Canada's "Prince of Pot" starts extradition to U.S

Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:14pm EDT
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Canada's self-proclaimed "Prince of Pot" gave himself up for extradition to the United States on Monday where he is expected to be jailed for up to five years for selling marijuana seeds to U.S. buyers.

Marc Emery, 51, was arrested in 2005 at the request of U.S. officials on allegations of selling millions of dollars in seeds, mostly by mail-order, from the business he operated openly in Canada for years.

A U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency statement in 2005 hailed Emery's arrest as blow to the "marijuana legalization movement" and cited his financial support of pro-pot groups in Canada and the United States.

Emery, the founder of the British Columbia Marijuana Party and the self-proclaimed "Prince of Pot," was convicted in Canada in 1998 for selling pot seeds and given a C$2,000 ($1,835) fine.

He initially fought his extradition to the United States but later, faced with a possible life sentence, decided to plead guilty to lesser charges. He recently finished a 30-city "farewell tour" across Canada.

($1 = $1.08 Canadian)

(Reporting by Nicole Mordant; Editing by Frank McGurty)

<p>Canadian marijuana activist Marc Emery (R) cries while embracing a friend before turning himself in at the court house in Vancouver, British Columbia September 28, 2009. The self proclaimed Prince of Pot turned himself in before being extradited to the United States to serve a five year jail sentence for selling marijuana seeds. REUTERS/Andy Clark</p>