Yesterday in the House of Commons, an MP from each of the Cons, the NDP, and the Libs stood up in succession to present petitions signed by 12,000 Canadians asking Justice Minister Rob Nicholson not to sign extradition papers that would deport Marc Emery to the US to serve a five-year sentence for selling marijuana seeds online. Emery was busted in 2005 by Canadian police acting on behalf of the U.S. DEA.
"Marc Emery's activities, the ones for which he is being extradited, involve selling viable marijuana seeds over the Internet. It is worth noting that these activities were approved by Health Canada's referral of medical marijuana patients to his seed bank. Canadian courts in ruling on this subject have ruled that a $200 fine is an appropriate punishment for this kind of activity as opposed to extradition to a country where he can face potentially life imprisonment."
"Mr. Emery or any Canadian should not face harsh punishment in the U.S. for selling cannabis seeds on the Internet when it is not worthy of prosecution in Canada. I think people see it as a question of Canadian sovereignty."
It appears to me that we have assisted a foreign government arrest a man for doing something that we wouldn't arrest him for doing in Canada. As a former premier and a former attorney-general, I sense a certain degree of unfairness in the process."
Kudos to all three of you.
Flashback :DEA Administrator Karen Tandy, 2005 :
"Today's DEA arrest of Marc Scott Emery, publisher of Cannabis Culture Magazine, and the founder of a marijuana legalization group, is a signficant blow not only to the marijuana trafficking trade in the U.S. and Canada, but also to the marijuana legalization movement.
Emery and his organization had been designated as one of the Attorney General's most wanted international drug trafficking organizational targets."
Fast forward to Michael Ignatieff, yesterday :
"If I had to tell you as a parent or as someone who has spent his whole life working with young people, the last darn thing I want you to be doing is smoking marijuana," the federal Liberal leader said. "I want you to be out there digging a well, digging a ditch, getting a job, raising a family ... doing stuff, instead of parking your life on the end of a marijuana cigarette."
Holy Reeeeeeefer Madness! Gosh, thanks, Dad.
"Given the things we need to do together, that's what I think," he said, adding that legalizing marijuana would create problems in dealings with the U.S. because the drug would remain illegal there."
Except it isn't. It's been decriminalized in one quarter of US states since Emery was busted. Are we really going to throw Emery to the US just to suck up to the surviving worshippers of Nancy Reagan?
Bonus : Tonight's deadline for Steve's clueless foray into the interactive intertubes approaches. The most frequent suggestion out of nearly 3800 entries was "Legalize marijuana". Expect Steve to pass on this one nonetheless. I'll be back for it later.