Friday, June 11, 2010

Supporting Marc Emery

Canada's own 'Prince of Pot', Marc Emery is currently being punished by being held in solitary confinement for breaking a prison rule he was not aware of. His wife Jodie recorded a phone call from him and posted part of it on the website.

Below is an open letter to Vic Toews, Minister for Public Safety - the man who signed Marc's extradition order and Peter Julian, my local MP.

Open letter to: Mr. Vic Toews and Mr. Peter Julian,

RE: Marc Emery’s wrongful extradition

Marc Emery is a Canadian citizen and as such, is subject to the laws of Canada. Should he have broken the laws of another country while in said country, he would be subject to extradition to face the judicial system of that country.

In 2005, the United States requested the extradition of Marc Emery for selling cannabis seeds. However, Marc had not visited the United States. He simply supplied growers with seeds through mail-order. Therefore, he should not have been eligible for extradition.

I understand that Vancouver police investigated Marc in 2003 and tried to have charges filed in court, but the Crown refused, so the VPD admitted that the USA picked up the file to get harsh punishment for Marc in the USA. The Vancouver police worked with Americans on Canadian soil to create the US case. If Marc couldn't be charged in Canada, he should not be charged in America.

I also understand that the US District Attorney arranged a plea deal in January 2008 that would allow Marc to serve his time in Canada, as long as the Conservative government laid charges here in Canada, but the government refused. Again, if the government wouldn't charge or punish Marc in Canada, he should not be charged

Mr. Julian, I respectfully request that you raise this issue in the House of Commons and pressure Mr. Vic Toews to bring Marc home.

Mr. Toews, I ask that you respect Canadian law and work toward bringing Canada’s ‘prince of pot’, Marc Emery home.

Marc has been identified by the United States DEA as a vocal and major financial contributor to the anti-prohibition cause in both the United States and Canada. The proceeds from his seed sales primarily went to backing dispensaries, lobby groups and helping mount legal defenses against those caught up in the prohibition war. I believe this is the reason for Marc’s extradition, but he broke no law in Canada that the government was willing to charge him with. Has Canada so lost its’ sovereignty that we must just hand over anyone the US demands?

I would also like to express my concern about Bill S-10, the ‘Justice’ bill Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative Party has re-introduced after the amended bill died in prorogation of Parliament and is now pending in parliament, that would mirror widely criticized U.S. policies and impose for the first time a mandatory six-month jail term on anyone convicted of growing six or more marijuana plants.

The United States has made incarceration an industry. They have the highest documented incarceration rate in the world. According to the U.S._Bureau_of_Justice_Statistics "In 2008, over 7.3 million people were on parole at year-end — 3.2% of all U.S. adult residents or in every 31 adults." Critics have lambasted the United States for incarcerating a large number of non-violent and victimless offenders; half of all persons incarcerated under state jurisdiction are for non-violent offenses, and 20% (in State prisons, whereas Federal prison percentages are higher) are incarcerated for drug offenses.

I am one Canadian who does not want to see my country follow failed policies that will hobble our youth and professionals with a criminal record for a victimless crime. The United States is finally moving towards a more lenient stance in regards to cannabis possession. It only makes sense for Canada to continue moving in that direction also. Prohibition didn’t work for alcohol. Pot is less dangerous and less physically damaging than alcohol.

Mr. Toews, I ask that you amend the Justice Bill S-10 to remove the mandatory jail terms for growing cannabis plants. This will bring the Conservative party more in line with the Canadian majority. We do not want to live in a police state.

Mr. Julian, I ask that you please continue to fight for the principles your constituents elected you to stand up for. Please pressure this federal government to amend the Justice Bill S-10 and remove the mandatory jail terms for growing cannabis.

Kind regards,

Shannon Powell
CC: Vancouver Sun and Vancouver Province Letters to the Editor

Marc has been imprisoned for selling seeds and using the proceeds to support anti-prohibition activism. Please help him. Visit this website for information on how you can get involved.

No comments:

Post a Comment