Pubdate: Sat, 29 Mar 2008
Source: London Free Press (CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 The London Free Press
Author: Greg Joyce, Canadian Press
Bookmark: (Emery, Marc)


VANCOUVER - Former Londoner Marc Emery, British Columbia's
self-proclaimed "prince of pot," says the Canadian government has
nixed a plea bargain with U.S. authorities that would have meant five
years in prison.

Emery is charged in the U.S. with selling seeds over the

He said yesterday he was willing to accept a five-year deal, but the
Canadian government wasn't.

"I was willing to accept the deal that would put me in jail for five
years on a 10-year sentence, mostly served in Canada," Emery said at a
news conference in the Vapour Lounge, newly opened above the downtown
headquarters where he sells marijuana paraphernalia.

Michelle Rainey and Greg Williams, his associates and co-accused, are
also wanted in the U.S.

Reports say they have been offered sentences in the three-to
five-month range in exchange for guilty pleas.

"The Americans were receptive and all that was required was for this
deal to go down was for the Conservative government to rubber stamp
it," Emery said.

"All we needed was the Conservative government to agree to this and
they refused."

He said he believes the Canadian government wants to punish

"They want to make an example out of me," Emery told CKNW radio in
Vancouver. "They just don't like me."

Emery said Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government is
pursuing a get-tough policy on drug use and is upset by his
long-running campaign for marijuana legalization.

Spokespersons for the U.S. and Canadian governments were not
immediately available to comment.

The U.S. government has been trying to extradite Emery on charges he
sold marijuana seeds over the Internet and sent them through the mail.

Emery says U.S. officials offered him a deal last fall that would
involve him pleading guilty on both sides of the border while
receiving a 10-year sentence that required him to serve five years
behind bars. Most of the prison time would be served in Canada, he

Emery said Canadian authorities have known for years about his

"The government is far from innocent in this situation," he said.

He said he has paid more than $500,000 in taxes between 1999 to 2005
"and I put on my income tax declarations that I was a marijuana seed

"I used to send, and still do send, over 10 years now, every member of
Parliament gets a copy of my magazine and the seed catalogue in it."
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