Pot prince takes the rap

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Our prince of pot, Vancouver-based Marc Emery, puts it simply: “I’ll be disappearing in 60 days.”

He’s referring to his plea bargain with U.S. officials over charges arising from his online marijuana seed business, made public January 14.

The tentative agreement would see him serving five years of a 10-year sentence, waiving his right to early release and selling his beloved magazine, Cannabis Culture.

“There’s nothing much to prepare for,” he tells me, “just getting the magazine into the right hands.”

There had been whispers in private for a while now to be prepared for Emery to plead. Those of us in the know decided to give our friend his space.

No, he won’t fight the U.S. anti-ganja goliath despite his strongest desires, and one reason is that his friends and co-arrestees, Greg Williams and med-marijuana patient Michelle Rainey, will likely get a reprieve as part of this deal.

“I didn’t want to think about Michelle in pain behind bars while I’m languishing in jail,” he says.

Things aren’t so clear, however, at Rainey’s end. “I know nothing!” she writes me. “My situation has not been resolved. Nothing is signed.’’

Confirms Williams’s lawyer Kirk Tousaw, “I’m still prepared for the hearing on Monday, January 21.’’

If the courts and governments can all agree, Emery will make a quick trip stateside to mockingly tell a Seattle judge how guilt-ridden he feels for overgrowing their government and to inspire folks to fight for their reefer rights and “Vote Ron Paul,” an opponent of the war on drugs.

Instead of Emery’s trademark suit, I’d anticipate he’ll wear his favourite Republican T-shirt for his court appearance.

The fiery activist, who has already spent $90,000 on lawyers’ costs and would have needed more, has a game plan for his time in the slammer. “I’m going to learn languages and write 100 Chapters, my autobiography. You need projects in jail, and those should keep me busy.”

About the wave of sadness and indignation fanning out across the country, he says, “I don’t think about that.”

Others are less restrained. “This is a tragedy,” Vancouver East NDP MP Libby Davies says. “His extradition has crossed all political spectrums as an issue of national sovereignty. This is not a left-wing issue. It’s really unbelievable, agreeing to five years when his actions have produced no harm.”

When the news dropped, those who usually have the ganja gift of gab were left speechless. Cannabis Culture contributor Chris “Pot Poet” Lawson kept repeating “wow” in awed tones when I caught him unawares.

“Truly unbelievable. Oh my god.”

MaddChronic, who’d already booked his Vansterdam flight for what we thought was Emery’s upcoming trial, thought I was joking.

“I’m kind of choked up, dude.”

Emery’s dearest Toronto confidant, Chris Goodwin, refused to let it be.

“If I were beside Marc right now, I’d punch him in the shoulder. Fuck, man!” Goodwin said it was too soon in the proceedings for Emery to chuck it and that more could have been done politically. The man’s only expressing our painful feeling that we let the Prince of Pot down.

At the U.S. DEA, a spokesperson promises a press release soon. And a rep at the U.S. federal prosecutor’s office in Seattle say it’s too soon to divulge further details of the deal. It seems they don’t officially know whether or not Emery has accepted their deal.

Emery denies he leaked the news, though it would seem apropos that he’d go that route.

While the Harper government might feel relieved that the ghastly debacle will be swept away before an election, the Tories ought to worry about recurrent Emeroids – an incurable infection known to wipe out American-made drug policies.


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