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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Conservative, Liberal, and NDP MPs present petitions against the extradition of Marc Emery

Yesterday, MPs Scott Reid (Conservative), Libby Davies (NDP), and Ujjal Dosanjh (Liberal) presented 12,000 petition signatures to the House of Commons insisting that Justice Minister Rob Nicholson should not sign a U.S. extradition request of libertarian publisher and cannabis activist Marc Emery.

Emery, dubbed the "Prince of Pot" by U.S. media, is facing five years in the U.S. on charges related to his selling marijuana seeds to U.S. citizens.

Scott Reid emphasized the fact that, in Canada, judges have consistently ruled that a justified penalty for selling marijuana seeds is a $200 fine. The same crime could result in a sentence of up to life in prison. The extradition treaty with the U.S. includes a provision that refers to punishments that would "shock the conscience" of the average Canadian as a valid, legal reason to refuse an extradition request.

Reid said that it is within the prerogative of the justice minister to "refuse to surrender a person when that surrender could involve unjust or undue or oppressive actions by the country to which he is being extradited."

Reid also emphasized the fact that Health Canada, a government agency, urged Canadians with permission to use medical marijuana, to purchase seeds from Marc Emery if they found government marijuana to be of insufficient quality.

Libby Davies, meanwhile, added that extraditing Emery appears to be in tension with our sovereignty. "People don't understand why Marc Emery should be extradited," she said in the House. "He was never prosecuted in Canada for these crimes, and I think people see it as a question of Canadian sovereignty."

Ujjal Dosanjh echoed the sentiments of Reid and Davies, adding that, in his opinion, there was "inherent unfairness" in the process that might result in Emery being extradited to the U.S.

Here is a video of the three MPs putting forward the petitions:

For more, see the Ottawa Sun's coverage, the National Post's coverage, Cannabis Culture's coverage, or do a Google News search for "Marc Emery."

Posted by P.M. Jaworski on March 16, 2010 in Marc Emery, Marijuana reform | Permalink


I know you played a big role in making this happen Peter. This is very heartening to see come to fruition.

Posted by: Mike Brock | 2010-03-16 3:46:53 PM

Let me get this in before the inevitable 100 replies - half by Shane "pot is bad, mmmkay?" Matthews - take over the thread:

Wow. I thought there was no hope of stopping this extradition, but now, I think there is good reason for optimism. And if Mike is right and you, Jaws, helped make this happen, mega-kudos!

Posted by: Fact Check | 2010-03-16 3:51:53 PM

Congratulations Peter. All the best to Marc.

Posted by: Publius | 2010-03-16 4:16:53 PM

I can see Mr. Nicholson now, saying "OH crap, I forgot to sign that loser's extradition papers. There, done."

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2010-03-16 4:52:02 PM

If "in Canada" as th wopheads say
pot seed sales earns a $200 fine.. that's $200 per offense so super salesman Emery is looking at a half million dollar fine in Canada If he can't or won't pay -he's looking at five years in jail. And when he gets out of Canadian jail he would walk right into international police charges

There is no erasing his crimes of vending pot seeds to the USA- & to other world nations, so they would all get a kick at him as well. Why do Wipeheads want to push their hero into a lifetime of jail? A quick symbolic dip into a Canadian jail will not cancel out his drug plant seed vending offenses committed against other nations..
Nor will a weekend in a Canadian jail , a modest fine wash away his money laundering offenses and conspiracy to produce marijuana. These are all serious charges, They won't go away just because you don't like them

You might recall the RCMP & the DEA have a stack of evidence against him several meters high. It was Emerys'last ditch smart move to plead guilty and avoid having that all read out in court. Added up he was looking at spending the rest of his life in prison. Just because you may not agree with these accumulated sentences won't make them not happen. They will happen, They could still happen.

Celebrating a confessed career criminals' attempted side stepping of justice and egging him on is - capital D Disgusting

Posted by: 419 | 2010-03-16 5:03:58 PM

No. The $200 fine is not "per offense" as you understand it.

For the same crime, someone would face a $200 fine in Canada, and up to life in prison in the U.S.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2010-03-16 5:14:10 PM

Here we go. Why don't you guys go find a blog that agrees with your views instead of trolling here. Do you think you are changing any ones mind? You guys disagree with almost everything posted here, why do you bother?

Posted by: Steve Bottrell | 2010-03-16 5:28:13 PM

$200 fine for selling millions of seeds of a controlled substance plant across international borders ? Multiple offenses in Shop lifting reaps accumulated punishment..as does a plethora of other criminal acts.. and here you say flipping off the CDSA act is a petty cash fixerup .. ??

Did you get expert legal opinion on this pronouncement or are you just winging it?

Posted by: 419 | 2010-03-16 5:32:52 PM

I agree that extradition for what he did is unjustified, and I am not, nor ever have been, a "pot head". One does not have to be pro-pot or anti-pot in order to see this.

Posted by: Alain | 2010-03-16 5:38:32 PM

Emery knew what he was doing. He has no one to blame but himself for the consequences.

If you recall a couple of years ago, the same Libby Davies reading these petitions, also introduced other petitions pertaining to "9/11 Truth". She was doing her job, nothing more.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2010-03-16 5:41:27 PM

do the crime
do the time

marijuana use has nothing to do with this equation but thanks for the confessional.

and His Majesty, The Prince of Pot Western Standard freedom hero # 003 did the crime, and openly said he did it
Now he can do the time and say he did that as well.
looks great on everybodys resume

Posted by: 419 | 2010-03-16 6:05:45 PM

I think I'll form a unit called The Inglourious Basterds and go into the killin' druggie business. And cousin, business is a'boomin.

Hopefully Tarantino doesn't sue for copyright infringement.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2010-03-16 6:25:22 PM

"$200 fine for selling millions of seeds of a controlled substance plant across international borders ? Multiple offenses in Shop lifting reaps accumulated punishment..as does a plethora of other criminal acts.. and here you say flipping off the CDSA act is a petty cash fixerup .. ??"


Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2010-03-16 6:52:25 PM

I admire you Citizen Jaworski
for being braver than smart

Posted by: 419 | 2010-03-16 7:18:25 PM

Wow. Good work Peter. Even if you don't stop the extradition, you can make this more trouble than its worth for the government. They'll think twice.
Is Maxime Bernier supporting your side? You should talk to him; I would try him if I were you. Monte Solberg too...if you think he's worth the time.

Posted by: Cytotoxic | 2010-03-16 10:25:29 PM

Sorry to repeat post, but I was thinking that you should use this nascent libertarian-ishy grouping to challenge the random breathalyzer BS coming. Further, it would be great if you also extended the...franchise to the senate.

Posted by: Cytotoxic | 2010-03-16 11:47:27 PM

A country that won't even stand up to Muslim Child "brides". pathetic.

Posted by: Floyd Looney | 2010-03-17 12:43:59 AM

There was the recent case of a Canadian seed-seller named Richard Baghdadlian. He sold $5 in seeds between 2000 and 2005, was arrested in Canada by Canadians and was just sentenced to two years community service.


Contrast this with the possible life in prison in the US, even with the 5 year plea bargain and clearly extraditing Emery means he will face punishment out of line with Canadian law.

Posted by: JimR | 2010-03-17 1:42:59 AM

oops should have read Baghdadlian sold $5 million in seeds between 2000 and 2005

Posted by: JimR | 2010-03-17 1:45:31 AM

Emery was arrested by Canadians in Canada too, on a US warrant. In his case, both laws apply. Moreover, he agreed to his sentence to the two cases do not compare.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2010-03-17 6:33:59 AM

No. The $200 fine is not "per offense" as you understand it. For the same crime, someone would face a $200 fine in Canada, and up to life in prison in the U.S.

For a first offence, perhaps. But he already has a criminal record, including a conviction for passing a joint and a three-month stint for the same. Moreover, since Marc Emery admits to selling at least 60,000 seeds, if they ever do take the trouble to charge him, he's not walking away with the equivalent of lunch money out of pocket.

By the way. Regardless of what our hippie judges have "ruled," The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act makes clear that the maximum penalty under Canadian law for exporting or importing marijuana or viable seeds is life in prison. Ditto for trafficking within Canada only. That $200 fine you mention is customary only for Canadians who sell domestically in quantities that do not require the aid of a freight train. Marc Emery is an international smuggler, which puts him in quite a different category.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-03-17 6:51:04 AM

Here we go. Why don't you guys go find a blog that agrees with your views instead of trolling here.

Because then what you guys are doing is not debating. It's stroking one another's gonads. If you don't want controversial discussions, don't provoke them.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-03-17 6:52:22 AM

First of all, Jim, Baghdadlian's sentence was two years less a day to be served in the community, which basically means house arrest with various restrictions on liberty. It is NOT to be confused with "community service."

Secondly, that low sentence was given in exchange for a guilty plea for conspiracy to import and export marijuana (not to actually doing it, mind you), and also incitement to produce marijuana. At that, the Crown is considering an appeal. Even Cannabis News conceded the sentence was unusually light.

Some history. Activists that rely on half-truths, outright lies, scapegoats, bogeymen, and emotional puke, rather than repeatable and demonstrable data, generally find their movement runs out of steam after a decade or so. Look what happened to the anti-gun movement. In the 90s, it seemed unstoppable. Now it's all but gone.

So if you want your movement to survive the first decade of the 21st century, I suggest you stop trying to deceive people.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-03-17 7:03:17 AM

I wouldn't hold my breath, Fact Check. The Justice Minister has no convenient legal hook on which to hang a refusal to extradite, and if he does dig in his heels he'll find himself at the centre of an international political hurricane. The first angry person he faces will be his own boss, who can dismiss him with a snap of the fingers.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-03-17 7:05:08 AM

I agree that extradition for what he did is unjustified, and I am not, nor ever have been, a "pot head".

So, Alain, is it your contention that Canadians should be able to break American laws with impunity? What about Americans who break Canadian laws?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-03-17 7:05:53 AM

So Shane, have you stopped beating your wife? Sorry but that is equal to your question. As for American laws, it depends on the law and the particulars; considering that they have laws for just about anything and everything even extending their jurisdiction well beyond their borders. In this case whatever one thinks of Emery (I am certainly not one of his fans), it amounts to overkill and bullying.

Posted by: Alain | 2010-03-17 12:18:20 PM

"Even Cannabis News conceded the sentence was unusually light."

And you accuse me of trying to deceive people? The Cannabis News article (actually taken from Emery's Cannabis Culture) said:

"But will Baghdadlian's light sentence have any bearing on Emery's case?"

Emery is quoted as saying:

"He didn't get any jail time; the judge ruled that there was no precedent for any more than a month in jail for a fairly large seed business, and that was the one example from British Columbia."

Certainly not an "unusually light" sentence when the only precedent is for a 30 day jail sentence. And that is the issue, extradition would mean a much more severe sentence in the US than Canada would impose for the same crime.

Go ahead with your next half dozen worthless posts. More isn't always better when you have nothing to say.

Posted by: JimR | 2010-03-17 1:01:01 PM


I couldn't agree with you more. I'd also personally like to know if Shane beats his wife. ;)

Posted by: Charles | 2010-03-18 11:27:34 AM

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