U.S. DEA Finally Gets Its Man

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director September 29, 2009

    Just over four years ago, former U.S. DEA administrator Karen Tandy announced to the world that her agency had struck “a significant blow … to the marijuana legalization movement” by indicting Canada’s so-called ‘Prince of Pot,’ Marc Emery.

    For nearly two decades Emery operated a successful marijuana seed bank operation in Vancouver, British Columbia — a venture which he used to directly fund cannabis law reform efforts around the globe, including the magazine Cannabis Culture, the internet site Pot TV, and the founding of the British Columbia Marijuana Party.

    Emery’s seed business was hardly a secret. For many years, Emery mailed copies of his seed catalogue to Canadian politicians. A Canadian court convicted him in 1998 and sentenced him to a $2,000 fine. Undeterred, Emery continued to sell seeds — and pay federal taxes on his profits — up until his arrest. Canadian authorities were happy to accept his tax money, and officials at Health Canada, which oversees Canada’s legal medical marijuana program, often recommended that patients contact Emery for grow advice. Nevertheless, when the Feds came calling, the Canadian authorities were swift to throw Marc Emery to the wolves.

    Even though Emery’s alleged crimes would have warranted, at most, a month in jail in his home country, Canadian authorities yesterday placed Marc into custody so that he can be extradited to the United States. Once here, he faces up to five years in prison for pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana (more than 100 plants) in violation of 21 USC 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(B).

    But lets not kid ourselves. Marc Emery was hardly a high level target because he sold marijuana seeds to the U.S. — a simple google search will yield dozens of listings of competitors that presently engage in similar activities. No, it wasn’t so much what Marc did (“There isn’t a single victim in my case, no one who can stand up and say, ‘I was hurt by Marc Emery.’ No one,” he told the Vancouver Sun) as it was what he did with his money that aroused the ire of U.S. anti-drug officials.

    And we have Karen Tandy’s own words to prove it.

    206 responses to “U.S. DEA Finally Gets Its Man”

    1. David says:

      Its a sad day for Marijuana activists and a very sad day for Canada. I thought Canada was a sovereign nation? How could they let this happen to one of their own citizens? Canadians should be furious!

    2. LS* says:

      I am appalled that the have the nerve to arrest Mark Emery and extradite him to the US, for Marijuana, the US needs to accept that We The People of The United States of America, Love to smoke Pot. We need to stop smoking pot in secret, it needs to be legalized already! Stop hiding in the closet, get out and legislate for what you believe in. You show me the door and I WILL walk through it. What are they going to do, arrest 51% of the population and throw us in jail because we like to smoke pot. No, we need to take a stand! Its 2009 People, We are the music-makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.

    3. bb54 says:

      The score is
      DEA 1 – Marc Emery 0

    4. Shawn says:

      Whew! I couldn’t sleep at night thinking that this guy was out there…growing and selling marijuana to suspecting adults!

    5. robert says:

      what is going on he is a forerunner to us it legal to sale seed there how would like it if some foren police came and arrest you for doing some thing legal here and illegal there it makes on seance

    6. bobreaze says:

      a significant blow … to the marijuana legalization movement

      Its sad that in the USA we have people in office. That constantly try to interfere with peoples rights to protest government policies. It should not be the goal of any government agency to strike a blow against any political movement. Maybe if the DEA would keep people behind bars and focus on real crime instead of hurting public intrest movements the US would be a safer place to live.

    7. Dustin says:

      Correction, DEA might or might not get Marc Emery, He want’s everyone who supports him to go to cannabisculture.com to find out how to help, He is in a canadian jail and needs enough worldwide support to keep away extradition to the u.s.

    8. anaman51 says:

      I look at this and wonder if Karen Tandy is only ignorant, or if she’s maliciously inclined. Did she hurt small animals as a child, or was she accidentally whacked over the head with a bong, perhaps? How can someone be filled with so much malice over an issue about which they understand nothing—or worse, eagerly accept lies and misinformation without the slightest effort to determine the truth?

      There is a class of people in this country who cannot be taught anything. Their minds are shut tight against all learning, unless the lesson reiterates something they already believe. How can someone of at least average intelligence fail to recognize new scientific and medical findings, and yet be ready to jump on any cockamamie rumor that leans in the direction of their own insupportable beliefs?

      This harkens back to Nixon and his throwing away of a comprehensive (and truthful) report about marijuana without even opening the cover, and instead beginning the current war on drugs, all because the information contained in the report told him that pot is no threat. He was faced with the truth of the matter and refused to accept it. How can someone like that achieve any status in this country? It’s mind boggling! We are surrounded by simpletons!

    9. Dustin says:

      tell this to everyone u know that supports Marc Emery

    10. SPhibbs says:

      Sun forbid we fund common sense’s side of the debate!