Friends and supporters of Canada’s so-called “prince of pot” are using one of U.S. President Barack Obama’s democracy outreach projects to get the president to weigh in on Marc Emery’s stay in a U.S. prison.
Under Obama’s newly launched “We The People” program, anyone who can gather 5,000 names on a petition will receive a formal response.
In Emery’s case, the petition-signing effort took just nine days, and the marijuana advocate’s supporters now expect a presidential response within 30 days.
The Vancouver man was extradited to the U.S. in May 2010 to begin his sentence for selling marijuana seeds to Americans through his mail-order business.
“Marc is a political prisoner stolen from his home country for the crime of financing cannabis activism in the U.S.A. and Canada through selling seeds,” said Emery’s wife Jodie.
“There was widespread opposition to his extradition in the first place, and now we’re demonstrating that thousands of people want Marc to be free and sent home to Canada,” she said.
Obama is quoted on a government website, outlining his objectives for the program.
“When I ran for this office, I pledged to make government more open and accountable to its citizens,” the president is quoted as saying. “That’s what the new We the People feature on WhiteHouse.gov is all about — giving Americans a direct line to the White House on the issues and concerns that matter most to them.”
Jodie Emery said that having her husband serve out his sentence in Canada is a reasonable goal.
“He’s a Canadian — American taxpayers shouldn’t be paying for a Canadian to be in jail there,” she said. “That’s always the goal — he should never have left Canada.
“He’s agreed to serve his time, but his supporters are upset that he’s in the United States.”
Emery, 53, is currently behind bars in Mississippi at a medium-security prison, hoping to be set free on an early release date of July 9, 2014.
This article was written by Ian Austin and published by the Vancouver Sun on October 4, 2011.
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