NDP, Liberal, Conservative politicians petition to stop Marc Emery's extradition to the U.S.
Members of Parliament from three parties—Conservative, Liberal, and New Democrat—are poised to present petitions with thousands of signatures seeking to stop the extradition to the U.S. of Canada’s Prince of Pot, Marc Emery.
The politicians are Conservative MP Scott Reid of Ontario, Vancouver South Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh, and Vancouver East NDP MP Libby Davies, the Georgia Straight has learned.
“That’s correct,” Reid’s aide Mike Firth confirmed by phone from Ottawa. “We haven’t arranged a day yet. We’re still trying to get a day when the three of them will be available at the same time.”
Last summer, Emery entered into a plea bargain with American authorities that will likely see him thrown in a U.S. jail for at least five years for distributing marijuana seeds.
The petitions ask Conservative justice minister and attorney general Rob Nicholson not to sign the extradition papers of the Vancouver-based cannabis activist.
In a phone interview, Jodie Emery, Marc Emery’s wife, related that she and her husband met Reid at a Liberty Summer Seminar organized by the Ontario-based Institute for Liberal Studies.
“Scott Reid was there one year, and we talked to him and he understands that prohibition is a bad idea,” she said.
Emery also recalled that Reid told them his wife once used marijuana when she was undergoing a series of medical treatments. “She doesn’t need it anymore, I don’t think,” she said. “He said it helps with the nausea. So I guess he’s willing to say that he thinks this [the extradition] is wrong too. There are a lot of Conservative party members who said they don’t like this happening.”
Reid wasn’t available for comment.
By Davies’s estimate, the offices of the three MPs have received petitions signed by about 12,000 people who are opposed to Emery’s extradition.
She confirmed that her office is communicating with Dosanjh’s and Reid’s offices to pin down a day when they will bring the petitions to the floor of the House of Commons.
“I’m very happy that we should try and do it on the same day,” Davies said by phone from Ottawa. “You can’t necessarily do it one after the other because the Speaker recognizes you not necessarily in the order you want.”
In a separate interview, Dosanjh said that presenting petitions in the House is one of the duties of MPs.
Said Dosanjh on the phone from Ottawa, “Members from three different parties are doing it—it’s really a nonpartisan issue.”
In an interview with the Straight in December, after he was released on bail from the North Fraser Pretrial Centre, Marc Emery said that American authorities are out to get him because of the significant work he has done on legalizing marijuana.
Emery cited a media statement issued by then–U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration head Karen Tandy following his arrest in 2005. The release stated that his arrest was “a significant blow not only to the marijuana trafficking trade in the U.S. and Canada, but also to the marijuana legalization movement”.
March 11, 2010