Pubdate: Fri, 19 Aug 2005
Source: Sentinel Review (CN ON)
Copyright: 2005 Annex Publishing & Printing Inc.
Author: Stephen Brown
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Emery, Marc)


Regarding Marijuana Laws In Canada And Marc Emery's Extradition.

It's time to force our government to pick a side of the marijuana debate 
and dedicate it immediately, unapologetically and once and for all. One 
side or the other. Do we recognize this substance as a harmful drug that is 
responsible for all the pain and suffering that the United States 
government tells the world? Or do we acknowledge that marijuana is, at the 
very least harmless and potentially with some great medicinal benefits?

As it is, our government is unable or unwilling to choose a definitive 
side. London, Ont. native and prince of pot, Marc Emery, has been commended 
for this activism by judges, national politicians and the current Vancouver 
mayor. His business has been recommended by the Health Ministry to those 
who need marijuana seeds for medical purposes.

At the same time, Emery has been arrested and vilified for the promotion of 
cannabis and its related paraphernalia. The few assets he has kept from his 
million-dollar seed empire have been seized on a number of occasions. 
Fortunately most of the money made from his business has gone into legal 
fees for other marijuana defendants in North America, his drug 
rehabilitation centre in Vancouver and various political parties supposedly 
supporting cannabis law reformation, and thus not subject to seizure by the 
police. However this political activist is now fighting extradition to the 
United States where he will spend the rest of his life in a 
maximum-security prison. Irwin Cotler, the current justice minister who 
enabled the extradition proceedings against Emery, has recently stated that 
marijuana legalization is just not a priority to him.

Meanwhile thousands of Canadians are suffering fines and even prison terms 
for doing what they believe should be their own choice. Thousands of sick 
people struggle to find marijuana to ease their pain. It is up to Canadian 
citizens to speak up and make legalization a priority. Help our timid 
government make a bold and definitive stance on the status of marijuana. 
Either we stand by the American war on drugs, or we stand on our own.

If the average citizen were to stand up and be counted for his or her 
opinion on the issue, Emery would not be in danger of spending his life in 
an American prison for having to stand alone.

You may write to Justice Minister Irwin Cotler in regards to cannabis 
reformation at:

The Honourable Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of 
Canada 284 Wellington St. Ottawa, ON K1A 0H8

Stephen Brown - Woodstock
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