PRINCE OF POT RALLIES SUPPORTERS IN B.C.
VANCOUVER -- Marc Emery took a hit from a joint as his fans smoked and screamed for his freedom in front of the U.S. consulate.
The Prince of Pot, as he is described by American prosecutors, faces extradition for seed sales -- a crime that isn't prosecuted in Canada -- and up to life in prison if convicted by a U.S. court.
In the same breath, supporters gathered around him demanded sovereignty for Canada and the worldwide legalization of pot.
People everywhere are outraged and scared it could happened to them, declared 47-year-old Emery.
"I want to tell you," he shouted above the yells, "You are part of a great awareness. Today, 40 cities around the world, from Warsaw, Moscow, Russia, London, Paris, Madrid, Italy, they are rallying at Canadian consulates around the world. In Melbourne, Australia, and Sydney, Canadian embassies are being picketed!"
Emery said there are about 50 pot seed companies in Canada selling seeds every day. The businesses, people who buy from them, people who smoke pot, and people who believe in Canadian sovereignty, are all appalled, he said.
Emery also referred to a poll by the Globe and Mail that showed the majority of Canadians are opposed to his extradition. "People understand if it happens to me, it can happened to a New Zealander, a Mexican person. It can happen to an Australian or a person in England or Paris.
Police officers looked on as Emery spoke and clouds of pot smoke billowed above the crowd. One officer commented that it was a nice day and that he was glad it didn't rain.
Emery's extradition hearing starts Friday in B.C. Supreme Court.
The longtime pot activist is accused of selling marijuana seeds to Americans through the Internet and the mail, conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and conspiracy to engage in money laundering.
His co-accused are Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek and Gregory Keith Smith.
The trio was arrested in July after Vancouver police raided Emery's pot paraphernalia store following an 18-month investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Emery was picked up in Lawrencetown, N.S., while speaking at a music festival to raise funds for a medical marijuana organization. He was detained in a Halifax-area jail cell for several days before being transferred to Vancouver.