Inter Press Service, Italy
TORONTO - Canadian Marc Emery, known as the "Prince of Pot", says the U.S. extradition request hanging over him for selling marijuana seeds over the Internet is a "sadistic" move by the George W. Bush administration to silence the drug legalisation movement.
"It's a cruel and sadistic [U.S.] government intent on punishing free-thinking people," Emery told Tierramérica. "The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) acts as an all-powerful death squad that fills up prisons and wastes billions of dollars," he said.
Emery's extradition hearing is likely to be held in December, and expected to be granted, given Canada's new Conservative government, which has a staunch anti-drug, pro-U.S. stance. If so, Emery faces more than 20 years in prison.
Always in the spotlight, Emery sold marijuana seeds over the Internet over an 11-year period, with annual sales reaching three million dollars, by his own account. But he never sold marijuana, even though DEA agents posing as buyers often tried to entice or trick him into doing so.
His business collapsed in July 2005 when the DEA and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) confiscated all his property and practically everything else related to his seed sales.
Emery says he is not a drug dealer, but a political activist fighting to end the prohibition on marijuana. He is editor of Cannabis Culture Magazine and the leader of the British Colombia Marijuana Party, a registered political party in that west coast province.
The Prince of Pot has given more than four million dollars of his seed profits to pay the legal fees of pot growers fighting prosecution and to help organise conferences in favour of drug legalisation.