'Prince of Pot' Case Drawing to a Close


Last week two employees of Marc Emery's Vancouver-based cannabis seed business finalized a deal with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle that allows them to avoid prison. Michelle Rainey and Gregory Williams, who were indicted four yours ago, will each serve two years of probation in Canada. Their former boss, a libertarian political activist and drug reform financier known as Canada's Prince of Pot, has been fighting extradition to the United States but is now expected to plead guilty. He says prosecutors have agreed to recommend a prison sentence of five years, compared to the 20 years or more he could have gotten. Because many of his customers were Americans, Emery was charged with conspiracy to cultivate marijuana in the U.S.; in Canada, by contrast, his seed business operated openly for more than a decade along with hundreds of similar operations, attracting little interest from the government, which happily accepted the tax revenue it generated.

The Seattle Times notes that Emery and his supporters "accused the Justice Department of indicting him and his employees for political reasons," an allegation that "federal prosecutors have vehemently denied." Last week a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office insisted that "we went after [Emery] for his criminal activities, not for his political views." Yet when Emery was arrested in 2005, Karen Tandy, then head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, crowed that the U.S. government had dealt "a significant blow" against "the marijuana legalization movement," bragging that "drug legalization lobbyists now have one less pot of money to rely on."     

Previous Reason coverage of the Emery case here.

[Thanks to Michelle Rainey for the tip.]


NEXT: U.S. out of Okinawa!

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  1. In HS, I planted marijuana seeds in the planters that lined the school library. I still crack up thinking that the little old librarians would faithfully water the plants, never realizing they were contributing to my delinquency.

  2. But… I thought we were hovering on the brink of open and legalized marijuana?

  3. I hope Karen Tandy gets raped and mutilated.

  4. Great article on nearly-legal growing in Cali:

    It’s tragic what they’ve done to Emery. Back in the old weedbase days he was a highly rated seed supplier; he was very professional, considered one of the best.

    Also, Jacob Sullum is a tool of Big Stoner.

  5. Last week two employees of Marc Emery’s Vancouver-based cannabis seed business finalized a deal with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle that allows them to avoid prison. Michelle Rainey and Gregory Williams, who were indicted four yours ago, will each serve two years of probation in Canada.

    That’s how they were able to get away with this shit. Marc Emery was a political activist. Who was making great strides towards legalizing pot in Canada. But when he publicly embarrassed drug czar John Walters ( he went too far. His prosecution was bare naked political persecution.

    Given his activist intentions, Marc would likely have not accepted a plea and chosen to fight it out all the way in court, had it not been for the indictment of his friends.

  6. Karen Tandy should be in prison. Since our society is too corrupt for that, hopefully fate will send her ovarian cancer or something.

  7. The funny thing is, well not funny actually sad is. Marc emery broke exactly ZERO LAWS!
    he sold a product that can be sold in Canada and most other countries, now if people like me in the US buy it, Its my responsability to know the law, not his. basically the goverment was pissed trumped up after him and Canada Bopwed and sucked the United states Cock!. they had no obligation to do anything. this is the same abuse of power as when the DOJ went after european online gamers for lettign americans bet. like its thier place to say who can/can not. its called personal responsablilty and personal knowledge of the laws.

  8. I’m assuming that Obama could still pardon them or commute their sentences even though they’re not US citizens.

  9. The alleged reason that the State of Vermont, U.S.A. has one of the highest rates of people using marijuana, is because, allegedly, the police in Vermont demand 50% (half) of marijuana growers profits (of growers cultivating marijuana along the Connecticut River which runs the entire length between Vermont and New Hampshire), and allegedly if a grower refuses to pay the cops 50% of their marijuana profits then the cops bust the grower. Registered voters of Vermont are allegedly far more concerned about cops being “on the take” rather than whether or not marijuana is actually legalized. What allegedly bothers Registered Voters the most is the tax losses to the State of Vermoht budget that growers could be paying rather than the Police Pocketing Profits. Go out and do a poll in your Vermont town and ask Registered Vermont Voters how they feel and what they know about this!

  10. Not 4, but 5 years in Federal -pound me in the A- Prison.

    Survival tips: 1) Just kick the living shizz out of a fellow prisoner immediately upon incarceration in front of all other prisoners or 2) find the biggest, baddest inmate and become his ready made quick.

    Watch out for your cornhole, bud…

  11. If Marc Emery is raped in a U.S. penitentiary, Canadians will be justifiably outraged.
    The U.S. will be embarrassed internationally and it’s high incarceration rate and unsafe prisons will be spotlighted.
    Hopefully, Marc Emery will be protected by many forces in jail and if I know Marc, and I do, he’ll have prisoners and guards alike eating out of his hand.—Emery has already beaten the U.S. government, they’re just too stupid to be aware of it yet.

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