Mr. Emery describes himself as "a responsible libertarian, not a hedonist," who extols the virtues of capitalism, low taxes, small government and the right of citizens to bear arms.The Times links to his website, where he appeals for money to fight his extradition. (Supposedly he's spent all the millions he's earned selling seeds to finance his publishing operations.) Excuse me if I don't link there too.
He said he grew up a social democrat, influenced by his father, who was active in trade union work. But he said his life changed in 1979 when he began reading the works of Ayn Rand, who championed individual freedom and capitalism.
"The right to be free, the right to own the fruits of your mind and effort now all made sense," he recalled. Only a few months after discovering Rand, his girlfriend at the time offered him a joint and he smoked marijuana for the first time.
IT was an epiphany," he said. "I had a sixth sense added to my five senses. The silence sounded different, smells were more nuanced and the brightness of the moon made it look bigger and more substantial in the sky."
The combination of Rand's philosophy and the marijuana set him on a course of advocacy in which, he said, "I decided to dedicate my whole life to repudiate the state."
Then living in London, Ontario, he sold banned marijuana and pornography books and magazines, contested laws limiting the right of stores to open on Sundays and led a municipal tax revolt. He even resisted a municipal garbage strike, by renting a truck and picking up the garbage himself.
After traveling for a while in Asia, however, he has dedicated his efforts to promoting marijuana and its culture.
"Now the Goliath, now the evil empire has made its move on me," Mr. Emery told his Web site audience. But he promised that his crusade would continue "till liberty or till death."
August 13, 2005
Marc Emery has, by his own admission, sold over $4 million in marijuana seeds. The U.S. government is now seeking his extradition from Canada, and the NYT offers an awfully sympathetic profile – as profiles of criminals go: