Canada needs to bring the Prince of Pot home

free marc emery illustration

Those who read my blog posts on the federal government will know that there is a certain theme that seems to re-occur in many of them. This theme can basically be summed up as the sad history of American meddling in what is regarded by any self-respecting country as their internal business.

In the same vein, we have the tragic case of Marc Emery, Canada’s legendary Prince of Pot. Emery has been serving his sentence in a US prison for the past three years for various conspiracy charges (including money laundering, distribution of an illegal substance, etc.).

Ever since those HEADY days (sorry, I couldn’t resist) that Emery, a libertarian crusader for the legalization of pot, opened his head shop in Vancouver back in ’94, he has been persecuted relentlessly by Canadian authorities, often on behalf of our morally conflicted (see 2012 legalization of the herb in Oregon & Colorado), drug obsessed neighbours to the south. Emery is just one of many victims of US hysteria over the massive amount of BC Gold that crosses their shared porous border (often illegally) with Canuckistan.

Last week on Parliament Hill, a handful of brave MPs (though not Justin, sadly) took a public stand in solidarity with Emery (Marc’s politically engaged wife Jodie organized the rally) called upon Public Safety Minister Steven Blainey to sign his extradition papers so that Emery can serve the remainder of his sentence here in Canada, closer to his family and friends. But since we are dealing with the same pro-US right-wingers who extradited him to the U.S. in 2010 to defend himself against this farcical case in an American courtroom in the first place, no one is holding their breath.

The irony is that Emery’s so called crimes (he freely admits that he sold seeds through the mail all over the US but maintains that virtually all the profits went towards his international campaign to legalize it) were never serious enough for the Canadian law to intervene, until they faced growing pressure from Uncle Sam (specifically the Drug Enforcement Administration) to turn him over to the gringos. In effect, we are looking at an egregious legal double standard here folks.

There can be little doubt that Emery’s arrest was motivated by politics more than anything else based on what the Yank police were saying about the case at the time  (read the DEA’s statement on his arrest). This isn’t just a grave miscarriage of justice, in other words, it is a question of Canada’s legal obligation to respect the rights of its own citizens and ensure that it protects its own legal sovereignty against growing infringement by the US, even if that means upsetting that elephantine State we live next to.

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