Monday, January 28, 2008

"Prince of Pot" Marc Emery should stop the whine, do the time for drug charges he brought on himself

Bill Tieleman’s 24 Hours Column

Tuesday January 29, 2008

Emery needs to face music


This is an epic struggle between good and evil. You couldn't pick a more virtuous person to go up against evil.

- Marc Emery

B.C.'s self-proclaimed "prince of pot", Marc Emery, will soon have to call himself the "prisoner of pot" when he starts serving a five-year sentence for marijuana smuggling.

And I'm tired of hearing Emery's pious complaints and self-serving heroic justifications for his actions.

Emery freely admits he sold $15 million worth of marijuana seeds by mail in the last 10 years and that over half his customers were in the U.S., more than 70,000 people.

That's what brought U.S. charges of drug dealing and an extradition request.

Emery's lawyers have negotiated to avoid the U.S. courts, where he could face a life sentence.

Instead, he will plead guilty and accept five years in a Canadian jail with no parole or early release, while charges are dropped against his co-accused employees.

I don't feel sorry for Emery at all. He willfully broke U.S. laws to challenge America's losing "war on drugs".

Fighting what one believes are unjust laws can be a noble calling. But shipping marijuana seeds illegally into a foreign country and then whining about it when they take offence isn't noble - it's just dopey.

And while some defend Emery, saying marijuana should be legal and his business hasn't been busted in Canada, put the shoe on the other foot.

Would Canadians accept an American handgun activist mailing pistols into this country because our own restrictive laws should be changed? How about sending cocaine or heroin?

Of course not. The point isn't whether marijuana should be legalized, it's that each country has its own laws and the right to determine them.

We can strongly disagree with their laws but we can't freely violate them.

But a few journalists think Emery is a hero.

Ian Mulgrew wrote in the Vancouver Sun that: "He shouldn't do a day, period." And a National Post editorial said: "This is a travesty for a man who, as he correctly states, 'has no victims.'"

Emery isn't personally responsible but as Metro Vancouver counts the mounting dead in gang murders how can anyone think the illegal drug trade doesn't have victims?

Emery is right on one thing though - Canadian authorities have been shamefully gutless in not charging him with trafficking marijuana.

Police and governments are afraid he would get a minimal sentence but it also shows that Emery could have kept selling seeds in Canada without fear of prosecution and remained "prince of pot" in freedom.

Instead Emery deliberately provoked the U.S. government into charging him. Now he has to accept the consequences - do the time, stop the whine.


Anonymous said...

Are you not afraid that BC's political correct elite will take their powered noses off the table and slag you for crapping on their primary food group ?!

Anonymous said...

Mark Emery should be extradited in the USA and he should be charged for tax evasion. It begs the question as to how much money did he launder for proceeds of crime?

Further Emery should be sentenced in the USA and give the USA restitution for the money he made in America from selling extreme marijuana seeds from Canada.

Bill, I hate to burst your bubble but Canada is not sovereign. The Americans bought our country when our dollar was $0.60 cent and they continue to buy our country. There is many ways to confiscate a country besides going to War!

Every move we make in Canada affects the national security of that country and if the USA decides to go ahead with Emery’s plea bargain than Canada can basically break the laws of the USA and get sentenced here for less time and for better jail condition.

Basically, if the USA agrees with Emery’s plea bargain than it would confirm that Canada is a dumping ground, where we are soft on crime, including and not limited to, insolvency fraud, which evolves into drug trafficking, money laundering, mortgage fraud and public corruption.

Anonymous said...

The difference is that handguns kill people, and marijuana hurts no one.

The difference is that people who sell handguns do so under the radar, while Mr Emery paid taxes to revenue Canada.

The difference is that the government felt that Canadian laws werent harsh enough,so they outsourced the prosecution to the United States.

Your comparisons are glib and uninformed at best.

Anonymous said...

Bill. I have to strongly disagree with you on this.
Just because a big news paper owner (Randolph Hirst) at the turn of the century got pissed at Pancho Villa for confiscating 800,00 acres of his forest in Mexico, and found a mexican word he used to describe hemp, then used his paper to smear hemp users and lobby the government to make it illegal,doesn't make it illegal. Then the government changed their law from "drugs" to "controlled substances" because they new hemp was not a drug it was a plant. Then of all the hypocritical things they could do they suspended the law because they were running out of rope to tie up their ships during WWII.
What I am saying is that if they were to legalize Marijuana they wouldn't have the problems they do today. The DEA in the states uses this plant to put thousands of people in jail just to keep their war in the headlines and keep the taxpayers dollars flowing into their coffers.

Anonymous said...

Not being a pot user maybe it's none of my business, but he does get a lot of support from folks. Canada has laws about what can and can not go by mail. Canada has laws against moving large amounts of pot, but look the other way on small amounts of the stuff. If he made a habit of hauling it across the border himslef one wonders why nobody picked him up before? He should have been charged here for breaking those Canadian laws. Pot may become legal someday but until then , it may or may not be harmfull, but sorry Mark but you managed to get off faily lightly. If he was to sepnd time in the USA he could be a saint for pot users. His time as Bill mentioned whould be a lot longer there. If the stuff is to become legal here,you supporters should lobby your elected folks to change the laws. Heck Canada has a grwo op in some mine now. Five years is a long time but he can spend it counting the money he made, and really he doesn't think he will be doing that long a time in the slammer here. Should he get out early, and he probrably will, he then can sell without much concern of being charged. "The law is an ass" said someone and we spend so much time supporting assorted activists who just happen to make a ton of money being activists. MOst activists accept the fact they will be arrested but they also don't make a ton of money supporting their choice of concerns

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:35
What have you been smoking?
marijuana = guns and crime.
We have the bodies to prove it.
Glib? look in a mirror for a definition.
Marc is an 'accomplice' to this rash of murders
and the sentence is too short by far.

Budd Campbell said...

I really don't know what to make of Marc Emery and his band of supporters. Bill makes the point that Emery was using Canada as a platform to break US laws, and now has to accept that he's painted himself into quite the corner.

Still, the American penalties, life imprisonment, and even the reduced deal of 10 years, seems absurdly excessive for this non-violent crime. I would prefer to see our prisons reserved for violent criminals who directly cause death or injury, not some entrepreneur who sells marijuana seeds by mail.

Anonymous said...

this is the real story of what's happening

"Canadian Government Crucifies one of their citizens to appease their Neoconservative American Masters"

the United States has taken over the Canadian government

Anonymous said...

I’ll sleep better tonight knowing that selling seeds gets you 5 years while severing a spinal cord with an axe gets you a suspended sentence. Public safety is #1.

Saying that, this is Emery’s fault, he’s no victim. He was spoiling for this fight his whole life. You can only thumb your nose at the authorities for so long before they exact revenge. It’s to bad it was the DEA’s Vancouver office the brought him down. Now that’s scary.

Is the government of Canada also an accomplice to these murders since it’s their prohibition that has driven the price of a simple benign plant to a price level the induces murder and promotes organized crime?

BC Mary said...

Good grief, is there a country on this entire planet which is safe from the sabre-rattling USA trying to change its laws, its attitude, its performance, its way of governance, its market policy?

Marc Emery is using the most famous made-in-USA behaviour modification tool.

Cripes, we could designate Peanut Butter as illegal and the special few would use that unregulated market to reap their private fortunes. And fight to keep peanut butter illegal.

Meantime ... the USA wants the Alberta Tar Sands roiling and polluting at full tilt ... doing incalculable harm to land, air, rivers, and people ... so that other legal fortunes can be exported to other foreign nations. You want to talk about crime ... how about that?

The way I see it, it's not so much the marijuana (which a whole lot of people must be using), it's that UNREGULATED market that somebody wants to preserve and protect.

My view.



Anonymous said...

I bow to no one in my respect for the rule of law. That being said, all laws are not created equal, especially when it come to the sanction to be imposed for breaking those laws. To equate the importation of guns with the importation of marijuana to make the argument that ,whatever the punishment, it is fully deserved, is too much of a stretch for me thank you.

civilian_number_two said...

Bill's created a series of straw man arguments to try to support a corporate status quo. He's also set up improper comparisons, another common logic flaw used in rhetoric. I'll just make reference to one: "would Canadians... etc .. heroin?" Nearly all of the heroin in North America is produced in Afghanistan and much of the proceeds feed and arm terror cells worldwide. There is a reason we're trying to fight heroin, and it's nothing to do with its damage to the end user. As someone else here pointed out, the reason we're fighting marijuanna is that famed yellow journalist Hearst didn't want the sale of hemp paper to affect his pulp stocks. Marc Emery sold seeds to Americans so they could grow pot in their basements, reducing their dependence on Mexican and South American product. The two markets aren't even comparable.

However in answer to the question, yes, I could find Canadians who would support handgun smuggling, heroin smuggling, and cocaine smuggling, within the hour. I could even get them with green nail polish is he wanted it that way. The straw man reply "of course not" is trite and 100% inaccurate. But still his analogies are off base; he might as well be comparing homosexuality with bestiality and paedophilia, as weak rhetoriticians in this nation so commonly do. Or how about this: "Would Canadians support a secret "railway" to smuggle slaves north into Canada, if they felt that American treatment was deplorable?" What fun one can have with non-sequitur!

In response ot the main point, of course Marc will do the time, however unjust was the manner of his prosecution. That's the price of civil disobedience. But should he stop whining? Ummm, Bill, I don't think you know the guy. He wasn't quietly trying to make money there; from day one he's been vocal about legalising his business, and has long acknowledged that jail tiem might be inevitable. Perhaps you'd like all activists to keep thir mouths shut, but that's not up to you, yet.

Budd Campbell said...

I’ll sleep better tonight knowing that selling seeds gets you 5 years while severing a spinal cord with an axe gets you a suspended sentence. Public safety is #1.

Very well put, Anonymoun 1:21, my sentiments exactly. Or how about this pair of sentences. Two years less a day to be served at home on a bracelet for street racing causing the death of a pedestrian, ... versus three years in a real jail for counterfeiting.

kootcoot said...

civilian number 2 said:

"Perhaps you'd like all activists to keep their mouths shut, but that's not up to you, yet."
PTL for that. But Bill is in charge of what is even worthy of discussion, or would like to be.

I really liked the comparison between the axe wielding spine chopper and Marc Emery that a commenter above made. That really kinda puts things into perspective without using straw to make men or bales!

kootcoot said...

Oh and Bill, I forgot to point out, not that I should have to, that "doing the whine" is a big part of being an Activist! Real criminals don't really argue causes other than their own immediate profits etc.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bill,
Suppose Marc follows your advice and quietly serves time in Jail for his offense. What good will be achieved?

Perhaps the following:
1. Canadians will be less motivated to break laws in protest expecting public support to save them.

2. Law will remain something that is universally applied and evenhanded.

3. Marc will be acting consistently in promotion of the world view that holds Law to be the ideal ruler rather than any individual ruler's opinion.

For the moment I will assume that these are all good things and that your advice to Marc, if followed, would result in their achievement. Now I would like to explain what good will be achieved if Marc successfully whines louder.

1. Honest communication will be recognized as a powerful, effective, non-violent, easily accessible tool in anyone's personal battle against the evil they percieve in the world. In order to understand how Marc's activism can be seen as honest communication compare his actions to the actions of every other individual in the marijuana trade: daily generation of slang words to confuse external authority, tunneling across boarders, hiding marijuana in spare gas tanks and car door panels, pipe shops advertising that their pipes are for tobacco use only, ex-pot smoking parents lying to their children about past use primarily to save them from legal trouble, children lying to their parents about marijuana use because they assume their parents cannot understand, and governments funding unpopular revolutions with drug money.

2. A tendency on the part of masses of people to act as a unified destructive force against the most valuable individuals amongst them would come to light. A commonality would be seen between the Athenians treatment of Socrates, the Romans treatment of Jesus, the Catholic Church's treatment of Galileo and Bruno, the English's treatment of Gandhi, and the American's treatment of Marc Emery. It would be recognized that simple traits like honesty and courage can make individuals extraordinarily valuable to all other individuals by keeping people informed while at the same time making them extraordinarily threatening to individuals who want to exercise power over others.

3. Ayn Rand's thought may finally be acknowledged by academic philosophers who have chosen to collectively oppose her position what ever her position is. (It is difficult for them to know when they universally refuse to read her.) Since the publication of Atlas Shrugged it has been inevitable that someone would be inspired to be the most honest and most courageous man who claimed louder than anyone else "I think pot is good and I do not acknowledge anyone's auhority to take my freedom for holding such a belief!" A year ago I had just such an overwhelming urge while entirely ignorant of Emery's existence. I, like Emery, was motivated by Atlas Shrugged and I evertually chose to avoid turning myself in with multipe pounds of Marijuana in the last place where it would be tolerated due to my conclusion that I did not owe it to the gutless dishonest pot smokers of the world who choose their own inslavement by choosing to hide their attitudes about marijuana.