Marc Emery, a resident of Canada ran an online business selling Marijuana seeds. Selling Marijuana seeds is illegal in Canada, but considered little more than a simple misdemeanor much like jaywalking. Even today there are many stores in Canada that sell Marijuana seeds. The Canadian government even recommended medical Marijuana patients to buy seeds from Marc Emery.
Marc sold seeds from his business in Canada to US citizens and mailed them to the United States. Illegal in the United States, but not so much in Canada, Marc never made any transactions in the United States.
On July 29, 2005 his business in Canada was raided by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. He and co-defendants, Greg Williams and Michelle Rainey, were charged with "'Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana", "Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana Seeds" and "Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering." Yet today there have been no charges ever filed against them in Canada.
Marc has made a plea deal to keep his co-defendants out of prison. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration is only interested in making a political example out of Marc Emery and this is precisely why he should not be extradited. You can not be extradited for political purposes.
Drug Enforcement Administration boss Karen Tandy said, “Today's arrest of Mark 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.”
She went on to say, “"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.”
We citizens of the United States do not want our government making political martyrs out of citizens or other nations for violating our laws while not in our jurisdiction. Marc Emery should be let free to go home back to Canada.
Here are some facts:
- Marc Emery, Michelle Rainey and Greg Williams never went to the United States. The seed business, "Marc Emery Direct Marijuana Seeds", was Canadian-based and run by Marc Emery. There were no US-based employees, and only regular mail was ever sent across the border from Vancouver, BC to Americans who made orders on-line or through the mail.
- According to a 2005 survey done by the Strategic Counsel & Angus Reid Polling, 58% of Canadians oppose extradition in this case. In the years since, public opposition to extradition has only grown, with national newspaper editorials, local news columnists, and even Members of Canada's Parliament all urging the Justice Minister to refuse extradition in this case.
- Marc Emery paid Income Tax to Revenue Canada and Revenue BC on all of his income generated from his seed business. He paid more than $500,000 in taxes between 1999 and 2005, and put his occupation on the income tax declarations as "marijuana seed vendor".
- Marc Emery's magazine "Cannabis Culture" was sent to every Member of Parliament for over 12 years, and still is today. Every issue of Cannabis Culture up to #57 (the issue printed on the very same day as the raid, July 29th, 2005) included the entire seed catalogue in it, so Parliament knew about the business.
- Health Canada, when it first began licensing medical marijuana users, recommended to Members of Parliament and licensed users that new cannabis growers should purchase seeds on-line from Canadian seed sellers such as Marc Emery Direct. Svend Robinson, the New Democratic Party Health Critic in Canadian Parliament, will testify to that fact.
- Marc Emery brought a capitalist approach to the marijuana legalization movement by starting "radical retail" outlets such as Hemp BC, and got politically involved by helping organize the Canadian Marijuana Party and creating the BC Marijuana Party, the latter which he still leads today.
- Marc Emery created his seed business with the purpose of using the profits to fund the cannabis movement worldwide. Through the sale of cannabis seeds, Marc was able to finance numerous drug law reform groups and events around the world, mostly in Canada and the United States. He funded global rally/march promotion, American and Canadian ballot initiatives, election campaigns, lobbying groups, conferences, drug rehab clinics, class action lawsuits, protests, patient bills and bail fees, and more. In total, over $4,000,000 was contributed to various activities and organizations.
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