This has made it very difficult for his friends and family, and especially his wife, to come and visit him. It was with great joy that I saw his transfer to Canada approved by the US Government yesterday on Twitter. According to the Vancouver Sun:
“On July 9, the U.S. Department of Justice determined the pot activist can spend the rest of his five-year sentence in Canada. His Canadian lawyer, Kirk Tousaw, obtained a copy of the decision, which was also sent to the federal Public Safety department for approval.
“I can confirm the U.S. side has approved Marc’s transfer,” Tousaw said Wednesday. “The next step is to have the minister of public safety here in Canada — whomever that is — approve the transfer from the Canadian side.”
This is a huge victory for Marc and his family. It’s my hope that when he gets to Canada his sentence is reduced and that he can finally walk out of prison and get back to the work he was doing before he was incarcerated in 2010. For readers that don’t know the story behind Marc Emery, below is information taken from the Free Marc Emery site:
Please send a polite letter to the Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, requesting that Canadian citizen Marc Emery be approved for transfer home to Canada from the United States federal prison system. Contact:
(Postage not required within Canada)
Minister of Public Safety
House of Commons
Telephone: (613) 944-4875 or 1-800-830-3118
Fax: (613) 954-5186
For some points to include in your letter, please review the facts of Marc and his case:
FACTS ABOUT MARC EMERY:
• Marc Emery is a Canadian citizen who never went to the USA as a seed seller.
• Marc Emery operated his seed business in Canada at all times, with no American branches or employees.
• Marc Emery declared his income from marijuana seed sales on his income tax, and paid over $580,000 to the Federal and Provincial governments from 1999 to 2005.
• Marc Emery is the leader of the British Columbia Marijuana Party, a registered political party that has regularly participated in elections.
• Marc Emery has never been arrested or convicted of manufacturing or distributing marijuana in Canada, as he only sold seeds.
• Marc Emery gave away all of the profits from his seed business to drug law reform lobbyists, political parties, global protests and rallies, court litigation, medical marijuana initiatives, drug rehabilitation clinics, and other legitimate legal activities and organizations.
• Marc Emery helped found the United States Marijuana Party, state-level political parties, and international political parties in countries such as Israel and New Zealand.
• Marc Emery has been known as a book seller and activist in Canada for 30 years, fighting against censorship laws and other social issues long before he became a drug law reform activist.
• Marc Emery has been a media figure for 20 years with regards to marijuana and drug law reform. He is very well-known to Canadian, American and international news media organizations.
• Marc Emery operated his business in full transparency and honesty since its inception in 1994, even sending his marijuana seed catalogue inside his magazine “Cannabis Culture” to each Member of Parliament in Canada every two months for years.
What did Marc do?
Marc openly ran “Marc Emery Direct Marijuana Seeds” from a store in downtown Vancouver and through mail-order from 1994 to 2005, with the goal to fund anti-prohibition and pro-marijuana activists and organizations across North America and the world.
Marc always paid all provincial and federal taxes on his income and made no secret to anyone of his seed-selling business. Marc was raided by police for selling seeds and bongs in 1996 and again in 1997 and 1998, but despite the seizure of his stock by police, the Canadian courts sentenced Emery only to fines and no jail time.
Canadian police then pressured the American Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to launch a cross-border attack against Marc. They arranged to have him charged under America’s much more severe laws against seeds.
Marc was arrested in Canada by American agents in 2005, and originally faced a minimum 30-year sentence in the US, with the possibility of life behind bars. After years of legal efforts, and ensuring his two co-accused received no prison time, Marc made a plea-bargain for a five-year sentence in the US. Marc had originally secured a deal with US officials to serve his five-year sentence in Canada, but the Conservative Government of Canada refused to allow this, and forced him to be extradited to the US.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration admitted on the day of Marc Emery’s arrest that his investigation and extradition were politically motivated, designed to target the marijuana legalization efforts and organizations that Emery spearheaded and financed for over a decade.Here is the original text of DEA Administrator Karen Tandy’s statement released on July 29th, 2005 (also available in its original letterhead form by clicking here):“Today’s DEA arrest of Marc Scott Emery, publisher of Cannabis Culture Magazine, and the founder of a marijuana legalization group — is a significant blow not only to the marijuana trafficking trade in the U.S. and Canada, but also to the marijuana legalization movement.
His marijuana trade and propagandist marijuana magazine have generated nearly $5 million a year in profits that bolstered his trafficking efforts, but those have gone up in smoke today.
Emery and his organization had been designated as one of the Attorney General’s most wanted international drug trafficking organizational targets — one of only 46 in the world and the only one from Canada.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars of Emery’s illicit profits are known to have been channeled to marijuana legalization groups active in the United States and Canada. Drug legalization lobbyists now have one less pot of money to rely on.”
On May 10th, 2010, Marc was ordered extradited by Justice Minister Rob Nicholson. He was taken to the USA on May 20th, 2010 and has been serving his sentence in a private for-profit prison in Georgia from late 2010 to April 2011. He was moved to Yazoo City medium security federal prison in Mississippi in April 2011 and has been detained there since.