Marijuana Activists Call On Obama To Pardon Canadian Prisoner


Photo: Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press
Marc Emery, with wife Jody backing him up, speaks to reporters outside the B.C. Supreme Court in May 2010. He is scheduled to be sentenced to 5 years in U.S. federal prison on Friday, September 10.

​Marijuana activists from Washington state and around North America will gather outside the Federal Courthouse at 700 Stewart Street in Seattle on Friday, September 10, to protest the sentencing of Marc Emery, the “Prince of Pot,” who faces five years in prison for selling mail-order cannabis seeds to Americans.

Cannabis advocates are calling on President Barack Obama to pardon Emery, who faced federal charges after Drug Enforcement Administration agents entered Canada and arrested him in 2005. He is expected to be sentenced to five years in federal prison under a plea agreement reached with federal prosecutors.

Photo: Ian Smith/Vancouver Sun
Emery comforts his wife Jody during an emotional farewell

​”The Emery case is a prime example of the overreach of the federal government and the need for marijuana laws that match social reality in America,” said Philip Dawdy, Sensible Washington’s co-founder and vice-chair.
“It’s crazy that he’s going to prison for selling seeds and that the federal government is willing to spend millions of dollars prosecuting and imprisoning him,” Dawdy said. “President Obama should pardon Emery and get busy with reforming America’s outdated marijuana laws.”
When Emery was arrested in 2005, federal officials called his arrest a “blow to efforts to legalize marijuana in the U.S.” Emery published the Vancouver-based Cannabis Culture magazine and planned to use his seed-selling profits to fund legalization efforts in the U.S.
Activists will assemble outside the U.S. Courthouse from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Friday while Emery, already in federal detention in SeaTac, is being sentenced.
Ironically, only last week John McKay, the former U.S. Attorney for Western Washington who originally charged Emery, wrote an op-ed in the Seattle Times in which he noted that marijuana prohibition has failed, and that it’s time for new marijuana laws on the federal level.
About Sensible Washington
Sensible Washington is an all-volunteer, grassroots organization dedicated to the repeal of marijuana prohibition in Washington state.
The group was sponsor of this year’s I-1068, which failed to gather enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot, and plans to file a new legalization initiative in January 2011.
Since June, Sensible Washington has tripled its volunteer network to some 6,000 citizens committed to ending marijuana prohibition.
More information about Sensible Washington can be found at