Pubdate: Fri, 05 Aug 2005
Source: Salmon Arm Observer (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 Salmon Arm Observer
Author: Chris Emery


One matter has become abundantly clear from Canadian polls: most
Canadians want the prohibition of cannabis to end and believe that
adults who use it should be left alone. Maclean's magazine now refers
to us as "mainstream" Canadians.

But in a new and ominous move, George W. Bush and his American "Reefer
Madness" crusaders have now challenged Canadian values and
sovereignty. Displeased with Canada's tolerance for cannabis, the US
Drug Enforcement Administration has decided to bypass the Canadian
judicial system by secretly laying charges against Canadians under
their US laws.

With ready capitulation from Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, US Drug
Agents entered Canada to join Vancouver police on a raid of our BC
Marijuana Party Headquarters. Three Canadians have been arrested,
including Marc Emery, leader of our BCMP. The US Drug Enforcement
Administration wants to extradite our fellow citizens, not for
committing crimes, but for "conspiring" to commit them by breaking US
laws against distributing marijuana seeds.

The DEA charges of "conspiracy" cleverly allow for reduced standards
of evidence in their US courts, where even hearsay is admissible.

All three are facing harsh US mandatory sentences, 10 years to life in
prison for conducting a business that had long been allowed to operate
openly and legally in Canada. Fully aware of the nature of his
business, our Canadian government has had not qualms over collecting
considerable taxes every month from Emery's seed sales.

This US administration continues to be out of step with the rest of
our planet, as shown by their official denial of global warming, their
opposition to the International Criminal Court, their refusal to sign
the 1997 Ottawa Accord on landmines and their self-perceived right to
wage "pre-emptive" wars.

Now their zero-tolerance drug zealots are attempting to enforce their
own self-righteous American laws on Canadians for activities that are
legal in Canada. And if they're not legal in Canada, we have our own
independent judicial system to deal with it.

This is an outrage. These Americans aren't just stepping on our grass;
they're trampling all over our Canadian values and sovereignty.

Chris Emery, Blind Bay
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