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Canada: Bring Marc Emery Home!

submitted by on July 27, 2013

Marc Emery’s application to be transferred home to Canada for the remainder of his prison sentence was approved by the United States Department of Justice!

Now we need the Canadian Public Safety Minister to review and approve his application, too. Please encourage Canadian Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney to approve Marc’s request to come home!


Please phone the Public Safety Minister’s office and politely request that Canadian citizen Marc Emery be approved for transfer home to Canada from the United States, now that the U.S. Justice Department has approved his request to leave their prison system and finish his sentence at home in Canada. Click here for the Public Safety Minister contact page

(613) 944-4875

(613) 954-5186

Letters are also encouraged, and should request an official response from the Minister with respect to Marc’s transfer application. (Postage not required within Canada)

Minister of Public Safety

House of Commons

Ottawa, ON

K1A 0A6


Please also contact the Minister’s various Member of Parliament offices, so he receives numerous messages, regardless of where he is working:

Hill Office
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6
Telephone: 613-992-7434
Fax: 613-995-6856


Constituency Office(s)
115 President Kennedy Road, Suite 101 (Main Office)
Lévis, Québec
G6V 6C8
Telephone: 418-830-0500
Fax: 418-830-0504


1516-D Route 277
Lac-Etchemin, Québec
G0R 1S0
Telephone: 418-625-2626
Fax: 418-625-4663 


For some points to include in your phone call or letter, please review the facts of Marc and his case below, and more on this page (click here).

• Marc Emery is a Canadian citizen who never went to the USA as a seed seller.

• Marc Emery operated his seed business in Canada at all times, with no American branches or employees.

• Marc Emery declared his income from marijuana seed sales on his income tax, and paid over $580,000 to the Federal and Provincial governments from 1999 to 2005 (when he was arrested and the seed business shut down).

• Marc Emery is the leader of the British Columbia Marijuana Party, a registered political party that has regularly participated in elections.

• Marc Emery has never been arrested or convicted of manufacturing or distributing marijuana in Canada, as he only sold seeds.

• Marc Emery gave away all of the profits from his seed business – millions of dollars – to drug law reform lobbyists, political parties, global protests and rallies, court litigation, medical marijuana initiatives, drug rehabilitation clinics, and other legitimate legal activities and organizations in Canada, the United States, and countries worldwide.

• Marc Emery helped found the United States Marijuana Party, state-level political parties, and international political parties in countries such as Israel and New Zealand.

• Marc Emery has been known as a book seller and activist in Canada for 30 years, fighting against censorship laws and other social issues long before he became a drug law reform activist.

• Marc Emery has been a media figure for 20 years with regards to marijuana and drug law reform. He is very well-known to Canadian, American and international news media organizations.

• Marc Emery operated his business in full transparency and honesty since its inception in 1994, even sending his marijuana seed catalogue inside his magazine “Cannabis Culture” to each Member of Parliament in Canada every two months for years.

What did Marc do?
Marc openly ran “Marc Emery Direct Marijuana Seeds” from a store in downtown Vancouver and through mail-order from 1994 to 2005, with the goal to fund anti-prohibition and pro-marijuana activists and organizations across North America and the world.
Marc always paid all provincial and federal taxes on his income and made no secret to anyone of his seed-selling business. Marc was raided by police for selling seeds and bongs in 1996 and again in 1997 and 1998, but despite the seizure of his stock by police, the Canadian courts sentenced Emery only to fines and no jail time.
Canadian police then pressured the American Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to launch a cross-border attack against Marc. They arranged to have him charged under America’s much more severe laws against seeds.
Marc was arrested in Canada by American agents in 2005, and originally faced a minimum 30-year sentence in the US, with the possibility of life behind bars. After years of legal efforts, and ensuring his two co-accused received no prison time, Marc made a plea-bargain for a five-year sentence in the US. Marc had originally secured a deal with US officials to serve his five-year sentence in Canada, but the Conservative Government of Canada refused to allow this, and forced him to be extradited to the US.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration admitted on the day of Marc Emery’s arrest that his investigation and extradition were politically motivated, designed to target the marijuana legalization efforts and organizations that Emery spearheaded and financed for over a decade.Here is the original text of DEA Administrator Karen Tandy’s statement released on July 29th, 2005 (also available in its original letterhead form by clicking here):“Today’s DEA arrest of Marc Scott Emery, publisher of Cannabis Culture Magazine, and the founder of a marijuana legalization group — is a significant blow not only to the marijuana trafficking trade in the U.S. and Canada, but also to the marijuana legalization movement.

His marijuana trade and propagandist marijuana magazine have generated nearly $5 million a year in profits that bolstered his trafficking efforts, but those have gone up in smoke today.

Emery and his organization had been designated as one of the Attorney General’s most wanted international drug trafficking organizational targets — one of only 46 in the world and the only one from Canada.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars of Emery’s illicit profits are known to have been channeled to marijuana legalization groups active in the United States and Canada. Drug legalization lobbyists now have one less pot of money to rely on.”

On May 10th, 2010, Marc was ordered extradited by Justice Minister Rob Nicholson. He was taken to the USA on May 20th, 2010 and has been serving his sentence in a private for-profit prison in Georgia from late 2010 to April 2011. He was moved to Yazoo City medium security federal prison in Mississippi in April 2011 and has been detained there since.

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.


The Jodie Emery Show – May 9, 2013

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The BC provincial election is only a few days away and Jodie has been busy campaigning with the help of many volunteers in her riding of Vancouver-West End. She encourages everyone to get out and VOTE GREEN ON MAY 14! Visit Jodie's campaign page at

It will be three years ago on May 10 that Marc was surrendered for extradition. He now has 425 days left of his U.S. prison sentence. The paperwork has been filed with the US Justice Dept. requesting his transfer back to Canada. If you'd like to write to Marc, visit for the details — he'd love to hear from you.

Jodie was in Vancouver for the Global Marijuana March held on May 4 and she tells us all about it. Look for pics and videos of the event at http://www.Pot.TV and

Jodie and CC Editor Jeremiah Vandermeer will be off to Toronto to attend the Treating Yourself Expo on May 24, 25 & 26. Cannabis Culture Headquarters will have a booth and Jeremiah will be broadcasting live on http://Pot.TV

For info about the TY Expo go to

Shop online at or visit the world-famous Marc Emery's Cannabis Culture Headquarters store at 307 West Hastings Street in Vancouver. We're open 7 days a week. "We've got everything you need but the weed!"

Stay informed, stay involved at:

The Jodie Emery Show – May 2, 2013

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Marc's transfer paperwork is in Washington D.C., and he has 432 days left on his prison sentence. With approval of the transfer back to Canada, his time could be cut by 6 months, so we all are hoping for the best. Marc's blog about his prison band Yazoo got an article in the Vancouver Metro newspaper – see it here:…

Jodie also hit the papers with her letter to the editor having been published in both of our major newspapers in BC, The Vancouver Sun and The Province. The letter was in response to an article about police and "drug impaired driving", and Jodie's explanation about how impairment is proven by performance. She reads the letter to us.

There's so much is happening with Jodie's election campaign, running in the British Columbia provincial election, as the BC Green Party candidate in Vancouver-West End. We all went out to hold up signs today (and many days!) and Jodie's been taking part in events and debates and media interviews. You can see all of that and more at her web page

Saturday May 4, 2013 is The Global Marijuana March. Here in Vancouver we will gather at the Art Gallery at High Noon and the march starts at 2:00 p.m. Where ever you are, try to get and show your support for changing the cannabis laws. Check out all of the worldwide news coverage on the Global Marijuana March at and

Shop online at or visit the world-famous Marc Emery's Cannabis Culture Headquarters store at 307 West Hastings Street in Vancouver. We're open 7 days a week.

"We've got everything you need except the weed!"

Stay informed, stay involved at:

Watch thousands of hours of Pot TV at:

The Jodie Emery Show – April 26, 2013

submitted by on

We're a day late with the show, but much is happening in Jodie's busy life. She's got great new photos of Marc with his band mates in the studio to share and Marc's new blog is up at

420 here in Vancouver was a massive success with probably 30,000 supporters in attendance at the Art Gallery. We had a full line up of music, circus performers and speakers all day with a huge celbration at 4:20. Look for photos from Jeremiah at and videos coming at

Vice Magazine has finished their documentary about pot on the west coast and our Cannabis Culture is featured with Jodie, David Malmo-Levine and Dana Larsen all being interviewed. You can see that at

Jodie continues to be very busy with her election campaign. Last night she attended an all candidates debate and she tells us all about it. You can visit her page at: to find out more and show your support. Vote Green May 14!

Another winner is picked from the BubbleBag to will freemac prizes. To have your chance send an email to:

Shop online at or visit the world-famous Marc Emery's Cannabis Culture Headquarters store at 307 West Hastings Street in Vancouver. We're open 7 days a week.

"We've got everything you need except the weed!"

Stay informed, stay involved at:

Marc Continues his Band Performances in Yazoo Prison

submitted by on May 1, 2013

Marc Emery prison band YazooI'm pleased to report that my previous blog, on the origins of 4/20 celebrations, appeared on the Huffington Post under my name. My 4/20 blog was online at for three weeks in the run-up to the worldwide celebration on Saturday, April 20, which attracted a larger attendance and more media throughout North America than ever before.

This blog was delayed for some weeks as a consequence. It's a much more personal piece about my rock and roll band here in an American federal prison, and goes with the new photos of me and my band in the prison music studio. The name of the band is Yazoo, and our most recent concert was on Saturday, March 16th. It was our 13th concert since our first performance on July 2nd, 2011. The show was done under gloriously sunny skies from 12:30pm to 3:00pm in the 'inner' rec yard, in temperatures of about 75 degrees Fahrenheit (23C) – a perfect day, and we all felt it was one of best concerts ever. This is our set list for that show:

Boys Are Back in Town (Thin Lizzy)
Last Resort (Papa Roach)
Blues Deluxe (Joe Bonnamesa)
Black Magic Woman (Santana)
Crazy Train (Ozzy)
Enter Sandman (Metallica)
Heartbreaker/Living Loving Maid (Led Zeppelin)
Kryptonite (3 Doors Down)
Green River (Credence Clearwater Revival)
Texas Flood (Stevie Ray Vaughan)
Running Down a Dream (Tom Petty)
Come Together (Beatles)
Plush (Stone Temple Pilots)
Stormy Monday (Allman Brothers version)
Jumpin Jack Flash (Rolling Stones)
Sunshine of Your love (Cream)
Sweet Home Alabama (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
Pride & Joy (Stevie Ray)
Purple Haze (Jimi Hendrix)
Voodoo Child (Jimi Hendrix)

Marc prison band yazooIn early March, we were able to take photographs of our band performing in the band rehearsal room (the photos that accompany this blog). All the equipment in the music program, and all equipment or recreational items used by the inmates, are paid for by the inmates expenditures at the commissary (the inmate grocery store). After all costs of service and goods sold at the commissary are deducted, the profits of the inmate store are used to finance all recreational activities in the prison, including televisions, cable programming, all athletic equipment, music equipment, pool tables, exercise equipment, and so on.

My band gets to use the band rehearsal room for 3-4 hours on Thursdays, and we practice in the rec area every day for 1-3 hours daily individually or in pairs. Our songs are done note-for-note like the originals, except we usually have a solo by Terry or Don, and then an outro solo by the other, so a number of our songs will have two solos (like Enter Sandman, Voodoo Child, Texas Flood, Running Down a Dream, and Stormy Monday). Most of the others are identical to the recorded version, except we develop an ending in the case of a recorded version that fades out.

Our vocalist for most songs is Chap (Robert Chappell), whom you can see in the main band photo (at the top of this blog) singing 'Red House' (Jimi Hendrix) in the band rehearsal room. Chap is an excellent guitarist and a terrific bass player, much better than me, but fortunately (for me!) he is busy doing the vocal chores for the band, and plays the lead or rhythm guitar when Don sings.

Doing back-up vocalist and playing rhythm/lead guitar is Don Salisbury, whom you can see singing in the photo to the right; in that instance he is singing 'Green River' by CCR. Don is working on hard on his singing and gets two to three songs to sing in each set. Usually though, Don alternates with guitarist Terry for rhythm (when Terry is playing lead) and lead (when Terry is playing rhythm). Don's forte is the blues guitar, and Don often reminds me of how Eric Clapton plays.

Marc prison band YazooOur drummer, Jermaine Moss, known to all here as Sapp, is a remarkably talented drummer with great instincts. Unlike the rest of the band, who get to practice up to several hours a day on our instruments or voices outside of the studio, there is no drum practice opportunity so he gets only the two and a half hours weekly at our band rehearsal, and performance at our concert. Yet Sapp is so talented he can pick up an entire song by hearing it just once, or often having never heard the song, he intuitively understands where a song is supposed to go, and makes playing bass so much easier for me, as he cues me on each change in a song. Getting an action shot for Sapp was difficult, because the snare and kick drums are out of view, and only one shot out of several caught Sapp with the drum sticks in motion.

Terry Griffith is our lead guitarist, but Terry is really the lead musician in the band. Terry is the most accomplished guitarist among three excellent guitarists, and the teacher to the others, as he has played for almost 30 years and understands scales and guitar theory the most. Terry played professionally in bands for about 15 years on the outside, most notably in a band called Rags & Bush Doctor, a Spokane-area band. Terry can play any kind of genre very well, and is also an outstanding bass player and composer of bass lines. When I have to come up with a bass line to a song, and no bass sheet music exists for it, Terry will listen to the song for 30 minutes and then be able to teach me how the bass lines go.

Yazoo prison band While all the others have ten years to near 30 years experience as musicians, I have only 22 months experience on the bass. Prior to that I had never picked up an instrument in my life, nor did I think I had any talent to ever play an instrument. I may not have much talent really, but I have a very good memory and a real desire to play.

I am thrilled every day to actually be in a band with musicians of this outstanding caliber. But their ability to quickly learn a song puts pressure on me to catch on quickly. So I have tended to sacrifice my theory education (major and minor scales, pentatonic scales, modes) in order to spend my time learning songs.

Although I use a Carvin electric bass in the band rehearsal studio and in our outdoor concerts, I practice daily on these big unwieldy acoustic basses. I don't have the finger memory that Chap, Don and Terry have; when they play they rarely look at their guitars, they know where their fingers are and where they are going to. I can look away for a period of time on a simpler bass line, as in Running Down A Dream (Tom Petty), but something like Black Magic Woman, Stormy Monday, Texas Flood, Heartbreaker, etc., I cannot look away from the bass because I will not hit the correct fret with accuracy if I'm not looking.

So that's why most photos of me are me staring at the bass. I know in performance you are supposed to look at the audience, but if I do that for any length of time, I will hit some sour notes – and boy, when you hit a wrong note, you can sure hear it! When anyone in the band hits a wrong note, or wrong chord, it's very noticeable to the other musicians.

Our next concert is around the Memorial Day weekend, likely on Saturday, May 25th. We have added a considerable number of songs to our repertoire since our last show in March. I have been practicing about three hours a day and the increased practice time is paying off. Here is our set list for the Memorial Day show:

Marc Emery prison band Yazoo1. Panama (Van Halen)
2. Sharp Dressed Man (ZZ Top)
3. Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen (Santana)
4. Enter Sandman (Metallica)
5. Heartbreaker/Living Loving Maid (Led Zeppelin)
6. Peace of Mind (Boston)
7. Last Resort (Papa Roach)
8. White Wedding (Billy Idol)
9. Blues Deluxe (Joe Bonnamesa)
10. Your Disease (Saliva)
11. Classical Gas (Mason Williams) solo by Terry
12. Green River (Credence Clearwater Revival) Don on vocals/Chap on guitar
13. Tuesday's Gone (Lynyrd Skynyrd) Don on vocals/Chap on guitar
14. Only God Knows Why (Kid Rock) Don on vocals/Chap guitar
15. Boys are Back in Town (Thin Lizzy)
16. Come As You Are (Nirvana)
17. You Really Got Me/Ain't Talking Bout Love (Van Halen medley)
18. Crazy Train (Ozzy Osbourne)
19. Texas Flood (Stevie Ray Vaughan)
20. Whole Lotta Love (Led Zeppelin)
21. Voodoo Child (Led Zeppelin)

prison band Yazoo My band needs guitar tab books, which are collections of songs in sheet music that we can learn songs from, that we will later perform. If you, dear reader, would like to send a guitar or bass tab book from Amazon or any book store (as all materials must come from a store of some kind, since individuals cannot send anything personally by mail except letters and photos), please check out my wishlist.

Any music tab books there that you care to send would be greatly appreciated. My future ambition is that the songs I learn to play here will be performed when I’m in a band at the BCMP Lounge, once I have returned home. And then you can see me play the bass in a rock and roll band that the free world will be able to hear!

CLICK HERE for Marc's mailing address at


The Jodie Emery Show – April 18, 2013

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It's almost April 20th – 4/20! We hope everyone has a safe and peaceful cannabis celebration and prohibition protest. With now only 446 days left on Marc's prison sentence, you can read about the origins of the April 20th rally in his blog at and – or click here:…

Check out for all of the info about Vancouver's huge event. You find pictures, videos band line-ups and much more. Watch the entire day broadcast live at on the day of the event at and

If you're not in Vancouver, go to to find out what's happening in or near your town or city across Canada.

Jodie tells us a bit about her quick one-day visit to Halifax, where she filmed a movie scene for the upcoming Trailer Park Boys 3 feature film – appearing as herself!

Jodie's very busy with her election campaign for the provincial election coming up on May 14th. You can visit her page at to find out more and show your support.

There's lots of media ahead with Jodie appearing on Global BC1 at 9:00am Friday, and then to CKNW for the Bill Good Show across BC at 11:00am, as well as doing more media with the Vancouver Observer and News 1130, getting her chance to spread our message about legalizing cannabis and our purpose for 420.

Jodie chooses two more winners of a Free Marc t-shirt, stickers and a pin, along with a bonus prize! Get your name in the BubbleBag by sending an email to:

Shop online at or visit the world-famous Marc Emery's Cannabis Culture Headquarters store at 307 West Hastings Street in Vancouver. We're open 7 days a week. "We've got everything you need except the weed!"

Stay informed, stay involved at:

Watch thousands of hours of Pot TV at:

The Jodie Emery Show – April 4, 2013

submitted by on April 19, 2013

Marc's application to transfer back to Canada goes in to the United States Department of Justice in the coming days. You can show your support by writing a letter on his behalf. To get all the details, go to:

With 460 days left on his prison sentence, Marc is once again has a letter published in our local Province newspaper. This makes 14 of 14 letters he has had published since he has been imprisoned. Entitled "Call For Law Reforms", you can read the letter at:…

Jodie's campaign running for the BC Green Party in our upcoming election is gaining momentum. On Monday the 8th she will be given an official "potential MLA (Member of the Legislature)" tour of the only hospital in downtown Vancouver, St. Paul's Hospital, which is suffering without the funding they've been promised for so long. To find out more information about Jodie's campaign, go to – you can show support with a donation, from anywhere in the world! Help Jodie bring attention to ending prohibition as BC heads for the provincial election on May 14th.

April 20th – the annual 4/20 rally – is fast approaching, and we're looking forward to a huge turn out and a big protest here in Vancouver. Go to to find info about it all. The April 20th celebration smoke-out was started by employees of Marc long ago, and he wrote about it in his recent blog here:…

Look for Jodie to appear in a major motion picture! The new "Trailer Park Boys 3" film is currently being shot and Jodie has been invited to the movie set in Halifax to appear in a scene as herself. They'll fly her down next week for filming, then she's off to visit Marc again in Mississippi. (NOTE: There will be no show made on Thursday April 11th because of Jodie's travel schedule.)

Another winner is chosen to receive a FreeMarc t-shirts, stickers and a pin. Jodie won't be here next week because of her acting commitments, but you can still enter for the weekly draw by sending an email to: She'll chose two winners next time so make sure your name's in the BubbleBag.

If you want to plan a 4/20 event in Canada or find out more about what's planned in your area, go to for info about what's happening across Canada.

Shop online at or visit the world-famous Marc Emery's Cannabis Culture Headquarters store at 307 West Hastings Street in Vancouver. We're open 7 days a week.

"We've got everything you need except the weed!"

Stay informed, stay involved at:

Watch thousands of hours of Pot TV at:

The Origins of April 20th as a Day of Celebrating Cannabis

submitted by on April 4, 2013

Marc speaks at a rally in VancouverThe biggest celebration day in the cannabis culture is April 20. The April 20 (4/20) celebration originally started in the mid 1970s as the time of day after school, 4:20 pm, for high school students in San Rafael, California to meet to smoke pot. The phrase "I'll see at you at 4:20" became code for, "I'll be there to smoke a joint with you after classes are over".

As these students graduated and moved beyond the parochial boundaries of high school, the use of the term 4:20 showed up discreetly on a few California college campuses, but more noticeably among the ritualistic canon of the 'Deadhead' culture – that is, followers of the band The Grateful Dead. These fans made a lifestyle of following the band tour across America (and Europe), consuming LSD and lots of pot before, during and after these often-lengthy concerts, and were the first to incorporate the term '4:20' into every day vernacular.

By the mid-1980's, an any Dead tour, or Rainbow gathering, you could hear the usually rhetorical question "What time is it?" and the response was, if you were hip, "Four twenty!", no matter what time it was according to Greenwich Mean Time (the official clock time). Then a joint would be produced and smoked. At the actual 4:20pm, a cry went out, "Four-twennnttttttyyyyyy!", as it does now a million times every day upon every hour as 4:20pm occurs in each consecutive time zone across the earth. It's no exaggeration to say that a cry of "Four-Twenty!" is exhorted in 2013 in every hamlet, village, town, city, campus, on the planet every day at the magical time of twenty-after-four in the afternoon.

But the advent of worldwide celebrations taking up an entire day on April 20 is a bit more recent in our cultural history.

On July 7, 1994, I opened the HEMP BC store at 324 West Hastings. This was a historic development, as the Canadian government had banned the distribution of all marijuana books, magazines, literature, bongs, pipes and all aspects of the cannabis culture in 1987 – ending the distribution of High Times in Canada, closing all pipe and bong and "head" shops in all of Canada, and even banning the distribution of Jack Herer's vital ground-breaking work "The Emperor Wears No Clothes".

Underneath the big HEMP BC sign at 324 West Hastings was the slogan "The Marijuana & Hemp Center For Greater Vancouver". My first employees were Ian Hunter, a local activist, and two 'Deadheads' named Danna Rozek and Cindy Lassu. All of our behavior in those days was considered revolutionary. Everything we sold was illegal, but we proudly said "All of these pipes are for smoking marijuana. We do not endorse tobacco use." We smuggled High Times magazine into Canada and sold the current and numerous back issues, all illegal. We flaunted smoking marijuana from opening at 10:00am to closing at 9:0opm every day in the store. We invited our customers to partake with us.

We were an instant sensation. We started selling seeds three months later, and we began producing the "Marijuana & Hemp Newsletter" magazine immediately, which eventually became Cannabis Culture. In issue #3 we produced the most popular article ever to be printed in all of the 79 issues of that magazine (five as Marijuana & Hemp Newsletter, twelve as Cannabis Canada, 62 as Cannabis Culture, all from 1994-2009), "How to Open Your Own Hemp Store – And Start a Revolution in your Community!" in the summer of 1995 (see the updated version from 2006 here and see the original article here). Within a year of that article, over 30 "hemp stores" were opened across Canada, some remain in business to this day, such as Toronto Hemp Company, and Hemp Ware in St. John's.

Vancouver 420 in 2004Within days of opening, I became aware of a peculiar daily phenomenon I had never experienced as a pot smoker in my hometown London, Ontario. From December 21, 1980, the day I first smoked pot, to July 2, 1992, when I moved to Asia to live for 20 months, I had never heard anyone yell out "Four Twenty".

I arrived in Vancouver on March 1, 1994, completely new to the west coast and Vancouver, and in May I met Ian Hunter. On a few occasions I had heard him say, "It's 4:20, everyone," to any nearby, and he'd light up a joint. I thought, "what strange creatures these west-coasters be!" Ian was a known hempster hipster in Vancouver. Later he would open the still-operating Sacred Herb in January, 1995. Ian died in a nighttime boating accident in 1999 after smoking DMT by himself in a small boat, falling out of the easily-rocked vessel, and drowning. Ian died way too young, but I was told he washed upon the shore with a beatific smile upon his face.

Ian explained the 4:20 daily ritual to me, but I didn't think much of it at first. However, when I hired the dread-Deadheaded Danna Rozek to be the store manager in August 1994, she hired fellow Deadhead Cindy Lassu, and with Ian they became the nucleus of the HEMP BC store staff. We smoked pot in the store non-stop. At 4:20, all three would yell, "Four-twenty, smoke 'em if you got 'em!" – which seemed redundant to me, since we were always smoking anyway, but it became a fun loud exclamation every day. I got used to that afternoon celebration, and I noticed that most customers to our store were unfamiliar with it, but it quickly became popular in our limited circle of customers and within the small but growing culture we were part of.

One day in early March 1995, Danna and Cindy came to me at my desk at HEMP BC, and we had this exchange I remember vividly. Danna said, "Marc, we'd like to have a 'Four-Twenty' celebration on April 20. We'd like your permission and approval to put on a Four-Twenty concert and rally and fun time in Victory Square next door."

Victory Square – which we were calling “Hemp-For-Victory Square” (named after the re-discovered 1942 US Department of Agriculture film "Hemp for Victory" that Jack Herer had found after years of the US government denying its existence), and at that time a staple in the nascent hemp and legalization movement – was a park fifty feet down the street from HEMP BC, at the southwest corner of Cambie Street and West Hastings.

Vancouver 420 in 2008"What do you mean? A rally at 4:20 that day, on April 20?" I asked in clarification.

"No, an all-day celebration of Four-Twenty, on Four-Twenty, because April 20 is like, Four-Twenty, get it?" Danna further explained, though I had 'gotten' it.

"You mean, hold a celebration, a party, rally, good time in the park, all day on April 20?!" I was aghast. "Could we get away with that?"

"Yeah, that’s exactly what we mean," said Danna, representing her and Cindy. "I'm sure we could get away with it. We could try anyway. I'm sure it'll work."

As I come from an Ayn Rand capitalist-hardwork-ethos background (since October 1979), this idea that we'd enshrine a whole day of celebrating cannabis by smoking pot for several hours in a public square seemed outrageous, outlandish, and playing into the slacker-stoner stereotype. "No, we can't do that." I said.

"Yes, we could!" Danna and Cindy immediately responded with a very enthusiastic emphasis.

"No, I can't condone that." I reiterated.

Thirty minutes later the two came back to my desk as I was working. "Even if you don't approve, can we go ahead and do it anyway?" they implored.

I had always believed in taking initiative, and admired self-starters. I considered them for a few moments, and said, "Yes."

They both jumped up and down and embraced each other and cried "Yay!!!", and then they immediately asked, "If we organize it, will you help?"

"What does that mean?" I asked.

"Well, we drew up a budget and we'll need $200, and electrical cables from the store here to the square to provide power for the amplification system, and we'll need to work at the park most of the day, so will you help in those things and whatever else might come up?"

I remember how these two very hippie-like young women were making me part of their 4/20 conspiracy. I used to sit at my desk, puffing pot, wearing white business shirts with a tie and vest, akin to an older Alex Keaton (played by Michael J. Fox) from Family Ties, with John Lennon glasses at the time.

"Yes. Put your plan together. Tell the rest of the staff," (by then 8 people) "and we'll make sure it happens." Again, Danna Rozek and Cindy jumped up and down embraced and cheered.

Marc speaks at Vancouver 420 in 2009So April 20, 1995 came around. It was a beautiful sunny day. Thick cables ran from every electrical outlet at HEMP BC out the front door and east on Hastings for about 70 feet (and across cobble-stoned Hamilton Street) into Victory Square park, where a stage was erected, musicians retained, speakers invited, even some vending booths set up. A banner over the stage welcomed the people "4/20 Day in Vancouver".

The proceedings started at noon with about 50 people watching and tentatively smoking. By 2:00pm there were 150 there, many now sitting on blankets and sheets on the ground, more people comfortably ensconced for the afternoon, and a subtle waft of cannabis floating in the air. So far, no police were visible, and a certain comfort set it. At the peak at about 4:00pm, there were about 250 curious people watching the musical entertainers and a different speaker exhorting the benefits of cannabis every 15 to 30 minutes. It went to 7:00pm when the daylight faded, and at no point did any police come by, even though Victory Square park is at a main intersection, the very busy Cambie and Hastings streets. The day was a total success. No one was arrested, everyone had fun – a tradition in Vancouver had begun.

One of the speakers at this first public April 20 gathering was then-editor of Cannabis Culture (then Cannabis Canada) magazine, Dana Larsen, who has continued to be a major activist in Canada. He is currently coordinating the campaign, which seeks to have a referendum placed before the voters of British Columbia to decriminalize marijuana possession. I was also one of the original speakers, along with Ian Hunter, Rev. Leroy Campbell, and Danna Rozek.

The following year, in 1996, the Vancouver 4/20 was again organized by HEMP BC staff and I at Victory Square, and the park was largely occupied to capacity with over 500 people there at its peak, with a much greater concentration of cannabis smoking going on. In 1997, we decided to move the celebration to the plaza at the Vancouver Art Gallery in downtown Vancouver's business and shopping district, where it has continued to expand its size, attendance and smoking hours each year.

Vancouver 420 in 2010In 1997, a thousand people attended, and it remaining about 1,000-1,500 people at its peak at 4:20 each year until about 2004, when it hit 3,000. Then it hit 5,000 people in 2005, and it was a noticeable increase. Traffic on the main corridor West Georgia Street was blockaded by police. YouTube’s introduction and the ability to share videos online popularized the April 20 smokeout rally idea on the internet, which began to inspire other cities around the world to organize their own April 20 events.

By 2008, about 8,000 people crowded the plaza by 4:20, and Howe Street and Georgia Street were sealed off by the City. In 2010, it is possible 10,000 people attended at the peak. People are present from sunrise to after sunset. And on April 20 last year, there were 20,000 people packed onto and around the Vancouver Art Gallery grounds at 4:20pm.

An open farmer's market has been very much a part of the celebration since 2004, and now it is the most remarkable phenomenon you can see anywhere, with dozens of cannabis vendors selling – showcasing! – cannabis wares of every sort. The smoking starts now at about 8:00am and continues to about 8:00pm. After 4:00, when the activist community organizers on the now-huge stage coordinate the joint toss and count down to 4:20 pm, the resulting cloud from 20,000+ people all smoking joints and bongs simultaneously and then exhaling is nothing short of awe-inspiring. See these videos from previous years to see what I mean, at

The tradition that started in Vancouver has, through YouTube and the internet, spread to every place on earth where there are pot smokers, and we are everywhere! This year's 4/20 promises to be easily the largest attended worldwide cannabis celebration in the history of mankind, especially as it falls on a Saturday. Most major cities in Canada have a 4/20 in a public square or major park this year (see the list and add your town at Some will be huge, like Toronto and Vancouver, with stages, scheduled entertainment, vendors, and pot smoking rampant in the entire daylight hours.

This year, Canadian cannabis activist and lottery-winner Bob Erb contributed upwards of $100,000 to assist the organizers across Canada in putting together the most awesome national 4/20 celebration ever mounted. So there are sophisticated 4/20 celebrations in every province and territory in Canada this year, even in Yellowknife in the North West Territory! Ontario has major 4/20 celebrations in London, Windsor, Hamilton, Ottawa, Sudbury, and Toronto. See more information at

Vancouver 420 in 2012April 20 celebrations will go on in major cities in Australia, through all the United States, and in parts of Europe and South America. Many universities and colleges in the world have a 4/20 celebration somewhere on campus that day. The internet has helped the phenomenon of 4/20 become an inspiration to every pot smoker, an opportunity to celebrate our culture.

Following on the 4/20 celebrations, another worldwide event that I sponsored in its infancy from 1998 to 2005, with about $30,000 per year in contributions, was the Global Marijuana March, originally called the Million Man Marijuana March (or Million Marijuana March). The GMM was started by Dana Beal, an activist from New York City whose activities hailed as far back as the early 1970's in the Abbie Hoffman Yippies (Youth International Party). Dana Beal and I both did pioneering work in ibogaine drug addiction rehabilitation work, and Dana established the Global Marijuana March in 1997 and brought me (and High Times Magazine) on board in 1998 to promote it.

The Global Marijuana March has less pot, and more protest and politics. In the United States, 750,000 people are convicted each year for marijuana offenses, and over 22 million Americans alive today have criminal records for marijuana convictions going as far back as 1966. Statistically, 26 million Americans have received criminal records for marijuana convictions since 1966, but four million of those convicted are no longer living.

More political in orientation than the April 20 4/20 celebrations, the Global Marijuana March is a protest march through major cities from a point A to point B. In Canada, the largest of these has been the GMM in Toronto, with over 30,000 participating in recent years. This year, in most places in North America, the GMM is on Saturday May 4, as it is in Vancouver this year. The City of Toronto has this year, for the first time, given permits to both the April 20 gathering at Yonge Street and Dundas Square, and the Toronto Freedom Festival/Global Marijuana March – though this year, the GMM got its approval for Saturday, May 11. Find more information at and

Both events are important in consolidating our presence as a relevant cultural and political force. April 20 is such an eye-opening cultural phenomena throughout the world that all major international, national, regional and local media now cover every aspect of the 4/20 tradition.

From 1995 to 2013, in the space of 18 years (running parallel to the introduction of the “World Wide Web” in September 1994), the 4/20 phenomena has grown exponentially so that as many as ten million people will gather in public places throughout the world to celebrate cannabis by smoking marijuana, despite the prohibition in every jurisdiction on the planet (except the states of Washington and Colorado in the USA). It is expected over 200,000 Canadian cannabis consumers will participate this year, and between one million to two million Americans take part.

To find out where the 4/20 celebrations and Global Marijuana Marches are happening nearest you, go to the following links:

Vancouver & Canada 4/20 websites:

World-wide 4/20 rally list:

2013 Global Marijuana March rally list:

Global Marijuana March Wikipedia page:


Two great 420 Vancouver 2012 videos shot from up high:


Part 2:

The Jodie Emery Show – March 28, 2013

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Jodie updates us about Marc after returning from her latest visit, which included some tornado-like weather in Yazoo City. Marc now has 473 days left on his U.S. prison sentence, but the time is fast approaching that we'll here about his transfer back to Canada. You can write a letter to show your support for his transfer home. All of the details can be found at

Both Jodie and Marc hit the newspapers this week with an article in the Langley Times about Jodie's participation at the Sensible BC public forum held there. You can read the entire article at

You can show your support and find out how you can get involved with Sensible BC to help decriminalize cannabis in BC, go to
Marc was asked, as the leader of the BC Marijuana Party, to write a piece for the Georgia Straight newspaper about the upcoming election. You can read "B.C. Liberals and NDP show their cowardice on marijuana prohibition" at

Go to to support Jodie in her campaign, running for the BC Green Party as the candidate for Vancouver-West End. This week she attended a prestigious gathering of the Burgundy Luncheon Club along with Jane Sterk, leader of the BC Green Party. Jodie spoke at the Burgundy Luncheon Club in November:

On Saturday March 30, Jodie will be having a meet and greet at Melriches Coffee House at 1244 Davie St in Vancouver. Stop by and say hello, Jodie would love to see you!

Plans for the April 20th 4/20 celebrations are well under way. Check out for Vancouver's massive rally, where you can see pictures and videos from past celebrations, pre book vending space, and learn about the history of the event.

If you want to plan a 4/20 event or find out more about what's planned in your area, go to for info about what's happening across Canada.

Shop online at or visit the world-famous Marc Emery's Cannabis Culture Headquarters store at 307 West Hastings Street in Vancouver. We're open 7 days a week. "We've got everything you need except the weed!"

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