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Marc Emery on Sovereignty of Nation States


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Pot Activist Rallies Support


Saturday, September 10, 2005 Updated at 7:57 PM EDT

Canadian Press

Vancouver — Marc Emery took a quick hit from a joint as his fans smoked and screamed for his freedomin front of the U.S. consulate.

The self-proclaimed Prince of Pot, faces extradition for seed sales — a crime that isn't prosecuted in Canada — and up to life in prison if convicted by a U.S. court.

In the same breath, supporters gathered around him demanded sovereignty for Canada and the world-wide legalization of pot under a billowing cloud of smoke from spliffs being waved in the air.

People everywhere are outraged and scared it could happened to them, declared Mr. Emery, 47.

“I want to tell you,†he shouted above the yells, “you are part of a great awareness. Today, 40 cities around the world, from Warsaw, Moscow, Russia, London, Paris, Madrid, Italy, they are rallying at Canadian consulates around the world. In Melbourne, Australia, and Sydney, Canadian embassies are being picketed!â€

He said Canada has made a huge mistake.

“The government is threatening to extradite me to the U.S. to certain death for doing something no one has ever gone to jail for, that people only ever receive minor fines for.â€

Mr. Emery said there are about 50 pot seed companies in Canada selling seeds every day. The businesses, people who buy from them, people who smoke pot, believe in Canadian sovereignty, are all appalled he said. Mr. Emery referred to a poll by the Globe and Mail that showed the majority of Canadians are opposed to his extradition.

“People understand if it happens to me, it can happened to a New Zealander, a Mexican person. It can happen to an Australian or a person in England or Paris.

“Americans don't honour treaties. We've seen that with softwood lumber. They can spear people away from any of these countries and put people away for long draconian periods of time.â€

Police officers looked on as Mr. Emery spoke and clouds of pot smoke billowed above the crowd. One officer commented that it was a nice day and that he was glad it didn't rain.

A number of parents stood in the crowd with babies in strollers. Greg Popler had his two-year-old son with him as he joined in to support Mr. Emery.

“For me this is more about Canadian sovereignty. I support the legalization of all street drugs, but I'm most against the idea of the U.S. being able to take Canadians down to face their brand of justice, which is different from ours.â€

Mr. Emery's extradition hearing starts Sept. 16 in B.C. Supreme Court.

The 47-year-old long-time pot activist is accused of selling marijuana seeds to Americans through the Internet and the mail, conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and conspiracy to engage in money laundering.

His co-accused are Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek and Gregory Keith Smith.

The trio was arrested in July after Vancouver police raided Mr. Emery's pot paraphernalia store following an 18-month investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Mr. Emery was picked up in Lawrencetown, N.S., while speaking at a music festival to raise funds for a medical marijuana organization.

He was detained in a Halifax-area jail cell for several days before being transferred to Vancouver.

During his brief tour and incarceration on the East coast, Emery made quite an impression. Supporters rallied for him in Halifax in front of city hall Saturday.

“Halifax is important for this demonstration because this is where Marc Emery was arrested originally . . . and this whole procedure started,†said Marc-Boris St-Maurice.

Mr. St-Maurice, who founded the Marijuana Party before jumping to the federal Liberals, said if Mr. Emery broke the law he should be prosecuted in Canada.

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