Pubdate: Sat, 27 Aug 2005
Source: Abbotsford News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 Hacker Press Ltd.
Author: Michael Clarke
Bookmark: (Emery, Marc)


Editor, The News;

The Abbotsford News recently published commentaries by Kurt Langman
and John Pifer addressing the controversy surrounding the arrest of
Marc Emery for extradition to the United States to stand trial for
selling pot seeds. Mr. Langman was just plain wrong when he wrote "any
handwringing over our 'loss of (Canadian) sovereignty' (in this
affair) is unrealistic," and Mr. Pifer was also wrong when he wrote:
"The apologists-spew a stream of disinformation suggesting that his
arrest-is some form of violation of Canadian sovereignty."

Regardless of one's position on marijuana, we should all agree that
the federal cannabis decriminalization bills have become a political
hot potato, and are subject to U.S. pressure to back off.

We should also agree that Mr. Emery has become a major grassroots
political force seeking the outright legalization of cannabis, and
that the penalties Marc could face in the U.S. - mandatory 10 years to
life imprisonment - are extremely severe when compared to Canadian

Obviously Mr. Langman and Mr. Pifer do not know the Extradition Act
mandates the Justice Minister must refuse to extradite if it appears
that the criminal prosecution, no matter how valid, is politically
motivated. It also requires the Justice Minister to refuse extradition
if the defendant would face unjust or oppressive penalties.

As for U.S. authorities, I can only presume they are intimately
familiar with our extradition laws, and that's where the challenge for
sovereignty lies.

D.E.A. administrator Karen Tandy effectively thumbed her nose at
Canada when she publicly confirmed that Marc's arrest was a political
act: "a significant blow-to the marijuana legalization movement. Drug
legalization lobbyists now have one less pot of money to rely on."

In the United States political funding is deemed to be so important it
is legally equivalent to free speech.

If Justice Minister Irwin Cottler abides by the Extradition Act Mr.
Emery will never be sent for trial in Seattle.

But if our government does extradite Mr. Emery our sovereign ability
to resist foreign control of Canada's politics, laws and institutions
will have been greatly diminished.

His legal battle will likely take years, but in the meantime let the
Justice Minister know that you want him to uphold the Extradition Act
for Canada's sake, and to resist U.S. attempts to interfere in our
domestic politics. This is important, because it will be precedent

Michael Clarke 

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