Sunday, July 31, 2005

Compare and contrast 

Are they talking about the same guy?
The Seattle Times AP story makes Mark Emery into a criminal master mind: "Prince of Pot" Canadian marijuana activist arrested on U.S. indictment:
A Canadian marijuana activist known as 'The Prince of Pot' was arrested today in Canada on a U.S. indictment targeting his alleged multimillion-dollar marijuana seed business. Marc Emery, 47, of Vancouver, B.C, is charged with conspiracy to launder money and distribute marijuana and marijuana seeds, the U.S. attorney's office said. Conviction on the charges would carry a sentence of at least 10 years in prison. Emery claims to make $3 million a year from selling marijuana seeds online and by mail, along with equipment for grow operations and instructions on raising pot plants, authorities said . . . Prosecutors say three-fourths of Emery's seeds are sent to the United States and have been linked to illegal cultivation operations in Indiana, Florida, California, Tennessee, Montana, Virginia, Michigan, New Jersey and North Dakota.
The Vancouver Sun story, on the other hand, emphasizes the Canadian perspective, and the unproven nature of the charges: Uncle Sam orchestrates Vancouver pot busts:
Pot advocate Marc Emery was arrested Friday in Halifax after his marijuana-seed shipping business on Hastings Street was shut down by police as part of a sweeping investigation instigated by U.S. authorities. Vancouver police raided Emery's multi-million-dollar business on a request from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), while angry protesters gathered outside chanting "Go home USA." Emery, 47, referred to as "The Prince of Pot" on the search warrant, was arrested by the RCMP and police in Halifax. He is charged in the U.S. with several drug-related charges, including conspiring to distribute marijuana seeds and launder money . . . about 25 chanting protesters banged on makeshift drums outside. Two American flags were hung upside-down on a nearby fence. "This is a place where people could pull out a joint and not have to fear being reported to the police, and that was okay with Canadians," said David Malmo-Levine, who was one of the four protesters later arrested. "It's really an attack on our sovereignty." The search was requested by the U.S. government through the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, a federal law administered by the Department of Justice. The warrant was authorized Thursday in B.C.'s Supreme Court, based on an affidavit provided by a Vancouver police officer. U.S. authorities say the warrant was the result of an 18-month investigation of Emery's international seed-selling business. The investigation involved about 38 DEA offices across the U.S. and allegedly linked marijuana seeds sold by Emery to indoor grow operations in several states, including New Jersey, Michigan and Florida. Jeff Sullivan, assistant U.S. attorney, alleged Friday during a news conference that more than 75 per cent of the seeds sold by Emery were sold to people in the U.S., and Emery was making about $3 million a year selling seeds and marijuana-growing equipment.
Note, in particular, how the US paper says it is Emery who claims to make $3 million a year, while the Canadian paper clarifies that this is just what the US Attorney alleges. The Sun notes the protests as well, which the Seattle paper, like other American papers, does not.

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