Canadian Marc Emery, Canada’s most prominent marijuana legalization activist, is at the top of the U.S, Drug Enforcement Agency’s ‘Most Wanted List’ and now faces extradition to the U.S. and possible life imprisonment. His crime – selling marijuana seeds over the Internet. An occupation he has never denied. In fact for more than a decade he has dutifully filed his income tax returns in Canada stating his occupation as “marijuana seed seller”. He paid his taxes and was left alone by the Canadian authorities. However Canada’s RCMP suddenly and willingly co-operated when the DEA got him in their sights.
Widely known as “The Prince of Pot,” Emery is the joint smoking publisher of Cannabis Culture Magazine, founder of the BC Marijuana Party and a lifelong rabble-rouser. And now, according to the DEA, one of the most wanted men in the drug world, up there with the heads of Columbian cocaine cartels, and the top drug trafficker in North America.
His story is the prism through which director, Nick Wilson, examines the touchy issue of sovereignty, the long reach of U.S. drug laws, and Canadian pot culture, while spending the summer embedded at the Emery defense headquarters.
Emery believes marijuana is a wonderful, healing drug and that current laws are unconstitutional, inhumane, and detrimental to society, far outweighing the damage done to people by the drug itself. Emery faces years in prison if he’s extradited to face trial in the U.S. His extradition hearing is scheduled to being in February, 2008 in Vancouver.
No Canadian has ever gone to jail for selling seeds, and in 35 years only two people have been charged – the last got a $200 fine. Yet, Emery could be sentenced to a life term if found guilty in a U.S. courtroom. He is currently is trying to negotiate a complicated deal to end his legal battle with U.S. and Canadian authorities.
THE PRINCE OF POT follows Emery through the summer and fall as he plots his defense, attends court hearings and tries to clear the names of his two friends who now face the same fate as him.
The Prince of Pot: The U.S. vs. Marc Emery is directed by Nick Wilson and produced by Anne Pick, Real to Reel Productions (Toronto).