Cannabis Martyr Emery Still Locked Up Despite Concluding His Sentence
By Simon Doherty
Last Thursday NORML UK ran a story about Marc Emery; political prisoner, social commentator, successful writer and publisher. He was due to be released from prison after serving a five year sentence for sending cannabis seeds to the US in order to fund political drives to legalise the plant.
Unfortunately Marc, who co-founded Cannabis Culture publication and several weed related political parties, is locked into a new custody battle, this time from a deportation centre, despite concluding his sentence and being released from his correctional facility 235 days early for excellent conduct.
So how long will the poster child for cannabis tolerance have to wait before he is deported? Well the answer is not a simple one, with speculation ranging from 10 days to several months. It is abhorrent that a man who has served a sentence is still locked in a cage but there are other questions to be asked, for instance: how long will the global community allow the DEA to remove individuals from their homes, countries and families to take them across the world to face charges for crimes involving no violence? Their cruel campaign of hate and intolerance knows no end.
The irony is lost on me that a country described by many as ´the land of the free´ has, by its own admission, incarcerated 1% (1.6 million) of the population according to a report by the Pew Centre in 2008, more than any other country in the world. This, quite frankly shocking, statistic can be seen as a manifestation of the ´war´ on drugs and the highly profitable and lucrative criminal justice system in the US.
Emery, now 56, has vowed to lead his contingent of adoring fans across his much loved home country of Canada in a 30-city ´advocacy tour´ upon his release featuring countries such as Spain, Austria, Ireland and Uruguay.
And this comes at a time when politicians, such as Obama and Cameron, are falling over themselves to admit past associations with the plant. I don´t see them being imprisoned, arrested or chastised like thousands of young people up and down the UK each year. Remember, the implications of the mass arrest of our minors for pitiful amounts of cannabis are huge. They include restrictions on employment, education and travel, not to mention the psychological and social impact of being branded a criminal at an early age for engaging in a victimless crime.
“All men are equal – but some more equal than others” George Orwell 1946
I will be writing Marc a personal letter of encouragement and support, if it was not freedom fighters like him, who bring injustices to the media forefront, the global cannabis legalisation may not be what it is today. So if you fancy dropping him a line the address can be found below. Remember it´s a joint effort (sorry I could not resist a pun).
Tensas Parish Detention Centre
8606 Hwy 65