Pubdate: Sat, 30 Jul 2005
Source: Edmonton Journal (CN AB)
Copyright: 2005 The Edmonton Journal
Author: Brad Badelt, Vancouver Sun; CanWest News Service
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Emery, Marc)


Marijuana-Seed Business Raided At U.S. Request As Protesters Chant Outside

VANCOUVER - Vancouver police raided a marijuana-seed business Friday run by 
the leader of B.C.'s Marijuana Party under a request from the U.S. 
government, while protesters outside chanted anti-American slogans.

Marc Emery, 47, who was referred to as the "Prince of Pot" on the search 
warrant, was arrested in Halifax the same day. He is charged in the U.S. 
with conspiracy to distribute marijuana, conspiracy to distribute marijuana 
seeds and conspiracy to engage in money laundering.

Gregory Keith Williams, 50, and Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek, 34, who are 
alleged to be Emery's business partners, were also arrested in Vancouver.

Chris Bennett, manager of Vancouver-based Pot-TV, was working in Emery's 
Vancouver store Friday morning when two undercover police officers walked in.

"I was on the phone and these guys who looked like hippies walked in and 
told me to hang the phone up," Bennett said.

Bennett was asked to leave the premises as police began their search and 

"They just sent me out," he said. "They didn't even search my body."

The search warrant included all records pertaining to the seed-selling 
business, Marc Emery Direct, including client lists, invoices and employee 
records from as far back as September 1995.

Police took down storefront signs and covered the windows with paper, while 
pro-marijuana protesters chanted "Go Home U.S.A., Go Home U.S.A." and 
banged on makeshift drums on the sidewalk.

"This is a place where people could pull out a joint and not have to fear 
being reported to the police, and that was OK with Canadians," said 
marijuana activist David Malmo-Levine. "It's really an attack on our 

The search was requested by the U.S. government through the Mutual 
Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, Canadian legislation that was enacted 
in 1985.

U.S. authorities say the search warrant and arrests are the result of an 
18-month investigation into Emery's international seed-selling business. 
Emery has been selling seeds by phone, mail or Internet since 1994.

Emery was arrested Friday outside a restaurant in Lawrencetown, N.S., just 
outside Halifax, where he had been scheduled to speak at the town's second 
annual marijuana festival.

He was held in a cell at Halifax police headquarters Friday night but will 
likely be remanded to jail to await his transfer to B.C. early next week.

Emery's lawyer, John Conroy, had not spoken with his client yet but said he 
expects an extradition hearing.

"Presumably they are arresting him in order to extradite him to the U.S. to 
face charges there," Conroy said, adding that the extradition hearing would 
be based on Canadian law.

Emery, who claims to be the world's largest vendor of marijuana seeds and 
is publisher of Cannabis Culture magazine, is a well-known activist for the 
legalization of marijuana who has been convicted 11 times on drug-related 

He has said in the past that he can no longer travel outside of Canada 
because U.S. authorities were seeking to arrest him.

"I haven't travelled in six years -- ever since I started the marijuana 
revolution here," Emery told the Vancouver Sun in February 2003. "As the 
world's most notorious marijuana advocate, the U.S. would probably try to 
apprehend me if I travelled anywhere. That's why I never leave Canada. The 
U.S. government's reach is long and severe."

In 2003 Emery embarked on a cross-Canada crusade to get his message across. 
He launched demonstrations in a number of provinces, openly smoking pot in 
front of police stations and getting himself arrested.


Some quotes by Marc Emery, founder of the B.C. Marijuana Party and Cannabis 
Culture magazine:

- - "I'm shocked at how the marijuana community has been slandered by a guy 
who is clearly mentally unhinged and grew up with guns his whole life and 
in a Christian fundamentalist home. They mysteriously find 20 plants and 
now there is a pogrom against the growers across Canada." March 2005, after 
four RCMP officers were shot dead on a farm by a killer who had a marijuana 

- - "The anti-democratic targeting of BCMP (B.C. Marijuana Party) candidates 
and political material is an affront to our very democracy." May 2005 after 
officials in Abbotsford ripped down the party's campaign signs and banned 
candidates from all-candidates meetings during the provincial election.

- - "I was crushed to discover (the tunnel) had been discovered so early in 
its history." July 2005 after police raided a tunnel under the U.S.-Canada 
border used for trafficking marijuana.

- - "Three months for one joint?" August 2004 after being sentenced by a 
Saskatoon provincial court judge.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom