Monday, January 14, 2008

Marc Emery Agrees to 5 years in plea deal

The Vancouver Sun is reporting that Marc Emery, my great friend and mentor, has agreed to a 5-year prison sentence to be served in Canada.


VANCOUVER - Marc Emery, Vancouver's self-styled Prince of Pot, has
tentatively agreed to a five-year prison term in a plea bargain over
U.S. money laundering and marijuana seed-selling charges.

Facing an extradition hearing Jan. 21 and the all-but-certain
prospect of delivery to American authorities, Emery has cut a deal
with U.S. prosecutors to serve his sentence in Canada. He also hopes
it will save his two co-accused - Michelle Rainey and Greg Williams,
who were his lieutenants for so much of the past decade.

The three were arrested in August 2005 at the request of the United
States and charged even though none had ventured south of the border.
Since then, they have been awaiting the extradition hearing. With the
proceedings about to begin, Emery says his lawyer brokered the best
deal possible.

If accepted by the courts in both countries, Emery said he will serve
the full term and not be eligible for Canada's lenient
get-out-of-jail-early rules.

"I'm going to do more time than many violent, repeat offenders," he
complained. "There isn't a single victim in my case, no one who can
stand up and say, 'I was hurt by Marc Emery.' No one."

He's right. Whatever else you may think of Emery - and he grates on
many people, what is happening here is a travesty of justice. Emery's
case mocks our independence as a country. Prosecutors in Canada have
not enforced the law against selling pot seeds and all you need do is
walk along Hastings Street between Homer and Cambie for proof.

There are numerous stores selling seeds and products for producing
cannabis. Around the corner, you'll find more seed stores. You'll
find the same shops in Toronto and in other major Canadian cities.

The last time Emery was convicted in Canada of selling pot seeds,
back in 1998, he was given a $2,000 fine. Emery has flouted the law
for more than a decade and every year he sends his seed catalogue to
politicians of every stripe.

He has run in federal, provincial and civic elections promoting his
pro-cannabis platform. He has championed legal marijuana at
parliamentary hearings, on national television, at celebrity
conferences, in his own magazine, Cannabis Culture, and on his own
Internet channel, Pot TV.

Health Canada even recommended medical marijuana patients buy their
seeds from Emery. From 1998 until his arrest, Emery even paid
provincial and federal taxes as a "marijuana seed vendor" totalling
nearly $600,000.

He is being hounded because of his success. The political landscape
has changed dramatically as a result of Emery's politicking for
cannabis. Emery challenged a law he disagrees with using exactly the
non-violent, democratic processes we urge our children to embrace and
of which we are so proud.

But along the way he has angered the anti-drug law-enforcement
community - the same gang that insists we must continue an expensive
War on Drugs that has failed miserably for more than a quarter
century and does more harm than good.


Five years in a Canadian prison with no 'good time' will no doubt suck out loud. However, when considering that Marc was facing life in an American prison it looks like a sweet deal to me. I just spoke with Marc last week about this very thing. At that time he was adamant that he would not take a plea deal. We discussed his motivations for that and when he was done explaining I had to agree with his decision. I also admired it and could see myself being as obstinate as a mule if I were in his position. However, I am very happy to read this morning that he has changed his mind. I hope that the US authorities accept the deal and Marc never has to leave Canadian soil.

I love you Marc. This is the right decision. Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise.


Mike Cox Freetown IN said...

We should do well to remember the overall reason that Marc is going to be locked up for distributing the earth's most important seed. We, the American people have for seventy years been allowing our politicians to sweep facts under the rug, look the other way and blatently continue a murderous public policy that is in no way related with public saftey, security or sanity.

There is no argument for the continued prohibition of cannabis. The prohibition of cannabis has brought about what scientists refer to as "human relatede" climate change, that aspect of climate change that is a direct result of human behavior. In 1937 when the cannabis ban came in, it effectively banned a plant the would have replaced every ounce of nasty dirty coal and hundreds of billions of gallons of fossil fuels that we have burnt over the past seventy years. It was a disasterous, insane, inhumane boneheaded move to make, and yet 70 years afterwards, still not enough Americans realize the true impact of what was done back then to force the government to admit the failure and correct it.

We HAVE to correct this error. That is all it is. It was an error made in human history in which we took the entire human race in the wrong direction and now we must llok at it and reverse our mistake. It is no big deal and it could be done tomorrow. The damage could start to be repired that quickly and when a grievious error that has cost us as a species so much is finally understood, it must be fixed without delay of politics or pandering to big money.

Get her done america. If the fate of humanity isn't enough to open your eyes, now you have Marc Emery's well being to be responsible for. Marc is going to prison for FIVE YEARS because Americans won't rally to this most logical, most important cause.

Wake up and start exercising that freedom of speech.


Dennis said...

I too am glad to see he’s taking a plea bargain. While a court appearance could and would have drawn a lot of attention to the “real problem”, in the end Marc would have suffered. Michelle and Marijuana Man would have suffered also and sometimes you have to swallow a bit of pride, take some lumps and do what you gotta do. But in the end, Marc’s heart is still solid and the war against injustice will continue to move forward; however slowly and painfully, but forward…