Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Cannabis Health reprints Rockwell piece

Cannabis Health magazine has decided to reprint the article entitled "Block the Extradition of a Hero for Liberty" written by Michael Cust and myself in their most recent issue.

You can read the original article here.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Official NDP position on Emery

Here is the letter that NDP drug policy critic Libby Davies is sending out to those who write the NDP concerning Marc Emery's extradition.

Dear friend,

Thank you for your letter about the possible extraction of Marc Emery, Gregory Keith Williams, and Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek to the United States. The federal NDP opposes the extradition of these 3 Canadians. We believe it is wrong to extradite people for an offence that would not - and in this case, did not - result in them being charged in Canada.

In the U.S. they face a minimum 10-year sentence which could be raised to a life sentence. The federal NDP believes we should not be sending individuals to face harsh punishment in another country when we have agreed as a society their actions are not worthy of prosecution here in Canada. I urge Justice Minister Irwin Cotler to consider Canadian justice in his decision and not be swayed by the laws and practices of the U.S.

This case once again points to the confusing and contradictory nature of the federal Liberal government's marijuana laws. We should recognize that the arrests of these Canadian citizens is more related to political pressure on Canada to cooperate with the U.S. war on drugs than on any harm that has been created by the actions of these individuals.

Thank you again for taking the time to write on this important issue.

Sincerely,

Libby Davies MP
NDP Spokesperson for Drug Policy
Vancouver East

Monday, August 22, 2005

Simon Pole MP3


Check out Simon Pole's Marc Emery single. Simon Pole runs one of the absolute best overall sites on Marc Emery, updating it with fresh content daily. I use it as a one-stop shop for all my Emery news. (You should too).

Dose Interview

Check out this interview with Marc Emery. While there, take a look at the (totally unscientific but still interesting) poll asking what you think about the possible Emery extradition. According to the results when I clicked it, 91.22 per cent were "sickened" by the possibility.

Now, sure, Dose readers may be nutbags, but that's a pretty significant percentage of nutbags that think U.S. involvement in this case is "sickening."

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Overkill?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Letter to Campbell and Oda

Here is a copy of a letter I 1. emailed, 2. faxed, and 3. mailed, to Bev Oda, my Member of Parliament. A similarly-worded, but personalized, letter was also sent to Larry Campbell, former mayor of Vancouver and newly-minted Senator who had this to say about Drug Czars. Do send a letter to your member and, in particular, lets send Larry Campbell a mountain of letters to urge him to support the effort to keep Marc in Canada.

Dear Ms. Oda -

I write to you to express my concern about the possible extradition of marijuana activist Marc Emery to face an outrageous criminal penalty in the United States.

As I'm sure you are aware, Mr. Emery was detained at the request of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, and is facing a sentence of ten years to life for selling viable marijuana seeds into the United States. He does not deny that he mailed seeds to the U.S., having recently reported that he paid in excess of $600,000 in taxes since 1999, expressly marking down the reason for the income as coming from the sale of seeds.

I am deeply angered by the antics of Carolyn Parrish and other members of Canada's government that have seen fit to mock Americans over the last few years. It is because of actions like these that opposing the extradition of Emery may be difficult. It may be seen as yet another instance of anti-Americanism.

It should not, however, be seen in this light. The Marc Emery issue highlights a salient and genuine difference between the approaches of our two nations to the prohibition of marijuana. In Canada, we have seen fit to look the other way, and to begin to tolerate recreational marijuana use not just culturally, but also legally. Marc has not received anything more than two fines ($2,000 each) for selling seeds. That's a big difference to the approach Americans might take in this case, which includes the possibility of life in prison for Marc.

That possibility is shocking to me. And it offends my conscience to hear that something like that might happen.

Especially considering the public policy debate in this country which appears geared towards the imminent legalization of marijuana. Consider that a Fraser Institute report argued for marijuana legalization, as did the 2002 Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs which unanimously urged the government to pursue a legalization strategy. Meanwhile, op-ed pages across this country show pronounced support for the effort to end the prohibition of marijuana. Even the National Post's editorial board saw fit to qualify their lack of support for Emery's plight with an explanation of their support for marijuana legalization.

The support for tolerance with respect to marijuana is so widespread, that it is now hard to find reputable sources of public policy discussion that do not favour either the decriminalization or the legalization of marijuana in this country.

Other than this, it is my understanding of the Extradition Act that a Canadian cannot be extradited if the penalty to be faced by a Canadian citizen is, in our view, egregious, or if the motivation for extradition is political. I should preface this by making plain that I am not a student of the law, and that my opinion on this matter is not grounded in a robust legal education. Nevertheless, I remain certain that Emery's potential punishment is beyond the pale, and, however the Justices have seen fit to define "egregious" in the case law, this must, surely, fit the bill.

I hope that you share my concern about this issue, and that you will consider publicly voicing this concern. I urge you to encourage our Minister of Justice to interject in this case, and to block the extradition of Emery. I also urge you to speak to fellow members of the Tory caucus, and to encourage them to take a stand in opposition to the extradition request.

I would appreciate hearing a response, whether one of agreement or disagreement, and look forward to speaking with you in the future.

Thank you very much for your time.

Sincerely,

Peter Jaworski,
MSc (Can.) Philosophy & Public Policy, London School of Economics
MA Philosophy, University of Waterloo
BA(H) Philosophy, Queen's University

Monday, August 15, 2005

58% of Canadians oppose Emery's extradition

That's according to a CTV/Globe and Mail poll.

Read the Globe and Mail story here.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Marc Emery in N.Y. Times

The New York Times gives an overview of Mr. Emery's activist plan for legalizing marijuana, his libertarian views, and his fight to stop his own extradition to the United States.

Read the story here.

Emery's arrest is not about law enforcement

One of the arguments against Marc Emery's status as a political prisoner is that the US is singling him out for quite acceptable reasons of law enforcement. Emery is the largest distributor of marijuana seeds to the United States. Indeed, he is probably the pot kingpin in North America. If the US is to enforce its drug laws, which it has every right to do, then it makes perfect sense for them to start with Emery. Even without challenging the assertion that the US has every right to enforce its drug laws, this argument still falls flat on its face.

Any discussion of the Emery situation cannot ignore the fact that he was allowed to sell seeds for over five years without any challenge from police. During this time, the business expanded and others entered the American market. They all believed that they were acting acceptably, if not legally. Now the tide has turned. The American government has decided that they will no longer tolerate these actions. Indeed, they spent over a year building a case against Emery before applying for extradition. As the kingpin, it makes sense from a law enforcement point of view.

That is not all that makes sense, though. In order to truly enforce the law, Emery cannot be the only person charged. If he is, then the US will fail to stop the importation and at the same time prove that this was all politically motivated. However, the DEA must also know that by arresting Emery, other distributors will likely go underground. Why would they risk suffering Emery's fate? In order to convict others, the US must have evidence of wrongdoing by others. It is simple law enforcement.

This has implications for Canada's legalization movement. Whatever might be happening in the US, we all know that Canadian officials have stopped enforcing the laws and that our country is probably on the road to legalization. Meanwhile, though, the US will extradite more and more of the industry. This will likely drive up prices, create a more crime laden form of distribution instead of the many computer geeks who currently sell the stuff, and essentially change Canadian drug policy. Even if you disagree with me about what will happen, you do have to admit that sending Canada's drug industry to American jails at the behest of the DEA will result in the United States determining our drug policies. If you support punishment, then you should be calling on the Canadian government to do it. You should not be supporting American actions against our country's domestic policies.

Marc Emery will create a precedent. If he can be extradited, then anybody selling seeds can be extradited. All of these people will have begun their businesses under the assumption that they were not going to be punished. This assumption was allowed to arise by both the Canadian and American governments. Even if they stop now, they still probably be punished under American law. This is not about American law enforcement. It is stopping Canada's march towards legalization.

'Thomas Jefferson is my hero'

Marc Emery makes an impassioned speech, where he outlines his pro-liberty values and asks for your support.

Watch the video here.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Made in the U.S.!


Does anyone else notice the not-so-subtle irony in this picture? It's from this site, which is also selling shirts. Like we are. Except our shirts are better, and all the money for our shirts goes to help Marc Emery. Yes, all of it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

War of the Wiki

Simon Pole has an interesting post on the Marc Emery Wikipedia entry. It turns out some Canadians are (rightly) angry enough about the (unjust) arrest of (the laudable) Marc Emery, that they've gone to all the trouble of editing Wikipedia entries about his (unjust) arrest.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

It does not matter if he broke a law

One of the most widely held views in favour of extraditing Marc Emery and the rest of the Vancouver Three is that they broke US laws and have to face the consequences. Indeed, there is a lot of strength to this argument. Just look at Dr. Jack Kevorkian. I remember watching 60 Minutes when they showed him injecting a sick person with poison. I remember turning to my parents and saying, "Gee, I thought that was illegal". I also remember when he was convicted and sent to jail. I thought then and still think now that what he did was stupid because he was bound to end up in jail. That does not mean that I think he deserves to be in jail. Just that he should have expected nothing else.

The situation for Marc Emery seems to be similar. He knew he was breaking an American law. He did it in public. Indeed, he flouted the law for the specific purpose of challenging its validity. As a result, I do not blame people for thinking that he was stupid and bound to end up in jail. However, that does not mean that he deserves to be in jail.

My other site is dedicated to the theory that Emery is a political prisoner. Many respond that he broke a law and should be treated like everybody else who does so. Why should he be treated differently because he is a politician? Well, how many political prisoners have been sent to jail without breaking laws? Do people think that Nelson Mandella did not break an Apartheid law? Do people think that Chinese dissidents have not broken Chinese laws? Do people think that Alexander Solzhenitzyn did not break censorship laws in the USSR? The fact that a person has broken a law does not disqualify that person from being a political prisoner.

The question then becomes, how do you distinguish political prisoners from those who deserve to be thrown in jail. You can start with the easy ones - people who murder, rape, steal, etc... are doing something that harms others. They are not political prisoners. On the other extreme you have people arrested for non-violent opinions, dissent and fundraising. They are obviously political prisoners. In the middle, you have the questionable people like those who sell illegal guns, pot and preach hatred. The fact of the matter is that on that middle ground you are forced to make a personal decision - do you believe that the person is being punished for a fair and just reason? There might be a right and a wrong, but there is no way to prove it. The answer to this sort of question will always be debatable.

Every person reading this has to consider what they think of the actions for which Marc Emery is being punished. The question is not whether he would be arrested in the US. The question is not whether you agree with me on gun control. Indeed, the question is not even whether you want the Americans to enforce gun laws. The only relevant question is whether you believe that Marc Emery has been arrested for a just crime. Should pot be illegal? Should it be illegal to sell seeds for a plant? Should law enforcement be selective? Should anybody go to jail for life for selling something that people must chose to use themselves? These are just some ideas of what might lead you to an answer. However, there is one question that will never tell you whether a person is a political prisoner: Did he break a law?

Monday, August 08, 2005

Get your t-shirts



(Cool shirts, huh? Design courtesy of http://www.bureaucrash.com/)

Here's the deal: Get a Free Marc Emery t-shirt for CDN $15 plus Shipping and Handling. I've got a few dozen of these, (Medium, Large, and XL). All the money will go to help the Free Marc Emery campaign, as well as his legal expenses.

To get a shirt, while quantities last, you can email me at peterjaworski-at-gmail-dot-com, and I will send you an email with a PayPal bill. As soon as we get the payment, we'll mail you a shirt.

Once you've received your shirt, please pose in it and send us a digital picture so we can post it up on our website. The more supporters out there donning the shirt, the better!

Western Standard Radio on Emery

I was on Western Standard Radio today with John Collison and Ezra Levant talking about the Marc Emery affair.

You can listen to the radio program by clicking here (MP3 file).

Emery Accessories

Doing a little search for the latest on Marc Emery today, I found that my fellow bloggers beat me to most of the best news stories and opinions pieces. However, I did find some new and interesting ways to support the cause. Visit here, here, and here for shirts, bags, and more.

Libertarian Party of Canada

Today, the Libertarian Party of Canada sent out this press release asking that Marc Emery's extradition be blocked.

Libertarian Party of Canada
For Immediate Release
(Revised: Aug 9/05)


Block the Extradition of Marc Emery
The War on Drugs is a War on Liberty


August 9, 2005 - Ottawa, Ontario On July 29, the RCMP arrested Marc Emery, Leader of the British Columbia Marijuana Party along with fellow activists Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek and Gregory Williams. These arrests were the result of a U.S. Federal Grand Jury indictment on charges of Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana, Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana Seeds and Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering. Since Marc Emery is alleged to have sold many of his seeds to U.S. customers, the investigation in Canada was actually led by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration under the terms of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty

The most disturbing fact is that the U.S. Attorney's Office has filed an extradition request with the Canadian government that all three Canadians be brought to Seattle to stand trial. If convicted in the U.S. on either of the marijuana charges, they could face cruel prison sentences ranging from a minimum of 10 years to life in prison.

Therefore the Libertarian Party of Canada calls upon Canada's Minister of Justice, Irwin Cotler, to block the extradition of Marc Emery and his associates, and to set them free. We also urge Parliament to narrow the types of crimes that are covered by extradition treaties in order to protect Canadians from legal domination by foreign governments.

Although the sale of cannabis seeds is also illegal in Canada, Marc Emery has not been charged by Canadian authorities, who are well aware that Canada has a medical-marijuana program in which patients can lawfully use marijuana.

U.S. officials have falsely characterized Marc Emery as motivated by greed, but the truth is that, in addition to serving those who are in desperate need of medical marijuana, the proceeds of his seed business have been directed towards political activism and compassionate aid for drug addicts.

It seems clear that Marc Emery was targeted because of his prominence as a political activist and this is another reason why the Minister of Justice should choose to rule against extradition. In these respects the Extradition Act states the following:

44. (1) The Minister shall refuse to make a surrender order if the Minister is satisfied that
(a) the surrender would be unjust or oppressive having regard to all the relevant circumstances; or
(b) the request for extradition is made for the purpose of prosecuting or punishing the person by reason of their race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, language, colour, political opinion, ...


Libertarians believe in the principles of self-ownership and individual liberty. We believe that governments act aggressively when they violate these principles by interfering with an individual's freedom to buy, sell or use drugs such as marijuana for medicinal or other purposes.

We believe that each individual should be free to live as they choose, as long as they do not aggress against the life and property of others. Non-coercive means should be used to discourage the abuse of dangerous drugs instead of the destructive application of the criminal justice system.

That is why we call on Parliament and the people of Canada to not only decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana but to also work towards the abolition of the disastrous policy of drug prohibition, which results in increased criminal activity and the unjust imprisonment of peaceful citizens.

The Libertarian Party of Canada is dedicated to the cause of personal and economic freedom for all Canadians. We believe that individual liberty is a necessary condition for a peaceful and prosperous society.

We welcome enquiries from all Canadians who wish to aid our cause.

-30-
Contact Information

Jean-Serge Brisson
Leader of the Libertarian Party of Canada
ep523@freenet.carleton.ca
Work: (613) 443-5423
Cell: (613) 762-8195


Alan Mercer
Media Relations Officer
amercer@libertarian.on.ca

Letter to the Minister of Justice

You can send letters to the Minister of Justice for free within Canada. Remember that paper mail cannot be deleted in the same manner as email. It will fit on one page with 1 inch margins and Times New Roman, size 11. I suggest the following:

__________________________________________________________

The Honourable Irwin Cotler
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

Dear Mr. Cotler,

I am writing to request that you refuse to extradite Marc Emery to the United States.

Section 44(1)(a) of the Extradition Act requires that you refuse extradition when it would be unjust. Mr. Emery has been charged with a crime that is not enforced in Canada. Indeed, his actions in Canada have been legitimized by Health Canada's recommendation that those in need of medicinal marijuana buy seeds from him. It would be unjust for him to face prosecution in a foreign country for actions that are only technically illegal in Canada.

Section 44(1)(a) also requires you to refuse extradition when it would be oppressive. If Mr. Emery were convicted in Canada, he would be subject to a ten year sentence at most. In the United States, he would be subject to a minimum sentence of ten years and a maximum sentence of his natural life in a federal prison. In Canada, we have chosen to avoid such extreme minimum sentences on all but the most serious crimes. We have also refused to allow anybody to be sentenced to more than 25 years without the possibility of parole. It would be oppressive if Mr. Emery and other Canadians accused of crimes relating to Marijuana were subject to life in prison in the United States. This is compounded by the fact that federal prisons in the United States are cesspools of crime, rape and disease.

Section 44(1)(b) of the Extradition Act requires that Canadians not be extradited when they are only being prosecuted because of their political opinions. It is telling that the United States has chosen to focus on the leader of a legitimate political party in Canada. One might argue that he is the largest distributor of marijuana seeds in the United States, but that has only occurred because the Americans have allowed his business to expand over the past five years. They have clearly decided to act now in order to make a political statement. This is equivalent to prosecuting Mr. Emery for his political opinions.

Some are concerned that a refusal to extradite Mr. Emery would be tantamount to the Americans refusing to extradite a person who sells guns over the Internet. However, there is a clear difference between the harm from guns and marijuana. There is also the fact that laws regarding the importation of guns to the territory of Canada have been enforced since before Confederation. There is always the danger that the United States will respond harshly and unreasonably to a refusal to extradite, but we should not offer up any individual as a sacrifice.

Marijuana is part of a legitimate political debate in Canada. It would be wrong to extradite the leader of that political movement.

Yours truly,



_________________

Toronto Sun

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Colby Cosh

Colby Cosh is incredible. I've followed his columns for a long time now, including his sports column--of all things!--in the Western Standard.

He blogs about the www.freemarcemery.com website being up and running again on his blog. This is a follow-up to his editorial in the National Post on the same topic. Here's his post:
My column about Marc Emery in this morning's National Post is, I think, both good and important. Subscribers can read it online; the rest of you can find it in the Post's "Issues & Ideas" section; and if you're either the Federal Minister of Justice or the judge who is going to be hearing Emery's case against extradition, I'll be happy to e-mail it to you directly. The Free Marc Emery website is back up. As I propose in the column, even if you don't think Emery should be a free man, you can still oppose his extradition to the U.S.
I think we'll be happy to send the column to Irwin Cotler on Colby's behalf...

Reason magazine, the libertarian "rag" (used affectionately) in the U.S., has blog posts about Emery's arrest here and here. Go check them out.

(Hat tip to Mike K.--you rock!)

Saturday, August 06, 2005

When the Spirit and the Letter of the Law Don't Match

The Emery case inevitably brings up the issue of Canada's drug laws. I would be very surprised if someone could provide sound reasoning that the currents laws and by extension their enforcement are not in need of change. I can understand the call for tougher penalties and enforcing the existing laws, but simply disagree. Something I consistently advocate for is having the spirit and letter of the law match as closely as possible.

To illustrate my point, I will first talk about speed limits. Only a scant few people would want those who travel at 101 km/h on Ontario's 400 series highways to be ticketed, however anyone traveling at such speeds is breaking the law. Yet again, it is common knowledge that although the posted speed limit is 100km/h, drivers are safe going at 120km/h. I was even taught this fact in driving school. My belief is that the speed limits should on the aforementioned highways should be something more like 150 km/h. The common argument I hear in response to my suggestion is that then people would just go 180 km/h. That counter argument is made on the assumption that people break laws just because. They don't. Most people break laws because the laws are unreasonable. Most won't go 180 km/h on the 401 for the same reason that they won't go 100 km/h in a blizzard - it is unsafe to do so. Also the posted speed are called speed limits implying that they are the fastest speed one is allowed to drive at, not the speed one is supposed to drive at. I would hate to see the number of accidents if people interpreted the Ontario blood alcohol content limit the same way they interpret speed limits! Therefore, the government should post the limit they are willing to strictly enforce Doing so, eliminates any guessing as to which speeds are safe to drive at.

Hopefully, you now all understand the point I am going to make in regards to marijuana. Most Canadians do not think that smoking it should be a criminal offense. Like going 120 km/h on a 400 series highway, people can get away with smoking marijuana - most of the time. Sometimes it just happens to be the 23rd Tuesday and a full moon or any number of things that led to the marijuana laws being enforced on some unlucky individual. It is time for the government to either get tough or marijuana users or legalize their drug of choice. I strongly recommend that they take the latter option.

Does This Blog Stop at 82nd Street?

A lot of you may not have gotten the reference I made in the title, but it is not necessary to grasp the point of this post. I posted about this petition over on the political discussion boards of one of my favourite artists, Bruce Springsteen, it has already led to some interesting discussion, such as the following bit of wisdom:
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 sovereignty.

Check out the topic to follow the responses. Like my last suggestion of setting the Emery graphic as your MSN picture, posting on high traffic boards is a great way to promote the cause with minimal effort.

To all who support this cause, keep on rockin' the in (mostly) free world.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Pétition

Aux députés

Pétition à la chambre des communes réunie en parlement
Nous soussignés, résidants du Canada, portons à l'attention
de la Chambre ce qui suit:

Attendu que Marc Emery, chef du Parti marijuana de
Colombie-Britannique, a été arrêté le 29 juillet 2005 en
Nouvelle-Écosse à la demande de la Drug Enforcement
Agency des États-Unis;

Attendu que M. Emery a été arrêté pour des activités auxquelles
il s'est livré à la connaissance du public et des gouvernements
du Canada et des États-Unis durant plus de cinq ans;

Attendu que les activités de M. Emery ont été approuvées
tacitement par le gouvernement lorsque Santé Canada a dirigé
les gens ayant besoin de marijuana médicale vers son commerce;

Attendu que le Canada n'a pas fait appliquer la prohibition sur
les graines viables de cannabis dans le cadre de sa prohibition
de la marijuana depuis plus de dix ans;

Attendu que M. Emery est passible d'un emprisonnement pour
le reste de sa vie dans un pénitencier fédéral des États-Unis -
une sentence nettement démesurée selon les normes canadiennes
et qui n'existe même pas au Canada;

Attendu que les États-Unis ont choisi d'appliquer cette loi
contre M. Emery et ses associés pour faire passer un message
politique, tout en ignorant d'autres Canadiens de moins grande
notoriété qui opèrent des commerces similaires; et

Attendu que, en vertu de la Loi sur l'extradition, le ministre de
la Justice doit refuser d'extrader une personne lorsque son
extradition serait injuste ou tyrannique, ou lorsque l'extradition
est demandée dans le but de punir les convictions politiques
de cette personne;

PAR CONSÉQUENT, en vertu de la Loi sur l'extradition, vos
pétitionnaires demandent au Parlement de s'opposer à l'extradition
de Marc Emery et d'ordonner au ministre de la Justice de refuser
de délivrer un arrêté d'extradition dans le cas présent.

Sincèrement,

Les signataires.

(Hat tip: Laurent M.)

Another New Contributor

Peter asked me to join this blog and I gladly accepted. As a strong believer in liberty, the thought of Emery's extradition troubles me greatly. The real kicker for me personally though, is that for the second time in a row I will not be able to see Marc at the Liberty Summer Seminar. Hopefully the old saying, the third time's a charm, will come true in 2006.

Over the next few days, I hope to add my comments on the case and the issues surrounding it. I tried putting the Free Marc Emery graphic as my MSN picture, but the width to length ratio was not right for that, so I am going to try to add my edited picture with new top and bottom borders, so you too can promote the cause with minimal effort.

Keep fighting the good fight.

U.S. MP calls for resignation

The U.S. Marijuana Party calls for the resignation of Karen Tandy, the DEA top dog that basically said the arrest of Emery is partially motivated by political considerations.

Quotable: D.C. DEA

"Today's arrest of Mark (sic) Scott Emery, publisher of Cannabis Culture magazine and the founder of a marijuana legalization group, is a significant blow not only to the marijuana trafficking trade in the U.S. and Canada, but also to the marijuana legalization movement."

"Hundreds of thousands of dollars of Emery's illicit profits are known to have been channeled to marijuana legalization groups active in the United States and Canada. Drug legalization lobbyists now have one less pot of money to rely on."

- Statement from Washington D.C. Drug Enforcement Agency on the (politically motivated?) arrest of Marc Emery.

Quotable: Larry Campbell


Quote: "Drug czars are the most ill-informed people in government... They are still living in an era of 'Reefer Madness.'"

- Larry Campbell, former mayor of Vancouver, recent Senate appointee, former RCMP constable and veteran of the Drug Squad.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Petition

Sign the following petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/Emery/petition.html

The content of the petition is exactly as follows, with links to various places to show that each point is factual, to the best of our knowledge/research. If there are any other points to add, argue with, or if you have found additional evidence for the points, please leave us a comment.

Petition to the House of Commons in Parliament Assembled

We, the undersigned residents of Canada, draw the attention of the House to the following:

THAT Marc Emery, leader of the British Columbia Marijuana Party, was arrested on July 29, 2005 in Nova Scotia at the request of the United States Drug Enforcement Agency;

THAT Mr. Emery was arrested for activities that he pursued with the knowledge of the public and governments of Canada and the United States for over five years;

THAT Mr. Emery's activities were tacitly approved by the government when Health Canada directed those in need of medical marijuana to his business;

THAT Canada has not enforced the prohibition on viable cannabis seeds in its prohibition of marijuana for over 10 years;

THAT Mr. Emery faces possible imprisonment in a federal United States penitentiary for his natural life - a grossly disproportionate sentence by Canadian standards that does not even exist in Canada;

THAT the United States has chosen to enforce this law against Mr. Emery and his associates as a political statement, while ignoring other, lower profile Canadians who operate similar businesses; and

THAT, according to the Extradition Act, the Minister of Justice "shall" refuse to surrender a person when the surrender would be unjust or oppressive, or when it is requested for the purpose of punishing the political opinions of the person;

THEREFORE, pursuant to the Extradition Act, your petitioners call upon Parliament to oppose the extradition of Marc Emery and order the Minister of Justice to refuse to issue a surrender order in this case.

(The same post appears on Jason's www.savemarcemery.blogspot.com)

A New Contributor

I would like to thank Michael and Jaworski for adding me to this blog. I am running one at http://savemarcemery.blogspot.com that will focus more on facts and legalities. As a recent graduate of law school, that seems to be my most useful contribution. Occassionally, though, I will post some opinions up here and maybe a few links.

On Lew Rockwell

Mike and I penned a piece for LewRockwell.com about Emery. It's entitled "Block the extradition of a hero for liberty." Here is an excerpt:
It is because of his long career of activism that the DEA is targeting him. Unlike other seed merchants who quietly conduct their affairs, Emery puts the brunt of his efforts into the movement to end the prohibition of marijuana and to legitimate the culture that has emerged surrounding the plant.

Since the prohibition of drugs is a multi-billion dollar affair, we shouldn't be surprised. Drug cops, prosecutors, judges, politicians, prison construction contractors, companies that use cheap prison labour, and military firms that sell weapons and surveillance equipment to drug law enforcement are all significantly enriched by the continuation of the war on drugs.

Further, those participating in the drug war share a common assumption about members of the marijuana culture. They all believe that marijuana people are second-class citizens who deserve to be vilified. Their views are best expressed in U.S. Drug Czar John Walter's statement that Vancouver's marijuana scene is "moral pollution."

In the public policy sphere, the assumptions of the drug warriors are the rule. With very few exceptions, all politicians operate on the assumption that there is something inherently wrong with using and growing marijuana.

But such views are in direct contradiction with society's values. Consider Cheech and
Chong movies, the Simpsons, South Park, late-night talk shows, and the stories most of us have about our own experiences with marijuana. These all involve the implicit understanding that smoking marijuana is innocent, largely harmless, and fun.

We're right to think that.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

VPD and Marc Emery

True on some many levels...

Extradition? Two can play that game

Extraditing citizens of one country to face crimes in another gave one group an interesting idea: Extradite the "Reverend" Fred Phelps! (hat-tip: Jay Currie)

As extradition has become the fashion it is finally time to do something about the disgusting “Rev.” Fred Phelps.

America cannot, or will not, put an end to his reign of hate which is pumped throughout the world, and most importantly, to Canada via the Internet. Fortunately, we have laws in Canada to stop this sort of thing. Hate crimes legislation.

Up until Marc Emery was arrested by the DEA it had never occured to us that we could just have Fred Phelps arrested under Canadian law and extradited to Canada to face trial.

Excellent!

Let's do it.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

What does Marc Emery stand for?

"I advocate the position of liberty, the position of justice, the position of non-violent freedom for all people to do what they want, to put in their body what they want, and to act in a manner that is suitable to them without interference from others, especially their government." -- Marc Emery, Cannabis Culture #16, Jan/Feb 1999

Should this man be extradited to the United States so the U.S. government can jail him for life?