Canadian activist Marc Emery, known as the “Prince of Pot,” was sentenced to five years in prison after a long legal battle that federal authorities called a “blow to the marijuana reform movement.” Emery had the dubious distinction of being one of the only Canadians to ever appear on the Attorney General’s Most Wanted List.
The legal battles began after a DEA investigation lead to arrest and then extradition arguments. Emery ran one of the largest rings of marijuana seed dealerships in North America, netting millions of dollars. He claims that most of that income was spent on his pro-marijuana activism and political campaigns.
Emery paid taxes on all of his business’ income, including the mail order seeds, and was never tied to organized crime. The DEA was eager to make an example of The Prince of Pot and show its authority to the marijuana legalization movement.
The DEA called his seed business a “drug trafficking” ring and jubilantly celebrated his downfall as a major financial blow to the legalization lobbyists.
Yet the prosecutor claimed that Emery’s arrest and trial weren’t politically-driven, focusing his case on U.S. drug enforcement laws rather than politics. Nevermind the statements by the law enforcement officials who originally “investigated” and then swooped in to arrest him.
Somehow, other seed sellers are continuing to operate without DEA reprisals, giving question to why it is that Emery was targeted to begin with. Given the history of DEA raids and prosecutions, it would appear that politics and high income (which means more things for them to seize via forfeiture) play a bigger role in their enforcement than does the law.
“It has always been my sincere belief that the prohibitions on cannabis are hurtful to U.S. and Canadian citizens and are contrary to the constitutions of both countries,” Emery wrote in a Sept. 1 letter.
[source Seattle PI]