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Prison Blog About the BC Election Held on Tuesday, May 14, 2013

submitted by on May 16, 2013

Marc Emery BCMP The Toronto Maple Leafs' historic record as biggest losers in a single game lasted all of one day until the BC New Democratic Party took the title away from them in an even more breathtaking fashion.

In a situation that must have deposed BC NDP leader Carole James smirking today, she – whom, according to the rebels like Jenny Kwan, Adrian Dix and others, couldn't win an election in BC (despite taking the BC NDP from 2 seats in 2001 to 40 seats in 2009) – won her seat while the BC NDP collapsed spectacularly in unprecedented way.

The NDP was 20 points ahead of the Liberals only six weeks ago. Twenty points! And yet, after election night last night, the NDP was five percentage points behind, and 17 seats behind, a collapse of 25% of the electorate. The Liberals had 45 seats to the NDP's 40 seats before the May 14 vote. Now it's 50 Liberals – and of course, this is really the Socred alliance, as the Conservative vote collapsed and fell in line behind the BC Liberals, whose candidates by and large are even more conservative (in the bad way) than the new BC Conservative party.

Current BC NDP leader Adrian Dix has to be the most uninspiring, charisma lacking, vacant 'leader' ever, and offered up nothing to the voters of BC that could inspire confidence. No policies, no platform, no campaign. "Just let the Liberals implode" was the whole BC NDP campaign. Astonishing arrogance, such hubris!

The BC Greens have a new leader and their first Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) in climate scientist Andrew Weaver, elected in Oak Bay-Gordon Head, a riding that overlaps federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May's Saanich-Gulf Islands riding. This is great news for the BC Greens, who have been declining in popularity since the 2001 election campaign when they received more than 12% of the BC vote. It dropped to 9% in 2005, then 8% in 2009 and 8% in 2013 under Jane Sterk's unfortunately inadequate (and largely invisible) leadership.

The BC Greens could have had a higher percentage but for an unexplainable decision not to run candidates in every BC riding. Huge gaps across the province, in areas like the two ridings in my wife's hometown Kamloops, did not have a Green candidate – which left a lot of people disappointed. Had the Greens run in all 85 ridings, I believe the total would have exceeded 10% of the total provincial vote. Hopefully in the next election, four years from now, the BC Greens will have a candidate in every riding.

Jodie Emery BC Green Party 2013I am particularly proud of my wife Jodie and her campaign in Vancouver-West End as the BC Green candidate. Despite so much going on in her regular life, Jodie campaigned every day for the final 15 days of the campaign with a shoestring budget of her own money, and received 1,897 votes for 11.1% of the riding total. (Absentee ballots will be counted in the next two weeks and then added to all candidates' vote totals across BC.) That was an increase over the previous 9% result for the riding, and a doubling of her own personal total of 904 votes in the 2009 BC election campaign as the BC Green candidate in Vancouver-Fraserview.

The BC Green Party under Jane Sterk's 'leadership' failed to marshal any resources for anything resembling a worthy campaign province-wide, and left all of the candidates outside of four in southern Vancouver Island to fend for themselves. Sterk will resign in the days ahead, an inevitability after going nowhere with the party in five frustratingly ineffective years in charge of the BC Green franchise, and Andrew Weaver will be de facto BC Green Party leader. He'll have the prestige of being a veritable Nobel prize-winning climate change scientist and now MLA for the next four years, and in that time I hope he'll inspire the next wave of BC Green candidates for the May 2017 election. (In fairness to Jane Sterk, the first Green MLA in BC has been elected under her party leadership, but there isn't any other accomplishment to note.)

The BC Greens are far more progressive on almost every issue than the BC NDP, who are still the proxy for organized labour unions. As to the BC Liberals, leader Christy Clark proved that chutzpah can win elections. She lost her own seat to BC Civil Liberties Association lawyer and NDP candidate David Eby, so some poor sap of a Liberal MLA will have to give up their safe Liberal seat so Clark can parachute into it and get a seat in the Legislature. Some lucrative government appointment awaits some lucky BC Liberal MLA!

Clark won by standing up for something while the BC NDP seemed to stand for nothing. The Liberals hammered the NDP for its apparent policy-less drift, and the accusation resonated with voters. Premier Christy Clark has done the Boston Bruins one better, no doubt – a political come-from-behind that I doubt is equaled in any province over the last 30 years. It's a shame that her government is filled with regressive troglodytes like Mary Polok, Rich Coleman, RCMP-kissy-face Daryl Plecas, and numerous others.

But the Liberals also now have former Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan, who (if he resists being whipped into line by Premier Clark) actually believes in legalization and ending prohibition. And the drug policy reform movement has another hope in newly-elected BC NDP MLA David Eby, but both of these two parties are so controlled by (largely inept and corrupt) leadership that I doubt we'll ever hear Sullivan or Eby seriously ever criticize the police or prohibition ever again, and certainly not while in the legislature. As former Liberal MLA Kash Heed showed, and current NDP MLA Nicholas Simons reminded us, the Legislature is where anti-prohibitionists go to "shut up and never be heard from again" in any meaningful and relevant way.

Thankfully, this was the last election in the USA or Canada that I'll ever be absent from participating in as a result of my current exile. I'm excited to be Jodie's campaign manager if she seeks to run in Canada's 2015 federal election as the Green Party candidate for Vancouver Center, which includes all of the provincial riding Vancouver-West End where she ran in this time. We'll raise serious money to do an effective election campaign with mail-outs, phone banking, advertising, more buttons and signs, and an organized volunteer campaign. Jodie and I have worked together for our entire relationship as a "campaigning couple", and she did her best in this election while I've been imprisoned so far away, but I know we're both eager for my return home so we can campaign as a team again.


Marc Emery’s Application to Help Grow Washington’s Legal Pot

submitted by on February 25, 2013

Marc Emery cannabis plantUpon learning that the Washington State Liquor Control Board is seeking consultant applications for a legal marijuana production and distribution system, Marc wrote this tongue-in-cheek submission. Marc was extradited to and sentenced in Seattle, Washington despite operating his seed business in Vancouver, BC, Canada at all times. 

Dear Sirs and Madams of the Washington State Liquor Control Board,

Please consider my bid, or rather, application for consideration, to be a consultant in one of the four fields of marijuana expertise required by the WSLCB:

1) Product and Industry Knowledge
2) Product Quality Standards & Testing
3) Product Usage and Consumption Validation
4) Product Regulation

I understand your need to meet the voter endorsed deadline of December 2013, whereby retail offering of cannabis products are expected to be found in the current WSLCB outlets. I offer strong skills in marketing, cultivation, genetics, breeding, retail, business, working with large groups of co-workers, but my only caveat is that I am currently a guest of the US federal prison system for my peaceful and successful involvement with servicing the needs of well over 3,000 citizens of Washington state in cultivating marijuana from 1995 to 2005 (as well as millions of others throughout the United States). I do expect to be released from this inconvenient situation and repatriated back to Canada in December of this year. Perhaps you can use my resume as back-up if one of the other applicants turns to be unsuitable when you can see their capabilities (or lack thereof) at close range.

My name is Marc Emery. I am one of the world's most recognized brand names in what I am proud to say is the worldwide cannabis culture. My name is a cachet of integrity and quality among the marijuana connoisseurs, enthusiasts, cognoscenti and consumers the world over – and certainly in Washington State, to which I supplied an extraordinary range of quality genetics to thousands of citizens, including medical, commercial, household gardens, from 1995 to 2005. The Washington state District Attorney's office in their prosecution contended I was responsible for the cultivation of three million cannabis plants across the United States, through my seed sales done via postal delivery from my home Vancouver, BC, Canada.

I have been given privileged and rare access to over 300 indoor marijuana gardening projects, and over 50 outdoor and greenhouse projects, in the years from 1990 to 2009, largely as publisher and editor of 75 issues of Cannabis Culture Magazine, which I was responsible for from 1994 to 2009. In that capacity I was given enough access to these horticultural enterprises to describe them in detail in my publication. I have an understanding of horticultural techniques of every kind, including esoteric methods like swamp growing, tree-top growing, underground growing, brewery conversions, off-shore barge growing, subterranean rail-car growing, bio-dynamic growing, among others, but certainly most of my experience is in commercial mass production operations using hydroponic, soil or soilless media. I am very familiar with large conventional grow theatres using 50 to 150 thousand-watt (HPS or Metal Halide) bulbs. In my experience, typical production is 1 to 1.2 pounds (dry weight) per 1,000-watt light bulb per 60 days.

Marc Emery cannabis plants

I have supervised the breeding of 20 individual genetic varieties of cannabis as part of the largest cannabis seed distribution project the modern world has ever seen, having as many as 380 varietals of cannabis in my seed distribution catalog at the peak of my efforts.

As editor of Cannabis Culture magazine from 2004 to 2009, I edited manuscripts by horticulturalists, medical experts, scientists, historians, for the digestion of our reading audience. All 74 issues of my highly regarded magazine are online at for your review.

I have been a successful retailer since 1971, and have always employed between 20-45 people from 1996 to 2009 (when my spouse took over the reins of the business), so I am used to working harmoniously with numerous co-workers. From 1995 to July 29, 2005, when the untimely interruption by the Drug Enforcement Administration occurred, I was likely the world's largest seed distribution business, and uniquely, the only such cannabis seed distributor identified by having the proprietor's name (mine) clearly identified at all times and known to use the seed revenue to finance political activism and drug policy reform. While this no doubt contributed some incentive for my adversaries to arrest me, it also made my name a valuable brand attached to an outstanding performance record amongst the very people you will be appealing to in the Washington state marketplace. I assure you having the Emery brand integrated into your production and marketing and product development will ensure a credibility few other applicants can provide.

As I look at your situation, I understand that about 300,000 Washington state residents will be regular consumers of about one ounce a month, with up to one million tourists annually who will take advantage of Washington state's new cultural zeitgeist. This requires a retail distribution paradigm that favors variety and price breaks at all levels. I foresee demand levels of about 500,000 to 600,000 ounces (dry weight) per month required. At 16 ounces per pound this is a requirement of 37,500 pounds per month, and since a grow-cycle is about 60 days, 75,000 pounds dry weight every 60 days would need to be produced to meet the expected requirements of the marketplace. Once economy of scale, start-up cost inputs are calculated, I expect the cost of producing the cannabis will be $10-$20 an ounce, or less, but not more, and this would include all production and distribution as well as capital inputs pro-rated over three years, ultimately reducing the costs after three years. Of course, taxation would need to be applied as per your regulations.

This would mean 75,000 1,000-watt bulbs of production operating in the state of Washington under the aegis of the WSLCB to meet this demand. With the retail price at $20-$40 an ounce plus taxation, this will wipe out all aspects of the black market in Washington state, certainly the voters had this in mind when they passed Initiative I-502. This will also make impractical any need to for medical users to grow their medicine, as long as taxation is not so onerous as to re-ignite black market production.

Marc Emery plant photo by Jeff V

An ideal production facility with 150 1,000-watt bulbs, with concrete foundations and all sophisticated equipment necessary for 165 pounds every 60 days, (functionally, it would be 35-40 pounds every 15 days), costs $1,000,000 to $1,200,000. To meet the 75,000 pounds every 2 months, you'll need 200-350 facilities to be built. You could make vast-sized facilities of 500 (or even 1,000) bulbs, but the cost savings are inversely proportional to increasing risks, as plant diseases, or pest infestations and other unforeseen disasters, in a closed environment, are difficult to extinguish once endemic in one facility. It is better to have 200-350 separate facilities than 10-20 staggeringly large facilities, so production problems in one unit do adversely affect the production volumes required. Sophisticated outdoor greenhouses are also a cost-efficient consideration but this would be something better suited to eastern Washington's more reliable sunny weather. There is also a market for sun-grown outdoor field marijuana that will have far smaller start-up input costs, but will require a modest level of security.

In all three of these kinds of horticultural endeavors, it is vitally important that all efforts be documented, and under regular review, and I am very familiar with this necessity.

I work well with government bureaucracy, scientists, medical researchers, legislators, policy makers, horticulturalists/farmers (and they can be an iconoclastic, dare I say, eccentric lot, believe you me), retailers, and marketing departments. I understand product promotion in this field very well, and I certainly know well the various client bases being served. I can provide endorsements and bona-fides for all these claims upon request should you be interested in considering me becoming a member of your team.

I do hope my Canadian citizenship and my current status as prohibited-from-entering-the-United States-for-life is not a too-extraordinary impediment to the successful execution of this job. I'd like to point out it wasn't particularly my involvement in cannabis cultivation that made me a US federal prisoner and felon, though the official conviction is one count of conspiracy to cultivate marijuana. It was in fact my political advocacy to legalize marijuana and the millions of dollars I contributed to US organizations and individuals to accomplish this objective via ballot initiatives and various court, legal and political actions that brought me to the attention of the DEA (see among my bona-fides, a press release from DEA chief Karen Tandy from July 29, 2005).

However, my grassroots reputation with the people who did, after all, vote in this now legal regime in Washington state, is at its all-time zenith. This can only be of considerable benefit to the WSLCB should I join your team and apply my skills and name to your efforts to supply the people of Washington with the finest cannabis possible. My original prosecutor, former Western Washington District attorney John McKay, had a considerable involvement with Initiative 502, and in view of his stark conversion-on-the-road-to-Damascus change of heart regarding marijuana prohibition, I do expect an excellent review from him should you consult him in this matter, and hope in this new enlightened post-502 era, my credentials will be weighed fairly viz. a viz. the other applicants.

Marc and Jodie Emery, December 2, 2012Regrettably, at this time, being a guest of the US Bureau of Prisons in Mississippi, I cannot appear for an interview in person in Washington, but I think it would still be very profitable for the WSLCB to come to Yazoo City medium security federal prison on any Friday evening, Saturday or Sunday to conduct an interview with me here. Considering the likely investment of approximately $200,000,000 in facilities to produce the marijuana, and the more than one billion dollars in sales annually that are to be expected, the costs of having your representatives interview me here at Yazoo would be an extremely wise and prudent investment.

In anticipation of a successful meeting for one of your consulting positions,
I remain (until July 9, 2014)
Marc Emery 40252-086,
Yazoo City Federal Corrections Complex
Yazoo City, Mississippi, 39194


On Friday, February 1st, 2013 the Province newspaper ran a column by Jon Ferry about Marc and the Washington state job opportunity. Click here to read it, or see the image file below.

Marc and Jodie, Province newspaper




Marc’s US Election Excitement from Behind Bars in Mississippi

submitted by on October 7, 2012

Jodie and Marc in Yazoo prison, MississippiToday is Wednesday, October 3rd. In less than five weeks Americans will be voting candidates for President, Senate, the House of Representatives, their local statehouse representatives and senators, state attorney-generals, and their Mayor, City Council, sheriff, county commissioners, and possibly dozens of other elected offices at the state, county and local level. And then there are ballot initiatives that seek majority support for state laws legalizing possession of marijuana (Washington, Oregon, Colorado), medical marijuana (Arkansas, Massachusetts), and other proposed legislation.

Only about 20 states allow initiatives (also known as Propositions and Questions). In Canada, only British Columbia allows initiatives – and the signatures needed, about 400,000 voters in 90 days, are a daunting requirement. Nonetheless, my great friend and long-time activist Dana Larsen has undertaken this heroic task with his Sensible BC organization to get a marijuana possession decriminalization statute on a September 2014 ballot. Check out for information about that campaign.

Canadians have no experience with the numerous options on a ballot that Americans face each November. When Canadians go to vote, it's for one office and that's it. In British Columbia, a person votes for City Council on mid-November Saturday every three years. For the provincial legislature (the equivalent of the statehouse), in BC we vote for one person on the second Tuesday in May every four years. For the federal Parliament (similar to Congress), Canadians vote for their one representative from their district every four years, sometimes a bit sooner if no one party controls the majority of seats. In Canada, the federal parliament has five parties in it, compared to the two parties in the US Congress.

My wife Jodie Emery, and Jeremiah Vandermeer, editor of Cannabis Culture and Pot TV, will be at the New Approach Washington headquarters in Seattle on November 6th streaming live the results of the marijuana legalization initiative I-502 as they come in (as well as bringing in affiliates from Colorado and Oregon to broadcast the results of their state legalization votes). New Approach Washington ( is the organization that has done all the work writing up this proposed legislation, getting the necessary 247,000 signatures of Washington voters to put it on the ballot, and have raised millions to promote the initiative on television and in other media. Be sure to go to and for the livestream, and share the experience with thousands of others on that historic night!

Vote YES on I-502 in Washington!I am thrilled Jodie, Jeremiah, and his long-time girlfriend Carina will be at the epicenter when history is being in America – that is, when Washington State becomes the first US jurisdiction to legalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. The same legislation also sets up a state cannabis distribution system through all state licensed liquor stores, and although the federal government may try to interfere with that aspect of the legislation, there is little the US federal government can do in regards to negating the provision allowing all adult persons to carry and possess (and thus consume) marijuana, at least up to an ounce of it at a time.

The Washington state initiative is polling a much wider margin of success than similar initiatives in Colorado and Oregon; I attribute this to a very prescient organization in Washington state. This is not an initiative that percolated from the cannabis community. I-502 was done by organizational professionals who largely are more interested in aspects of civil liberty, reducing the pernicious effects of prohibition, and putting forth a practical legislative proposal that takes into account the concerns of the conservative straight voter who is likely to show up on voting day. People who show up to vote are usually those with a long-term stake in the community, usually with children or family as concerns. So when they are asked to legalize possession of marijuana, and these voters in the main don't partake, they need to know that the community safety – and specifically, that of their family – is built into this kind of legislative proposal. New Approach Washington did just that. They raised and spent millions in advertising promoting that aspect of the legislation, and are being rewarded with the best polling results of the three legalization initiatives.

Vote YES on Amendment 64 in Colorado!I do hope the initiatives in Colorado (YES on Amendment 64!) and Oregon (YES on Measure 80!) pass too (check out and Mason Tvert, one of the principal forces behind the Proposition 64 in Colorado, with his group SAFER, has over a decade of tremendous work in Colorado, first getting a Denver initiative passed way back in 2007 – see more about that at Colorado already is a medical marijuana state. Polling in Colorado suggests the vote will be close, but is winnable. Oregon is walking a tightrope, and lacks funding to promote the initiative there, but Paul Stanford has done a very admirable job gathering the signatures with his group to get the legalization question on the ballot there, and Russ Belville has been working hard promoting it too.

These efforts will be in urgent need of your campaign dollars and your vote on Tuesday, November 6th. Perhaps the most important votes in the lifetime of anyone in the cannabis culture in those three states will be Tuesday, November 6th. Imagine your elation when you awake on Wednesday, November 7th, and marijuana possession is legal in your state – somewhere in your country! – and you helped make it happen! But don't just dream it, you've got four weeks to make sure this dream becomes your reality!

Vote YES on Measure 80 in Oregon!Of course, if you live in Washington, Oregon, or Colorado, be sure you are registered to vote and go support these history making legalization initiatives. If you are in Massachusetts and Arkansas, get out and vote for their medical marijuana initiatives. And a big thanks to Marijuana Policy Project for providing money and infrastructure to get the Arkansas initiative up and on the ballot for Tuesday, November 6th. MPP has done a terrific job getting statehouses in Rhode Island and Connecticut – this year alone – to pass medical marijuana legislation, and historically have done more to provide the wherewithal to get initiatives on the ballot and legislation in the statehouse than any other group.

Definitely you should make contributions of money – even $10, $25, $50 – to Marijuana Policy Project, the Drug Policy Alliance, SAFER Colorado, New Approach Washington, the THC Foundation, and any organization making real political change happen. These are the people making history happen in America, and money is an essential lubricant of liberty.

As for voting for President, I cannot say anything positive about Mitt Romney or Barack Obama. I disagree with everything Mitt Romney says he wants to do, and I disagree with everything Barack Obama has done. There is simply nothing to recommend either of them. Both are warmongers, both want to maintain the drug war, both believe in the surveillance state, state secrecy, the Imperial Presidency. They are both the complete opposite of Ron Paul, my hero, who I pray stays healthy and fit to run for President in 2016. As to Ron Paul's son, Rand Paul, the US Senator from Kentucky is a shadow of his great father, and while Rand Paul is in some ways sympathetic to curtailing the excesses of the drug war (as in the case of mandatory minimums, to his credit), he is not the courageous man of perfect principle that his father is.

There are two perfect candidates running for the job of President and Vice President, and while they have no hope of being elected to those positions, they are the best candidates ever put before the cannabis culture for ending the drug war: Gary Johnson, the former two-term Governor of New Mexico and a wonderful, intelligent individual whom I met in 2003; and (California) Judge Jim Gray, a decades-long critic of the drug war whom has met Jodie twice this year. They make up the Libertarian ticket for the White House. They are both articulate and offer the right positions on the military, the drug war, the surveillance state, on the environment, on abortion and female reproductive autonomy, the economy, taxes, the deficit. They are both impeccably honest and very experienced. See for more information.

There is a Libertarian candidate for virtually every position on the ballot. My recommendation is that you vote for every Libertarian you can, and give a small donation to each their campaign, and help them out, because every Libertarian wants to end the drug war and believes in individual freedom and liberty.

There are a few Republicans running for Congress who oppose the drug war – very few though, and they should be supported. However, many of the Democratic candidates for House of Representatives support some aspect of medical marijuana legislation, or legalization. Only a few Democratic Senators feel this way, alas, and only Rand Paul of the Republicans in the Senate is worth acknowledging in a positive way. You still need to educate your US Representative and US Senator from your district. Write them. Be heard. Watch how they vote in Congress.

Perhaps the greatest essay ever written on the colossal damage the drug war has done was recently published as a blog on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer by Vivian McPeak, the chief of the Seattle Hempfest. It’s poetic, brilliant, sobering and simply fantastic. I hope reading it – "Happy Birthday Prohibition – Now Die" – inspires you to give some money, your time, your vote and your involvement in the fight to end prohibition. These may be the most important weeks in the history of our movement, when your vote, your donations, and your voice promoting these initiatives makes a critical difference.

Jodie and Marc in Yazoo prison, MississippiIt would sure make the 610 days I'll have remaining in this US federal prison a great deal easier to bear on the morning of Wednesday, November 7th. That the torch of the cannabis culture I tried to carry for decades has been carried on by millions of Americans who will not be, and were not, deterred by their governments' resistance to justice. The very state of Washington, home of the Seattle federal court that sentenced me to prison for five years – specifically because of my legalization activities and supporting the marijuana movement with millions of dollars and millions of seeds – will have turned the world of prohibition upside down overnight by making I-502 the law, by making marijuana legal for the first time anywhere on earth. And my own prosecutor, who later realized marijuana prohibition is a failure, is working for legalization and campaigning against prohibition with the I-502 campaign. Our movement gains allies every day.

I'll be locked down in my cell at 7:45pm Washington state (Pacific) time on Tuesday, November 6th. I won't have heard any results by then, I won't know if history was made until I get out of my cell at 6:00am sharp Wednesday morning and check my email from Jodie to read what transpired. I pray that Wednesday, November 7th is going to be my favorite Wednesday of my entire life – the day when legalization became more than just a 32-year dream of mine. The day I awoke and the world really changed.

Please do your utmost, if you live in Colorado, Oregon or Washington to make it your best Wednesday ever, too!


Marc on the Huffington Post, and other news from prison

submitted by on September 18, 2012

Jodie and Marc, July 28th 2012On Tuesday, September 4th, I had an OP-ED published on the Huffington Post about the two Presidential candidates and the drug war. Although I like the message that’s there, it was sanitized by the Huffington Post (ultimately with my approval) so that another related theme, the lack of activism from the African-American community in opposing the drug war and prohibition, was removed entirely. I'll discuss that more in my next blog.

Monday, September 3rd was Labor Day, and now that it has passed, I only have one more Labor Day to serve in captivity. 2012 is two-thirds over, and as of September 2nd, I have 675 days to go if I serve every day in the US, and 915 days served behind me.

My band Yazoo's ninth concert was on Saturday, August 18th. We performed despite having a very small audience, as it thundered, flashed lightning and poured down rain for the entire afternoon during our amplified rock show. We still managed to play two hours and 18 songs. It was our best performance yet. I've been trying to improve my technique recently, with both hands, using two fingers (instead of one) on my plucking right hand, and better finger technique on my fretting left hand.

I've got an MP3 player now, with 120 songs on it, and it’s such a wonderful thing to have. I'm working on two songs for our next concert, "Too Rolling Stoned" by Robin Trower and "Running Down A Dream" by Tom Petty, and being able to listen to these and other songs I'm working on is very, very helpful, especially since I don't have the Bass Tab sheet music for either one of those two songs.

Songs are $1.55 each mostly, with some at $1.20. Here are some songs I have on my player; I have an eclectic collection:

Daft Punk – Robot Rock
Bob Marley – Natural Mystic, No Woman, No Cry
BB King – The Thrill is Gone
Talking Heads – Girlfriend is Better (and ten other songs by Talking Heads)
ZZ Top – Blue Blue Jeans
Nirvana- Come As You Are
Ric Ocasek – Emotion in Motion
Digital Underground – Same Song
Rihanna – S&M, Disturbia
Owl City – Fireflies
Nat King Cole – Twilight on the Trail
Bruce Springsteen – Tunnel of Love
Buddy Guy – Stormy Monday Blues
Led Zeppelin – Heartbreaker
Peter Tosh – Legalize It, Bush Doctor
Phil Collins – In The Air Tonight, One More Night
Ellie Goulding – Lights
LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem
Marvin Gaye – Inner City Blues, What’s Going On
Curtis Mayfield – Freddie's Dead
Mason Williams – Classical Gas
Vangelis – L'Enfant (from Year of Living Dangerously)
Haddaway – What is Love? (made famous by Saturday Night Live)
10,000 Maniacs – More Than This
Baby Bash – Suga, Suga
Bob Dylan – Everything is Broken
Bryan Ferry – Slave to Love, Kiss & Tell, Don't Stop the Dance

Some artists are not yet available: the Beatles, The Rolling Stones before 1972, Metallica, Madonna, AC/DC, and the Eagles last two albums, but certainly there is still plenty to choose from.

My health is good and I'm busier than ever. I'm practicing my bass guitar more. I'm reading 'Famous Trials: Sir Roger Casement' after reading the new biographical novel about Sir Roger Casement called 'Dream of the Celt' by Mario Vargas Llosa. Roger Casement was the first human rights activist, and did research – on location in the Congo and Peru – into the murderous and genocidal industrial rubber plantations run in the Congo by King Leopold II of Belgium (1903 report), and a British rubber company (Azana Rubber) in the case of Peru (1912 report). Casement was hanged by the England that knighted him and commissioned his human rights work, after he supported the Irish Uprising in 1916 by going to Germany during WWI to get weapons and collaboration from the Germans. Casement was tried for treason and hanged, though Ireland did achieve independence six years later in 1922. Casement's outstanding and daring work as a documentarian of atrocities committed against natives of the Congo and Peru is little known.

I'm reading Grant Morrison's ‘Doom Patrol’ and ‘The Invisibles’ graphic novel series. I just finished the funny and insightful novel called ‘The Full Catastrophe’ by David Carkeet. It’s a quirky, funny novel about a linguist who loses his job studying the communication habits of one- to three-year-olds at daycare centers, and ends up a marriage councilor doing his work living in the household of the family he's counseling. I read ‘Savages’ by Don Winslow and it’s a good book about marijuana producers who get squeezed by a Mexican cartel. [WARNING! SPOILER ALERT AHEAD] Ultimately everyone dies, the heroes, villains, the DEA agent, everyone's corrupt, no one profits by prohibition in the long run, it’s all death and short-term advantage.

It’s a parable about the insanity and senselessness of prohibition. I just received the prequel, called ‘Kings of Cool’, I'll start that next. I'm mid-way through 'To Forgive Design', a book about colossal engineering failures and how we learn from our disasters. Engineering and science learn from their errors perhaps, but not, apparently, prohibitionists.

Marc and Jodie, July 29th, 2012Jodie just got her driver's license, so now she can drive from any airport to see me when she visits. I am concerned I'll get transferred to an immigrant prison after November, but it’s good to know she can drive from the nearest airport to wherever I end up, including while I'm here at Yazoo. I was at an immigrant prison before I was here at Yazoo, and there are not at all as properly run as Bureau of Prisons facilities. In fact, the immigrant prison near here, in Natchez, Mississippi, had a riot in May where one guard was killed, seven injured, the SWAT police were called in in force to restore order with tear gas and riot gear, and the place has been on lockdown for the three and a half months since.

That’s the kind of place I could be sent to, one run by GEO Group, or Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). There is no Corrlinks email there, and its 90%+ Hispanic Spanish-speaking inmates, most all involved with cartels or gangs. My transfer application to return to Canada can begin to be processed in five months, on February 6th, and can be in Washington April 6th – seven months away. I'm hoping to be back in the Canadian prison system by September of next year, and out on parole perhaps for Christmas 2013 with Jodie.

I'm hoping!

I've been writing a letter every day to mail correspondents but I'm still way behind. Hello to Howard in PA., Len in MI (who still writes me every day, amazing!), Kathy in Lethbridge, Dove in Vancouver, and all others who do write – I will write you back, if not the first letter you send, the next one! Each letter I write takes about two hours, so I never quite catch up. But I definitely appreciate hearing from friends and fans. Thank you to all of our supporters!


To send Marc mail, please see this page at for his address and the guidelines for sending letters, photos, etc.


Marc Emery Prison Blog, Monday April 2nd

submitted by on April 5, 2012

It's Monday, April 2nd, 828 days to go to my release date of July 9, 2014. Although I get 'released' from prison on that date, because I am Canadian I have a 'detainer' on me, so what happens is US Immigration picks me up from the prison and takes me to an immigration detention center, puts me before a judge where I confirm I want to be deported back to Canada, and then I'll wait in an immigration jail until they put me on a plane to Vancouver with some US Marshall escorting me.

That apparently takes a few weeks, so I'm hoping to be home with Jodie in time for our 8th wedding anniversary on July 23, 2014.

This Saturday I have my 5th concert outside in the recreation area with the excellent amplified equipment they have here for concerts. This is the Easter Weekend concert, and our band YAZOO will be playing in this order:

1) Don's Jam (a warm-up improv piece)
2) Come Together (Beatles)
3) White Room (Cream)
4) Hey Joe (Hendrix)
5) Sweet Home Alabama (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
6) Wind Cries Mary (Hendrix)
7) Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen (Santana)
8) Crazy Train (Ozzy Osborne)
9) Sunshine of Your Love (Cream)
10) Sitting on the Dock of the Bay (Otis Redding)
11) Stormy Monday (T-Bone Walker)
12) Red House (Hendrix)
13) Purple Haze (Hendrix)
14) Blue on Black (Kenny Wayne Shepherd)
15) Pride & Joy (Stevie Ray Vaughan)
16) Hotel California (Eagles)
17) Voodoo Child (Hendrix)

I've been practicing every day for a few hours and tonight we have our final studio rehearsal where we run through all 17 of our songs and see where we might have a few things to work out this week in the days leading up to the concert. I feel we know the material pretty well now, my big hope is for good weather. If it rains, we can't have all this electrical equipment outside and the concert would be postponed.

Yesterday we took photos of the band members Don, Terry, Sapp, Chap, and myself, which you will see on my Facebook page in about 3 weeks or so after Jodie gets them in the mail. We aren't permitted to have our instruments in the photo, so we'll be having an artist here make a band poster using our photographs as reference and then drawing us in the studio playing our music. From there I'll use that to make posters for our upcoming concerts here. I'm sure you will see this YAZOO band poster on Facebook and when it's completed.

April 20th is coming up in a few weeks, and I'm not shy about saying that this now-colossal worldwide Cannabis Celebration event was started by my HEMP BC staff in April of 1995, and on that April 20 in Victory Square (at Cambie & Hastings street), it was a beautiful sunny day with music, speeches, toking and good times. The original idea to have April 20 change from just a time of the day (4:20pm) to a whole day (4/20, April 20) was inspired by two Grateful Deadheads who worked for me, Danna Rozek and Cindy Lassu. In 1997 we moved the rally to the Vancouver Art Gallery, where about 1,000 people came and toked from about 1pm to 6pm.

In those years from 1997 to 2008, the master of ceremonies and co-ordinator was activist and 'dealer dignity' advocate David Malmo-Levine. It grew from attendance of 1,000 to 10,000 in that decade, and by 2005 the event had evolved to become a farmer's market of cannabis consumables along with a day-long smoke-out, peaking at 4:20pm with a massive collective cannabis plume floating above the Art Gallery square bounded on all sides by Georgia, Howe, Robson and Hornby streets. There is nothing else like it in the world, not even Amsterdam or any other cannabis mecca has a day-long smoke-out in the major downtown public square combined with a fantastic assortment of cannabis ingestibles, smokeables and consumables for sale.

This year even the school board has closed the high schools for Friday, April 20th, accepting the inevitable 4/20 absences and making it official. This means even more young people than usual will be toking all day, and hopefully not drinking alcohol, as problems each year arise from alcohol excess. Police are polite and stay on the periphery to guide traffic, and there are never any major problems. I encourage you to spend money and patronize the vending booths and pavilions by the main sponsors "Marc Emery's Cannabis Culture Headquarters" (or CCHQ), Vancouver Seed Bank, The Dispensary, and EndProhibition.

Marking his 18th April 20 involvement in Vancouver, having been involved in every Vancouver 4/20 ever, former Cannabis Culture editor (1995-2005), Dispensary entrepreneur, author (Hairy Pothead & The Marijuana Stone), former BC NDP leadership candidate and my best friend Dana Larsen is organizing this year's huge event with Jacob Hunter of co-ordinating the day's logistics and Adam Bowen (host of the BCMP Vapour Lounge Jam Night) arranging the incredible musical line-up and staging of the presentations that go on from noon to the early evening. You can see videos and photos of Vancouver's 4/20 from previous years at the new website to whet your appetite for the greatest outdoor pot party on earth this year!

As a point of clarification, Seattle definitely has a huge 3-day rally in August, that possibly sees 250,000 people attend at Myrtle Edwards Park, and there is no peer on Earth to that event, but it's not an open-air farmer's market with cannabis products sold openly and without police interference and consumed openly for 10 hours on end. But why not attend both and see for yourself? They both represent the height of achievement within the movement. Seattle is an all-volunteer event that has incredible political credibility with Congressmen, the Mayor of Seattle, State representatives and other big names speaking. The sheer scale is awe-inspiring. Vancouver's 4/20 has attracted Members of Parliament Libby Davies to speak at last year's event, but it is largely a massive party and celebration of the cannabis culture.

On April 20, while the party goes on, the Vancouver Province newspaper will be sending columnist Jon Ferry down to Yazoo Medium to interview me that weekend. The weather here in Mississippi is warm and sunny every day, quite a contrast to my hometown of Vancouver, where most days are described to me as cool, overcast or rainy. I'm certainly grateful for the very sunny, warm days, the constant breezes, the excellent air that I breathe when I'm outside here. It's a large component in why I feel so healthy here.

I've been reading some wonderful graphic novels, comic books, my many magazine subscriptions, the NY Times newspaper (I do the crossword each day too), some excellent books, and I remain a major source of reading items loaned to many inmates here. Our MP3 players have yet to be put on sale, and although these delays (the MP3 player has been 'coming soon' since I arrived here a year ago) are suspenseful, it has not hindered my musical progress. The current scuttlebutt is that they go on sale in the first week of May.

This last weekend I had a visit from my great friend and Rhode Island activist Catharine Leach. This is the second time Cat has come to visit me, and both times she has had numerous challenges! The first time she visited last October, the electrical system on her plane here failed mid-air and she thought she was going to die until they made a successful return to the airport. This time, she encountered numerous annoyances like banks that wouldn't change a $50 bill into quarters and small bills, the guards here held her for inspection of her rental car, and they refused her admission because her shoes had no backs on them (a rule for visiting), so she had to go into town and buy an $18 pair of shoes with backs on them (that put dents in her feet, as she showed me) to get in to visit me. Then her plane leaving Jackson required maintenance and she was held overnight in Atlanta because she then missed her connecting flight. Plus she came down with a cold and missed her husband and children. It's possible that's the last time Catharine is going to visit me, but I really enjoyed seeing a friend and laughing a great deal over the weekend. I always cherish seeing Jodie visit me every two to four weeks, but seeing a friend in the two years I've been inside US prisons is very rare.

April 12th is my 8th anniversary of Jodie and I becoming involved with each other. In our entire time together, Jodie has had to live with the tension of having me go to jail or being in jail. When I get out in July 2014, I'll be so excited to be with her without the imminent threat of jail time awaiting me. The week we became very close I was in court for passing one joint in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, with saw me ultimately get sentenced to three months in jail later that summer. After that stint at Saskatoon Correction from August to October 2004, I was arrested the following year for extradition to the USA, and here I am.

So I'm excited that finally Jodie and I, in July 2014 – by then more than 10 years after we became an item – will be able to have some peace and serenity in our relationship without the threat of prison hovering about our heads. I LOVE MY BRAVE AND AMAZING MRS. JODIE EMERY! It will be so wonderful to finally be home. 828 days to go. (See the daily countdown clock at


Marc’s Prison Blog: Gangster Governments and the Drug War

submitted by on November 16, 2011

It's election time again in Canada, what with BC's municipal elections in two weeks, and the campaigns for the US primaries for President, Congress, state officers down to local sheriffs are underway. In Mississippi all candidates for every office assert they are pro-life but in favour of prohibition. Irony and contradiction abound.

It takes guts and courage for anyone in the cannabis culture to get out and vote. You risk breaking your heart and having your faith in democracy (or what passes for it today) repudiated time and time again. And mostly the choices are sordid, like here in Mississippi where the intolerant, backward and failed try to outdo the other intolerant wretch offering the same poison to the same weary yet still gullible rubes.

In my hometown Vancouver you get a Mayor seeking re-election who was, as far as I understand, an active member of our culture in the north Gulf Islands once upon a time, but you never hear him stand up for us as a culture. He never criticizes the prohibition that fuels gang violence in our city. Having run for Mayor myself in 1996, 2002 and 2008, I have seen first-hand that you get no respect accurately assessing the problems of your hometown and providing real-world solutions. My campaigns from those years all accurately surmised the problems awaiting the city; I gave scientifically validated solutions, and was roundly rejected by voters choosing soothsayers that buried the city further in the mire, in all possible ways. I suppose the voters got what they deserved, good and hard, alas. Or did they?

I've seen in my lifetime Canadian Prime Ministers who smoked marijuana (Campbell, Trudeau) or ate cannabis brownies (Martin, Premiers who smoked it (Charest, Klein), smuggled it (Glen Clark), US Presidents who smoked it (G.W. Bush, Barack Obama), US governors who did the same (Jerry Brown, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura), Senators, Congressmen, even Princes (Harry) – and in office or positions of power they never even try to reform the brutal prohibition that causes such senseless misery for an entire planet.

We have the sight of former Presidents of Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia advocating legalization and an end to prohibition, though while in office they did the exact opposite as the commanders in chief in their nations during the world's longest war. We see the same from former US secretaries of State (Schultz), Attorney Generals (Ramsay Clark), ex-cops, ex-judges, and ex-mayors – but when in their positions of power and authority, they towed the prohibitionist line as faithfully as any drug warrior.

The obvious conclusion is that we're only voting in figureheads. The bureaucracy and the institution control the agenda and the figurehead is who we elect to sell us the propaganda of the institutions and agencies: the DEA, FBI, ATF, NSA, CIA, RCMP, CSIS, Homeland Security, Border patrol, SWAT.

You'll notice that these institutions are never held accountable for the terrible damage they do to our communities, our democracy, and our quality of life. It always gets worse, doesn't it? Deficits: worse. Drug arrests: worse. Jails: worse. Surveillance state: worse. By every measure, the modern state is more corrupt, cynical, self-serving than ever before.

One hundred SWAT raids on homes in America every day? Check. The Justice Department delivering thousands of weapons to Mexican drug cartels in Operation Fast & Furious, and no one is accountable? Check. Budgets for the drug war up? Check. Budgets for militarism up? Check. Budgets for prisons up? Check. Increased deficits, cuts to schools, hospitals, pensions, health care? Check. Where are the results?! I mean, where are the positive results that justify this colossal waste and failure? No explanations are offered and none, seemingly, are required.

Occasionally they arrest a rogue cop or two planting drugs or smuggling guns, but this is done only to preserve the public credibility of the institution that, at its heart, is anti-American, anti-democratic, and anti-human. No politician does anything substantive in any way to end prohibition, militarism, deficit financing, or any other freedom-withering disease affecting us all that comes from corrupted governments and their institutions and agencies.

Some politicians speak out before an election as to these ills, and some speak out after they are out of office, but while actually in office (I hesitate to say, in power, because if they don't use it, do they really have it?), they rubber stamp and shill for every excess of the modern police state.

Why is that?

In Canada, The Conservative Government under the banal and smug Justice Minister Rob Nicholson have introduced Bill C-10, making jail sentences of at least six months (and in numerous circumstance, far greater jail time) for a person growing as few as six marijuana plants – and many worse mandatory minimum prison sentences for cannabis related offenses. Rob Nicholson says six months for six plants is "just the beginning". Two questions come immediately to mind. What exactly is "just the beginning"? And what exactly will be the end?

The answer to both is gangster government, specifically "legislated death" and the "intellectual authorship of perpetual mass murder." That's what any politician in Canada, the USA or Mexico, or anywhere in the world is endorsing and shilling for when they prop up any aspect of prohibition. Such is the art of politics these days.

The proof comes from a very special, very undeniable book that is now available. You think you've read it all, think again.

To Die In Mexico, by John GiblerTo Die In Mexico… The United States… Canada… Anywhere

In the past two decades we've all read a lot of stuff about the "drug war", but you've never read anything quite like "To Die In Mexico: Dispatches from Inside The Drug War" by John Gibler.

This book Jodie sent me gives a revealing look into the type of mentality that would put someone – like me, for example – in prison for offenses involving legalization and seeds. To understand the type of inhuman actions catalogued in this book is to understand the mentality of the prohibitionists/gangsters and the governments they now totally control (and, conversely, that control them). As you read about the butchery and savagery, remember that all this is facilitated and promoted by governments and their agencies in the new World of Prohibition. In this book the full scope of this fatal disease finally comes in to view. (As an aside, still the greatest book every written on the depraved evil nature of our enemies, the prohibitionists, is found in a book called "Drug Warriors & Their Prey" by Richard Miller Lawrence.)

While other countries are in different stages of prohibition self-destruction (Canada is "just beginning"), Mexico has arrived at the end. After reading this book it becomes a documented fact that wherever you have prohibition you have gangster government. One cannot exist without the other. Thugs need prohibition laws, and prohibition laws need thugs. They are as the sun is to the moon, the desert to sand – they cannot exist without each other; that is their nature.

To see Mexico is to see the final future of prohibition everywhere. Mexico just got there first. If there is still any doubt that prohibition has given total power to the absolute worst that humanity has to offer, both inside and outside governments around the world, then this book decimates that doubt.

The corrupting power of the unimaginable profits from prohibition have simply taken over society's institutions. After all, we're dealing with political authority, whether it is in Mexico, Canada, the USA or anywhere else. And since history shows us that political authority is inherently corrupt (and I would add, inherently immoral), it just can't resist this unprecedented level of corrupt money, corrupt power, and corrupt social control that prohibition offers.

From the book:

"In 2009, the United Nations reported that some $350 billion in drug money had been successfully laundered into the global banking system in the prior year [2008], saving it from collapse."

Translation: Global economic stability (such as it is) and government now depend on the type of people who, according to this book, murder and stitch the faces of their victims to soccer balls in Mexico. These are the same people the Justice Department themselves delivered thousands of weapons to in Operation Fast & Furious and numerous other drug war charades.

If you want to understand the type of demented mentality that has put me and hundreds of thousands of others in the cruel conditions we are in, if you want to understand the warped minds that dream up "six months for six plants" or five years for seeds (or legalization advocacy) or 10 to 20 years for running a California dispensary, if you want to understand the sick personality behind what’s described in "To Die in Mexico" as so horrific that "the bare facts are so terrifying they pass beyond the edge of anything credible" – it’s all in this book.

There has never been such a powerful, damning and frightening work on prohibition. That's because the other journalists who tried to write this specific story have been murdered. According to author Gibler, 68 reporters have been killed in Mexico's all-out "war on drugs" that the Harper government now wants to emulate, and that the US Justice Department has been orchestrating from Washington, DC for decades. Forty-seven of those were murdered between 2008 and 2010, and an additional 15 have "disappeared".

The aim of this book, says the author, is to tell the story other journalists died trying to tell.


Governments have simply become another organized crime group fighting to control the prohibition trade. Police are used by a coalition of government and gangsters to remove the threats from competing gangster groups. Essentially, governments have become the enforcement arm of the gangster cartels as they battle for control of an evil that now holds the financial fate of the globe in its bloodied hands.

I can't do justice to the book with a brief summary. The facts are unrelentingly damning; it must be read, but here are a few excerpts. These are the universal tactics and results of prohibition. Today it’s Mexico; tomorrow it’s Canada. (See if point #8 from the book rings a bell.)

1) According to the Mexican government's own estimate, people working for the various illegal narcotics businesses have directly infiltrated more than half of the municipal police forces.

2) The federal police forces are the main recruiting centers for mid-level drug trafficking operators.

3) The army and the state police are the main recruitment centers for the enforcers, the paramilitary units in charge of assassinations.

4) In the United States, both George W. Bush and Barack Obama have sent billions in money, arms, and military aid to Mexico's army and state police to 'help them' 'combat drug trafficking' (see points #1 – #3). US media is cowed and docile; they rarely report the Mexican army and federal and state police are very often the actual drug traffickers. Thus, US citizens finance the murder and corruption pervasive in Mexico.

5) Death is good business. The Brookings Institution estimates that on average two thousand guns (ranging from cop-killer pistols to AK-47 and AR-15 assault rifles) are legally purchased in the United States and then smuggled across the border into Mexico every day!

6) "PROHIBITED: LITTERING AND DUMPING CORPSES": This was a sign a Mexican citizen put outside his house after repeated incidences of dead bodies being dumped in front of his suburban home. Thugs then shot him and his daughter and dumped them under the sign.

7) The use of prohibition for racial social control is the genesis of the modern drug prohibition era. This we are all very familiar with, but never as well explained and proven as it is in "To Die in Mexico".

8) With full support from the US Congress, successive presidential administrations have used drug war tactics such as extradition as tools to bend less powerful nations into compliance with prohibition and US intervention into their affairs.


When we petition the politicians on the prohibition issue we should try to remember we are petitioning members of a global criminal enterprise. To overlook or ignore this would be akin to petitioning the Boston Strangler for better treatment for women and pretending he's not the Boston Strangler.

This book comes out at an interesting time for Canada. A few days ago two members of the "drug trade" were shot dead in an execution hit at a tanning salon in a cozy Ottawa, Canada shopping center, just a few miles from Parliament Hill where the federal Omnibus Crime Bill C-10 (aka "The Organized Crime Employment Act") will be passed shortly.

Of course, this is "just the beginning" as Rob Nicholson has promised us. By the end, we'll have blood and terror on a regular basis, just like Mexico. So far, says author Gibler, in five years – from 2006 to May 2011 – 38,000 people have died from Mexico's prohibition war.

Here’s how he describes the policy:

"All discourse about prohibition as a public safety policy is self-serving, fundamentalist lies tantamount to complicity in the intellectual authorship of perpetual mass murder… Let us be clear, prohibition is legislated death."

"The drug war is a horrid success of state violence and capitalist accumulation, a cash-intoxicated marketplace that simply budgets for murder and political graft to keep things running smoothly."

Therefore, as long as we continue to have comments by advocates of legalization describing prohibitionists as "well-intentioned", even while saying prohibition creates organized crime, these political gangsters will thrive. As long as opposition politicians and mainstream media continue to treat prohibitionists as civilized people who are simply misguided in their altruistic efforts to save us from ourselves, things will only get worse.

Gangsters, perpetual mass murder, legislated death, packed and cruel prisons, bankrupted treasuries, abolished civil liberties, preening politicians celebrating the glory of this gruesome situation with calls for yet more of the prohibition poison that created this ceaseless cycle of violence and despair – this is how opponents of prohibition must present their case. It’s certainly why I am in jail; no one yelled louder and longer that this was all coming to pass than I. The truth does get out. It's why my wife Jodie is the most frequently quoted Canadian activist, and Cannabis Culture is still the #1 website for the truth about prohibition.

But when Members of the Canadian Parliament like Libby Davies say the Conservative government is "blind" to the evils of prohibition, it's like her saying Charles Manson was blind to what the family was doing with those knives. I mention Libby because she is a good person who works hard against prohibition. She's sincere. She's the best of the lot. And that's my point. Even she can't speak the truth of the political organized crime that is prohibition.

The media never, ever says this, even the best of them, like Dan Gardner of the Ottawa Citizen and cross-Canada newspapers. As a result the public is always left with this profound mystery of why these pristine politicians who get streets named after them would be so blind and misled as to support something so evil as prohibition. Surely all we have to do is put the facts in front of them and they will see the light, right?


So in light of all this 'inevitability' of the scourges of prohibition, can anything be done? What needs to be done is what we've been doing, just more of it.

We need to get referendums and ballot initiatives before the voters, we need to give campaign contributions to those few candidates (like Ron Paul, Gary Johnson) explicit about ending prohibition, we need to label the prohibitionists and their acolytes for the murderous sympathizers that they are. After all, if all drugs were legal in Mexico, Canada, and the United States, would 38,000 dead victims of prohibition be alive today? Yes, they would.

The cannabis culture has been at this for a while, at least 16 years. And we've nailed the truth of it. So what does the truth tell us? If we stick at it, facts do win over the people. Those public opinion legalization majorities in Canada and the US were 40 years in the making, starting out at 12% support in 1970. So what has happened? We might just be witnessing the tipping point of the collapse of the greatest and most evil propaganda power in history. Prohibition is having its biggest test, and the downfall of prohibition will break the back of the propaganda system that has ruled our modern age.

Bear in mind we are living in the world's most technologically advanced civilization. Push a computer button and you can eventually find the truth about anything. Finding the truth is not the problem. The problem is accepting it. For even with the truth staring the public in the face, we still have society's movers and shakers lying and saying that prohibitionists are "well intentioned" and believe they are working for the public good.

Even alcohol prohibition, when it was finally abolished, was still sold as a "noble experiment."

In the past 40 years of modern marijuana prohibition, the dupes among the people were willing to believe people should die of cancer, AIDS, and suffer through Multiple Sclerosis, crippling spasticity diseases, epilepsy, pain, and other ailments simply to preserve the barbarous prohibitionist status quo. Many of the people among us chose these torturous political policies over the medical and scientific truth that is now everywhere to be found. These "well-meaning" citizens would see your children (or parents) thrown in jail and threatened with rape, allow police to smash into the homes of citizens and terrorize them, have that property seized, the family dispossessed, lose their jobs, and be shot as collateral damage in the gangster wars. These "good (prohibitionist) neighbors" believed in a nation of rats squealing on their neighbors, a violent narco-economy replacing the traditional but now bankrupted economy, a global gangster government that now holds the world's finances in its bloody jaws.

They would faithfully believe all this is being done with "good intentions" because anything is better than facing the truth that they are ruled by thugs.

However, the hold that propaganda has given these evil prohibitionists over the public has crumbled. Once again, we give thinks to Mr. Wozniak for inventing the personal computer. It is this technology that has given us the power to defeat this propaganda system. The recent NY Times poll showed 90% of Americans don't trust politicians or government. The public doesn't believe most or all of what comes out of politicians' mouths, especially about prohibition. In British Columbia, 66% want to legalize marijuana and only 12% support jailing cannabis offenders, yet our Premier, Christy Clark, can't sell out to the police fast enough in their request for more prohibition, more jails, more punishments. In opposition provincially, Adrian Dix of the BC NDP stays mute, as the provincial NDP always has, and condones the thuggeries of prohibition. Sad times indeed, in my home province. Medical dispensaries are being raided frequently and operators charged. The prohibition seems to be being ramped up all over Canada.

Yet hope comes from strange, unexpected places. The provincial governments of Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland said they won't pay for the new Conservative massive increase in prison costs and consequences. Quebec has even said the politically unthinkable: not only do they reject the financial costs, they also reject the human costs of ratcheting up the prohibition!

I have to believe this is the home stretch of our fight. We must make it so the evil acts of these prohibitionists nauseate any civilized person. We are at the tipping point. Yes, it has taken an awfully long time.

With their propaganda dominance now corroding, all the prohibitionists have left is the same thing the Nazis had left at the end, and that is Gestapo terror. Desperate prohibition police forces in both Canada and the United States ignore the democratic will, and raid, threaten, rob, jail and physically brutalize taxpaying citizens. The Nazis obsessed in their final days with the executing and murdering as many of their enemies until the moment the allies arrived to liberate that soil. That was their only imperative. The war was lost, so instead of facing the truth, they would destroy those who had always spoken the truth and represented it.

I suggest you read this book, "To Die in Mexico", by John Gibler. And continue to push for freedom and truth – it’s the only way we can possibly win.

MARC EMERY #40252-086
P.O. BOX 5888



Marc’s thoughts about the White House petitions

submitted by on November 2, 2011

Today is November 1, 980 days to go till my release on July 9, 2014. There are two possible hopeful scenarios that could shorten that wait. One is the petition to "Pardon Marc Emery" which appears at in the "We The People" section. On September 22, that petition initiative website was launched and any petition that obtained 5,000 signatures within 30 days was promised a response from the White House.

The threshold of petitioners for an acknowledgement by the White House was raised to 25,000 signatories by early October, the exception being those petitions that had been started under the original rules. The petition to give me a pardon (based on the explicitness of DEA's statement that my crime was legalization advocacy and financing, no mention of distribution of seeds) reached 7,500 signatures in 30 days and qualifies for a response, which is due shortly.

A pardon is desirable for two reasons: it would free me immediately, and it would permit me to return to the United States to speak to those supporters in America who would wish to meet me and hear me speak. Once I am deported from the USA on the "early release" completion of my sentence on July 9, 2014, I will be barred from entering the United States at any future time.

I'd like to thank all those who took the time to sign on to the petition. Newspapers and radio in Canada covered the petition to have me pardoned, and they’ve been asking Jodie for news about the response from the White House when it comes. Those who posted the links on their Facebook or Twitter get special thanks. The required 5,000 signatures took only nine days to achieve. Tommy Chong made a charming video for Pot TV urging people to sign on to the petition. In fact, I was speaking to Tommy on the phone only moments before he made the video, which can be seen on YouTube, as he came by the Cannabis Culture Headquarters to check in and help with the petition drive.

The other possibility for an earlier release is for me to be transferred home. In March 2013, 16 months from now, I can make an application to the US Department of Justice requesting, once again, a transfer back to Canada to serve out my sentence. Both the US Department of Justice and the Canadian Ministry of Public Safety must approve this request. If I had been accepted for transfer earlier this winter when I first applied, I would have been eligible in Canada for release on parole in on November 16, 2011 as a first-time non-violent offender, which means I qualified for release at 1/3 of my sentence in Canada.

As you know, the US Department of Justice refused my transfer application in April this year, even though I qualified under all 26 criteria set out and had over 23 elected representatives from all levels of Canadian government endorse my transfer. It’s thought that the DEA and the Canadian government under Stephen Harper were both hostile to my transfer.

If my transfer request is delivered in April 2013 to the US DOJ, and accepted in June 2013, it would then be necessary for the Canadian government to accept the transfer – which, if approved, might see me back in Canada by November 2013 to February 2014. I would qualify for immediate statutory release upon my return to Canada, but I would be on parole until February 2015. If I am required to wait until the completion of my sentence here (July 9, 2014), there would be no parole requirements when I am delivered to Canada.

The Justice Department, in refusing my transfer to Canada last April, made reference to the seriousness of my crime (advocating legalization), law enforcement opposition, and the work I was doing on behalf of my fellow inmates and my unrelenting public criticism of D Ray James federal prison, a private prison concentration camp for foreigners that I was housed in before I was transferred to Yazoo. The reasoning for the refusal of my transfer back to Canada dispels any doubt about the politics of my imprisonment.

Despite President Obama’s promise of "Hope" and "Change", things aren’t getting better for the cannabis culture under his administration. Evidence can be seen in the official response to the most popular petition, which gathered 74,169 signatures urging the legalization of marijuana, and seven other cannabis-related petitions that reached the threshold for a response. This answer came from the White House Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske, former Seattle Police Chief, in the expected unsatisfactory way:

What We Have to Say About Legalizing Marijuana

By Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy

When the President took office, he directed all of his policymakers to develop policies based on science and research, not ideology or politics. So our concern about marijuana is based on what the science tells us about the drug's effects.

According to scientists at the National Institutes of Health- the world's largest source of drug abuse research – marijuana use is associated with addiction, respiratory disease, and cognitive impairment. We know from an array of treatment admission information and Federal data that marijuana use is a significant source for voluntary drug treatment admissions and visits to emergency rooms. Studies also reveal that marijuana potency has almost tripled over the past 20 years, raising serious concerns about what this means for public health – especially among young people who use the drug because research shows their brains continue to develop well into their 20's.

Simply put, it is not a benign drug.

Like many, we are interested in the potential marijuana may have in providing relief to individuals diagnosed with certain serious illnesses. That is why we ardently support ongoing research into determining what components of the marijuana plant can be used as medicine. To date, however, neither the FDA nor the Institute of Medicine have found smoked marijuana to meet the modern standard for safe or effective medicine for any condition.

As a former police chief, I recognize we are not going to arrest our way out of the problem. We also recognize that legalizing marijuana would not provide the answer to any of the health, social, youth education, criminal justice, and community quality of life challenges associated with drug use.

That is why the President's National Drug Control Strategy is balanced and comprehensive, emphasizing prevention and treatment while at the same time supporting innovative law enforcement efforts that protect public safety and disrupt the supply of drugs entering our communities. Preventing drug use is the most cost-effective way to reduce drug use and its consequences in America. And, as we've seen in our work through community coalitions across the country, this approach works in making communities healthier and safer.

We're also focused on expanding access to drug treatment for addicts. Treatment works. In fact, millions of Americans are in successful recovery for drug and alcoholism today. And through our work with innovative drug courts across the Nation, we are improving our criminal justice system to divert non-violent offenders into treatment.

Our commitment to a balanced approach to drug control is real. This last fiscal year alone, the Federal Government spent over $10 billion on drug education and treatment programs compared to just over $9 billion on drug related law enforcement in the U.S.

Thank you for making your voice heard. I encourage you to take a moment to read about the President's approach to drug control to learn more.

National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Marijuana Facts (ONDCP)
Drug Abuse Warning Network (HHS)
Treatment Episode Data Set (HHS)
National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS)

Kerlikowske says "science" and "facts" will guide the policy, not "ideology" and "politics", then proceeds to ignore any science and medical comparison and sticks entirely to politics and ideology – the ideology of prohibition!

The petition request to legalize marijuana, and the request for my pardon, both need to be seen in regard to certain facts. Not only have Canadian Prime Ministers Paul Martin (pot brownies), Pierre Trudeau (hashish), Kim Campbell (marijuana), and Premiers Ralph Klein (of Alberta), Jean Charest (of Quebec), Glen Clark (of BC), and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson – plus many others – variously smoked, grown, eaten, and enjoyed marijuana, but a host of prominent elected US officials have also done the same, including President Obama, who commented in his book "Dreams from My Father – A Story of race and Inheritance" that "Pot had helped, and booze: and maybe a little blow when you could afford it… and if the high didn't solve whatever it was that was getting you down, it could at least help you laugh at the world's ongoing folly and see through all the hypocrisy and bullshit and cheap moralism."

Read Kerlikowske's response to the legalization petition and see if you can spot 1) hypocrisy, 2) bullshit, and 3) cheap moralism.

The hypocrisy is that the health hazards of marijuana, even the trivial ones he mentions, pale in comparison to the health hazards of hundreds of legal, sanctioned consumed substances like tobacco, alcohol, prescription drugs, fatty foods, over the counter medicines, etc. There are no known fatalities from cannabis consumption, making it one of the safest consumables on the planet considering peanuts, sesame seeds, numerous flowers, nuts, seeds, gourds, fish, shellfish, and other foods can kill certain people from allergic reactions. Sugars, salts, preservatives and additives in our food chain are much more hazardous than cannabis.

The bullshit is that for being involved in cannabis you can serve 5, 10, 15, 20 years or even life in prison, a punishment that is barbaric and extraordinarily cruel because all the hazards inherent in cannabis use result from the government policy of prohibition of cannabis. All the cartel violence, the full prisons, the lucrative corruption of police, prisons, teenagers, the poor, the blacks, Latinos, all who get seduced into the world of growing and selling cannabis do so because of the prohibition on the legal production, sale and use of marijuana.

In my drug abuse prevention class here at Yazoo prison, I asked this question; "Would any of us be here, guards or prisoners, if all these substances were sold legally at retail outlets throughout the community? Isn't this a tragedy and crisis manufactured exclusively by government policy? Doesn't the US criminal justice system put us behind bars for these huge lengths of time because that's precisely the intent? Doesn't the evidence of the last 40 years show anyone looking that prohibition is designed to fill prisons, bankrupt the nation, create gangs and gang violence, diminish our civil liberties and consolidate a police state?"

Needless to say, this line of questioning was regarded as heresy and I was advised to be less vocal about these ideas.

To support this prohibition you have to support evil behavior, the virtual destruction of peaceful society, the depraved violence we see afflicting Mexico, Columbia, our inner cities, the Nazi-like violence by urban SWAT police (over 100 SWAT raids happen each and every day in America), the packed prisons, and the despair and utter heartbreak of millions of American families. Since 1970, over 12 million Americans have been incarcerated for drug use, production or distribution. Each of these 12 million had dozens of family members and loved ones who are also greatly impacted.

What, one must ask, is the point in all this? How can President Obama continue such a prohibition policy when two decades of books, news reports, statistics, dozens of former Presidents throughout the world saying "end prohibition", millions of horror stories and packed jails scream of the failure of prohibition to achieve any desirable goals. In fact, the obvious road of prohibition is to make a decaying police state out of the entire planet!

Prohibition is a corrupt, barbaric and intentional deception. Those, like Kerlikowske, who support it, absolutely know this. President Obama knows the prohibition policy is the death of black America. One in four black Americans are entwined in the revolving doors of the US criminal justice system – in prison, on probation, supervised release, parole, on bail – almost exclusively for drug and drug-related offenses. Certainly 80% of the inmates here at Yazoo federal prison are black Americans, virtually all here for drugs, and guns with drugs. It is the new Jim Crow laws brought to bear after the Civil Rights Act in 1964 finally did what the Emancipation Proclamation did not do100 years later – free the black man and ended slavery.

But there is still slavery. It's here. Prison USA.

At the risk of saying it will take a great white man, Ron Paul, to free millions of black Americans in November 2012, the petitions to legalize marijuana and pardon me give President Obama a chance to re-affirm what he believes. Is it the Obama who wrote "Dreams of my Father", or the Obama who is ramping up the drug war in medical marijuana states to new extremes?

It is the DEA press release issued on the day of my arrest that President Obama is directly endorsing if he keeps me in jail. The DEA press release is specific about why I am in jail, and explains clearly that if you talk about and work towards legalization successfully, they'll invade your country and bring you to their prohibition prison system.

The DEA press release did not ever say I was arrested for selling seeds. The word "seeds" was never used in the DEA press release. What was mentioned over and over again was legalization. Use the word "seeds" in the same press release with "drug kingpin" and what you have is absurdity – albeit a cruel depraved nightmare absurdity that we all get to inhabit, but especially me, and others imprisoned like me.

The DEA tried to ignore and refute the press release but the truth had been exposed. If the reasons the DEA gave for jailing me were so corrupt and embarrassing that they pretend that release doesn’t exist, what does this say about a President and government that agree with the same immoral and anti-democratic edicts that keep me imprisoned? Answer: it says everything.

Under federal legislation in the United States, the DEA is mandated to use whatever means necessary anywhere in the world to combat any person or organization that promotes the legalization of marijuana. It said so right at the bottom of the DEA letterhead the press release was sent out on.

When police smash into homes and terrorize taxpayers and families, shooting people and pets, all over something the majority do not believe should be a crime under law, then we should remember that our leaders, Prime Minister Harper, President Obama, and Mexican President Calderon, favor this sort of carnage and abuse by allowing it to continue.

We must ask ourselves what kind of government would enter into perpetual war against its own people. What type of government denies sick people a medicine, a plant that improves their lives and diminishes misery? What kind of government obstructs scientific research into the truly incredible and scientifically documented healing properties of marijuana? The answers to these questions are obvious and not pretty.

The DEA, who no doubt was the principal bulwark against my transfer to the Canadian prison system, tells us in their own hackneyed words (see DEA Tandy's press release once again) that I was jailed for expressing an idea. The expression of that idea – the legalization of cannabis – is specifically mentioned in that DEA mandate we've all read. This federal laws gives the DEA the legal right to go anywhere in the world to combat legalization initiatives and activities, in the same way the CIA has authority to overthrow governments around the world (Iran 1953, South Vietnam 1965, Chile 1973, Panama 1984). The DEA has offices and agents active in over 90 countries, including Canada, Mexico, Colombia, and Afghanistan.

Essentially the DEA has been given eternal wartime powers on a global scale to fight the demonized herb cannabis. According to US law, any country can be invaded to stop any threat of legalization, just as any state or city or town or US community can be. Most of the world is unaware of this fact. So if Obama refuses the petition to pardon me, he reaffirms this mandate of manifest destiny when he thus says I'll stay in a US federal prison for expressing an idea.

Only an evil nature can support, approve and perpetuate evil acts. And as Canadian Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said about new laws requiring mandatory minimum jail sentences for as few as six marijuana plants, "this is just the beginning." If putting a Canadian in jail for 6, 9, or 12 months for six plants is "just the beginning", try to imagine the "end".

These sadistic politicians and their lackeys do not inhabit the same reality that we civilized people do. Until we understand and publicize this fact, we give them victory by default. Remember, majorities in Canada and the United States support the legalization of marijuana. At least 55% of Canadians want legal marijuana, and now 50% of Americans want legal marijuana.

This is why we fight. It is the right, we are the majority, the enemy is pure evil, and we have a world to rescue from darkness.

Marc Scott Emery
P.O. BOX 5888

White House petition for a pardon, performing live music, and more updates from federal prison

submitted by on October 1, 2011

Hi Miss! This Sunday, October 2nd (in the evening, after your visit), I will perform three Bob Marley songs in concert with the reggae band: "No Woman, No Cry", "I Shot The Sheriff" and "Stir It Up". I continue to practice, learn and rehearse on the bass guitar in my own band, called "Yazoo", for 2-4 hours each day.

CLICK HERE to sign the Pardon Marc Emery petition!CLICK THE IMAGE to sign the Pardon Marc Emery petition!

Tonight in the studio we worked on "Don't Stop Believing", "I Can See Clearly Now", "Purple Haze", "Hotel California", and "Panama" by Van Halen. Our song list for our Thanksgiving Day Concert includes those songs and "Stormy Monday", "The Wind Cries Mary", "Sweet Emotion", "Don't Blink" by Kenny Chesney, "El Paso" by Marty Robbins, "Red House", "Purple Haze", "Freddie's Dead", "Winds of Change", "Dust in the Wind", "Comfortably Numb", and "Money". Quite the eclectic song list!

I read voraciously every day, the weather so far has been conducive to it, virtually a 5-month stretch of brilliant blue skies and warm temperatures. The air here is sweet; Mississippi, if not beset by poverty and historical apartheid that makes impossible a genuine rapprochement between the races, would be a nice place to be. I am attracted to its musical heritage, weather, and even the NPR affiliate, the Mississippi Broadcast Network radio with its homey gardening and cultural programs; it is a shame that after my deportation back to Canada (Hallelujah!), I will be barred from ever visiting these United States.

That is, unless I receive a Pardon from the President or Attorney-General of these United States. I am so excited you have had a "Pardon Marc Emery" petition posted on the White House website here (share this link: Within 36 hours, it had over 2,500 signatories. 5,000 signatures are required within 30 days for it to get an official response from the White House.

I hope, if there is no limit on the number of signatures from Americans, that 25,000 citizens of the 50 states can be delivered on this petition within 30 days, to prove a depth of support for my repatriation to Canada. A pardon also allows me to return to America as a sympathetic human being to gather and share the American Experience in all its manifestations without chains, handcuffs and leg irons.

I hope you can encourage all my friends and supporters to attach the petition to their Twitter, Facebook and websites to see if we can crack the 25,000 mark within 30 days, or perhaps even a better result. Perhaps, if it does become a viable 'cause celebre', it can get some nominal media attention, as certainly it could be the largest petition urging a pardon for someone in the vast US penal system.

Marc's LTE in The Province (click to view)I was pleased that the Sunday, September 25th "Province" newspaper in BC published my letter in regard the Canadian government's repugnant plans for massive increase in incarceration and prison expansion. The population of the prisons will be 95% drug and cannabis users, and the number from our marijuana community will increase by the thousands over the next few years. Cannabis arrests are at a shocking all time high; in 2010, the number of marijuana related arrests for simple possession alone ballooned to 56,870, a 14% increase from 2009. The photograph and subhead that accompanied the letter (seen at right; click to enlarge), which was signed "Marc Emery, Yazoo City Medium Federal Prison, Mississippi", was a nice reminder to myself that I still exist in a Canadian political context.

I'm also excited that the Canadian Liberal Party, under the leadership of interim leader Bob Rae, has declared the war on drugs "an absolute, catastrophic failure" (see quotes here), and that the Liberal Party of Canada seems to be adopting a repudiation of prohibition as central to its opposition to Harper Omnibus Crime Bill (see the Liberal Party's website post "5 Reasons to Oppose the Omnibus Crime Bill"). This is great news. The Liberal party must revitalize itself, and all the science, facts and political momentum buttress their new energy they are applying to this issue.

It is noteworthy that on the federal NDP website, absolutely no opposition to the Omnibus Crime Bill has been articulated. Could the NDP members like Libby Davies have had their opposition to the war on drugs silenced? The NDP is frustrating in its weather-vane-like direction on this issue. Bob Rae cannot retreat from his statement the war on drugs is a complete failure. In one sweeping statement, he has established what the Liberal Party policy is – and it's deserving of our support. If anyone is looking for a reason to join the Liberal Party of Canada, now they have it, and there could not be a better or more significant reason to do so. Anyone who joins must say, "I am impressed by Bob Rae's repudiation of the war on drugs and his statement that it is a complete failure, and wish to be a part of the Liberal Party re-birth."

Of course, the evil Prime Minister Harper and Justice Minister Rob Nicholson promise that this Omnibus Crime Bill called C-10, with its mandatory minimum jail time for as few as six marijuana plants or making a few grams of hashish, "is just the beginning", and that even more ominous and draconian measures are to come.

That's why it is essential to our movement that you keep up the charge, my dear wife. You inspire me and you inspire many. Canadian families will suffer greatly, as their loved ones will be going to prison in much greater numbers in the cannabis community, and you must help them in dealing with these sad eventualities and help them cope. Few of them will get five year sentences for cannabis, but thousands upon thousands will get six months, a year, two years or more in prison. Second offenses get years in jail. Selling and producing other drugs have multiple years in jail under the proposed mandatory minimums. The harm and devastation to Canadian families will be extensive. You'll be needed to lend your compassion and sympathy to them.

The answer, as always, is to get involved in politics. All our people must join or work with a political party and make their voice heard and their participation count – because as we have seen, the prohibitionists are doing that very thing, and getting the results they want.

When I am released in the summer of 2014, you or I will begin campaigning for a nomination in Vancouver Center. Whichever one of us is seen as attractive to the NDP or Liberal Party in Vancouver Center (I don't believe Liberal MP Hedy Fry will run again), we will contest a nomination. Whether you get a nomination or I do, the voters are getting a twofer either way; you and I are a team, and we'll go to Ottawa together and work together and represent a vision of change from the diabolical Conservative agenda of pain, punishment and social control.

In Ontario, the Freedom Party that I founded long ago is making a good showing with 57 candidates on the October 6th provincial election ballot. But there is much work to be done there. Next election, they must get a full slate and more money raised to make serious inroads. Hopefully the many (over thirty!) cannabis activists who found welcome with the Freedom Party will continue to be politically active. I was pleased their money bomb raised over $7,000 for the purchase of TV ads during the election campaign.

I'm wearing my thermal undershirt today, the first time I've worn it since I bought it at D. Ray James (the private prison in Georgia) in December. I put it on a few times when I was there, but we also had a coat for cold December-January days too; here in Yazoo City they haven't given that out yet.

Nonetheless, I was comfortable reading outside my excellent biography of Allen Ginsberg by Michael Schumacher, called "Dharma Lion". I'm at the part, page 250, where Ginsberg's magnum opus poem "Howl" has been seized by San Francisco police, and the publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti and his City Lights Bookshop are being charged with obscenity and distribution of lewd materials. This trial is one of the big upheavals in San Francisco and American legal history, and "Howl" is vindicated.

While "Howl" is seized, and Ferlinghetti and a City Lights book store clerk are jailed and bailed out by the ACLU, Ginsberg's edit of William Burrough's "Naked Lunch" is being completed, with the portend that "Naked Lunch" too will encounter similar controversies shortly afterward. I have read "Howl" many years ago but now I will comprehend it much more, understanding what the 'Beat generation' means and what was going on with Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and William Burroughs that underlined how their work came about, and its significance. The first stanza of "Howl" may be one of the most famous opening lines in all of American poetry:

"I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
Angel-headed hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection
to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night"

In that opening you can see into the soul of Charlie Parker, Jim Morrison, Abbie Hoffman, Phil Ochs, and so many other casualties of the brutalities of our age. Fortunately, some of those brutalized did not go mad, and survived intact enough to leave us powerful legacies as a warning about the fragility of our liberties and our sanity.

I have always admired how Allen Ginsberg was present at so many influential moments in history: the founding of the Beat generation literary and poetry movements; the early, more risky protests of the Vietnam War; the King of May event in Prague in 1965; the Human Be-In at Golden Gate Park in San Fran in January 1967; the protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago; and so many other moments in history that captured the zeitgeist of the times.

Allen Ginsberg led the very earliest marijuana protests in the 1950's and early 60's, plus he brought it up in Cuba, Czechoslovakia, and anywhere he traveled where cannabis users were oppressed and imprisoned. He had such a revelatory and liberating experience at a poetry convention at the University of British Columbia in October 1963, involving sex orgies and marijuana; this in turn influenced his Human BE-IN's that happened in San Francisco in January 1967 and in Vancouver in March of 1967. Ginsberg picketed numerous jails and detention centers in New York and San Francisco where marijuana users were held in the 1950's and 60's. He brought marijuana legalization up wherever he went in the world. In India its use was everywhere, so he really liked India. Ginsberg's life story is fascinating for the cannabis culture. Ginsberg used marijuana from 1947 to his death in 1997 and was perhaps one of its most articulate defenders in the 1950's, 60's and 70's.

I am enjoying the research, structure and thoroughness of Michael Schumacher's biographies. I have his biography of Eric Clapton here to read afterward, but weeks ago I finished Schumacher's excellent biography of 60's folksinger Phil Ochs, called "There but For Fortune".

I will say that my time in prison has given me the opportunity to immerse myself in the life and works of some of my heroes, such as Martin Luther King Jr. (the outstanding three-volume work by Taylor Branch that took me months to complete at Sea-Tac FDC in Seattle last year), Malcolm X, Bob Marley, Ayn Rand, Clarence Darrow, Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, and now Allen Ginsberg.

I am busy all the time, reading six or seven magazines each week and the daily NY Times, writing letters, doing three hours of Corrlinks ("email") daily, practicing and playing bass guitar, working through a backlog of books (and more on the way), and making the best use of my time. I have been in good health for two months now, and I eat as best as can be possible here, and drink only water. I take calcium and Vitamin C and D supplements daily. My morale stays elevated just anticipating and cherishing your visits to me.

I look forward to receiving photographs of all the changes at your store and the hallways leading to the BCMP Lounge. I hear it looks very handsome! So glad to hear change and improvement is going on. I know you are incredibly busy and wish I were home to rub your feet after your long gruelling days of activity. I promise there will be a long, delicious foot rub every night once I am returned to you!

The National Geographic Special "Marijuana Nation" with me in it aired last Saturday, and days before that, the worldwide version of that episode, titled "Inside Marijuana" with even more of me in it (and less DEA coverage, which was more prominent in the US version), aired in numerous countries around the globe, so I am pleased to know the message about my work continues to be on television. The new documentary CITIZEN MARC is in the final stages of editing and should be ready to be submitted to film festivals by next Spring and Summer.

My graduation photo of me in cap and gown came back today, so I will mail that to you immediately so you can make it my Facebook profile photo. As of today, Tuesday, September 27th, I have 1,016 days to my release – that's 33 months to go. Unless we get that pardon! Something to work towards!

I love my Mrs. Emery!
Your Husband & Admirer,

Write Marc a letter:

MARC EMERY #40252-086
P.O. BOX 5888

Marc Emery: Where are the true leaders?

submitted by on August 30, 2011

Since 1969, when hash-smoking Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau assured the nation that decriminalization was imminent, we've had a succession of promises without action from Canadian political leaders. After Trudeau reneged on his pledge and ignored the recommendations of his appointed LeDain Commission (which recommended legalization), Prime Minister Joe Clark in 1979 failed to do the same after he committed to decriminalization.

Then Prime Minister Jean Chretien promised to decriminalize pot possession to a $100 fine in 2003, but failed to act on that. Prime Minister Paul Martin admitted to eating pot brownies his wife made, and Prime Minister Kim Campbell (Canada's briefest PM, 1992-1993) admitted smoking pot in her youth.

The late New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton famously repeated his line that he never exhaled, and while he never became Prime Minister, he came aboard as NDP leader in 2003 with tremendous promise after being an off-and-on pot smoker for the previous 35 years. Yet since then, over 500,000 Canadians have been convicted on marijuana charges in those more than eight years, with tens of thousands going to jail for those offenses.

Since Trudeau promised decriminalization in 1969, two-and-a-half million Canadians have been convicted of a pot offense. Despite this shocking and egregious injustice, no elected official, including Jack Layton, ever embraced the issue in such a way as to give it the gravitas required to get it on the national agenda. Jack preferred to leave it to NDP stalwarts like Member of Parliament Libby Davies, even though in the months prior to his becoming leader of the NDP, a nine-member Senate Special Committee unanimously recommended marijuana be legalized. (In the foreboding current Stephen Harper Conservative majority government, those days are quaint nostalgia now.)

It's shocking Jack died so young – and so fast – and was robbed of life in his moment of triumph. He began 2003 with great promise for our movement, assuring me in an interview he solicited on Pot TV [seen here and below] that he would do his utmost to end marijuana prohibition.

But in the 2004 campaign and each election afterward, he virtually renounced his 2003 video and statement to me and Canadians. While Jack was leader, Dana Larsen and his eNDProhibition campaign were banned from NDP conventions, and Dana and Kirk Tousaw were pushed out as NDP candidates in the 2008 federal election. Jack tried to distance himself from me and my organization even though we had brought him so much support over the years – support that he came and sought from us.

Yes, Layton was a nice guy and got along well with people. But what revolutionary and liberating policies did he offer in his eight years at the helm of the NDP? Other than his initial promise to advocate legalization of cannabis, none that I can think of. What great defense of individual freedom and civil liberties did he put forward in Parliament? None that I can think of. How often did he renounce Canada's military participation in Afghanistan and Libya? Not very often, if ever. Even Libby Davies was sidelined for her insightful remarks on the mistreatment of Palestinians. He got the NDP 102 seats, and he finished off the Bloc Quebecois – two stunning political achievements perhaps, but nothing of any longevity and value that improved the lives of Canadians. His criticism of Harper was muted and flaccid when we most needed strong opposition to the prison and war expansion in Canada.

The NDP has many great people in the Parliament, but no one knows much about them because none were cultivated to be prominent. A great leader grooms qualified acolytes among his caucus to shine and rise when his or her time is up. This is an attribute of great leadership. Yet there is no one in the caucus known to most Canadians, even after eight years. As leader of the NDP, Mr. Layton failed to groom the talented in his party for leadership. And now there is indeed a vacuum in Canadian politics.

When it comes to the elected headmen of Canada and the US – most, if not all, have smoked marijuana, including Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Trudeau, Campbell, Martin, and many opposition leaders, Senators, MPs, Congressmen – I have never been able to reconcile why, once elected to a position they have sought for much of their lives, they fail to act on this great civil rights violation of our time.

In 40 years, 17 million Americans and Canadians have been convicted of a cannabis offense, and millions of these citizens have gone to jail.

Yet after 50 years of this persecution, we are still no better off with our leaders than cheap laugh-inducing theatrics designed to dodge putting forth a serious answer to the question, "How can you justify the destructive policy of prohibition when the majority of Canadians and Americans want to legalize marijuana?"

Indeed, where is democracy? Where is justice?

Where are the real leaders?

Jack Layton, nice fellow though he may have been, was a consummate politician. If a state funeral was offered up to him – an opposition leader of no particular greatness beyond his kindness and positive attitude – then now it must be extended to former Prime Ministers Joe Clark, John Turner, Kim Campbell, Paul Martin, and Brian Mulroney when they pass, not to mention former Liberal opposition leaders such as Michael Ignatieff and Stephane Dion. Yet none are worthy. Politicians get fawned over and live a largely royal life with perks and privileges galore. Their actual achievements in advancing the western ideals of freedom, tolerance, peace, economic prosperity and prudent, transparent, fair governance are few.

These are not the people who should be honored with state funerals. There are so many more deserving individuals who have dedicated themselves to actually improving the lives of many others in direct, real ways. For example, I hope David Suzuki receives a state funeral when he passes; after all, his own country, Canada, threw him unjustifiably into an internment camp in the 1940's for being born with Japanese ancestry, yet he rose out of such an ordeal to impact on the lives of every Canadian. He has taught us over the decades about the inter-relationship between Canadians and their environmental habitat, and the profound vigilance required to maintain the quality of life for both people and the planet. His lifetime influence is everywhere in Canada today, in our consideration of how we treat our forests, rivers, oceans, the air we breathe, animals, humans, our diet, our health. This is a great man who actually and profoundly changed all our lives for the better.

Stephen Harper's cynical (faux-gracious) offer to hold a state funeral for Layton is to reinforce Harper's deeply-held view that the political class is the barometer of our deepest held value system. It is government that determines the national agenda, the zeitgeist, the spirit of the age. It is the political class that Canadians must submit to, Harper believes, and it is the political class that he wants "good guy" Layton to be part of. "I wish I would have had time to jam with Jack," said Harper in his eulogy, offering forth the bilious image of Harper playing his lounge-act rock and roll to show how human he is, when you and I know Harper is anything but.

I believe the reason people are so torn up about Jack Layton is because nature is essentially unjust – if nature were just, the good would live happy and long lives in good health until they were 100 years old, and the evil would be consumed by their insidious demons and die young and quickly as a reward for their bad choices and as protection to the good people.

But that isn't what happens. Good people get murdered, raped, stricken with cancer, suffer horribly, lose loved ones to tragedy, and more unfortunate suffering and ordeals, while evil people can prosper – often in politics, high finance, and other similarly vaunted strata in society. Humans try to ameliorate this natural injustice by instituting law, government, and its social engineering extensions, but this largely fails, usually creating more war, suffering, famine, financial chaos, misery, inequity.

What the candlelight vigil was really saying was "people dying suddenly, who don't deserve to die so soon, frightens me," and "That could be me, or someone I know", and it scares them. They can see in Jack Layton the paradox of here today, gone tomorrow, literally. And that other famous line, "There but for fortune go I."

The lesson is that life is short, and we have to make the most of our time. There are many individuals who inspire others and achieve greatness – not for their gain alone, but for the betterment of many lives. Politicians are too often seen as the great decision makers and the only ones who can save us, but they don't really accomplish anything as individuals while working within a party in government when compared to people who have dedicated themselves to improve the world in a more direct way, outside of politics.

Our country needs, but hasn't had, a great leader. When have we had a champion of civil liberties, of a reduced military, of a peacekeeping nation, of prosperity and freedom for all, of fairness, of justice? When did we have a leader who inspired great idealism and nobleness in citizens of every class? We have never had that. We have certainly had bad leaders who led Canada in the wrong direction; we have that in Prime Minister Stephen Harper now! But we've never had a good or great leader. We've always had calculating politicians for leaders, but never a statesman or peace-loving visionary.

And that's the tragedy.

– Marc Emery
Yazoo City Medium-security prison
Yazoo City, Mississippi, USA

Marc Writes His Own Song And Joins A Reggae Band!

submitted by on August 18, 2011

Marc in Yazoo Prison, May 2011Dearest Miss: I’ve been keeping busy, and am actually enjoying the extreme heat down here. Each day in the morning, or even from noon to 3pm, I go to an elevated wooden umpire booth behind the baseball diamond and take off my t-shirt, sit in the shade, and feel this gentle breeze while I read my magazines, books, and NY Times newspapers for two to three hours. I play my bass guitar every evening and most afternoons.

Lately I've been going down memory lane with the recent excerpt from my autobiography being put online. The teacher who escorted the students on that Middle East trip in March 1975, Don McQueen, my history and politics teacher from Sir Wilfrid Laurier High School from 1973-1975, is alive and well and was interviewed for the “Citizen Marc” documentary that director Roger Larry is finishing up the final interviews for. My friend Roy, whom I’ve known for 45 years, was also interviewed. Roy has just finished a delightful book called “2012 Rabbits and the Happy Apocalypse”, available on Amazon for download to Kindle and due out in print soon. I really have enjoyed the chapters I received from Roy in the mail, and am excited to get the printed copy of the book.

As you know, Miss, I was crestfallen when my instructor/teacher/band leader Grizz and my drummer Damian got sent to the SHU (Special Housing unit, solitary confinement) within 24 hours of each other two weeks ago, because our band “Stuck” was arbitrarily dissolved when that happened. I lost our studio rehearsal spot and our gig spot for the Labor Day weekend concert. But then, a few days ago, Terry and I were invited to be in a reggae band called “Star”, and I am now rehearsing "I Shot The sheriff", "Stir It Up" and "No Woman, No Cry". It's great fun and an education to become familiar with these three classic Bob Marley songs, which we'll play in the new concert in early September.

I am "getting it" – that is, the reggae beat – so it’s exciting. Fortunately, my lead guitarist Terry seems to know every song ever done, having played as a professional guitarist in bands for 15 years, including reggae bands, so I am getting expert instruction on how to do the bass lines for "I Shot The Sheriff" and "Stir It Up". I came up with the bass lines on "No Woman No Cry" from the chords indicated on the sheet music.

So I am in a band once again, and we are in the studio Saturday and Monday nights now – two practice slots, as other new bands did not make the cut, leaving more practice time available for us. When the Music Department C.O. (correctional officer) asked me what Terry and I were doing now, I said I was in the reggae band and he said, "well, that's good, because I know you two know how to play, from hearing your last concert, so your rehearsal times are assured." So that was cool to hear him say I "know how to play."

I always sign my letters to you as "Your Boo, Marc", now I will sign them "Your Rasta-Boo, Marc". In fact, you could send me a copy of what is probably my favorite piece I ever wrote for Cannabis Culture, "The Secret History of Rastafari", so I can show the rest of the band, who are all dread Jamaicans. We are the only interracial band with Terry and I in the mix now.

I had a medical check-up and my health is at its optimum, apparently. My blood pressure is 113 over 63, which is excellent I'm told. No infections or problems – as far as I know! I'm eating plenty of salmon/albacore tuna wraps that I make with my purchases from the commissary. In each meal I prepare myself, no matter what it is, I crush up 10-15 fresh garlic parts (usually a whole clove) and add it to my wraps or any food or even dips I make. To the salmon/tuna or even my cheese dips, I add chili-garlic sauce, chili powder, chopped jalapenos, mayonnaise, and the fresh garlic cloves. I have developed a palate for spicy, tangy foods now, as you can see, from when I was at D Ray James private prison in Folkston, Georgia, where virtually all my colleagues were Hispanic and ate spicy food.

My Mennonite Canadian friend Peter, whom I shared all my meals with at D Ray James, was supposed to be released on August 8th, a few days ago, and deported back to Canada, where his wife and nine children were eagerly awaiting his return from 21 months in prison for bringing a van of weed into the USA from Mexico. I hope Peter will contact you to say hello now that he is back in Canada. Give him my best wishes and let him know how I am doing. I was also satisfied to learn that my good friends Mike and Brad are doing as best as they can at DRJ, though that horrible place is as dysfunctional as ever by the sounds of it, with the nearby Okefenokee Swamp burning out of control for much of the summer, causing blackened smoke in the air. As you have found out, the air conditioning there has been dysfunctional for almost a month, and the temperatures there are the same as here, about 100 degrees F (38 degrees C) each day. Ugh!

I've got many good books to read. Right now I'm reading the daily diary travel book "Sahara" by Michael Palin. Palin is the former Monty Python member who, in the earlier part of the last decade, did travel shows for the BBC television, and "Sahara" was one of the episodes. Throughout the four-month trip, Palin wrote a daily diary and it is very well done. I am also reading a comic book reprint of a war comic series from 1965-1966 called “Blazing Combat”, a beautifully illustrated comic series done by the great artists of that period, Alex Toth, Reed Crandall and Wally Wood, and all stories written by Archie Goodwin. They’re modeled a great deal on the EC Comics (anti) war comics from 1951-1955 called “Frontline Combat” and “Two-Fisted Tales”. Those latter two titles were classic stories written by one of my favorite artist/writers of comics ever, Harvey Kurtzman.

I just finished the popular novel, “The Help”, which is being released as a movie this month. As you know, because you recommended this book to me, it takes place in 1962-1964 in Jackson, the capital of Mississippi near here. It’s extremely well written, but is probably a little too satisfying in that chick-lit way, in that there are only two villains, a mean old white lady and an abusive wife-beating drunk black man, while all others are saintly or redeemable characters meant to make all readers of both races and genders feel good about the world (today) by the end. This is the secret of its success, along with its deft ear for dialect and story telling.


Oh Miss, today was special! In the afternoon I met with John, a drummer, vocalist and songwriter for the other rock band “Out of Bounds”, who composed and put together a terrific song called Prince of Pot. I'm having them write up the music for that one so the BC Marijuana Party “Jams in the Key of Green” jam night MC Adam Bowen can perform it with a band for YouTube.

I was telling John about learning some reggae songs today with Terry, and that I thought one song went notes A, D, E (as it turns out, neither “Stir It Up” nor “I Shot The Sheriff” go A, D, E.).

So John plays the notes A, D, E (John was playing rhythm guitar while I did the bass). Then I play the notes A, D, E, E, E, (the first E a quarter note, the second two E's are eighth notes, that's a full measure in 4/4 time). Then we play it four times, then a full measure of G, then a full measure of E, another measure of G, then go E, D, C (with a 1/4 note, and two eighths on C), and then back to the lick of A, D, E, E, E.

Well, that sounds pretty cool. I said, "That sounds neat." He says, "What do you feel when you hear that music?"

And I say, "It’s funny you should say that, because that music makes me feel like the sun is rising, the desert is ahead, the day is just beginning."

He says, "Well, lets write a song".

And over the next three hours we compose a song with an intro, two verses, a solo – John does the solo, I do 10 measures on the bass that are A, D, E, E, E (four measures), then G, C, D, D, D, (two measures) and then back to A, D, E, E, E (for four more measures), all while John does this excellent solo that plays off my bass riff – then two more verses, with lyrics about a guy waking up, being nagged at, ditching his girlfriend and all his material possessions and driving off into the desert, where he clears his head, looks to the future, picks up a girl on the highway, and finds that she sure is pretty and fun, but perhaps no different from the one he left behind.

The lyrics are fun, they rhyme, they aren't profound, though I may rewrite them to be so, but I have always worked from the presumption I can't compose music at all, that I have no talent musically (I just like to play stuff I'm able to memorize because I love making music), and that I really just am determined enough so I can play songs. So those three hours were really fun. I made suggestions to the song that improved it, and I had a hand in the lyrics, and my playing was very good. It was a terrific exercise and I felt really excited to start from scratch and actually co-produce a song from nothing, a song that was kind of cool sounding. It’s really the first time I have ever co-created a song in a band situation. Yay!


When I got back from the visit we had on Sunday the 14th, I wasn't feeling so good, but I thought I'd let it settle. I had the uninspired food they served for dinner, and then I went to the yard and got my bass (I always use B-4, it’s reserved for me). I met up with the singer of “I Shot The Sheriff” and we got some things straightened out and worked on the song, and then I was given “No Woman, No Cry” to do as well, so I have three songs, which is great.

Then a fellow came in with ten songs from the 1950s and early '60s, and showed them to Terry, who strummed the chords as I did the bass on them (they were all straightforward and simple bass lines) and this guy sang them. It was great fun playing “Hound Dog”, “Oh Donna”, “Shake, Rattle & Roll”, “It’s Alright Mama”, and other oldies.

So I did 90 minutes of music on the bass tonight and I realize I am getting much better, noticeably, and other people are remarking on it. Plus, Terry did the guitar on “Redemption Song”, a wonderful Marley song, with the singer Smitty of Star (there are two singers in that band – Smitty sings “I Shot The Sheriff”, and Marshall sings “No Woman, No Cry” and “Stir It Up”), so he's singing “Redemption Song”, and I'm singing right along ("Please help me sing these songs of freedom, is all I ever had, redemption songs, these songs of freedom…") and it feels very, very good to sing that song. That song is just one guitar and voice; there is no bass or drums on that song. It’s also the last song Bob Marley recorded.

Then I walked around the track twice, in perfect temperature, nice sunset. I felt much better. So don't worry about me, Miss, I'm over my melancholia. I'm enjoying reading a biography of Phil Ochs called “There But For Fortune”, and learning to play his 1966 song “Cops of the World” – a song that Greg “Marijuana Man” Williams of Pot TV had made a video for years ago, which you introduced, but it was removed from YouTube for music copyright violation. It’s good that YouTube is now just adding links to purchase songs from iTunes instead of removing videos that use copyrighted music! The song “Cops of the World” is from the album Phil Ochs in Concert, performing the song at Carnegie Hall.

I'm changing the lyrics when I sing Cops of the World from “Dump the reds in a pile, boys, Dump the reds in a pile” to “Dump the Arabs in a pile, boys, Dump the Muslims in a pile” to reflect that all the contemporary US military campaigns and support target those people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Iran, Israel. (The original song lyrics are posted below.)

I hope you have a good time speaking at Seattle Hempfest this upcoming weekend (August 19th-21st). The Seattle activists have always been so supportive, and you’ve been given great opportunities to speak many times at the last two Hempfests, so I really appreciate that! Thanks for being strong and taking care of everything, Miss. I love you so much!

Your Rasta Boo,
Marc Emery

Send Marc mail! The address and guidelines are posted on the front page of

Cops of the World

Come, get out of the way, boys
E A E E7
Quick, get out of the way
You'd better watch what you say, boys
G C B7
Better watch what you say
We've rammed in your harbor and tied to your port
And our pistols are hungry and our tempers are short
E B7 E A Abm A
So bring your daughters around to the port
B7 E
'Cause we're the Cops of the World, boys
B7 E
We're the Cops of the World

We pick and choose as please, boys
Pick and choose as please
You'd best get down on your knees, boys
Best get down on your knees
We're hairy and horny and ready to shack
We don't care if you're yellow or black
Just take off your clothes and lie down on your back
'Cause we're the Cops of the World, boys
We're the Cops of the World

Our boots are needing a shine, boys
Boots are needing a shine
But our Coca-cola is fine, boys
Coca-cola is fine
We've got to protect all our citizens fair
So we'll send a battalion for everyone there
And maybe we'll leave in a couple of years
'Cause we're the Cops of the World, boys
We're the Cops of the World

Dump the reds in a pile, boys
Dump the reds in a pile
You'd better wipe of that smile, boys
Better wipe off that smile
We'll spit through the streets of the cities we wreck
We'll find you a leader that you can't elect
Those treaties we signed were a pain in the neck
'Cause we're the Cops of the World, boys
We're the Cops of the World

Clean the johns with a rag, boys
Clean the johns with a rag
If you like you can use your flag, boys
If you like you can use your flag
We've got too much money we're looking for toys
And guns will be guns and boys will be boys
But we'll gladly pay for all we destroy
'Cause we're the Cops of the World, boys
We're the Cops of the World

Please stay off of the grass, boys
Please stay off of the grass
Here's a kick in the ass, boys
Here's a kick in the ass
We'll smash down your doors, we don't bother to knock
We've done it before, so why all the shock?
We're the biggest and toughest kids on the block
'Cause we're the Cops of the World, boys
We're the Cops of the World

When we butchered your son, boys
When we butchered your son
Have a stick of our gum, boys
Have a stick of our bubble-gum
We own half the world, oh say can you see
The name for our profits is democracy
So, like it or not, you will have to be free
'Cause we're the Cops of the World, boys
We're the Cops of the World