Monday, May 24, 2010

Marc Emery Extradited to U.S. for Selling Marijuana Seeds

Marc Emery, a vocal advocate for marijuana law reform, is being charged with a crime by the U.S. for selling marijuana seeds. Although he runs a legitimate business in Canada, he was recently extradited to the U.S. because it is illegal to buy or sell marijuana seeds in the U.S.

"From 1994 to 2005, I sold cannabis seeds to anybody in the world to grow in their home. We didn't worry about borders because, ultimately, it was a fundraiser. We would give our funding around North America to support marijuana legalization activities. Ultimately, the funding went around the world to places like the Israeli Marijuana Party, the Green Party in London, global marijuana movements, support for drug addiction clinics. I spent $4 million in ten years advocating peaceful democratic change. I paid taxes on the money. That's why I'm not being pursued in Canada. We ran a campaign to 'overgrow the government' to subvert the drug war. We were trying to create a kind of desirable chaos. The DEA's press release on the day that I was arrested said how contemptuous they were of me and called my magazine a propagandist magazine. They point to the legalization groups as well. These things are very much part of the record. It is a political activity, giving money to charities. There is nobody in the world, literally around the world, doing more to support legalization activities than me. Our movement is known around the world. To me, my arrest, it's very clearly a targeted ideological campaign against marijuana legalization."
In an interview conducted in January 2010, Marc Emery states that the U.S. is trying to make an example of him:

"There are many other seed sellers, but not ones as mouthy as I am. None of them are giving up money for political work. They are all pocketing. So it is interesting that in Canada no one else is being extradited for selling seeds, and no one is even being prosecuted. On my own block there are five other fellows selling seeds, and they are not being prosecuted. So I think what I was doing them annoyed them enough that they decided to come and get me."
Unfortunately, Marc Emery's case is the result of ineffective, insensible drug policies that stem from Bush era persecutions. He is being charged with committing a non-violent crime that has no victims and is expected to serve 5 years in prison. He will likely serve that time in a Canada.

"This is ideologically driven. The idea that they would seek to extradite me on this for a non-violent offense when there's no one claiming harm, this is unheard of."

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