Prime Time Crime


(Published in the Abbotsford News week of Aug.  1, 2005)

Prince of Potheads: time for justice

John Pifer

It is to be hoped that extradition proceedings to ship BC marijuana activist Marc Emery to the United States to face criminal charges will be swift and just, and that this supercilious prig will have to face a judge down there soon.

It is to be hoped that the clunky, confused and capital-L-Liberal Canadian courts do not make a martyr of this glib, oleaginous, arrogant drug dealer by refusing to ship him to the USA.

The apologists for Emery have already rushed to their computers and to media microphones to spew a stream of disinformation suggesting that his arrest in Nova Scotia on a U.S. warrant is some form of violation of Canadian sovereignty.

Don’t buy that for a minute – it’s a diversion that falls apart in the face of facts and logic. Their argument is that if what Emery has been doing is illegal why had Canadian authorities not charged him? They contend that having the Americans ask for and receive cooperation from the RCMP and other Canadian law enforcement agencies in this case is a terrible thing, and that Poor Marc is being persecuted.

Just imagine for a minute if the RCMPolice got a line on a lowlife in the U.S. who was sending mail-order handguns to Canada, and they asked American authorities to arrest the perp and extradite him here to face charges. Surely any law-abiding citizen, any sane-thinking average Joe or Jane, would want and expect – even demand – that the U.S. cooperate.

Of course you would.

Whatever your position is on legalizing marijuana, or allowing that it is OK for personal use, do not let the smoke and mirrors surrounding this whole issue to blind you from the fact that Emery is not you or your next-door neighbour who has an occasional joint to wind down from a stressful week.

The self-important Prince of Potheads is a well-organized, prosperous game player who knows the risks involved in his crusade to defy the laws of the land; and he can talk all he wants about “just selling seeds” like any horticulturalist. He brought marijuana into the political ring as a clever bit of propaganda and to provide a platform for his oft-stated views that no-one should be allowed to interfere with his decisions of what foreign substances he chooses to take into his body.

The larger picture is a lot less holistic, and a lot more horrific. What gets lost in the coverage of matters marijuana up here is the fact that it is big business, dirty business, and illegal business. Much of the “BC Bud” is being laced with stronger, more addictive drugs to hook the “customer”; and much of the pot grown freely in BC is paid for not in cash, but in cocaine and crystal meth, which is brought into Canada to further impair our youth.

This is a sophisticated billion-dollar industry that can afford to dig professional tunnels under the 49th parallel to facilitate the movement of all manner of illegal goods – from pot to people.

This is a sophisticated billion-dollar industry that has various gangs and factions fighting for control, all for the money, and all with little or no regard for the death, damage and decimation they live in their wake.

Add to that some certain payoffs to people in positions of power to deflect and divert from these truths, and it is little wonder that more and more, police authorities on both sides of the border are saying: “Enough is enough.”

Veteran B.C. journalist/broadcaster John Pifer may be reached at


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