Justice twisted, twice

Brian
Brian Jones
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Every time the RNC or RCMP parade a haul of illicit drugs before the cameras to boast about the great job they are doing keeping Canadians safe from dope and dopers, we are reminded of the inanity, hypocrisy, foolishness, ineffectiveness and outright injustice of Canada's drug laws, even if the boastful displays of criminal loot reassure some people that the country's streets will never resemble those they see on TV cop shows.

The police, of course, are just doing their jobs, according to the instructions of the laws and the lawmakers of the land.

Every time the RNC or RCMP parade a haul of illicit drugs before the cameras to boast about the great job they are doing keeping Canadians safe from dope and dopers, we are reminded of the inanity, hypocrisy, foolishness, ineffectiveness and outright injustice of Canada's drug laws, even if the boastful displays of criminal loot reassure some people that the country's streets will never resemble those they see on TV cop shows.

The police, of course, are just doing their jobs, according to the instructions of the laws and the lawmakers of the land.

But for a sense of extremely twisted justice, you can't do much better than comparing the cases of Marc Emery and Hassan Almrei.

Marc Emery

A Canadian citizen, Emery was extradited to the U.S. by his own government even though he has never set foot in the United States.

His heinous crime: he runs a mail-order business selling marijuana seeds.

The Canadian Press (CP) erroneously reported this week Emery "was arrested in the U.S. in 2005."

In fact, the 2005 arrest took place in Halifax.

So, a Canadian citizen who has never visited a foreign country, let alone broken its laws while there, has been shipped out of his own country by his own government, to face a foreign judge.

Emery will serve five years in a Seattle prison. He pleaded guilty in return for a five-year sentence, he told reporters in Vancouver, to avoid facing the maximum penalty of 50 years' imprisonment.

Emery has waged a very public, years-long campaign against Canada's drug laws and in favour of the legalization of marijuana. He has been dubbed the "Prince of Pot," although it would now be more accurate to label him the "Prisoner of Pot."

According to The Vancouver Sun, a B.C. Court of Appeal judge said Emery's transgressions, under Canadian law, would warrant a month's detention and a bit of probation.

Instead, he'll likely be in a U.S. prison until 2015, unless he can get transferred to a Canadian jail.

Hassan Almrei

Unlike marijuana-promoting Canadian citizens who can easily be kicked out of their own country, refugee-claiming suspected terrorists have a firm hold upon Canadian soil.

Hassan Almrei is a 36-year-old Syrian man who came to Canada in 1999 "on a false United Arab Emirates passport and attained refugee status the following year," CP reported earlier this month.

In October 2001, Almrei was arrested in Canada "on terror suspicions" and held on the basis of a security certificate.

Those infamous security certificates get a lot of bad publicity, and a lot of good publicity for opponents who condemn them.

Oddly enough, when the facts finally come out, the subjects of the certificates often look somewhat less than heroic.

In releasing Almrei in December 2009, a Federal Court judge "said there were reasonable grounds to believe Almrei was a security danger when detained just after the 9/11 attacks - but no reason to support that belief now," CP reported.

CP also reported, "(The judge) found that Almrei had lied to Canadian authorities, provided a forged passport and money to an Arab-Afghan associate who crossed the border illegally, arranged a marriage of convenience for a failed refugee claimant and traded in illicit drivers' licences."

Apparently, Almrei was never charged.

Nor, obviously, was he ever deported.

Instead, he lawyered up and is suing the federal government for, among other things, false imprisonment, violation of his Charter rights and, laughably, defamation.

He wants $16 million. And an apology. He'll probably win.

Let's say sorry in writing and put the cash in a big bag, and make Marc Emery deliver it.

Brian Jones is a desk editor at The Telegram. He can be reached by e-mail at bjones@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Canadian Press, RCMP, B.C. Court Federal Court The Telegram

Geographic location: Canada, United States, Halifax Seattle Vancouver United Arab Emirates

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  • Tom
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    To Mike Conway from Bell Island
    The USA have dibs on the most screwed up immigration country in the world. We welcome the people from Central America with changing our language from English to Spanish, giving them jobs, welfare, food stamps free education . letting them drive without a drivers license or car insurance. The poor American working slob has to pay for all of that.The politicans sell their soul for a vote. When it comes to crooks we wrote the book on it.

  • Brian
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    CORRECTION: I meant to write Mr. Jones. Not Mr. Scott. The correct version is below.

    In the case of Marc Emery the writer interprets, correctly, Emery's extradition to the US as part of a bogus and unnecessary war on drugs, a bogus war that Canada plays along with to please its de facto political masters in Washington. He calls this twisted justice. Maybe it is twisted. But at least it is a form of justice. Emery ran foul of U.S.law. He was charged with a crime in the US, was convicted and is serving his time.

    But when it comes to the case of Mississauga resident Hassan Almrei Mr. Jones completely fails to see the injustice done to this man even though it parallels , in some ways, that which happened to Emery. Not the part about being charged with a crime. That luxury was never afforded Almrei. Security certificates allow CSIS to throw a man in solitary confinement on the basis of ALLEGATIONS that he has been, is, or will be involved with terrorism.

    Just like the war on drugs is bogus so is the war on terror. And the Canadian security state must do it's part and play along to please its masters in Washington.

    Why does Mr. Jones see the injustices experienced by Emery and by Almrei so differently? Why does he sympathize only with Emery and why does he take as gospel truth the govt's allegations that Almrei is a dangerous terrorist who deserves to be deported to Syria? Yes, the same Syria that tortured Maher Arar.

    My guess is that Jones is a xenophobe and a racist. But he can certainly prove me wrong by writing his next column about another victim of the Canadian injustice system, another man whom the Canadian gov't is trying to extradite to another foreign country, this time France. His name is Hassan Diab. You can read more about his Orwellian nightmare at www.justiceforhassandiab.org

  • elizabeth
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    legalize the stuff,,i would rather have the police up telling us they took down child molesters,,but no we can,t have that..we can,t and don,t have the money for bringing down the child molesters,,but we have lots for the dope wars,,,legalize the stuff..o thats right the police would rather have more people drunk..look at the danger alot of woman and children have with the men beating rape,,and they can,t remember doing it

  • Taxpayer
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Watching the performance by the RNC last week I wondered why the reporters did not ask the public rel officer why they were trying to take drugs off the street. The officer seemed to be afairly new officer and therefore would be trained in the most up to date thinking(?). Now if you thought about this issue in a logical manner, I would say that to curb the use of drugs you would tackle the users. Although this was true in the past new thinking seems to be go easy on the user and tackle the supplier. This has no logic because as long as there is a user they will need to be a supplier. If you cut down on the suppliers, the price goes up until someone agrees to take a chance a supply the drug. This is the ultimate fallacy of the war on drugs. Our politicans should be made to face this lack of proper analysis. As one who has never smoked not talk of used drugs I have to say that I don't understand the user mentality.

  • LINDA
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    If what is reported here is accurate, Almrei should be deported immediately!

  • Here like you
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Imagine if an alien life form came to our planet one day and saw to large fields, one growing tobacco, and the other growing marajuana. We would have to explain to them that the tobacco is legal, is sold in stores and kills untold millions of people every year, while the marajuana is medicinal, helps people who are sick, and if you are caught with it you are put in jail. Talk about hypocracy.

  • mike
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Another example of our disfunctional immigration system,if he came into Canada under false pretenses he should have been deported immediately no ifs ands or buts.i am willing to bet that Canada is the only country in the world that has such a screwed up immigration policy,whereas you can get rewarded for doing something illegal.how in the name of GOD can someone who came into Canada illegially,whether you dress it up and call it refugee status it is still illegal.I would love to know what idiots and from which political party saw fit tp pass an immigration policy, giving those criminals the same rights as Canadian citizens,those rights and freedoms should only be given to Canadian citizens.I am willing to bet that there was a lot of back scratching going on when this policy was passed in parliament.It is about time we pulled our heads out of the sand and made our politicians accountable for the disfunctional policies that they are making.It is no wonder that Canada is getting a name as a haven for terrorists with an immigration system like we have what else can one expect Mr Harper stated that the immigration system is flawed or broken,that being the case then fik it Mr Harper then fix it.

  • Brian
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    In the case of Marc Emery the writer interprets, correctly, Emery's extradition to the US as part of a bogus and unnecessary war on drugs, a bogus war that Canada plays along with to please its de facto political masters in Washington. He calls this twisted justice. Maybe it is twisted. But at least it is a form of justice. Emery ran foul of U.S.law. He was charged with a crime in the US, was convicted and is serving his time.

    But when it comes to the case of Mississauga resident Hassan Almrei Scott completely fails to see the injustice done to this man even though it parallels that which happened to Emery. Not the part about being charged with a crime. That luxury was never afforded Almrei. Security certificates allow CSIS to throw a man in solitary confinement on the basis of ALLEGATIONS that he has been, is, or will be involved with terrorism.

    Just like the war on drugs is bogus so is the war on terror. And the Canadian security state must do it's part and play along to please its masters in Washington.

    Why does Mr. Scott see the injustices experienced by Emery and by Almrei so differently? Why does he sympathize only with Emery and why does he take as gospel truth the govt's allegations that Almrei is a dangerous terrorist who deserves to be deported to Syria? Yes, the same Syria that tortured Maher Arar.

    My guess is that Scott is a xenophobe and a racist. But he can certainly prove me wrong by writing his next column about another victim of the Canadian injustice system, another man whom the Canadian gov't is trying to extradite to another foreign country, this time France. His name is Hassan Diab. You can read more about his Orwellian nightmare at www.justiceforhassandiab.org

  • bill
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Obviously a pot head

  • doug
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    With regards to Marc emery, the government didn't mind the tax dollars he generated. He was very transparent about his seed business and has been an advocate for the marijuana movement here in Canada. It just goes to show the very long arm of the American draconian justice system. To quote Marc emery: to be free in Canada, you have to spend a lot of time in jail..

  • Politically Incorrect
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Well, Brian, you're certainly breaking new ground. Writing an opinion piece citing one example of what may (or may not) be an abuse of the immigration system to make the implication that our refugee system marks a new highpoint in investigative journalism *cough*. Amongst the allegations I get the feeling that you're missing some important details here, Brian. Ive worked with many refugee claimants and it is hardly an easy ride for them. But contrasting this case with the Emery case is disingenuous. Emery is a victim of a Conservative government that would put relations with Washington ahead of defending the civil rights of Canadian citizens. For a moment I thought you were going to criticise another example of Mr. Harper undermining our sovereignty, but that would hardly be the position of what appears to be a journalist (I use the term loosely) trying to get a job with the National Post. You keep an eye on those Arabs, Mr. Jones.

  • Bill
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    One need not travel to China to find indigenous cultures lacking human rights. America leads the world in percentile behind bars, thanks to the ongoing open season on hippies, commies, and non-whites in the war on drugs. Cops get good performance reviews for shooting fish in a barrel. If were all about spreading liberty abroad, then why mix the message at home? Peace on the home front would enhance global credibility.

    The drug czars Rx for prison fodder costs dearly, as lives are flushed down expensive tubes. My shamans second opinion is that psychoactive plants are Gods gift. Behold, its all good. When Eve ate the apple, she knew a good apple, and an evil prohibition. Canadian Marc Emery is being extradited to prison for helping American farmers reduce U. S. demand for Mexican pot.

    The CSA (Controlled Substances Act of 1970) reincarnates Al Capone, endangers homeland security, and throws good money after bad. Fiscal policy burns tax dollars to root out the number-one cash crop in the land, instead of taxing sales. Society rejected the plague of prohibition, but it mutated. Apparently, SWAT teams dont need no stinking amendment.

    Nixon passed the CSA on the false assurance that the Schafer Commission would later justify criminalizing his enemies, but he underestimated Schafers integrity. No amendments can assure due process under an anti-science law without due process itself. Psychology hailed the breakthrough potential of LSD, until the CSA shut down research, and pronounced that marijuana has no medical use. Former U.K. chief drugs advisor Prof. Nutt was sacked for revealing that non-smoked cannabis intake is scientifically healthy.

    The RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993) allows Native American Church members to eat peyote, which functions like LSD. Americans shouldnt need a specific church membership or an act of Congress to obtain their birthright freedom of religion. Gods childrens free exercise of religious liberty may include entheogen sacraments to mediate communion with their maker.

    Freedom of speech presupposes freedom of thought. The Constitution doesnt enumerate any governmental power to embargo diverse states of mind. How and when did government usurp this power to coerce conformity? The Mayflower sailed to escape coerced conformity. Legislators who would limit cognitive liberty lack jurisdiction.

    Common-law holds that adults are the legal owners of their own bodies. The Founding Fathers undersigned that the right to the pursuit of happiness is inalienable. Socrates said to know your self. Mortal lawmakers should not presume to thwart the intelligent design that molecular keys unlock spiritual doors. Persons who appreciate their own free choice of path in life should tolerate seekers self-exploration. Liberty is prerequisite for tracking drug-use intentions and outcomes.

  • Tom
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    To Mike Conway from Bell Island
    The USA have dibs on the most screwed up immigration country in the world. We welcome the people from Central America with changing our language from English to Spanish, giving them jobs, welfare, food stamps free education . letting them drive without a drivers license or car insurance. The poor American working slob has to pay for all of that.The politicans sell their soul for a vote. When it comes to crooks we wrote the book on it.

  • Brian
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    CORRECTION: I meant to write Mr. Jones. Not Mr. Scott. The correct version is below.

    In the case of Marc Emery the writer interprets, correctly, Emery's extradition to the US as part of a bogus and unnecessary war on drugs, a bogus war that Canada plays along with to please its de facto political masters in Washington. He calls this twisted justice. Maybe it is twisted. But at least it is a form of justice. Emery ran foul of U.S.law. He was charged with a crime in the US, was convicted and is serving his time.

    But when it comes to the case of Mississauga resident Hassan Almrei Mr. Jones completely fails to see the injustice done to this man even though it parallels , in some ways, that which happened to Emery. Not the part about being charged with a crime. That luxury was never afforded Almrei. Security certificates allow CSIS to throw a man in solitary confinement on the basis of ALLEGATIONS that he has been, is, or will be involved with terrorism.

    Just like the war on drugs is bogus so is the war on terror. And the Canadian security state must do it's part and play along to please its masters in Washington.

    Why does Mr. Jones see the injustices experienced by Emery and by Almrei so differently? Why does he sympathize only with Emery and why does he take as gospel truth the govt's allegations that Almrei is a dangerous terrorist who deserves to be deported to Syria? Yes, the same Syria that tortured Maher Arar.

    My guess is that Jones is a xenophobe and a racist. But he can certainly prove me wrong by writing his next column about another victim of the Canadian injustice system, another man whom the Canadian gov't is trying to extradite to another foreign country, this time France. His name is Hassan Diab. You can read more about his Orwellian nightmare at www.justiceforhassandiab.org

  • elizabeth
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    legalize the stuff,,i would rather have the police up telling us they took down child molesters,,but no we can,t have that..we can,t and don,t have the money for bringing down the child molesters,,but we have lots for the dope wars,,,legalize the stuff..o thats right the police would rather have more people drunk..look at the danger alot of woman and children have with the men beating rape,,and they can,t remember doing it

  • Taxpayer
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    Watching the performance by the RNC last week I wondered why the reporters did not ask the public rel officer why they were trying to take drugs off the street. The officer seemed to be afairly new officer and therefore would be trained in the most up to date thinking(?). Now if you thought about this issue in a logical manner, I would say that to curb the use of drugs you would tackle the users. Although this was true in the past new thinking seems to be go easy on the user and tackle the supplier. This has no logic because as long as there is a user they will need to be a supplier. If you cut down on the suppliers, the price goes up until someone agrees to take a chance a supply the drug. This is the ultimate fallacy of the war on drugs. Our politicans should be made to face this lack of proper analysis. As one who has never smoked not talk of used drugs I have to say that I don't understand the user mentality.

  • LINDA
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    If what is reported here is accurate, Almrei should be deported immediately!

  • Here like you
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    Imagine if an alien life form came to our planet one day and saw to large fields, one growing tobacco, and the other growing marajuana. We would have to explain to them that the tobacco is legal, is sold in stores and kills untold millions of people every year, while the marajuana is medicinal, helps people who are sick, and if you are caught with it you are put in jail. Talk about hypocracy.

  • mike
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    Another example of our disfunctional immigration system,if he came into Canada under false pretenses he should have been deported immediately no ifs ands or buts.i am willing to bet that Canada is the only country in the world that has such a screwed up immigration policy,whereas you can get rewarded for doing something illegal.how in the name of GOD can someone who came into Canada illegially,whether you dress it up and call it refugee status it is still illegal.I would love to know what idiots and from which political party saw fit tp pass an immigration policy, giving those criminals the same rights as Canadian citizens,those rights and freedoms should only be given to Canadian citizens.I am willing to bet that there was a lot of back scratching going on when this policy was passed in parliament.It is about time we pulled our heads out of the sand and made our politicians accountable for the disfunctional policies that they are making.It is no wonder that Canada is getting a name as a haven for terrorists with an immigration system like we have what else can one expect Mr Harper stated that the immigration system is flawed or broken,that being the case then fik it Mr Harper then fix it.

  • Brian
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    In the case of Marc Emery the writer interprets, correctly, Emery's extradition to the US as part of a bogus and unnecessary war on drugs, a bogus war that Canada plays along with to please its de facto political masters in Washington. He calls this twisted justice. Maybe it is twisted. But at least it is a form of justice. Emery ran foul of U.S.law. He was charged with a crime in the US, was convicted and is serving his time.

    But when it comes to the case of Mississauga resident Hassan Almrei Scott completely fails to see the injustice done to this man even though it parallels that which happened to Emery. Not the part about being charged with a crime. That luxury was never afforded Almrei. Security certificates allow CSIS to throw a man in solitary confinement on the basis of ALLEGATIONS that he has been, is, or will be involved with terrorism.

    Just like the war on drugs is bogus so is the war on terror. And the Canadian security state must do it's part and play along to please its masters in Washington.

    Why does Mr. Scott see the injustices experienced by Emery and by Almrei so differently? Why does he sympathize only with Emery and why does he take as gospel truth the govt's allegations that Almrei is a dangerous terrorist who deserves to be deported to Syria? Yes, the same Syria that tortured Maher Arar.

    My guess is that Scott is a xenophobe and a racist. But he can certainly prove me wrong by writing his next column about another victim of the Canadian injustice system, another man whom the Canadian gov't is trying to extradite to another foreign country, this time France. His name is Hassan Diab. You can read more about his Orwellian nightmare at www.justiceforhassandiab.org

  • bill
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    Obviously a pot head

  • doug
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    With regards to Marc emery, the government didn't mind the tax dollars he generated. He was very transparent about his seed business and has been an advocate for the marijuana movement here in Canada. It just goes to show the very long arm of the American draconian justice system. To quote Marc emery: to be free in Canada, you have to spend a lot of time in jail..

  • Politically Incorrect
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    Well, Brian, you're certainly breaking new ground. Writing an opinion piece citing one example of what may (or may not) be an abuse of the immigration system to make the implication that our refugee system marks a new highpoint in investigative journalism *cough*. Amongst the allegations I get the feeling that you're missing some important details here, Brian. Ive worked with many refugee claimants and it is hardly an easy ride for them. But contrasting this case with the Emery case is disingenuous. Emery is a victim of a Conservative government that would put relations with Washington ahead of defending the civil rights of Canadian citizens. For a moment I thought you were going to criticise another example of Mr. Harper undermining our sovereignty, but that would hardly be the position of what appears to be a journalist (I use the term loosely) trying to get a job with the National Post. You keep an eye on those Arabs, Mr. Jones.

  • Bill
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    One need not travel to China to find indigenous cultures lacking human rights. America leads the world in percentile behind bars, thanks to the ongoing open season on hippies, commies, and non-whites in the war on drugs. Cops get good performance reviews for shooting fish in a barrel. If were all about spreading liberty abroad, then why mix the message at home? Peace on the home front would enhance global credibility.

    The drug czars Rx for prison fodder costs dearly, as lives are flushed down expensive tubes. My shamans second opinion is that psychoactive plants are Gods gift. Behold, its all good. When Eve ate the apple, she knew a good apple, and an evil prohibition. Canadian Marc Emery is being extradited to prison for helping American farmers reduce U. S. demand for Mexican pot.

    The CSA (Controlled Substances Act of 1970) reincarnates Al Capone, endangers homeland security, and throws good money after bad. Fiscal policy burns tax dollars to root out the number-one cash crop in the land, instead of taxing sales. Society rejected the plague of prohibition, but it mutated. Apparently, SWAT teams dont need no stinking amendment.

    Nixon passed the CSA on the false assurance that the Schafer Commission would later justify criminalizing his enemies, but he underestimated Schafers integrity. No amendments can assure due process under an anti-science law without due process itself. Psychology hailed the breakthrough potential of LSD, until the CSA shut down research, and pronounced that marijuana has no medical use. Former U.K. chief drugs advisor Prof. Nutt was sacked for revealing that non-smoked cannabis intake is scientifically healthy.

    The RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993) allows Native American Church members to eat peyote, which functions like LSD. Americans shouldnt need a specific church membership or an act of Congress to obtain their birthright freedom of religion. Gods childrens free exercise of religious liberty may include entheogen sacraments to mediate communion with their maker.

    Freedom of speech presupposes freedom of thought. The Constitution doesnt enumerate any governmental power to embargo diverse states of mind. How and when did government usurp this power to coerce conformity? The Mayflower sailed to escape coerced conformity. Legislators who would limit cognitive liberty lack jurisdiction.

    Common-law holds that adults are the legal owners of their own bodies. The Founding Fathers undersigned that the right to the pursuit of happiness is inalienable. Socrates said to know your self. Mortal lawmakers should not presume to thwart the intelligent design that molecular keys unlock spiritual doors. Persons who appreciate their own free choice of path in life should tolerate seekers self-exploration. Liberty is prerequisite for tracking drug-use intentions and outcomes.