The DEA has given him a mighty tall soapbox. But now he?s trying to save not just the weed, and not just his own ass, but those of Rainey and Williams, too.
?The whole business proposition was to raise money to start a revolutionary botanical movement to destroy the U.S. drug war and to stop this vicious gulaging that goes on with our people,? he says, adding, ?So I was very good at what I do, ?cause the DEA noticed.?
Last seen: 1 year, 9 months
this is sad
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity. ~ Albert Einstein
"Fear is the great barrier to human growth." ~ Dr. Robert Monroe
~~~*Dosis sola facit venenum*~~~
*Check my profile to listen to my music*
Loc: BC Canada
That statement makes you sound like a guy who has a grow-op going right now and hopes to deflect attention from it by writing crap like that on the net for the narcs who moniter these drug culture websites.
-I'd rather have a frontal lobotomy than a bottle in front of me
CANADIAN CENTER FOR POLICY ALTERNATIVES
Private B.C. citizen to file drug charges against pot activist Marc Emery
September 29, 2005 - macleans.ca
VANCOUVER (CP) - A private citizen says he's filing charges Friday against pot activist Marc Emery and two of his associates, partly because that will throw a wrench into the United States' plans to extradite the trio to face drug charges in that country.
"If he gets charged in Canada that will have major legal consequences for that extradition request," said David McCann, a local philanthropist and businessman.
McCann said he has hired prominent lawyer Peter Leask in filing three charges of conspiracy under the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act and the Criminal Code of Canada.
Canada has been hypocritical in allowing Emery to sell marijuana seeds and collecting thousands of dollars in taxes while the city of Vancouver gave him a business licence for his pot paraphernalia store, he said.
"We have let him operate and now we let the Americans walk into our country and charge a man who they will probably lock away for the rest of his natural life in the United States for doing something that the government of Canada condoned. And you know, I got a problem with that as a Canadian."
Emery, along with his co-accused, Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek and Greg Keith Williams, were arrested July 29 after police raided Emery's store following an 18-month investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
"He broke the law in Canada and so if we are going to let him be charged he should be charged here, where he did the offence," said McCann, adding he's never met Emery.
McCann noted that Health Canada even referred patients, many of them terminally ill, to Emery if they wanted medicinal marijuana.
Kirk Tousaw, one of Emery's lawyers, said it's possible that the United States' attempts to extradite his client would be thwarted.
That's because Section 47 of the Extradition Act says the justice minister has the discretion to refuse extradition if he's satisfied that the same conduct is the subject of criminal proceedings in Canada.
"If Canada is trying someone for the same crime then certainly one would think it makes sense to keep them here in Canada rather than send them somewhere else," Tousaw said.
Emery, leader of the Marijuana party in British Columbia, said he sees McCann's private prosecution attempt as something positive because he's always felt he should be charged in Canada for his activities.
"His intent is to stop the extradition and have me charged under Canadian law in a Canadian courtroom," Emery said.
"I'd much rather be in front of a Canadian jury in a Canadian court. It'd probably still keep me out of the seed business for the rest of my life, alas, but it certainly would lay people's fears of a sovereignty intrusion to rest."
McCann said he has spoken to politicians at every level about the effects of various illicit drugs and feels they should be dealt with as a health concern.
"I don't want to look at it in terms of Mr. Emery," he said. "I want to look at it in terms of how we as a society is going to deal with the drug problem."
Emery said all Canadians will be complicit if the U.S. succeeds in extraditing him to face drug charges because he's been doing it for years without anyone raising a fuss.
He said he attended a public forum called the Cannabis Conundrum at the Vancouver Public Library on Wednesday, where a former police officer said the Crown refused to lay charges against Emery after his department conducted an investigation 2 1/2 years ago.
Tousaw said he was also at the forum.
"(The speaker) said there had been a prior police investigation a couple years back but the Crown didn't have any appetite to prosecute."
Emery will be back in B.C. Supreme Court on Oct. 21 to set a date for his extradition hearing.
His supporters have requested Justice Minister Irwin Cotler step in but he has said the matter is now before the courts.
B.C.'s "Prince of Pot" fights extradition on drug charges
October 25, 2005 - seattletimes.com
VANCOUVER, B.C. - Marc Emery differs in so many ways from most people accused of big-time drug dealing, it's hard to know where to start.
Even though he faces the possibility of decades in a U.S. prison for selling marijuana seeds to Americans, Emery regularly welcomes a steady stream of journalists. That's an approach most people accused of drug dealing avoid instinctively, or on advice of their attorneys.
Not Emery, founder of the B.C. Marijuana Party, who maintains that his legal troubles spring from the U.S. government's desire to muzzle him and the movement he claims to lead.
He relishes his reputation as the so-called "Prince of Pot" and "Mayor of Vansterdam," the latter a reference to Vancouver and Amsterdam, the Dutch city where marijuana can be purchased from "coffee shops." He proudly proclaims his long-term vision to "overgrow the government" by spreading marijuana faster than drug agents could eradicate it.
Unlike others accused of drug dealing, Emery has for years made no effort to hide the fact he earns his living from marijuana, making millions selling marijuana seeds and paraphernalia through his Vancouver store and the Internet. It's that marijuana-centered business that has landed Emery in hot water in the U.S., where a Seattle-based grand jury has indicted him and two of his employees on drug and money-laundering charges.
Emery, who is free on bond, freely expounds on the virtues of marijuana for both recreational and medicinal purposes. He claims to have poured nearly $4 million (Canadian) into political and legal causes to decriminalize marijuana and/or to make it available for medical use, including ballot initiatives in Nevada, Alaska and Arizona.
Emery contends a news release issued July 29, the day of his arrest, reveals the U.S. government's intention to mute his efforts to advance the spread of marijuana. In the release, Karen Tandy, head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, wrote: "Today's DEA arrest of Marc Scott Emery, publisher of Cannabis Culture Magazine, and the founder of a marijuana legalization group, is a significant blow not only to the marijuana trafficking trade in the U.S. and Canada, but also to the marijuana legalization movement. ... Hundreds of thousands of dollars of Emery's illicit profits are known to have been channeled to marijuana legalization groups active in the United States and Canada."
Tandy's office has declined to comment about the statement, but locally, federal prosecutors have distanced themselves from her remarks.
Todd Greenberg, the lead assistant U.S. attorney on the case, said he could understand how her comments could be interpreted as having a political dimension but added, "No one locally has made such a statement. No prosecutor, no agent, no one in Seattle."
"As the chief [federal] law-enforcement official here, I'm not interested in his political speech in the slightest," added Seattle U.S. Attorney John McKay. "He's a legitimate target."
Prosecutors contend that Emery was targeted because he was Canada's largest supplier of seeds and marijuana-growing equipment, and because the majority of his customers were U.S. citizens. Prosecutors allege that Emery also has provided customers with detailed instructions on how to grow marijuana, and also sold specialized lights, fans and fertilizer.
"He was a one-stop shopping facilitator for marijuana growers," Greenberg said.
Emery does not quarrel with the substance of the charges, though he has much to say about the U.S. government's "war on drugs," which he described as "immoral and lethal." In fact, he is unabashedly proud of his efforts.
"If I'm going to be sentenced to life in prison in a U.S. jail, it'll be for what I've done, and I'm proud of what I've done," said Emery. "And there's no going back on that. I helped facilitate hopefully millions of Americans to grow marijuana."
At the request of the U.S. government, Canadian prosecutors are working to force Emery and co-defendants Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek and Gregory Williams to appear in Seattle federal court to answer drug-conspiracy and money-laundering charges stemming from Emery's seed and marijuana-growing business.
They are fighting extradition, a process that legal experts say could take up to two years. Theirs will be an uphill fight, acknowledges John Conroy, a Canadian lawyer assisting the defendants.
Conroy notes that the U.S.-Canadian treaty under which Emery and the others were arrested creates an exception for extradition in the case of offenses of a "political character." The problem, Conroy adds, is that the treaty goes on to deem certain crimes, including drug offenses, as ineligible for the political-character exception.
Another argument likely to be advanced is "cruel and unusual punishment," Conroy said, referring to the much harsher sentence the defendants would face in the U.S. — up to life in prison.
"I face a penalty longer than what you'd get for multiple murder in Canada," Emery said.
Technically, Emery could face up to life in prison under Canadian law. But Conroy, a noted criminal-defense attorney, said there are no mandatory minimum sentences in Canada and that "life in prison" means the defendant is generally eligible for parole after seven years, except in murder cases.
British Columbia courts levied fines but didn't imposed jail time on the three occasions Emery was convicted of selling marijuana seeds. The punishment is consistent with a judicial attitude reflected in a 2003 drug-case ruling by Court of Appeals Justice Mary Southin, who described marijuana as "no better or worse, morally or physically, than people who like a martini."
Emery said he is happy to become a martyr for the movement. He thanks the DEA for the heightened exposure, because he says he's suddenly become relevant to people who don't smoke marijuana.
"Now I'm meeting a lot of people, including very old people, who are alarmed about the sovereignty of this country," Emery said. "But also Americans who are just shocked by the potential prison sentence I might get."
The meaning of life
Emery's appearance and eloquence might surprise those who automatically associate pot with the spaced-out persona made famous by the Cheech and Chong comedy team. Now 47, he says he has smoked marijuana almost daily for 25 years.
Clean-shaven and nerdy-looking with a high forehead, Emery could pass for a stockbroker or an accountant. In fact, he was a bookseller for many years before he dedicated his life to growing marijuana.
He credits marijuana with making him a better parent, a better lover and even a better driver, partly because it made him understand that life was "all about discovery, not actualization."
He published his political manifesto a decade ago in the first edition of his magazine, Cannabis Culture:
"We are a wrongly outlawed culture, viciously discriminated against for 72 years, and we are finally effectively organizing to reclaim our rightful place in society as individuals among equals. We have a right to our culture and we must act and inform to ensure that we receive proper justice."
Of the political course he set for himself, Emery said in a recent interview, "I wanted to rapidly change the way the world looks at marijuana." Hence his decision to popularize the use of seeds along with instructions on how to grow them.
"I sold millions of seeds over 11 years, all over the world," Emery said, offering more than 500 varieties.
His highest grossing year for seed sales was 2002, when he took in $2.2 million (Canadian), he said. He also said he has provided free seeds to people certified as medical-marijuana patients.
Since 1999, Emery says he has paid $578,000 (Canadian) in income tax, identifying seed-sales as the source of his income to the Canadian Revenue Agency, the equivalent of the IRS.
Legalization and leniency
Emery said he continues to smoke marijuana despite his arrest and subsequent release on $50,000 bond. But less often these days, he said, because he can no longer afford it.
Emery also is something of a provocateur. Three years ago, for example, Emery and other marijuana activists bought a table at a luncheon in Vancouver where Bush administration drug czar John Walters was making a presentation.
Every time Walters made a comment about marijuana that Emery and his friends believed was untrue, they'd heckle him. "We yelled 'liar,' " Emery recalled, "so he [Walters] just had a total slow burn. ... I'm sure I've never been forgiven for that."
Then there was the "summer of legalization tour" in 2003. Emery recounted that he "smoked a bong or a big joint in front of police stations in 18 cities across Canada."
He has been arrested many times, but more often than not the charges were dropped, Emery said. The point, he added, was to demonstrate his belief that marijuana is effectively legal in Canada.
In fact, possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana (including marijuana seeds), carries punishment of up to 12 months in prison and a $1,000 fine.
Emery felt the sting of Canadian enforcement in the summer of 2004, when he served 62 days in Saskatoon Correctional Centre for possession and trafficking after admitting he'd passed a joint in a public park. But Emery chalked that experience up to landing in front of an unforgiving judge in a conservative province.
You'd never know marijuana is illegal walking around parts of Vancouver.
Next door to Emery's B.C. Marijuana Party headquarters on West Hastings Street, toward the back of the New Amsterdam Cafe, is a designated "smoke room" where patrons smoke marijuana and tobacco weekdays until 4:30 p.m.
Smoking is confined to the room during normal work hours to be "respectful" of neighboring businesses, an employee said. But after 4:30 p.m. weekdays, and on the weekends, the ashtrays move into the main dining room.
A question of tactics
Before the DEA raided Emery's business in July, it had been seven years since Vancouver Police had charged him for seed sales. A police spokeswoman said he was charged in September 1998 with two counts of "possession with the purpose of trafficking viable marijuana seeds," for which he was fined $4,000, and served no jail time.
Some find Emery's style unnecessarily confrontational. Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell, for example, says he has nothing against Emery but questions his tactics.
Campbell said he supports legalizing marijuana and controlling it in much the same fashion as tobacco and cigarettes, including taxing it to the hilt. The taxes should be dedicated, he added, to pay for health care for addiction services.
Still, he adds, "Marc thinks he's more than he really is. ... Marc thinks he's the Mahatma Gandhi of the movement. ...
"You keep poking a stick in the eye of the DEA, something's going to happen, and effectively, that's what he did."
Pot activist Marc Emery deconstructs his drug kingpin status
November 3, 2005 - umanitoba.ca
Facing possible extradition to the U.S., the pot activist extraordinaire expands on everything marijuana and on his planned Canadian tour of universities
VANCOUVER (CUP) - Sitting in his bookstore in Vancouver, Marc Emery looks like anything but his Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) title of “drug kingpin.”
Despite the marijuana literature and drug-related artifacts that dot the walls of the space that also doubles as the B.C. Marijuana Party’s headquarters, the place feels more like a museum with a gift shop than an international drug cartel hangout. As the middle-aged family man, its curator, sat down to smoke a joint and talk about his recent arrest, a small crowd gathered in the store to listen to what he had to say.
“Probably got about two years before I get extradited if it all goes according to the government plan,” he said, exhaling.
The very fact that he can openly smoke pot in the store on Hastings St. in Vancouver’s East Side is testament to how far marijuana activism has come in a relatively short while. When Emery first started, literature on marijuana that encouraged use was illegal, as was the popular magazine “High Times,” which he sold illegally in the early 1990s.
Emery had not yet devised plans for the Canadian magazine “Cannabis Culture” or the television station “Pot-TV.”
Now, marijuana use is so tolerated by local law enforcement that Vancouver has earned the nickname Vansterdam, and next door to his bookstore, pot smoke billows out of an Amsterdam-style coffee shop.
But it’s come at a cost.
On July 29, 2005, 10 RCMP officers in tactical gear, along with local Halifax law enforcement officials, arrested Emery. He faces no prosecution in Canada, but likely faces life in prison in the U.S. because of a DEA investigation into his seed-selling business, Marc Emery Direct Marijuana Seeds.
In a reflective article he wrote after the incident, Emery described the raid on him and his businesses.
“While I was handcuffed and being delivered to the dank cells of the Halifax lockup, raids by Vancouver police were underway in my home, my offices and the BCMP bookstore in Vancouver. No real quantities of drugs or marijuana were found, and, in fact, really only 5,000 seeds at the most were available to be taken.”
In Vancouver, two of Emery’s associates were arrested as well, Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek and Greg Williams, both pot crusaders.
They are now known as the BC 3 and face prosecution in Seattle on charges of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, conspiracy to distribute marijuana seeds and conspiracy to engage in money laundering.
The U.S. DEA has given him the title of “kingpin” and claims he is the most important international drug trafficker in Canada, and one of the top 46 in the world. This title is more than a media catchword, though; it could land him with the death penalty in the U.S. under the drug kingpin legislation first enacted in 1988.
Emery thinks that if he gets extradited, no one in Canada will see him alive again. He explained that the DEA is painting such an ugly picture of him because they are afraid of him.
“They are afraid of my ability to speak and my ability to organize and get the media to pay attention,” he said.
Emery believes the DEA would be in trouble if Canada ended marijuana prohibition because they might have to follow suit. He thinks that the DEA would be unable to keep Americans from coming north for their marijuana, or from that reefer making its way south. This could then result in the DEA having its budget cut, and the same people that have been watching him would be out of jobs.
The DEA has admitted that they have gone after Emery for political reasons. They called his arrest a significant blow for the marijuana legalization movement and recently clarified their motivation for arresting Emery when a spokesperson said, “Drug legalization lobbyists now have one less pot of money to rely on.”
It is no secret that Emery puts most of his many operations’ profits back into the legalization movement, despite not owning a house or a car, and the DEA estimated that he makes more than $3 million a year.
But despite the DEA’s attempt to cut the head of what it perceives as the Canadian pot monster, Emery said other seed vendors have filled the void left by his inability to operate his business.
“All these other vendors have moved in to answer the demand,” he said, looking almost annoyed.
Emery was quick to point out there are several vendors within walking distance of his bookstore on Hastings St.
For now though, the logistics of growing are the farthest thing from Emery’s mind. As always, he is playing the media attention to his advantage and said that he will be doing a nation-wide farewell tour to Canadian universities if he is extradited.
“If I get my way then the DEA will become abolished and rendered inert,” he said. “Cops like the drug war, it gives them power and agency, feeds their egos.”
Pot crusader allowed to campaign during election
December 8, 2005 - ctv.ca
VANCOUVER -- A B.C. Supreme Court judge gave marijuana crusader Marc Emery the green light Thursday to campaign during the federal election but warned the man wanted in the United States for drug trafficking shouldn't advocate the sale of marijuana seeds in any speeches.
"His speech has to be very careful and I think his counsel would tell him that," said Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm.
Emery's lawyer, Ian Donaldson, said his client would advocate the decriminalization of pot during the election - something he's done for years as president of the B.C. Marijuana Party.
The U.S. is working to have Emery, 47, extradited to that country to face charges that he sold pot seeds to Americans over the Internet. The date of his extradition hearing will be set Feb. 13.
Emery, along with his co-accused, Michele Rainey-Fenkarek and Greg Keith Williams, were arrested July 29 after police raided Emery's pot paraphernalia store following an 18-month investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Emery said outside court that he'd be campaigning for the NDP after former MP Svend Robinson asked for his support when the politician was seeking the nomination for Vancouver Centre.
"I'm fully endorsing the NDP in the federal election and I think that's the best thing our people can do is support the New Democratic Party in British Columbia for the federal election so I plan to actively do that," Emery said.
He wanted the matter of his campaign activity brought before the court because of his legal troubles that could land him in a U.S. jail for years if he's extradited and found guilty of the drug charges.
But Emery, dubbed the Prince of Pot by American media, said he's not afraid of being extradited.
"It never occurs to me to be fearful," he said. "After all, I've been arrested 21 times and jailed 17 times, raided six times. I've had all my assets taken from me by Vancouver police on several occasions before. These things I have a lot of experience with."
The legal bills that have left him on the brink of bankruptcy are more debilitating than the thought of being extradited, Emery said.
He said he has staved off financial disaster by moving in with employees from his store and getting rid of his car.
B.C. pot activist says 60 Minutes segment will allow his real self to be seen
March 2, 2006 - canoe.ca
VANCOUVER (CP) - Pot crusader Marc Emery says his appearance on the news program 60 Minutes on Sunday will be an opportunity for Americans to see him as just an ordinary guy who regards himself as the Luke Skywalker against their government's Darth Vader tactics.
Most people would be amused that the U.S. Drug Administration is trying to extradite him to face drug charges, Emery said. Americans weren't forced to buy his marijuana seeds, he said.
"I think Americans are going to say that if this is the No. 1 drug trafficking kingpin, then I want to move to Canada," he said, adding he's fighting an evil empire similar to one in the movie Star Wars.
"I enjoy that comic-book premise of my actions, that it's this little tiny person trying to bring justice and dignity to a whole culture in the face of a big, monolithic, Nazified institution like the DEA."
Bob Simon, the reporter who interviewed Emery in Vancouver for the 60 Minutes piece, said the program decided to air the segment on Emery because his case shows the enormous cultural divide between Canada and the U.S. when it comes to smoking pot.
"Vancouver has a very permissive culture as far as smoking of marijuana is concerned," Simon said from New York.
"You do not walk down the street in most American cities smoking a joint, whereas in Vancouver you can do it and you will not be punished for it," he said.
"We're not talking about the difference between the United States and Laos. We're talking about the United States and Canada, our proverbial friendly neighbours to the north and all that.
Simon said Emery has been punished only lightly in Canada, yet if he's extradited to the United States, "he's going to face really hard time."
What shocked Simon the most was the pervasiveness of marijuana grow-ops that offer huge profits for little to no risk. The reporter joined police for two days as they busted several suburban homes in the Vancouver area.
"I'd never seen anything like it," he said. "When you break into it, which the police did, it's just nothing but a marijuana farm. The science that goes into it and the extent of the plantation, that was shocking."
Emery, 48, will be facing an extradition hearing later this year.
Besides being accused of selling pot seeds to Americans through the mail, the longtime pot activist is charged with conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and conspiracy to engage in money laundering.
Emery, along with his co-accused Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek and Greg Keith Williams, was arrested last July after police raided Emery's pot paraphernalia store following an 18-month investigation by the DEA.
Emery said he sold $15 million in marijuana seeds around the world between 1994 and 2005.
A chunk of the profits, he said, have gone to help pot activists in other countries and several U.S. states, including Alaska, Arizona, Nevada and Alabama, where the U.S. Marijuana party is based.
Emery, who heads the B.C. Marijuana party and is the founder of Cannabis Culture magazine and Internet-based Pot-TV, has been arrested 21 times in Canada.
He was mostly fined but in 2004 spent 62 days in a Saskatoon jail for trafficking after passing a joint.
Cpl. Scott Rintoul, of the RCMP's drug squad, said he wouldn't want Americans to think Vancouver is some kind of drug haven, although he understands why someone would get that impression.
"I think that we, law enforcement, have been too tolerant of the marijuana industry and perhaps should have acted sooner," Rintoul said.
"When the marijuana thing sort of hit in the '80s and the grows continued, we were a bit naive and perhaps didn't do our job right then to educate the public, educate the courts, educate ourselves to the hazards."
Much of the marijuana flowing out of Canada is traded for cocaine in the U.S., which has also caused massive problems for law enforcement, he said.
Marc Emery embarks on a possible farewell tour across Canada
March 18, 2006 - montrealmirror.com
Vancouver-based marijuana advocate Marc Emery was busted by the RCMP in July of 2005, as the result of an extensive investigation conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Now, the self-proclaimed ?Prince of Pot? is still facing extradition to the United States for selling millions of marijuana seeds across the border from his Vancouver-based business. If convicted in the States of all charges, he may spend the rest of his life in jail.
In the meantime, the leader of the B.C. Marijuana Party and editor of Cannabis Culture magazine is out on bail, touring Canadian university campuses in an attempt to draw support for the pro-marijuana movement and talk about his own legal battles. He is paying a visit to Montreal next week, speaking at McGill and Concordia University. Emery spoke to the Mirror from his Cannabis Culture office in Vancouver about legal fights, drug busts and Canadian Republicans.
Mirror: What exactly are you going to be speaking about when you visit the campuses?
Marc Emery: Well, it will be called my ?farewell tour,? because many Canadians may never see me again. If I get extradited to the United States for 35, 40 years, or life without parole?as would seem likely?then they should hear what I have to say before I get taken away or surrendered by my own country to the Nazified, corrupt, rogue government of the United States.
M: What do you think about the Harper government?s stance against decriminalization?
ME: I think they?d like to arrest more people. The Conservatives are like Darth Vader and the Evil Empire. They hate us. They want to put us all in jail. Vic Toews, the new Justice Minister, wants mandatory jail sentences for anyone who sells pot or grows pot. It would immediately add thousands and thousands of people to jails. [The Conservatives] are determined to exterminate the cannabis culture in a way that is far more extreme than the Liberals wanted, and the Liberals were pretty bad. Arrests are at an all-time high in the United States and Canada, despite all the talk about it being ?legal? or ?semi-legal? or ?tolerated.?
Republicans in Canada!
M: What is the strongest motivation in your fight for legalization?
ME: There are at least a quarter-of-a-million people in jails across the world for cannabis, and that is the most outrageous human rights violation in the whole world. You?ve got millions and millions of people running, hiding, being jailed, arrested, charged, humiliated, strip-searched and beaten up by police?all for a peaceful and honest lifestyle choice. It?s like rounding up a quarter-of-a-million vegetarians, Christians, Muslims or homosexuals. It is simply absurd that anyone should go to jail for marijuana, but in the year of 2006 we are going to see more people arrested than ever before.
M: What makes you think that?
ME: It?s the new government. You can see it on the horizon. There are more raids, more hostile talks against us and there?s more collaboration with the U.S. government. The Conservatives are Republican stock at heart. People in Alberta are not really good Canadians in my opinion. Most Albertans are Republicans who would love to join the United States and be free of the rest of Canada. It shows by the people they vote for. If Stephen Harper, Jason Kenney and that guild can get 60 or 70 per cent of the vote in Alberta, those aren?t loyal Canadians in my opinion. Those are Republican Americans helping in the takeover of this country.
M: What was your reaction to the Heaven?s Stairway bust in Montreal, where over 200,000 seeds were confiscated from a seed-retailing business?
ME: Those guys weren?t doing anything wrong. These people were made to sound like criminals by the police department, but they had been operating legitimately like I had for years and years?registered as an official business, paying taxes and what have you. It?s just a part of the crackdown that?s going on across the country. The police are now emboldened by the election of the Conservatives. For them, it?s open season on pot.
M: What are some legal strategies that would encourage the decriminalization of marijuana?
ME: Join the NDP. Join any political party and start influencing their position on prohibition. That?s the only strategy. Young people typically stay away from politics and that?s a big mistake because young people are more commonly victimized by the drug war. Every young person who smokes marijuana or appreciates freedom or civil liberties or believes in a free society should join a political party to keep those political parties in tune with our point of view on prohibition.
Emery will speak at McGill on March 23 at 6:30 p.m. in the Stephen Leacock Building (805 Sherbrooke W.) Room 123 and at Concordia on March 24 in the Henry F. Hall Building (1455 de Maisonneuve W.) Room 110 at 4:20 p.m.
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