Thursday, December 2, 2010
The U.S. Extradition of a Canadian Citizen
In 2007, CBC's The Lens did a documentary on Canadian marijuana activist, Marc Emery. The documentary goes into depth about Marc's seed selling business, which included the smuggling and illegal sales of marijuana seeds in the United States. Essentially, the U.S. government arrested him for this and wished to extradite him and have him serve an American jail sentence [10 years to life in prison, with no parole]. The documentary is called Prince of Pot: the US vs. Marc Emery.
There is a lot of controversy over this issue, as we see in Canada, the sale of seeds is seemingly no big deal. However, the U.S. government and the
DEA feel very differently. Marc Emery's charges are for drug trafficking, which is a very serious offence in the U.S. The prosecutors, as portrayed in the documentary, were almost treating his case as if he were a murderer. It seems like the DEA is blind to the multitude of studies on the actual danger of marijuana - which is very minimal. It is, to most Canadians, common knowledge that alcohol and tobacco - two legal drugs - are far more dangerous than marijuana. In fact, marijuana alone has killed zero people, in all of history. As stated in the documentary, "show me the bodies".
Over the last 3 years, there has been an explosion of political and activist debate and action related to this case. With much less harsh marijuana laws in Canada, Canadians sought to have Marc sentenced here and perhaps saved. There have been many "free Marc" initiatives and campaigns, reaching out to Canadian marijuana-smokers or sympathizers, to help Marc, his wife Jodie, and the 2 employees who were arrested with him.
Attempts at saving Marc, or having his sentence served in Canada have failed, though compromises were made. His sentence was reduced to 5 years in an American prison, with a plea of guilty.
The documentary can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jg9E2BOEHss [part 1 or 5]
Updates on this case can be seen in many places, including Marc Emery's myspace and facebook accounts, Cannabis Culture Magazine, which Marc owns, as well as several news sources. For those of you interested in following up with this case, the following links will be helpful.