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Too Much Energy Wasted On Pot Promoter


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Emery, a Vancouver business owner, agreed this week to plead guilty to U.S. charges of selling marijuana seeds to American buyers over the Internet. Arrested in 2005 in Halifax at the request of U.S. authorities, he made the deal so he could spend the five-year prison term in Canada.

But the colourful Emery remains defiant: "I'm really pleased and proud of what I've done. I wish I could have done more to piss the U.S. government off."

Emery is no stranger to such antics. He gained a reputation early in his career in London, Ont., attacking authorities over free speech, Sunday shopping and legalized marijuana.

He dared authorities to arrest him, and once smoked a joint in front of the London police station, a stunt he repeated in cities across the country. He spent two months in a Saskatoon jail for lighting up in public there.

The founder of the B.C. Marijuana Party says he's "a victim of political advocacy" and says he did no wrong: "There's no victim in my case. There's nobody claiming I hurt them."

Alan Young, a professor at Osgood Hall Law School at York University who knows Emery, also questions the system: "I think it's remarkable that I could cripple someone and put them in hospital ... and get less time than Marc will serve."

While many Canadians simply don't care if marijuana is decriminalized or not, an increasing number wonder why the justice system spends so much energy and money on people such as Emery. Given society's myriad of ills, Americans should be equally concerned.

It may be only a matter of time before Emery, no matter how annoying he may be to some, will be lauded as a pioneer and common-sense trailblazer - and perhaps even be rewarded with elected office.

Source: Sunbury Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 The Sunbury Star
Contact: letters@thesudburystar.com
Website: The Sudbury Star - Ontario, CA
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