‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery Ordered Extradited to the U.S. to Serve Five-Year Prison Sentence

[Editor’s note: This post is excerpted from this week’s forthcoming NORML weekly media advisory. To have NORML’s media advisories delivered straight to your in-box, sign up for NORML’s free e-zine here.]

Canadian Justice Minister Rob Nicholson has reportedly signed off on an order extraditing longtime Canadian marijuana activist and publisher Marc Emery to the United States, according to the Associated Press.

Emery’s attorney stated that he will be transferred to the US imminently.

United States law enforcement officials indicted Emery in August of 2005 for selling marijuana seeds to US customers.

Under a plea agreement, Emery faces up to five years in US prison. Under Canadian law, he would face no more than one month in jail (and probation), if convicted.

In a letter from MP (member of Parliament) Libby Davies sent this week to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, she criticized, “Your government took a rare and unnecessary step today, by extraditing a Canadian citizen to serve a prison sentence in America for actions that are not worthy of prosecution under Canadian laws.”

Marc Emery has long maintained that his prosecution was politically motivated. Upon issuing his indictment in 2005, former US DEA administrator Karen Tandy asserted that Emery’s arrest struck “a significant blow to the marijuana legalization movement. … Drug legalization lobbyists now have one less pot of money to rely on.”

For nearly two decades, Emery operated a highly visible seed bank in Vancouver. Emery declared hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes to the Canadian government, and officials at Health Canada – which oversees the nation’s legal medicinal cannabis program – frequently advised patients to purchase his seeds. Virtually all profits from Emery’s business ventures were distributed among various national and international drug law reform organizations.

Cannabis Culture has posted additional information on this development, as well as the essay: ‘75 Things You Can Do to Free Marc,’ online here.

70 thoughts

  1. Disgusted after reading this. Friendly, well-intentioned, alruistic Canadian citizen betrayed by his own government. 5 years on a nonviolent crime in a country not his own. Way to fail your citizens, Canada. Show some pride in yourself as a sovereign nation & quit licking America’s hand.

  2. Wow — Way to abandon your citizens, Canada!

    This is tragic. A complete waste of a healthy, productive member of society for up to five years. Thanks, Uncle Sam! [Go F-yourself!]


  3. The part stated in bold is what I Immediately thought of, and am monumentally confused by. He did actions as a Canadian citizen that were not actionable by HIS countries laws…so the USA somehow extradites a NON US CITIZEN WHO HAS NOT COMMITTED CRIME ON US SOIL to serve time in an American jail? How is this even remotely legal. Does this mean we can literally just pick a random crime in the USA, and then hunt down someone in another country fitting that description to arrest them and have them brought back to the US like a caged trophy animal?

  4. Irony: arrest Marc Emery for putting millions into legalization efforts, piss off George Soros, who has a lot more money to throw into the game on Emery’s behalf.


  5. What??? The United State of American seems to run on its own type of agenda. Maybe the government should take a step back a look into what a life in the average citizen is like. Check the RGV there is plenty of truth to the troubles caused by prohibition. This case with Marc Emery is just going to in-power the moment to another level.

  6. Johnny Hemp seed goes to jail in America the land of the free. Our government does this on our behalf. Time for new government.

  7. Tragedy, that they keep posting that picture of Marc “casually” sucking on a hot-burning overdose 500-mg. “marijuana $igarette” alias joint instead of demonstrating an advanced, health-safety-related appliance such as a vaporizer or long drawtube one-hitter. The joint burns hot, destroys THC, delivers heat-shock, carbon monoxide and other combustion toxins which produce “dopiness” symptoms ignorantly blamed on cannabis by prohibitors. (Note: my use of the term “overdose” does not apply to the THC but rather to the CO.)

    Wish him luck anyway. But I think this equipment reform issue must now be promoted forcefully to win the respect of conservatives (after all a one-hitter will save you a ton of money).

  8. LOOKS LIKE MORE WASTED MONEY FROM THE U.S. Governement. From the beginning proccessing papers to acturally physically bringing him to U.S. soil from Canadian soil and support his living for 5 years here in the U.S. Why are we wasting our time?! On something that, if they OPENED THEIR EYES, They would see the facts instead of convicting people they think is a”significant blow to the marijuana legalization movement.”

    I mean really? It is like a game where you get the enemy’s generals…. except POT SMOKERS ARE NOT DANGEROUS PEOPLE BY NATURE OR CHOICE NOR DO WE WANT TO WAGE WAR. Only by personal choice, greatly less influencial than alcohol to say the least.


    The people who wage “war” weather its the war on drugs or the war in Iraq. There is always MONEY AND GREED at the root. Not what would be in best interest no matter how they try to punctuate that.

  9. I’m going to find out where they’re bringing him to serve his time and when. When I do, you’ll see me outside the prison with my signs.


    I’m ASHAMED of our government!!!

  10. Instant Martyr. I guess they didn’t learn anything from their Chong experience with going after high profile people.

    I do find some irony into the choice of words about this being a blow to the financial support options for pro-legalization: “… *pot* of money …” Delicious irony.

    At least they were smart enough not to kidnap him like we’ve done with so many other high profile targets. I swear some people are even numb to the idea of our intelligence services abducting people abroad to be brought here for trial. I know some of them may have been deserving of such treatment but it seems at odds with what we are supposed to hold as core values to be doing such.

    One thing I found curious was a comment in a Canadian article somewhere about him getting a “mere five years” and I am still aghast at home someone thinks that is not a significant amount of someone’s life to be separated from the world and family. I guess if you never plan on being incarcerated, any amount of someone else’s time is irrelevant.

  11. Ok , good going. My fucked up government arrest Marc Emery and Accomplish absolutley NOTHING ! Except empowering the legalization effort and pissing off millions. Hey Uncle Sam , go jump off a bridge with a rope around your neck, your useless.

  12. They’re at it again
    Impetuous law makers
    Social infidels

    Cage society
    Promote lies, disguised as truth
    These ways are sinful

    Free Marc Emery
    Solutions are rarely clear
    Guess what, this one is.

  13. I am an american citizen and I’m sorry to call my self one more and more each day. we might as well just give up all are rights and let them rule us like the Chinese are ruled, or we can stand up and fight these injustices that the government imposes on us more and more each day. Dont let them take away anymore of your liberties fight for yourself and your neighbor, what they are doing to a Canadian that has not set foot here in the states is wrong. FREE MARC,SOLVE THE BORDER WAR AND LEGALIZE MARIJUANA TODAY

  14. The sooner other countries tell America to go screw off the better the whole planet will be, and I am a US. citizen.This is so much bullshit.

  15. what pisses me off more is that this is 100% a publicity stunt for the drug war

    is putting marc emery away for 5 years, or even life, going to make society any safer? id argue that it makes society more dangerous…… prohibition creates a lucrative market for criminals and with more money comes more power and crime will rise…… its pure and simple

  16. Holy Smokes! Now we’ve got him. The King Pin himself!
    The incarceration of ME will stop the death squads in Mexico. 22,000 Mexican people killed in their own country because of a flower since 2006. Average 7 deaths a day in Mexico in 2009. We can stop the killing with the an act of Congress. Congress must step in and take action. It’s a moral call. Seven decades of prohibition has failed to stop the use of medical and recreational marijuana use by the people of the United States. 25 million Americans smoked marijuana in the last year. The War, that conservatives and liberals, in the highest office, cannot bring themselves to talk about is not in the middle east. It’s here at home on the people of the United States. It’s time Congress stepped up to do the moral and right action by ending the prohibition of marijuana. 22,000 dead in M-E-X-I-C-O! Kids, Mothers, Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, Aunts, and Uncles. This is wrong.

    The Rev.sLeezy
    The Universal Life Church of the Holy Smokes
    Potland, OR

    CAMP (Citizen Against Marijuana Prohibition)

  17. its just more juice for the movement…and honestly, it brings him into our jails, our spotlight right in time for a very very big vote, a very big debate…he may be a key player even behind bars…we will see

  18. So is the DEA acting on behalf of the American public? Do the majority of citizens truly desire a man like Marc be pulled out of his homeland to sit in our crowded prison system, WHILE WE PAY FOR HIS STAY!

  19. This is a humanitarian disgrace.

    I have only pity for those in the US who continue this lie and disgrace.

    Yet I realize that the world that they are shaping will eventually close in on them and they will continue to find new ways to pick each others eyes out.

    The US DEA is a monster in disguise. Pretending to serve the people, while they contemplate how to find more faults in the population they serve.

    I have faith that in The End, they will contemplate their lonely place in Hell for Eternity.

  20. fuck with the yanks and they gonna get ya. even if it means abducting you and flying you half way round the world. Canadian goverment are too stoned too want the hassle.

  21. I think this is just terrible. Just one more issue to make me feel ashamed of America’s leaders and rediculously stupid justice system. If this was a real crime, a serious one like child molestation, he could be out in a year or two. But with a dangerous substance like marijuana involved (yeah right…), he’ll probably serve the full five years.

    Come on America (I’m talking to the Congressmen, Senators, and our President), let’s stop this madness that makes us look so foolish to other countries and causes extreme distrust of our own Govt among it’s peoples!!!!!

    All you leaders who drink alcohol should remember that it once had the same status as marijuana. An all of you that smoke cigarettes – well, their dangers are well documented… Busting people who choose to smoke marijuana just amounts to discrimination; no different in my opinion than the way the law once treated the black members of our society and the way that Gay members are often still treated. It’s a real shame!

    Don’t let one more innocent victim get busted over a what amounts to what should a personal choice. egalize Marijuana now!!!

  22. meanwhile people on wall street steal billions of dollars, oil companies dump millons of gallons of crude oil in the ocean, and cops are killing caged animals in raids and non of them serve one single minute of time…….our priorities are surely fucked up. Save your seeds, hide your weed.

  23. Its awesome how our government spends all this money to put people who smoke weed and who do not bother/harm anyone else, up for legal repercussions. Its like Uncle Sam is trying to pay off his debt by having non-violent smokers of a medically accepted and naturally growing plant do it for him through ridiculously high fines. Thanks Uncle Sam.

  24. Marc is in jail because he is so smart, he can talk the talk and walk the walk and our government isnt going to have that. they dont want a man that speaks the truth about the harmless hemp plant.

    Every debate i have ever seen Marc out smarted the opposing side by a long shot. In fact he even helps you to see how ignorant these people really are.

    Marc is an Awesome person and he will be freed.

  25. So Sad, Not even a whisper about this in the Major Media, News suppressed to avoid Public Outrage at the IDIOTS in Public Office.
    We need to FLOOD the Mainstream Media in both Canada AND the United States with this repeatedly until they cannot take it any more and Acknowledge the Injustice and reveal the TRUTH to Everyone!!!!!

  26. You can blame Canada if you want! When you have Big Bad America Breathing down Your neck with all their threats its almost understandable! You don’t have a clue what America told Canadian officials what they were in jeopardy of losing like “alliance” with this Evil country! I hate everything these people in control of the U.S. stand for!

  27. #10 you are a fucking idiot! This innocent man is going to jail for 5 fucking years and your talking shit about a vaporizer? Fuck off!

  28. This is but another example of why america is losing its status as an influental power. In a time when we need to be saving money and cutting expenses we p
    ursue a non us citizen in hopes that it will strike a lethal blow against a plant. a plant that has been around longer then we have. A plant that has no wasteful properties, and causes no harm when grown in the wild. but we waste millions of dollars and to many innocent lives in a war that should be not have been started. maybe thats the united states game plan start wars drag them on and see how long it takes for its people to wake up and call them on it.
    Its time for all miarijuana users wether patients or recretional users alike to stand up to the bullies who make us ashamed to partake in our right to choose marijuana over other widely used drugs both legal and illegal.

  29. As a U.S. citizen I am very disappointed in both my own government and in Canada’s government for this. Which I’ve been disappointed in my own government for years now, so nothing new there. How can he be convicted in the US if he was in Canada when he did it? It makes no sense. It seems the U.S. should be focusing their resources on more important things this time than jacking people from Canada over pot.

  30. how does the dea think this is a blow to the movement are they serious?.yes,marc was a big figure in legalization,but there is more org. than just his.they put him in jail,but they cant put us all in jail.our government in there own minds they think they can stop the marijuana business,wakeup IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN!the screwd up part of this it is policaly motivatd(if you read the dea papers marc got)its totally political.there are hundreds of seed sellers on the internet but he is the one who got arrested.hmmmm not political!.and to blame one person on supplying seeds to the whole u.s. is totally absurd.any pothead knows that any bag u buy could hve seeds,but its not political,the mexican gangs are growing right here in the country,but marc is the one responsible for the pot in this country but its not political.give me a break,some of us in america arent totally bright but that doesnt give our government the right to say we’re stupid either.if i want to smoke in the privacy of my own home I WILL!and there isnt nobody gonna stop me,dont tell me what i can do with my life.peace to the people of the movement and to all the potheads around the world smokeup

  31. I’m sad to see that the Canadian Government is bowing to the pressure from Washington. I’m even sadder when I read the reasons given by Karen Tandy in her quote.

    Where o where did my right to Liberty, Justice, and the Pursuit of Happiness go????


  32. NDP MP Libby Davies has written the following open letter on Marc Emery’s extradition:

    May 10, 2010

    An Open Letter to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews

    The Honourable Vic Toews
    Minister of Public Safety
    House of Commons
    Ottawa, ON
    K1A 0A6

    Dear Minister Toews,

    I write to ask that you stop the extradition of Canadian Marc Emery to the United States and allow him to serve his prison sentence in Canada.

    Your government took a rare and unnecessary step today, by extraditing a Canadian citizen to serve a prison sentence in America for actions that are not worthy of prosecution under Canadian laws. Further to this uneven approach, it is my understanding that American officials were amiable to Mr. Emery serving his sentence in Canada. Yet your government has refused to cooperate.

    I therefore urge you to act in best the interest of this Canadian citizen and in the interest of Canadian sovereignty and allow Mr. Emery to serve his sentence in Canada.

    I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible on this urgent matter.


    Libby Davies, MP
    Vancouver East
    NDP Spokesperson for Drug Policy

    cc. NDP Spokesperson for Public Safety, Don Davies, MP

  33. oh one more thing be very sure u vote for RON PAUL/PRESIDENT 2012 we need him in office.i dont vote but if ron paul runs i will vote for the first time

  34. “We the People” have been speaking out for a long time to no avail. Do we have a President or a King. Do we have a democracy? We the people have relied on government to make the right decisions without question. Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country and give them hell as they have been giving us hell for much too long.
    It certainly is a strange oddity that our government is spending money in extraditing Mark Emery. He is a good man and has done no harm to anyone.
    Madelin Hardman, Author of “Grandma Weed” “A Lot to do About Nothing”.

  35. Dear Canada, You are good screwing. The next thing we get is your OIL. I always knew the us OWNED CANADA. Keep bending over.

  36. Look at how the America government believes it can arrest people in different countries for adhering to that countries own law and regulations just because the American government doesn’t like their image. He pays taxes to his own Canadian government and operates within the laws of his Canadian country, and yet the U.S. believes in it’s own delusional demented reality that it can trump country borders and procedures.

    This is just like telling Canada fuck you we don’t care about you, your borders, your laws. This is the U.S. giving the middle figure to Canada in the scope of the international community.

    You saw what happened in Missouri, the cops, the legal system, the government of this country believe they have the right to do whatever they want to whomever they want whenever they want.

    Well fuck you U.S government, you can try and come into my house but as God as my witness I will smite all of you with extreme vengeance and furious angry if you try to destroy what my Father has rightly blessed me with. I will use your children blood to wash my cars if you ever tried anything. You hear me you motherfuckers? I’m so angry I can’t even think…need to go chillout…..

  37. I learned this by listening to Tony Robbins. Repeat after me: Every Day in Every Way I distrust our Government More and More… Again – Every Day in Every Way I distrust our Government More and More… Again
    I’m sure you get the point my brothers and sisters, but I bet they still dont!

  38. The united states felt the little prince was a threat to the crown, plus the support seemed low from the people who lacked any education lately. So they took the prince and threw him in the stocks of the town square for the public to see and mock. Throw stones at him and blame him for all the troubles. Then the public could look to the high balcony that the royalty stepped out onto and waive to them, praising them for their mighty work despite the fact that not no ones life improved but that of the crown. Too bad for them the only REAL person on their side was the poor prince in the stocks.

    As an American, Im shocked that a Canadian justice would sign off on this. My country has not right to get him. He is not from our country and he didn’t violate the law in our country. This was a continuing chance for someone to say no, sorry America you cant brow beat and bully the rest of the world. There would be nothing that United states could do about it. America is too dependent on Canada. So why would this justice say yes?

    I would be dropped to the floor struck with retardation, a bolt of lightning from each direction of the compass and run over by Santa Claus if there wasn’t some sort of back room deal for this. Cause it couldn’t have been any sort of embarrassment for the state of Canada. The whole world was there for the Olympics and i don’t recall there ever being someone offended by any of the BC marijuana party stuffs. It seems like no political in house motivation either. Maybe I’m wrong and I need to research this more from Canada’s perspective.

  39. I find myself wondering what America would do in a similar situation. What if a country like Saudi Arabia decided to single out an American woman because she didn’t wear a headscarf? Would our leaders be so stupid as to turn her over to the Saudis? To me, it’s the same thing. Never in a million years can I see myself agreeing with what happened here. I’m ashamed of the way our Govt acts in the land of the free, and I’m ashamed for the Canadian people for having a leader that would turn over one of it’s own to face 5 years in an American prison (where he will likely face some serious abuse). Obviously, to anyone with a brain and a heart, this is just so wrong!!!

  40. Message to all the justice ministers of america:
    Why dont you put everyone in jail for good and everybody will be happy: free housing,free meals,tv,radio,some occasional work….all at the crown expenses. Thank you your Majesty the Queen and the King of Earth.Hitler finally won to put in place his fascist state imprisoning everyone.Ladies and gentlement please move to the right…rightist ideologists in one word a fucking planet to live in in 2010…No wonder the petroleum will blanket all those abuses….

Leave a Reply