The fate of Marc Emery, known worldwide as the Prince of Pot, is in the hands of Canada’s Justice Minister Rob Nicholson. The Justice Minister will decide to approve or refuse the extradition of Emery to the United States at any time after January 8th. Emery is a well-known Canadian businessman, activist, and leader of the BC Marijuana Party. He is facing extradition to the United States to face charges for selling marijuana seeds through the mail to Americans.
In late 2009, Marc Emery signed a plea deal for a 5-year sentence in the US system. “I was forced to take this plea deal for five years under great duress,” said Emery.
“If I went to trial in the United States, I would have received a mandatory minimum sentences of 30 years up to life. I shouldn’t be going to prison at all for selling seeds to consenting adults, but five years is preferable to a life sentence.”
Emery went into Canadian custody in September 2009 after an extradition hearing in the BC Supreme Court, and is currently free on bail awaiting the Justice Minister’s decision.
Emery’s wife, Jodie Emery, believes her husband should be dealt with in Canada and not the USA. “Most Canadians agree that Marc should be dealt with in Canada’s justice system. He operated openly in Vancouver, BC for over a decade, never went to the USA, and paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in income taxes.
“The Justice Minister has received tens of thousands of phone calls, letters, post cards and petitions asking him to refuse the extradition. There is no reason my husband should suffer for five years in a foreign prison system, especially when he operated his seed business in Canada at all times.”
Emery’s lawyer, Kirk Tousaw, made an access to information and privacy (ATIP) request for Justice Department communications related to Emery’s arrest for extradition. After long delays, approximately 60 pages of a 6,000-page document were released with everything blacked out for various “national security” reasons.
Libby Davies, Member of Parliament for Vancouver East, made an Order Paper request for similar documents, but was also refused any information.