Pubdate: Thu, 04 Aug 2005
Source: NOW Magazine (CN ON)
Copyright: 2005 NOW Communications Inc.
Author: Matt Mernagh
Bookmark: (Emery, Marc)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


Shockingly, Feds Are Feeding Marc Emery To Yanks When Our Own Courts
Won't Convict Him

U.S. tanks didn't need to roll into Vansterdam to snatch our beloved
Prince of Pot, Marc Emery, on Friday, July 29.

All the Yanks had to do was whisper to the BC Supreme Court and the
RCMP, Vancouver police department and Minister of Justice Irwin Cotler
fell in line. Emery was detained in Halifax for extradition on U.S.
charges of conspiracy to launder money and distribute marijuana seeds
and marijuana.

At their press conference, Seattle DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency)
special agent Rod Benson gloated like he'd bagged himself a big Mafia
don. But the crimes Emery is charged with have all been dealt with in
Canadian courts. And he won: Canada tolerates seed peddling in yet
another complex pot grey zone. Yet Benson said Emery showed
"overwhelming arrogance and abuse of the rule of law." Now whose law
would that be?

Jeff Sullivan, from the U.S. attorney general's office in Seattle,
boasts that "a substantial amount [of seeds] was going to commercial
marijuana operations, and we think they'll be significantly affected
once he's out of business." Now, this is really hilarious. Pot
production is going to drop south of the border? Doesn't he know it's
still business as usual for another 60 seed banks still operating in

But this is all terribly dangerous, says lawyer Alan Young, part of
Emery's quickly assembled legal team, for many reasons, not least of
which is the money laundering charge.

"Every Tom, Dick and Harry in our movement has received his cash,"
states Young flatly about the potential money flow chart. Emery has
said he pays about $10,000 a month in taxes for his seed operations,
bookstore, mag Cannabis Culture and sales of paraphernalia (Rev Canada
accepts grass taxes willingly, doncha know), an indication of how much
cash he's bestowing on the pot community.

"I took plenty of money from Marc," Young says about the benefactor
who funded many legal pot challenges. "If this were the late 90s, I'd
be fucked [because of the number of cases Emery paid him for]. But
using you and me [to concoct] a money laundering scheme isn't a very
good strategy. We don't make money like buildings or

The whole community receives dividends from our partnership with
Emery. Myself, I'm fretting like a fiend. If the DEA or U.S.
Attorney's office issues a deck of Canadian narco terrorist cards, I'd
like to be the ace of spades. Last November, Emery asked me to write
for his mag. The day before the raid, I signed and faxed a contract to
pen a series of columns on marijuana activism on terms that would make
any freelancer envious.

But the question is, does this whole thing stink so bad that
non-toking public pressure on our justice minister will make it
inconvenient to sign the extradition order?

According to Ed Morgan, a professor at U of T law school, there are
certainly a lot of dicey issues here. "Emery was simply using the
Internet for anybody who wanted to order from him,'' he says. "He
wasn't conspiring to ship drugs to the U.S.; he was simply making them
available over the Internet to anyone worldwide. For any country to
seize jurisdiction over the Internet makes the whole world vulnerable
to long-arm jurisdiction. That seems dangerous to notions of

Human rights lawyer Paul Copeland points to the stiffness of American
penalties as opposed to those levied by our courts - and wonders if
that fact alone will doom the extradition attempt. "The Americans are
talking 10 years to life [for pot crimes]," he says, "so it will be
interesting to see if anyone is able to persuade the minister of
justice that the available penalties in the U.S.basically constitute
cruel and unusual punishment and whether that would be sufficient to
persuade the government that Emery shouldn't be sent to the United

Guy Caron, a specialist on Canada-U.S. relations with the Council of
Canadians, says it's the first time he's heard of a Canadian being
arrested by Canadian law enforcement at the request of the U.S. for an
infraction committed on Canadian soil. He poses an interesting mental

"Try to see what would happen if we were to turn the case around,'' he
says. "Let's say the Canadian government wanted to extradite a U.S.
citizen who is peddling hate-mongering documents in Canada through the
Internet - white supremacy, anti-Semitism or anything else against
Canadian hate laws. Do you think the U.S. would agree to extradition
for this citizen to face charges in Canada? Of course not. I
personally would be very shocked if the extradition goes the U.S. way.''

Despite several calls, the Department of Justice would not provide

Meanwhile, according to John Conroy, Emery's lawyer, his client has
been cleaned out financially by posting bail for himself ($50,000) and
fellow arrestees Gregory Williams and Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek. "To
keep our beloved Prince in Canada,'' Conroy says, "is going to take a
massive financial effort.''

As a weird sidewinder, Conroy tells me he has letters from medical
marijuana users saying Health Canada actually advised them to purchase
their seeds from the Net. "We have one hand of the government telling
people where to get seeds via the Internet and another arm allowing
arrests," he says.

The marijuana grassroots is already in high gear. On Friday, some
Vancouver supporters lay down in front of the police van confiscating
seeds, potential client lists and other documents, and others did what
they always do when something like this happens. Smoke weed, play
hacky-sack. Also also known as a pot rally. In Toronto, 30 dedicated
souls blitzed the U.S. Consulate on Monday, August 1, an action that
resulted in one police apprehension: mine.

The extradition will involve a two-year fight. Given its gravity,
opportunities to burn something other than green on University Ave
will abound. A nationwide September 10 rally is planned. Dragging me
back to 52 Division in cuffs on swearing charges will be a more common
sight than Old Glory going up in flames.
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin