In the Vancouver Sun this morning
A longtime marijuana seed seller was arrested today for extradition to the US. No Canadian charges have been laid, the seller is being held at the request of US authorities (the FBI enforcing the DEA). He has been doing business peacefully and openly in our city for ten years.
Under US law, there is no doubt that he is guilty, but Canadian law is not so clear cut, and he has been doing business in a legal "grey area" for some time.
My question is, how can the FBI extradite a Canadian citizen (NOT an American) to the US to face American charges? This, to me, seems quite plainly wrong.
I know very little about extradition law (and the treaties that make it possible), but I was under this impression that it is designed to make possible the deportation of people who try to hide in another country to escape a crime committed in their own. But this is not what has happened here. As far as I can tell, this is an instance of US authorities enforcing American law for Canadians on Canadian soil
. Can anybody tell me if there is any legal or moral justification for doing this?
Part of the problem is that a large part of his business was by mail order to the US, which is obviously the reason for the FBI getting involved, but surely American authority stops at the border. If American customs is doing its job, none of his packages should be getting through anyway. I would even support Canadian authorities helping to prevent packages from being shipped to the US. However, I find it hard to believe that Canadian authorities are willing to arrest him on foreign charges
and deport him to a foreign country.
There are plenty of worse crimes committed by foreigners that would run afoul of American and Canadian authorities — child prostitution and hate crimes, for example — but we do not try and enforce our own law in these other countries no matter how morally reprehensible the crimes. If we really feel so strongly, we do sometimes step in, but this is an act of war, not a legal bargain. Right now I feel violated by American law enforcement and betrayed by Canadian authorities.
So, once again I have to ask: Is there any justification — moral or legal — for this?
P.S.: Please keep responses on topic. If this thread shows signs of degenerating towards topics that have already been covered elsewhere, it will be locked/deleted.