|Graphic: Cannabis Culture|
The U.S. Department of Justice has refused imprisoned marijuana entrepreneur and activist Marc Emery’s request for transfer back to Canada, meaning that he will likely spend most or all of his five-year sentence in a U.S. federal prison.
In a phone call Friday afternoon from a prisoner transfer center in Oklahoma, Marc informed his wife and fellow activist Jodie Emery that he received a letter from the Canadian consulate with the news that the U.S. government would not approve his treaty transfer back to Canada due to the supposed “seriousness of the offense” and “law enforcement concerns,” reports Cannabis Culture.
If both the U.S. and Canadian governments had approved the transfer, Emery would have been transferred to a Canadian prison, closer to his friends and family, and would have been eligible for parole almost immediately upon his return.
“I’m really stunned and greatly saddened,” Jodie Emery told Cannabis Culture. “It looks like the DEA and the U.S. government want their pound of flesh, and they want Marc to suffer down there as a nonviolent, peaceful political party leader imprisoned for his activism. This is devastating.”
“Marc has never harmed anyone and has devoted his life to fighting oppression,” Jodie said. “He’s been punished for speaking out for the rights of tens of millions of cannabis consumers here and in the U.S., and it’s truly frightening.”
|Photo: Cannabis Culture|
|In happier times: Marc and Jodie Emery at home in Vancouver, B.C., before his arrest and imprisonment in the United States|
The self-styled Prince of Pot’s extradition to the U.S. was allowed by the Conservative government in May 2010 after a five-year court battle. In 2005, his marijuana seed mail order business, Marc Emery Direct Seeds, was raided and shut down in a joint effort by Canadian and U.S. law enforcement.
Emery, founder of the BC Marijuana Party and Cannabis Culture magazine, was arrested for mailing pot seeds to the United States, though the DEA admitted in its own press release at the time that the activist’s arrest was a political act:
Today’s DEA arrest of Marc Scott Emery, publisher of Cannabis Culture Magazine, and the founder of a marijuana legalization group — is a significant blow not only to the marijuana trafficking trade in the U.S. and Canada, but also to the marijuana legalization movement.His marijuana trade and propagandist marijuana magazine have generated nearly $5 million a year in profits that bolstered his trafficking efforts, but those have gone up in smoke today.Emery and his organization had been designated as one of the Attorney General’s most wanted international drug trafficking organizational targets — one of only 46 in the world and the only one from Canada.Hundreds of thousands of dollars of Emery’s illicit profits are known to have been channeled to marijuana legalization groups active in the United States and Canada. Drug legalization lobbyists now have one less pot of money to rely on.
“This refusal is a terrible affront to the sovereignty of Canada,” said Emery’s Canadian lawyer, Kirk Tousaw. “Marc is a target of political persecution that appears to have transcended his conviction and now infects the treaty transfer process. He qualifies under every relevant factor and should have been allowed to serve out his jail term in Canada, close to his wife Jodie and in the country in which all of his activity took place.
“We call upon Prime Minister Harper and the leaders of the Liberal Party and NDP to stand up for this Canadian hero and demand his immediate repatriation,” Tousaw said.
According to Tousaw, Emery can again apply for transfer in two more years.