#314 Is Canada A United States Puppet?

Date: Fri, 05 Aug 2005
Subject: #314 Is Canada A United States Puppet?


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DrugSense FOCUS Alert #314 – Friday, 5 August 2005

Readers of this alert are likely aware of the arrests of Marc Emery,
Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek, and Gregory Williams – Canadians – at the
request of the United States government.

Already much has been published in the Canadian press, and some
articles in the United States press.

Cannabis Culture http://cannabisculture.com/ has posted on line at
http://cannabisculture.com/articles/4471.html a list of “5 things you
can do to help Marc Emery.” While not every action listed is
something those outside of Canada may do, number 3 on the list “Write
to Canadian media” is clearly appropriate. We ask your help in letting
the Canadian media know what you think about these arrests.

Already many newspaper clippings may be found at http://www.mapinc.org/people/Marc+Emery
– with more being added every day.

An extensive list of Canadian media with letter to the editor contacts
is on line at http://www.mapinc.org/cmap/press.htm Media with larger
clipping counts are likely to be better targets for your letter
writing efforts.

On August 3rd the Globe and Mail, one of Canada’s two national
newspapers, printed an OPED by Alan Young which provides a fair view
of the issues in our opinion, so we are providing it below.

Is Canada a United States puppet? We hope not, but in this case only
time will tell.



Washington wants to take over the prosecution of those who flout
Canada’s marijuana laws. Ottawa should tell it to butt out, says law
professor ALAN YOUNG

On July 27, in Halifax, RCMP officers arrested Marc Emery, Canada’s
self-styled “Prince of Pot,” after a U.S. federal grand jury indicted
him on charges of conspiracy to distribute marijuana seeds, conspiracy
to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to engage in money laundering.
Mr. Emery, who ran a lucrative marijuana seed business, may not be
everyone’s idea of a hero, but many Canadians are outraged by the
Americans waging their war on drugs within our borders.

There is little doubt that Mr. Emery’s seeds found their way into the
hands of eager U.S. pot-smokers, and U.S. drug agents had a legitimate
concern about the prince’s business activities. However, this concern
should have led to a request that Canadian police enforce our existing
laws to sanction Mr. Emery. Instead, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency
asked Canadian police to execute a wide-ranging search warrant in Mr.
Emery’s home town, Vancouver, and to deliver him and other Canadian
marijuana activists to be prosecuted in the land of mandatory minimum

From the Canadian perspective, Mr. Emery’s constant flouting of our
marijuana laws were tolerated and his activities seen as part and
parcel of our continuing debate over marijuana law reform.

I recognize that the sale of viable cannabis seeds appears to be a
crime both in Canada and the United States, and that there may be a
legal basis for seeking extradition as these seeds found their way
onto U.S. soil. But I’m deeply concerned about subjecting a Canadian
citizen to the draconian laws of a foreign nation when we don’t bother
charging this person for violating our laws. A Canadian citizen is now
exposed to U.S. drug sentences which border on cruel and unusual
punishment — for violating a law we rarely enforce in Canada.

Mr. Emery has publicly boasted about the size of his enterprise (“I
sell four million seeds a year”) and the DEA claims that he makes
about $3-million a year from his seed sales.

But the Americans fail to mention that much of this money has been
funnelled into legal challenges, compassion clubs, drug treatment
centres and political activism.

Mr. Emery is not the kingpin of some British Columbian cartel,
breaking the law for personal gain; rather, he is an activist who has
flouted the law as a political statement and in order to acquire
resources to change the law.

Had he had been prosecuted and convicted under Canadian law, he would
probably receive a fine and a short prison term. It’s unlikely that
U.S. courts will respect or understand the political context of Mr.
Emery’s alleged criminality. In many aspects of criminal-justice
policy, the differences between Canada and the United States have
grown exponentially. When we extradite to the United States, we must
recognize that we are sending someone to a very different legal and
political culture.

In Canada we have a medical-marijuana program in which patients can
lawfully use marijuana; in Oklahoma, an army vet who grew pot to cope
with his own crippling arthritis was sentenced to 90 years in prison.

In dealing with the Americans, we must take care that mutual legal
assistance does not become legal domination, as has the U.S. war on
drugs in Latin America. The DEA’s pursuit of the Prince of Pot isn’t
the first instance of Canada’s deferring to U.S. drug-law enforcement

One summer day in 2004, an off-duty Vancouver policeman was driving
near Hope, B.C., when he was stopped by a Texas state trooper.

Constable David Laing, annoyed by the involvement of Texans on a
Canadian highway, refused to submit to a random drug search.

A minute later, he was stopped by another trooper and an RCMP officer,
who did a thorough search (they found no marijuana). Mr. Laing went to
his lawyers; his civil suit was settled out of court.

The Texans later explained that they were taking part in a
training-exchange program with the RCMP. Although the Texas program is
unconstitutional by Canadian standards, our law enforcement officials
were somehow convinced that there was much to be learned by letting
U.S. officials violate the rights of Canadians on Canadian soil.

Imposing American values, including attitudes towards drugs, on the
global village can only harm the U.S. in the long-term, by fuelling a
growing anti-American sentiment.

In the case of the Prince of Pot, I hope that Canada’s Minister of
Justice will exercise his discretion to block this extradition if a
court finds the request to be technically proper.

At a minimum, Irwin Cotler should refuse to extradite unless an
undertaking is provided that Mr. Emery won’t be subjected to the cruel
minimum sentences if convicted in a U.S. court.

Mutuality dictates that the Americans show some respect for our legal
and political values, as we do for theirs.

But we must show backbone to resist U.S. efforts to enforce their drug
laws on our soil.


Thanks for your effort and support.

It’s not what others do – it’s what YOU do


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Or contact MAP Media Activism Facilitator Steve Heath for personal
tips on how to write LTEs that get printed.


Future media activism sessions in the DrugSense Virtual Conference
Room are announced at http://www.mapinc.org/resource/pal_sched.php



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Prepared by: Richard Lake =.