August 5, 2005 at 1:36 pm #48307
This whole deal scares me & pisses me off to no end, American DEA agents in Canada, telling us what to do…hope someone has some backbone & kicks those agents out of CANADA…
Can you imagine what they’ll do if we actually decriminalize pot like planned…
Just say no to Uncle Sam’s DEA
Washington wants to take over the prosecution of those who flout Canada’s marijuana laws. Ottawa should tell it to butt out, says law professor ALAN YOUNGBy ALAN YOUNG
Wednesday, August 3, 2005 Page A17
On July 27, in Halifax, RCMP officers arrested Marc Emery, Canada’s self-styled "Prince of Pot," after a U.S. federal grand jury indicted him on charges of conspiracy to distribute marijuana seeds, conspiracy to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to engage in money laundering. Mr. Emery, who ran a lucrative marijuana seed business, may not be everyone’s idea of a hero, but many Canadians are outraged by the Americans waging their war on drugs within our borders.
There is little doubt that Mr. Emery’s seeds found their way into the hands of eager U.S. pot-smokers, and U.S. drug agents had a legitimate concern about the prince’s business activities. However, this concern should have led to a request that Canadian police enforce our existing laws to sanction Mr. Emery. Instead, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency asked Canadian police to execute a wide-ranging search warrant in Mr. Emery’s home town, Vancouver, and to deliver him and other Canadian marijuana activists to be prosecuted in the land of mandatory minimum punishments.
From the Canadian perspective, Mr. Emery’s constant flouting of our marijuana laws were tolerated and his activities seen as part and parcel of our continuing debate over marijuana law reform. I recognize that the sale of viable cannabis seeds appears to be a crime both in Canada and the United States, and that there may be a legal basis for seeking extradition as these seeds found their way onto U.S. soil. But I’m deeply concerned about subjecting a Canadian citizen to the draconian laws of a foreign nation when we don’t bother charging this person for violating our laws. A Canadian citizen is now exposed to U.S. drug sentences which border on cruel and unusual punishment — for violating a law we rarely enforce in Canada.
Mr. Emery has publicly boasted about the size of his enterprise ("I sell four million seeds a year") and the DEA claims that he makes about $3-million a year from his seed sales. But the Americans fail to mention that much of this money has been funnelled into legal challenges, compassion clubs, drug treatment centres and political activism. Mr. Emery is not the kingpin of some British Columbian cartel, breaking the law for personal gain; rather, he is an activist who has flouted the law as a political statement and in order to acquire resources to change the law.
Had he had been prosecuted and convicted under Canadian law, he would probably receive a fine and a short prison term. It’s unlikely that U.S. courts will respect or understand the political context of Mr. Emery’s alleged criminality. In many aspects of criminal-justice policy, the differences between Canada and the United States have grown exponentially. When we extradite to the United States, we must recognize that we are sending someone to a very different legal and political culture. In Canada we have a medical-marijuana program in which patients can lawfully use marijuana; in Oklahoma, an army vet who grew pot to cope with his own crippling arthritis was sentenced to 90 years in prison.
In dealing with the Americans, we must take care that mutual legal assistance does not become legal domination, as has the U.S. war on drugs in Latin America. The DEA’s pursuit of the Prince of Pot isn’t the first instance of Canada’s deferring to U.S. drug-law enforcement policy. One summer day in 2004, an off-duty Vancouver policeman was driving near Hope, B.C., when he was stopped by a Texas state trooper. Constable David Laing, annoyed by the involvement of Texans on a Canadian highway, refused to submit to a random drug search. A minute later, he was stopped by another trooper and an RCMP officer, who did a thorough search (they found no marijuana). Mr. Laing went to his lawyers; his civil suit was settled out of court. The Texans later explained that they were taking part in a training-exchange program with the RCMP. Although the Texas program is unconstitutional by Canadian standards, our law enforcement officials were somehow convinced that there was much to be learned by letting U.S. officials violate the rights of Canadians on Canadian soil.
Imposing American values, including attitudes towards drugs, on the global village can only harm the U.S. in the long-term, by fuelling a growing anti-American sentiment. In the case of the Prince of Pot, I hope that Canada’s Minister of Justice will exercise his discretion to block this extradition if a court finds the request to be technically proper. At a minimum, Irwin Cotler should refuse to extradite unless an undertaking is provided that Mr. Emery won’t be subjected to the cruel minimum sentences if convicted in a U.S. court.
Mutuality dictates that the Americans show some respect for our legal and political values, as we do for theirs. But we must show backbone to resist U.S. efforts to enforce their drug laws on our soil.
Alan Young, an associate professor of law at Osgoode Hall, has done legal work for Marc Emery in the past. He is the author of Justice Defiled: Perverts, Potheads, Serial Killers and Lawyers.August 5, 2005 at 7:46 pm #111948
it’s just so they can keep the kids back home smokin’ that grade A Bush Crack !!!!August 6, 2005 at 6:08 am #111949
I’m starting to worry that I’ll be getting sued by the RIAA for downloading in Canada…
Seriously though, another country dictating to our police force who to arrest & when…August 8, 2005 at 7:03 pm #111950
…horrible indeed, it’s all big tobacco, they see marajuana as a competitor, kids should smoke their lousey cancer sticks instead of frosty Canadian beasters. The DEA seriously has stopped caring about heroin, crack, and other deadly drugs to focus on green herbs that grow naturally and just cause over exposure to television. I can’t believe the us is jumping boarders to flex muscles, wait that is actually very believable…August 8, 2005 at 7:40 pm #111951
its the skull and BONERS !!!! its a cracklord consipracy designed to keep the black man down and George Clinton out of the white house!!!
[img]http://www.prisonplanet.com/pp150304bonescar.jpg[/img]August 9, 2005 at 5:46 am #111952
I like how at the end it says "imposing American values." Because the values enfored by the minority in power are of course the same as everyone else’s.
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