August 8 2005
Hero of Liberty
By:Marco den Ouden: The Break Out Report
I first met Marc Emery in 1996 when I was part of the organizing committe for the International Society for Individual Liberty Conference that was held at Whistler that year. We invited Marc to be one of our speakers and he accepted. He gave a scintillating talk and was one of the highlights of the convention.
Emery is a brilliant man, a superb speaker, a dynamic entrepreneur and a committed activist for the promotion of freedom. With his smarts he could have made a million dollars in any endeavour he set his mind to. But he chose marijuana activism because he saw it as focal point for all that is wrong with government - the nanny state that professes to know better than you do what is good for you.
Since becoming active in writing about the stock market, I have more or less dropped my former activism in the libertarian movement. And although I occasionally write an article critiquing government, usually on economic issues like free trade or taxes, I have avoided more controversial issues. But this attempt by Yankee puritans to impose their paranoid drug policy on Canada by seeking to extradite one our most outspoken advocates for individual liberty goes beyond the pale. It's got my blood boiling again. I'm not just mad. I'm damn mad.
Marc Emery is a good decent man, a family man, a brilliant entrepreneur who brings millions of dollars into the economy and pays huge sums in taxes to the Federal government, a dedicated fighter for freedom. To send him to the United States would be a travesty of justice.
A recent editorial in The Vancouver Sun supporting the US government versus Marc Emery says that "when we identify suspects who have committed crimes in Canada and fled to the US, authorities there help our police with the investigation" as justification for the extradition. Well, that's baloney. Emery has not been on US soil in years if ever. He avoids the US with its draconian drug laws. Emery did not commit a crime on US soil and flee to Canada. He just carried on a mail order business. Now if the US does not want certain items to be transmitted by mail into the US, they should take appropriate actions to intercept such mail. Don't they have good dogs at the US Postal Service that can sniff out substances that are illegal? If sending marijuana seeds in the mail is illegal here, as in the US, the "crime" was clearly committed in Canada, not the US and the Canadian government should simply tell the US government, okay, we'll prosecute the fellow here since the "crime" was committed here. Then Marc can plead guilty, pay his fine and continue with his life. But to send him to the United States would be absurd as well as a gross perversion of justice.
Marc is following in the footsteps of one of Canada's largest industrial conglomerates - Seagram's, which made a fortune and established its presence as one of Canada's leading companies in the thrities during prohibition. Seagram's products were smuggled in huge quantities south of the border. This saved thousands of Americans from blindness or death due to bad moonshine. Would the Canadian government of the day have extradited the Seagrams and new company owners the Bronfmans at the request of the Americans?
I've added a link to the front page called Website of the Week and this week features an article from LewRockwell.com about Marc Emery. It chronicles his activism from the days he ran a bookstore in Ontario and fought their blue laws to today's battle for a sensible approach to marijuana. Read it. You'll discover that Emery is truly a hero of liberty.