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Government Selling Out

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Sovereignty put in danger as the government moves towards North American unionization

Why is it that the Canadian government is enforcing American border and legal policies? Is our government forfeiting our sovereignty in exchange for American ideologies regarding war and censorship? Recent examples highlight the unconstitutional harmonization of policies that are just the tip of the iceberg of a union between the USA, Mexico and Canada known as the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP).

Three times in the past four months, while trying to enter Canada to attend anti-SPP and anti-war rallies, Ann Wright (a former US state department official and now an anti-war activist) has been held by border officials or denied entrance into Canada.

The most recent incident occurred even though she had been invited to speak by members of parliament.

She was denied entrance to Canada because her name came up on an FBI database (National Criminal Information Center), though she has only ever been arrested for non-violent protest. Two years before this, three Canadian activists were arrested in Halifax by the RCMP at the request of the American Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). These three now face extradition to the US and life imprisonment in its overstuffed prison system.

One of the three could also face the death penalty. In Canada, no legal action was taken against two of the activists and fines totaling $5000 were given to the other. Not one of them has a criminal record.

The Americans considered one of these individuals, Marc Scott Emery, to be one of the most wanted drug kingpins in the world — responsible for 1.1 million pounds of marijuana (slightly less than 500,000 kilograms) worth over three billion dollars. The Americans consider one seed to equal one plant to equal one kilogram.

Canada considered him harmless and accepted over half a million in income taxes from 1995-2005 with "marijuana seed vendor" listed as his occupation. Emery's profits were used to fund the anti-prohibition movement in Canada and the US. Every time Emery was featured in a positive light in American popular media, such as in stories by CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and two features on 60 minutes, the DEA had Canadian authorities raid his shops and arrest him. Charges were dropped, fines were paid (if any fines were laid) and Emery went back to selling seeds.

After his July 29, 2005 arrest, the head of the DEA, Karen Tandy, released a memo indicating that the arrest "is a significant blow not only to the marijuana trafficking trade in the US and Canada, but also [to] the marijuana legalization movement." The DEA wanted Emery for his political activity and his "propagandist" magazine, Cannabis Culture.

Emery's extradition hearing is scheduled to begin on January 21, 2008. If he is extradited, we will have proof that our government is promoting a US policy that we don't officially ascribe to (yet, at least). We will be handing over Canadians to die in the US for actions that we do not even consider to be crimes here.

Michelle Rainey, one of Emery's co-accused, is a medical marijuana advocate and uses the plant to manage her late-stage Crohn's disease. In American jails, she will be forced to use dangerous and ineffective pharmaceuticals.

The other accused, Greg Williams, could quite possibly die of old age in prison, giving the term "life sentence" extra gravity. These people may lose their lives in the US, while in Canada they operated in a legal grey zone and were allowed to continue with tacit approval of authorities and the government.

In Canada, we can sell paraphernalia with which to consume marijuana as well as books about it without fear of prosecution. We can legally grow hemp crops for nutrition, building supplies and textiles. We can pay taxes on the profits made from selling seeds. If we can do all of these things legally, how can Canadians face possible extradition to the US and life imprisonment there for mailing, through Canada Post, any of these items to America? Our government is trying to bring the war on drugs to Canada, along with prohibitionist American policies.

For the sake of Canadian sovereignty, I hope that our courts and our government will resist lowest common denominator harmonization with American policies, which have not worked since their introduction and have lead to, according to the FBI, over 17 million marijuana-related arrests since 1965. Just this year, they may make one million arrests. The American war on drugs is a war on the environment, a war on social rights, a war on freedom and a war on common sense, but it carries on blindly and with disastrous results.

By importing the US war on drugs to Canada, Stephan Harper is continuing his Lewinsky-style action with Bush. Unfortunately, the only stain will be on Canadian sovereignty regarding policy and policing.

Source: CordWeekly.com
Copyright: 2007 The Cord Weekly
Contact: keren.gottfried@wlusp.com
Website: Cordweekly.com - Government selling out
 
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