The Portland protest scheduled for 3 pm Saturday at Chapman Square (on SW 3rd between Main and Market) is being organized by Taylor Coghill, a cannabis activist since 2005. Coghill says the Drug Enforcement Administration was using Emery to make "a political statement" and hopes the protest will educate people on cannabis issues.
The DEA has gone after Emery because he has sold his seeds to grow operations in the United States. But Coghill says Emery, the editor and publisher of Cannabis Culture magazine magazine, is a cannabis activist who provided marijuana seeds for medical patients and caretakers. Emery's supporters say his proceeds went to cannabis activist groups and programs, and that he paid the Canadian government more than $500,000 in taxes on his seed sales.
As reported by The Associated Press, Emery is expected to plead guilty on Monday in Seattle to one count of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana in exchange for a 5 year prison sentence.
According to the DEA, Emery's empire, which included: his seed business, Marc Emery Direct Marijuana Seeds; Cannabis Culture Magazine; and Pot-Tv, generated almost 5 million dollars. Emery has said that all of his profit go directly towards his business and legalization efforts, in his attempt to be marijuana's Johnny Appleseed.
(And we're not the only ones who can make cheap pot puns, check out these digs from then-DEA administrator Karen P. Tandy, in a statement following Emery's arrest in 2005.)