Pubdate: Thu, 03 Aug 2006
Source: NOW Magazine (CN ON)
Copyright: 2006 NOW Communications Inc.
Author: Matt Mernagh
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


Prince Of Pot's Herb-Filled Nuptials Get Stoked By New Extradition 
Ruling Marc Emery And Jodie Giesz-Ramsay's Weeded Bliss Attracted 
Canada's Pot Aficionados.

VANCOUVER -- the nuptials between Marc "Prince of Pot" Emery and 
Jodie Giesz-Ramsay must have seemed like the first act in The 
Godfather to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

I'm talking about the wedding scene where all the Mob heads gather to 
honour Don Vito Corleone on his daughter's wedding day.

The difference is that this marriage is taking place in a white tent 
in Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Park, where 75 guests blow bubbles, 
some smoke-filled.

There are too many boom mics and media people blocking our view of 
the vows, but still, it's disappointing that the DEA didn't send a 
photographer. Getting immortalized by the Man at the Prince of Pot's 
wedding would have been too cool.


There's Emery's co-accused, bridesmaid Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek, 
herding well-dressed potheads into something resembling a wedding party.


Emery, who faces extradition to the U.S. for conspiracy to sell pot 
seeds on the Internet and conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, had 
his bail conditions changed so he could tie the knot. So did his two 

The bridesmaids are wearing royal purple gowns, not green, while the 
bride is elegant in a trained, creamy-white strapless. Her first 
contact, at age 18, with her Prince of Pot came via his online forums.

Quickly transforming the traditional rituals, chilled-out guests 
spend more time in cannabis-sharing circles outside the tent than in 
their chairs witnessing the vows. This suits best man Dana Larsen, 
former Cannabis Culture editor and now Vancouver Seed Bank 
proprietor, perfectly. No stoned speeches to make.

Emery doesn't do much pot pontificating, stopping himself during a 
rambling reception speech. The Prince of Pot seems blazed from all 
the love in the reception hall.

There were moments during the past year's extradition ordeal when the 
groom seemed weary, vulnerable and humble, despite his assertions to 
the contrary. After all, he could end up in the pot penalty box 
forever. But gazing over the room today, he beams, praising friends 
for following their own "opportunity," by which he means pot business 

At one time, Vansterdam was the font of all cannabis wisdom. Now 
everyone is doing his or her own "toker thing," Emery says. The toker 
takedown in Van has turned Toronto into an "unlimited" opportunity: 
more people making pot food, toking tour operators, more 
bring-your-own-bud cafes, more inspired weed warriors.

When the top of the cannabis plant is pruned, the plant sprouts two 
shoots. There are so many stoned shoots at this reception, it's 
marijuana magical.

The case is seldom mentioned here. I'm not here to bring it up, and 
Emery and his new bride claim they never discuss it.

Jodie Emery seems to evoke a softer side in the man known for 
occasional bombastic outbursts of absurdity. She also has impeccable 
taste, having turned the BC Marijuana Party's vapour lounge and ganja 
garden potio into places of beauty. The groom says his bride gets her 
fantastic sense of flair from her mom. "Her whole family is 
beautiful," he tells me.

When someone does bring up the taboo extradition subject, it's in a 
positive frame. Word is going around that the Supreme Court of Canada 
may have given the pair a wedding gift.

According to lawyer Kirk Tousaw, general counsel for the BC Marijuana 
Party and confidant of Emery, et al., a July ruling on a U.S. 
extradition case against Shane Tyrone Ferras, Leroy Latty and Lynval 
Wright, not involving pot, might have implications for the Emery 
matter. The decision, says Tousaw, "expands the role of the hearing 
judge in extradition hearings."

Prior to this decision, he says, the judge had a limited role in 
reviewing evidence being used by the state requesting the 
extradition. "In Ferras, the Court read in additional protections. 
Practically speaking, this decision should have the effect of making 
the committal hearing a more substantive process and could result in 
longer and more in-depth hearings."

Judges, he says, can now look at the whole of the evidence and such 
matters as whether that evidence is sufficient to convict, whether it 
is reliable and whether it is really available to be used in court.

All this could strenghten the cases of Emery and his co-accused, 
which go to trial on August 21. What they already have going for them 
is the fact that a Canadian judge can examine the evidence offered by 
the other country to determine whether or not there is evidence of 
conduct that would justify committal for trial in Canada

This is important because seed selling is a tolerated, rarely 
punished crime here. Much of the DEA evidence, according to 
extradition documents, consists of American growers who had his seed 
catalogue (Cannabis Culture) at the time of their arrest. Then there 
are the DEA agents who made in-store seed purchases and who, on their 
own, smuggled seeds to the U.S.

By America's reasoning, any country where Emery's product landed, 
like Australia, could seek his extradition. This thinking is as nutty 
as Canada's broadcast regulator, the CRTC, demanding Fox News 
propagandist Bill O'Reilly's extradition for promoting hate speech.

We can only dream.
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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman