SEATTLE — Vancouver’s “Prince of Pot,” Marc Emery, was sentenced in a Seattle courtroom Friday afternoon to five years in prison by a U.S. Federal Court.
It was the sentence Emery and his wife Jodie had been looking for since his guilty plea in late May to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana.
“We feel that we’ll probably get the sentence we were expecting,” Jodie Emery told a rally of about 30 supporters outside the courthouse.
The crowd waved signs reading “Free Marc” and chanted their support as passing cars honked their horns.
Emery was arrested in 2005 by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and indicted for selling marijuana seeds online and through the mail to customers in the U.S. On his website, Emery claims to have made $3 million a year selling seeds, and to have sold more than four million seeds over the years.
“Jail is a cruel and lonely place and I regret that my actions have brought me here,” Emery said in a written statement to U.S. Federal Court Judge Ricardo Martinez. “Five years is an awfully long time to consider what I’ve done. I admit that I was arrogant in flouting United States law.
“My great life’s goal for 20 years now, your Honour, has been a burning passion to end what I consider a terrible injustice that has seen over 10 million U.S. citizens and 1.5 million Canadian citizens brutally and unjustly punished under the marijuana prohibition laws of our two countries.
“As a Canadian who did all my activity in Canada and used over $4 million in proceeds directed to peaceful, legal and democratic activities in both our countries, I felt almost any honest, transparent and peaceful activity towards repealing these prohibition laws was legitimate.”
Jodie Emery said that after the sentencing she hoped to be able to visit Emery in jail.
She said he e-mailed her Thursday night.
“He’s holding up,” she said. “He’s feeling all right. He’s very calm and ready to accept responsibility for what’s going to happen because he always said he’d go down as a martyr to represent all the others who are imprisoned unjustly.”
Now that he has been sentenced, Emery can apply for transfer to a Canadian prison for the remainder of his sentence. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews will decide if Emery will be allowed to come back to Canada.
She said as the leader of the B.C. Marijuana Party, her husband has been active in politics since he was 17, and that he started selling seeds to fund political activism in the U.S.
She said when Emery was arrested in 2005, he had $11 in his bank account “because his whole intent in selling the seeds was to fund the movement.”
By Damian Inwood