Tomorrow Canadians, Americans and citizens from around the world will take to the streets against our Conservative government’s decision to have Canadian marijuana activist Marc Emery extradited to the United States where he will be jailed. Rallies are even being planned in Berlin Germany, Auckland New Zealand and Lapu-Lapu in the Phillipines.
Whichever side of the marijuana legalization debate one falls under, we should all realize that Marc Emery has broken the law. The problem here is that Marc is facing jail time under foreign laws in a foreign country for crimes he committed at home, here in Canada.
Apparently requests for punishment from United States government agencies have now succeeded in usurping Canadian law. Granted Marc has pled down his sentence from a possibility of life imprisonment down to five years, he has still not been punished for these specific crimes in Canada.
Back in the day, Marc Emery opened a book store in Vancouver. He had an entrepreneurial spirit which is what Canada and the United States are supposed to be all about and kept using his entrepreneurial spirit his whole life.
Along the way, Marc Emery developed a very keen liking of the marijuana plant. He used our global capitalist system to develop a business selling marijuana seeds over the internet and through the mail to all over the world. This is the very system that the neocons in Washington and Ottawa developed to expand our economy.
Marc Emery of course has helped expand the Canadian marijuana economy a great deal. This has pumped countless dollars into the Canadian economy even before we count illegal activities such as sale of actual marijuana.
When things started getting big, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) stepped in. Their decision to pursue Marc for having the seeds he sold into the US has now reached its pinnacle.
Marc is of course by no means a drug dealer. Seeds are considered by most law systems to be different than actual pot. In Canad,a if he was charged with these offenses he would have been likely made to pay a fine.
It is also important to note that Mr. Emery declared his income from his businesses and paid taxes on this income. This is possibly millions of dollars he contributed to the Canadian government for our common good. And our government has decided to ignore this and hand Marc over.
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson signed Marc’s extradition papers last week. Since then he has had to have his home telephone number re-routed to police after that number was leaked onto the internet and he was inundated with calls from angry Canadians. And so be it. What business does the DEA have policing Canada with their American laws, and our national justice minister not only allowing this but being complicit in it?
According to the marijuana activists Emery is associated with, the DEA is trying to shut him down because he has done so much for the movement to have marijuana legalized. In fact many of the police raids against Marc and other Vancouver pot-friendly businesses were only carried out due to requests and pressure from the DEA. Looking back ten to twenty years, head shops, selling of seeds and marijuana-devoted magazines would have still been considered rarities by the establishment.
While Marc Emery, saint to some and pest to others, may be a law-breaker, he is not a dangerous man to any person and is actually a very charismatic leader in his own right. I’ve seen him giving talks and in documentaries and he does bring up some important points even without a joint in his hands. Whether or not we should disobey unjust laws, I’ll leave to another debate.
The main conclusion I can reach from all of this is that vocal opposition to Conservative policies and values may put one at risk of deportation from Canada and jail time in foreign countries in accordance with foreign laws. This is not the Canada I think any Canadian wants to live in.
In Canada we have a legal system that is clearly explained in writing and laws that are available on public record. Yet the Conservatives in Ottawa seem to have proven here they would rather pamper to special interests and requests from foreign government agencies and allow them to police our country with their laws.
By the way, you can find your local rally and links to more information at http://freemarc.ca/group/freemarcca/free-marc-emery-world-wide-rally.