Pubdate: Sat, 3 Oct 2009
Source: Nanaimo Daily News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Nanaimo Daily News
Author: Kirk Tousaw


Re: 'Prince of Pot's' punishment was no surprise' (Daily News, Sept. 29)

Your editorial regarding Marc Emery contained several mistakes and,
frankly, misses the point entirely.

Emery was not arrested, indicted and sought for extradition by the
United States because of his marijuana seed business.

Emery used his profits to pay for marijuana policy reform efforts in
the U.S. and in Canada. Efforts that have largely been successful in
pushing the debate forward and changing attitudes. That is why he was
targeted for extradition.

Don't take my word for it. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
crowed about it on the day Emery was arrested, putting out a press
release claiming victory over "marijuana legalization groups" that
would no longer have Emery's money to assist their efforts.

You are also wrong about the legal implications of the extradition
treaty. In this case, Canada has an Extradition Act, which permits the
minister to refuse to surrender Canadians for a variety of reasons.

It also requires the minister to refuse surrender if the person is
sought for a political prosecution. Emery's supporters are simply
calling on the minister to follow the law: hardly an act that subverts
the treaty between the countries.

Emery is a calculating businessman, a social entrepreneur who put
every dime of his profits into his cause, kept nothing for himself and
now will pay the price for his political advocacy. It has little to do
with seeds and everything to do with fear.

Kirk Tousaw, executive director, Beyond Prohibition Foundation

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