Marijuana activist Emery awaits extradition

Marc Emery, Canada's self-proclaimed "Prince of Pot," was taken into custody in a Vancouver courtroom Monday morning to await extradition to the United States.
Marc Emery talks to reporters outside the B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver Monday morning before turning himself in for extradition to the U.S. ((CBC))

Marc Emery, Canada's self-proclaimed "Prince of Pot," was taken into custody in a Vancouver courtroom Monday morning to await extradition to the United States.

Before entering the B.C. Supreme Court, Emery spoke to a crowd of reporters and supporters outside, telling them he still believes Canada's drug laws prohibiting the use of marijuana are unjust and blaming the laws and the politicians who support them for creating the large criminal organizations that control the illegal trade in marijuana.

"There is no crime here. The politicians who support this extradition are supporters of organized crime. We are making criminals with laws like this," said Emery.

After his surrender, Emery was expected to be sent to North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Port Coquitlam, east of Vancouver, to await extradition to the U.S., a process the judge suggested will likely take a month to complete.

Once extradited, Emery, 51, is expected to plead guilty in a Seattle court to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana. The leader of B.C.'s Marijuana Party, who runs a magazine called Cannabis Culture, faces a five-year prison term as part of a plea deal.

Emery was arrested in 2005 — following an investigation by Canadian and U.S. police — for allegedly selling marijuana seeds over the internet from Vancouver to residents of the U.S.

He said accepting jail time allowed his two co-accused — Michelle Rainey and Greg Williams — to each be given two years' probation. Had he gambled on a trial, he could have faced up to 50 years behind bars, he said.

Ready for jail term

Emery said his biggest concern about serving time in a U.S. prison is the boredom he will face.

"Boredom is the primary problem in jail, so I'm hoping to keep busy with books and writing, and learning languages — French and Spanish," he told CBC News.

His wife, Jodie Emery, is trying not to think about what awaits her husband.

"It'll be very lonely, but that'll just encourage me to get him back in my arms as soon as possible," she told CBC News. Her plan is to lobby the federal government for Emery's swift transfer to a Canadian prison.

Emery has said his business made millions of dollars over the years selling marijuana seeds by mail order and running a hemp product store in downtown Vancouver. He said he used the money to run his many political campaigns and to support marijuana advocacy groups around the world.