Canada's 'Prince of Pot' Sentenced To Five Years

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  Canada's 'Prince of Pot' Sentenced To Five Years

Posted by CN Staff on September 11, 2010 at 05:38:03 PT
By Mike Carter, Seattle Times Staff Reporter 
Source: Seattle Times 

Seattle, WA -- Marc Emery, Canada's "Prince of Pot" and a powerful voice in the debate over the decriminalization of marijuana, was sent to federal prison for five years on Friday for selling millions of cannabis seeds by mail and phone order, the culmination of a five-year prosecution and plea agreement that saw Emery extradited from Vancouver.In a statement to U.S. District Judge Ricardo Martinez and in a letter to the court, Emery admitted his attempt to force a change in U.S. and Canadian drug laws through "civil disobedience" and flouting the laws was "overzealous and reckless."
"I acted arrogantly in violation of U.S. federal law," he wrote. "I regret not choosing other methods — legal ones — to achieve my goals of peaceful political reform."In my zeal, I had believed that my actions were wholesome, but my behavior was in fact illegal and set a bad example for others," he said.The five-year prison sentence was no surprise. Emery and the government had agreed to it as part of a deal that saw Emery surrender to U.S. authorities in May after fighting extradition from Canada for four years.Two clerks who worked for him at his seed store in Canada had pleaded guilty earlier and received probation.Emery was indicted in 2005, and at the time, the then-director of Drug Enforcement Administration, Karen Tandy, called Emery's 2005 arrest a "significant blow" to drug trafficking and the "marijuana-legalization movement.""Drug-legalization lobbyists have one less pot of money to rely on," Tandy said at the time.Emery and his attorney, Richard Troberman, said Friday that statement proves his prosecution was politically motivated, and for federal prosecutors to claim otherwise is "absurdly naive."Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Greenberg disputed the claim and said Emery is using it as a diversion from the facts: Until he was arrested, Emery was the single largest supplier of marijuana seeds — and therefore marijuana — in the U.S. for a decade.He sold to anybody, Greenberg said, regardless of age or criminal history."The only person who inserted Mr. Emery's politics into this case is Mr. Emery himself," Greenberg said.Tandy's 2005 statement, he said, "does not speak for this U.S. Attorney's Office.""This case remains about Mr. Emery's long-term and repeated violations of U.S. drug laws," Greenberg said.Emery's seeds have been traced to marijuana-grow operations throughout the U.S. and Canada, and Emery's business "added fuel to the fire" of drug violence, the prosecutor said.Troberman argued it is oppressive drug laws that are responsible for the violence that permeates the drug trade.Martinez said his courtroom was not the place to debate the legalization of pot.He told Emery his actions "ensured that many other people also broke the law."The judge said he had received hundreds of letters — including one in crayon — supporting Emery.Emery made millions through his mail-order seed company and publication of his magazine, "Cannabis Culture," and he plowed much of it into the "anti-prohibition" movements in the U.S. and Canada.He has helped fund medical-marijuana initiatives in several states, including California and Washington.A small group of supporters, including Emery's wife, Jodie, a Canadian politician and lobbyist, sat quietly through the proceedings, and other supporters gathered outside the U.S. District Courthouse in Seattle carrying "Free Marc Emery" signs.Martinez, at Emery's request, put in a recommendation to the Bureau of Prison and the State Department that Emery be allowed to serve his term in Canada.Source: Seattle Times (WA)Author:  Mike Carter, Seattle Times Staff Reporter Published: September 10, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Seattle Times CompanyContact: opinion seatimes.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives

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Comment #28 posted by Ron on September 13, 2010 at 10:55:27 PT:
Bingo, runruff
"...a scared little boy who is still paying back those bullies who used to force him to give him their lunch money."I think a lot of today's drugwarriors are just trying to get back at the Cannabians who laughed at them in high school.All they could do back then was to hold their disapproving noses higher, but that just caused more laughter.Locking people up helps excoriate all those teenage humiliations.
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Comment #27 posted by runruff on September 13, 2010 at 03:22:11 PT
What happened to JPee?
JPee was a milque-toast warrior!Raised on comic book super heroes, his mommy always left a night light on in his room so he could see if any bogeymen were sneaking up on him.Later, he saw people living in a "counter culture" and decided that anything not corporate was UN-American.I look into the eyes of the little monster they once called "Little Johnny". I see a scared little boy who is still paying back those bullies who used to force him to give him their lunch money. Boy, he would like to see them try that now! JPee and Ashcroft should have been best friends. They both saw nasty stuff everywhere but nasty people on dope were Jpee's mission in life.I believe he is a duphus maximus! Unlike so many other prohibitionist who are pretending to believe the unbelievable, he believes! He is the classic example of the government's "useful idiot" so coined by Stalin.In the annals of history, he will be a foot note among other useful idiots such as Michele Leonhart, Calvina Fay, William Bennett and the rest of the usual suspects that complete the lineup of federal sycophants.
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Comment #26 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on September 12, 2010 at 19:56:21 PT
Sceptics should remember "Valerie Plame"
There was a culture of personal retribution in the Bush administration that started from the very top.
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Comment #25 posted by Ron on September 12, 2010 at 19:12:21 PT:
"...despicably cruel and vengeful." 
Yes. That description sure fits Walters, Hope.I always thought of him as a strutting bantam marionette. He sounded so brave, spewing and spouting that steady stream of lies and propaganda. He always took care to back up that bravery with a battalion of bodyguards though.I wonder what he's up to these days?  
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Comment #24 posted by Hope on September 12, 2010 at 17:33:58 PT
"Steve Tuck also felt Jpee's wrath..."
I remember that. It seems to me like it was like two weeks after that incident that they went after Steve, when they could have gotten him any time they'd wanted. Suddenly, it was personal and it was John Walters.John Walters was despicably cruel and vengeful. They, Marc and Steve, didn't bow to him when his procession came by them. They made him mad, and he made them pay... and he used his office and our tax money to exact his revenge.
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Comment #23 posted by Ron on September 12, 2010 at 13:52:45 PT:
Thanks for connecting some dots, kaptinemo
I'd forgotten about Marc's disruption of Jpee's set speech at the Vancouver Board of Trade. And no wonder! I can't recall a single article, in the dozens I've read about the case, that mentioned revenge as a reason for the US extradition request.Steve Tuck also felt Jpee's wrath. This was for blowing hashish smoke in the Drugzar's face when he visited Marc's cafe in Vancouver the next evening. Shortly afterwards our border agencies shamed themselves by dragging Steve out of a hospital emergency ward and repatriating him, in pain and on a stretcher, to US border guards late one Friday afternoon. Apparently they wanted to give American authorities the opportunity to keep Steve suffering until Monday.Seems none of the articles on Emery's sentencing has mentioned that his prosecutor, John McKay, has called for legalization: certainly think that's pertinent news in a political case such as this. 
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Comment #22 posted by Storm Crow on September 12, 2010 at 12:16:43 PT
I was in a California dispensary last week, among the items for sale were packs of 10 seeds for $30 (2 varieties). A month or so ago, another had cannabis seeds far cheaper, but they sold out rapidly (should have gotten some then). I'm "out in the boonies", but I imagine that dispensaries in larger towns also have seeds, but with more varieties available.Another collective, further south of me, has a regular "farmer's market" where mother plants, seeds, clones and cuttings are sold (price depends on size and strain).Other states have other rules- Oregon, I believe, allows trading of "genetics" (seeds or clones) between patients. Since I don't even go to Oregon that much (much less other MMJ states) I'm not really up on their laws, but in California, you can find seeds openly for sale. 
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Comment #21 posted by kaptinemo on September 12, 2010 at 05:05:25 PT:
*Who's* laws did he break? 
Who's laws? Not Canada's, evidently. And the Canadian government certainly had no qualms about taking the tax revenues that Emery paid, revenues the other seed suppliers are no doubt keeping to themselves.All of this is happening because Emery publicly humiliated Johnny Pee at a prohib gab-fest in Vancouver. Make no mistake, this was a misuse of US taxpayer's money for a personal vendetta; typical of the goons staffing Bush the Lesser's regime.Even more importantly: WHY MUST U.S. TAXPAYERS FOOT THE BILL FOR THE INCARCERATION OF THIS FOREIGNER WHEN IN HIS OWN COUNTRY THIS WAS NOT ILLEGAL? And, yes, I was shouting, because I'm pissed. In my own State the infrastructure's crumbling, the unemployment rate is rising, vital public services are being cut back, people are facing homelessness and hunger, and our government still believes it has the money for this kind of damnfoolishness?Reformers in the US need to pound some pol's tables and get in their faces and ask just why we're spending precious, dwindling taxpayer-funded resources on this idiocy. If the Canucks don't want to lock him up, why should we pay for it when we can barely afford to take care of our own? That point needs to be made again and again and again until it sinks in.The money, the money, the money, the money, the money. Always emphasize the money. For in these times with next to no social safety nets, we can't afford the incarceration of nonviolent foreigners (or any other nonviolent offenders) when we can't afford to take care of own people. Do enough of that, and Emery will be sh!t out of the system at warp speed.
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Comment #20 posted by The GCW on September 11, 2010 at 22:49:07 PT
The original 13 states has seed sales?!.
Am I mistaken? Are people allowed to purchase seeds in those states which have legalized cannabis for medical usage?Is the U.S. caging a foreign human for selling something that is legal for US citizens to purchase? Will they cage Him in one of those original 13 states in which citizens may legally acquire cannabis seeds?I feel like the US government is a terrorist organization. Caging Emery in the year 2011 or anyone else selling cannabis seeds seems barbaric.
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Comment #19 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on September 11, 2010 at 20:32:08 PT
More "significant blow"
SIGNIFICANT BLOW is what's been coming into the USA for 3 decades! While the DEA has focused on cannabis, be it marijuana or hemp, and good folks like Eddy Lepp, Marc Emery, and runruff.
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Comment #18 posted by Hope on September 11, 2010 at 20:22:59 PT
Ok ... Sleep well.
I may check out SNL. Thanks for reminding me.Really, I'd like to go to sleep earlier tonight so I might wake up earlier and feel better tomorrow. I've been staying up later than I like and sleeping later than I like in the morning and it makes the day seem too short. 
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on September 11, 2010 at 20:14:56 PT
It's all about liability and keeping what they will have to pay out low. We're really tired and calling it a day. Not sure if I'll even make it to watch SNL tonight. LOL!
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Comment #16 posted by Hope on September 11, 2010 at 20:04:10 PT
No doubt a lot of people will pay a high price, in possibly all kinds of ways, for that crazy decision.Why would they want to appear to be doing a terrible job of trying to do the right thing?What a messed up decision that was!
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on September 11, 2010 at 19:58:59 PT
BP wouldn't let them be filmed with respirators if I remember it correctly. 
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on September 11, 2010 at 19:49:55 PT
Breathing those fumes...
I can't believe they'd not wear them for just how it would look on the news!That's outrageous.Probably wouldn't look to good with their eyes tearing and nose running rivers and gasping for air!
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on September 11, 2010 at 19:26:06 PT
 The same thing goes for those who were working in the middle of the gulf oil disaster too. No respirators so it didn't look bad on the TV. Many people will pay a big price for 9/11 and the gulf oil disaster. 
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on September 11, 2010 at 19:20:19 PT
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on September 11, 2010 at 19:15:05 PT
No respirators proved to be a very bad mistake.
Also, people that survived it, didn't have vaporizers with them when it happened. I remember how people were covered with ash and stuff. You know they breathed tons of stuff in. The air was solid with stuff.People were frightened and anxious and hoping to find survivors. It's hard to see around respirators and they are uncomfortable and inhibiting. But they should have had them. It was a big mistake not to.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on September 11, 2010 at 18:40:50 PT

I have avoided watching anything about 9/11 but on Planet Green a documentary is on about the toxic effects of 9/11 and that I am watching since I always wondered why people just moved around with no respirators. It's on Channel 286 on DirecTV and it's called 9/11: Toxic Legacy. I think people will get sick from the gulf oil spill in a few years just like 9/11.
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on September 11, 2010 at 17:41:36 PT

I very much agree with your hope for him. I hope and pray that for him, too.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on September 11, 2010 at 15:43:37 PT

Marc Emery
I hope that Marc will be able to serve his sentence in Canada and not in the states. I hope by some miracle he will not need to serve the whole 5 years too.
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on September 11, 2010 at 14:59:02 PT

"I have always had a lot of respect for him and all he's tried to do."Uh. Well.... seems like maybe there was one little stunt one time that was a bit over the top for my "refined" sensibilities... lol... maybe more than one.But I love him and have ever since I learned about him and what he was doing years and years ago... even before I got into the internet. I loved him, admired him, respected him, and feared for him.There is no doubt... he is a Prince of of quite a few Princes of Pot I've come to know, and love, and care very much for over the years.No matter how bad it looks like right now... he's going to achieve his goals. He's going to come out of this, ultimately, the real victor over a longstanding and powerful foe.
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on September 11, 2010 at 14:47:50 PT

There were a thousand other seed sellers
they could have taken down. They chose Marc to make an example of because he irritated them the most. Marc tried, in his own way, the best way he could see, to bring peace and an end to injustice in a bad situation.He saw the injustice of cannabis prohibition and he stood up boldly, very boldly... loud and in their faces.He didn't steal anything from anyone. He didn't threaten anyone in any way. He didn't hurt anyone. Marc actually helped people that needed the seeds, and the plants they could grow, find seed. He made a lot of money. That irritated them. He gave it away freely... and that irritated them even more.Some of the people that bought Marc's seeds were legally permitted to have plants, but no good place to find seeds, and certainly not to find seeds of any known genetics or qualities.He didn't hurt anyone, but he irritated the powers that be. Marc didn't, couldn't, being Marc Emery, keep a low profile. At all. He irritated them badly.How is what they've done to him not political? Why aren't they trying to extradite all those other dangerous seed sellers?The injustice that Marc fought against has grabbed him hard and dragged him off to one of their cages.But, God help us, they haven't won yet. Ultimately, Marc, and all of us, will overcome them and the injustice they have so long upheld and enforced.May all of us alive today live to see that glorious day!Marc Emery. He is bold and brash. I have always had a lot of respect for him and all he's tried to do. Marc Emery... truly... a real "Prince of Pot".I salute you, Sir! And may your freedom soon be restored to you!
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Comment #5 posted by HempWorld on September 11, 2010 at 08:34:53 PT

Dear Marc,
This is a very sad day for all of us. Your bravery and eloquence have made you prey to the unjust anti-drug laws and their zealous masters. You have become a martyr.Will CA do the right thing despite all the tax dollars spent against this initiative of "the people?"It's finally up to the people, if they can see through the rhetoric of our rulers and masters, or give up their short term self-interests (money) for the sake of increased safety and savings for their community. The obvious solution as with alcohol after its prohibition, to finally regulate the sales of this herb and allow legal sales and production!I'm keeping my fingers crossed until after the election!Cheers, all. And remember please vote YES on Prop. 19, and/or get registered to vote in time, please.

Proposition 19 Vote Yes and Donate Please!
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Comment #4 posted by runruff on September 11, 2010 at 08:08:00 PT

"significant blow"
This statement is from a significant blowhard!
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Comment #3 posted by dongenero on September 11, 2010 at 07:09:54 PT

Free Emery. He's a political prisoner. A Canadian jailed for US civil disobedience? It is the civic duty of Americans to stand up against unjust and unconstitutional laws.America has lost her direction when profits of a prison industry warring against private citizens trumps our innate freedoms.9/11 is an appropriate day to reflect on why we jail non-violent human beings, peaceably pursuing activities that harm no one.
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on September 11, 2010 at 06:50:15 PT

sad day for our principles of freedom
Very sorry to see Mark getting this sentence. Cruelty has NO place in a civilized society! Mark will take his place in history alongside other civil rights heroes in women's & minority rights that have sacrificed precious years in our gulag.He's got a strong personality and is a bit of a wise ass an arrogant but his behavoir when everything went wrong says it all. Instead of ratting on someone else he bravely gave himself up to protect his employees. That's a type of honor that is getting rare in the US of A and of course our political class abandoned their last iota of personal honor many years ago.
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Comment #1 posted by MikeEEEEE on September 11, 2010 at 05:48:48 PT

Like so many other times....
Someone else will replace him. This ia a big waste of tax money and will accomplish nothing.
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