U.S. Denies Prince of Pot, Marc Emery, a Transfer to Canadian Prison

VANCOUVER — Canada’s so-called “Prince of Pot” has been told he won’t be allowed a prison transfer and must serve his entire sentence in the United States.

Kirk Tousaw, a Canadian lawyer for Vancouver resident Marc Emery, said American authorities told his client in a letter received Friday that the U.S. government refused his transfer on April 6 due to the “seriousness of the offence” and “law enforcement concerns.”

He received the news in a federal holding institution in Oklahoma awaiting transfer to a prison in Mississippi.

Emery, who had been imprisoned in Georgia, pleaded guilty May 24 2010 in Seattle to selling marijuana seeds to Americans through his Vancouver-based catalogue company and was sentenced to five years in prison.

Tousaw said he can re-apply for transfer to a Canadian institution again for two years.

Emery’s wife Jodie was disheartened.

“There’s nothing we can do at this point beyond asking for a presidential pardon in the U.S., which I’m going to start campaigning for, actually, because I have to do whatever I can to get Marc home,” she said Friday. “We’re both devastated to hear this news. The idea of him spending the next three or four years in the U.S. federal prison system for political activism financed by seed sales — sales that now happen legally across America every day — is sickening and heartbreaking,”she adde.

“I’m still in shock. I’m asking everyone who has ever felt Marc’s treatment was unjust to get out and vote against the Conservatives on May 2 to punish them for extraditing Marc in the first place, one year ago on May 10.”

Tousaw said that with good behaviour, it’s possible Emery could get out after serving 85% of his sentence.

“This refusal is a terrible affront to the sovereignty of Canada,” he said. “Marc is a target of political persecution that appears to have transcended his conviction and now infects the treaty transfer process. He qualifies under every relevant factor and should have been allowed to serve out his jail term in Canada, close to his wife Jodie and in the country in which all of his activity took place. We call upon Prime Minister (Stephen) Harper and the leaders of the Liberal Party and NDP to stand up for this

Emery’s announcement comes the same week an Ontario Superior Court judge ruled that two key parts of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act are unconstitutional and gave the federal government three months to respond to the decision.

If the government does not respond with a successful delay or re-regulation of marijuana, the drug will be legal to possess and produce in Ontario, where the decision is binding.


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