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Emery Case Rolls Out In Prince Of Pot Doc


420 Staff
There aren't enough adjectives in the dictionary to describe Marc Emery.

Abrasive, brash, compelling, driven . . . and that's just the beginning of the alphabet.

It's not surprising, then, that a new documentary on Emery's impending extradition hearing -- and possible life imprisonment for selling pot seeds -- is chock-full of the kind of hyperbole that vaulted him into headlines here when he was a London bookseller and political gadfly.

In the documentary airing tomorrow, by rookie director Nick Wilson, Emery compares himself with slain human rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr. and South African freedom fighter Nelson Mandela.

It's OK, Emery says in the hour-long film, "if I die in jail or get murdered or something like that . . . We need martyrs. We need heroes."

Emery's over-the-top comments are at least matched by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency ( USDEA ) claims that Emery is Canada's leading drug dealer; is "one of the top 46 drug traffickers in the world"; and that his sale of pot seeds has made him responsible for the production of 1.1 million pounds of addictive marijuana.

If that claim is true, "I produced more marijuana than anyone on the planet, except God," Emery says in The Prince of Pot, a documentary to be aired on CBC Newsworld's The Lens.

The film makes a the case that Emery's prosecution is as much about the international politics of marijuana as it is about the law.

It also is a window into Emery's craving for immortality.

The two goals may converge in Vancouver in January at Emery's extradition hearing.

Fined by a Canadian judge for selling pot seeds here, Emery could be jailed for life if tried and convicted in the U.S.

If he swings a deal with the Canadian government, he could get 10 years here.

In an interview from Vancouver, Emery told The Free Press he would prefer life -- or death -- in jail.

"A dead person remembered fondly is a great inspiration to the movement," he said in a telephone interview.

His other fantasy, he offers, is that the government will see the error of its ways and he will be released -- after enough years in jail to ensure his beatification. Then, just as Mandela was elected head of South Africa after decades in jail, Emery wants to be elected to Parliament, be appointed justice minister and right the wrongs of marijuana laws in Canada.

"I like to think I'm having fun doing what I do. But I'm definitely looking at legacy," he said.

Emery's battle, and his rise to international renown, had its genesis in London.

He ran City Lights book store downtown. It was his pulpit for free speech, legalized Sunday shopping, legalized pot and several runs at political office.

In one infamous battle on the police station steps, he dared police to arrest him ( they wouldn't ) for opening his store on a Sunday.

He's since become better at it -- in the 30 years since Emery has sought and made headlines, he's been arrested 22 times and jailed 17.

Those days in London were among his best, he says, although, "I'm calmer and more reasonable now."

Wilson believes Emery, 49 now, will opt for jail instead of a plea bargain; preferring martyrdom to being a footnote in history. "He has a choice: upping the ante or becoming irrelevant."

Emery needs to realize that jail in the U.S. is no picnic, Campbell says in one memorable sound bite.

Source: London Free Press (CN ON)
Copyright: 2007 The London Free Press
Contact: London Free Press: Letters to the Editor
Website: London Free Press


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"one of the top 46 drug traffickers in the world"; and that his sale of pot seeds has made him responsible for the production of 1.1 million pounds of addictive marijuana.

Addictive marijuana? F*ck off and get real

Addictive marijuana
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