Friday, July 29, 2005

Oh Canada!!!

What are they thinking, allowing themselves to be browbeat by US DEA agents into taking such an ill-advised action? Did they forget they are a sovereign nation?
This morning, Canadian police, acting on a request from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration raided the British Columbia Marijuana Party Bookstore and Headquarters in Vancouver, BC. Several BCMP employees have been arrested.
The Cannabis Culture forums will have the breaking news but here's some details as the story develops.

Marc Emery has been arrested. He wasn't in the store when it was raided. They went clear to Nova Scotia to get him. But this is beyond the pale.
At a news conference in Seattle, U.S. authorities announced they've asked for Emery to be extradited to the U.S. to face drug charges.

Chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office, Jeff Sullivan said the charges are based on what Emery allegedly does in the U.S. and not what he does in Canada.

The charges are:

Conspiracy to manufacture marijuana;
Conspiracy to sell marijuana sell marijuana seeds;
Conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Known as "The Prince of Pot", the leader of the B.C. Marijuana Party has been a vocal advocate for the legalization of marijuana.

Two other people were also arrested on the same charges. Reuters has BCMP reaction to this astounding turn of events.

Loretta Nall of USMP, is of course, on top of the story and raises the very pertinent question of selective prosecution and notes other purveyors of seed were open for business while public tokers watched the raids unfold.

Video on the raid is available here. Video of the Halifax police statement on Emery's arrest is here.

Meanwhile, you can watch a USAG make a multimillion tax dollar excuse for this dunderheaded investigation here. Note how he carefully pre-denies that Emery's political activities have anything to do with the bust.

What absolute bull. They are at least dozens of other seed purveyors, but none as outspoken as Emery on the legalization issue. And every morning he wakes up as living proof that everything the ONDCP has told you about BC Bud is a lie. He smokes the stuff every single day and has managed to build and run a 3 million dollar empire and organized a political party that has successfully promoted candidates to office. Hardly sounds like it's done him any harm.

And this three million dollar empire raises an interesting question. I wonder if our intrepid prohibition troops have their eye on forfeiture? What are the cross border rules on that I wonder? But even if they manage to take his property, this is still singularly the most ill-advised and wasteful investigation our DEA has undertaken.

It will cost more than they can get and there's absolutely no purpose to it in terms of actually eliminating US grows or in terms of public safety. There are a hundred other ways to get seeds and equipment and most grows are small operations that pose no danger to the public. Almost a billion Americans smoke marijuana. They're mostly responsible and otherwise law-abiding citizens. As is Marc Emery. Don't you think if they were going to cause mayhem, they would have done so by now?

Shame on Canada for allowing the harassment of a legitimate and contributing Canadian businessman to satisfy petty and unjust US concerns. And shame on us for allowing our government to waste our tax dollars on such buffoonery. Shouldn't they be concentrating on the meth problem instead?

[Sweep of the hat to Tim Meehan for all the links]


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