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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:

Marc Emery’s Response to Michael Coren of Sun Media

submitted by on December 19, 2012

Marc Emery: Free The People Marc wrote this prison blog in response to an offensive, inaccurate attack column against Jodie, Marc and all marijuana legalization activists written by Michael Coren, a columnist and TV host for “Fox News North” Sun Media. Coren has had Jodie on his TV show three times, but the third appearance resulted in an online backlash against him, leading Coren to write this column.

Watch Jodie’s appearances on Coren’s Sun TV show; the third is the most recent one, which began the controversy (you can also watch the videos at the bottom of this page):

1) November 2011

2) February 2012

3) December 2012

My Response To Michael Coren
By Marc Emery

The two greatest cultures on Earth that have done most to enhance the lives of people of the planet in the last 100 or so years are the Jewish culture and the cannabis culture, two historically demonized and persecuted peoples.

The Jewish culture is remarkable in that such a small relative population currently numbering no more than 30 million people worldwide (a little more than half a percent of the current 7 billion population) has not only endured murderous pogroms* in Europe for 500 years (1450-1950), but in the last century Jewish individuals were recognized with 105 Nobel prizes for achievements in science, economics, chemistry, physics. Consider that Islamic culture, of which there are over one billion people on Earth, or 14 percent of the world's population, has won only 3 Nobel prizes in the same 110 years, and one of those went to Yasser Arafat.

(*Pogrom means an organized campaign by government to demonize and persecute an identified minority with a larger society. Originally a Russian word, it is now part of the English language. It is identified most closely with the persecution of Jews in Russia from 1820 to 1917.)

Jewish people have been prominent in all aspects of business, science (biology, disease control, vaccination, chemistry, physics, electricity, and many more sciences), aerospace, technology, industry, film, journalism, literature, theatre, and computers. The impact by Jewish people in human advancement is stunning by comparison with all other races, religions, or cultures – except one, the Cannabis Culture.

Although Shakespeare, the greatest writer in the English language, was a proven cannabis consumer, the staggering achievements of the cannabis culture are most noticed in the last 60 years, particularly in the fields of music, literature, film, theatre, science, art, technology, computers, architecture, astrophysics, and business.

The number of marijuana consumers on Earth currently number about 200 million, despite the arrest and incarceration of 30 million of the cannabis culture worldwide since 1961, when the first universal law of prohibition (The Single Convention Treaty on Narcotics) was signed into law by all member states of the United Nations. It is believed 60,000 people have been murdered or executed by the police and enforcers of prohibition worldwide for offenses that were exclusive cannabis related, since 1960.

In Canada, since 1967, over two million Canadians have been arrested for cannabis-related offenses of the law; over 300,000 of these individuals served time in jail. In the United States, since 1966, 26 million Americans have been arrested for cannabis related offenses, and over five million have spent time in jail after these arrests. In New York City today, 50,000 citizens are charged with marijuana offenses annually, and in Canada, over 10,000 are charged with marijuana possession offenses annually.

I myself am serving five years in a US federal prison for (ostensibly) selling cannabis seeds from my desk in Vancouver, despite never having left Canada while doing so, but the head of DEA said in the press release the day of my arrest that it was all about my political activity for legalization. In fact, our Freedom of Information Act request to get my file from DEA revealed that they had in fact tracked over $2 million dollars in my contributions to activist organizations and individuals operating in the United States, including ballot initiatives in Washington, DC (1998), Colorado (2000), Arizona (2000), Alaska (2000, 2002, 2004), class action lawsuits against the US government (1999), and over 200 other campaigns.

When I was arrested in 2004 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for passing one joint, and sentenced to three months in provincial prison (much to my surprise, as the police had seized no marijuana, having only a witness who said I passed a joint to a 22-year old person), I had my first incarcerated experience of the drug war and spent much time studying its pernicious underpinnings.

I read then a book I consider the greatest study undertaken to understand the drug war, and it greatly influenced me then, and still does to this day. I have never found a book more insightful as to the true nature of our enemies, the Prohibitionists, as I have in the book DRUG WARRIORS & THEIR PREY by Richard Lawrence Miller. There simply is no more important book about the drug war and why the cannabis culture, and by comparison in the book, the European Jewish culture, were both targeted for destruction and elimination by the dominant governments of the times, the cannabis culture by the American and Canadian governments from 1969 to the present, and the European Jewish culture by almost every central and eastern European government from 1900 to 1945.

It explains the four processes of culture annihilation that both The Marijuana People and The Jewish People faced (and face) in their respective culture.

These four processes, approved and codified in laws affecting every aspect of North American life today for the cannabis culture and every aspect of Jewish European life in the 1900 to 1945 period, are, in order:

1. Demonization
2. Ostracization
3. Segregation & Terrorization
4. Concentration

In the Demonization process, the government engages in propaganda to condemn the cannabis culture or Jewish culture as deviant, impure, corrupting to youth, foreign, unpatriotic, unhealthy. Conservatives in both the United States and Canada wage every campaign of the last 35 years as an attack of the cultural values of the 1960's. Stephen Harper has launched his pogrom against the cannabis culture in Canada by specifically identifying the culture of the 1960's, with its cannabis-inspired music, theatre, poetry, sexual freedom, anti-authority journalism, dissent, environmentalism, anti-war ethos.

(From Marc's prison blog from 2009, "Stephen Harper and the End Of Days (of Canada As We Know It)": Marijuana use represents everything Stephen Harper wants eliminated from acceptable Canadian society. Harper, when launching the National Anti-Drug Strategy on October 4, 2007, cited permissive values of the 1960's when launching his latter-day crusade against the infidelsclick here to watch the video: "A simple war on drugs is not going to be successful," he said, "but neither is simply being soft on the question going to be successful. We are up against a culture that, since the 1960's, has had at the minimum not discouraged drug use and often romanticized it, or made it cool. My son is listening to my Beatles records and asking me what all these lyrics mean. I love these records. I'm not putting them away. But we have to change the culture.")

Governments in Europe in the 1930's and governments in the periods 1970-present in North America used the schools to encourage children to turn in marijuana people, propagandizing all students with absurd, unscientific hate spiels. Governments buy ads on television, radio, newspapers, entirely with the cowed compliance of all media in both countries, to assert fictions designed to separate the cannabis culture from being regarded as first class citizens. Jews and the cannabis culture are asserted to be different from 'regular' citizens, not entitled to the constitutional protections that other citizens receive. Jewish culture and cannabis culture are in fact, peaceful and honest lifestyles harming no one, so the government needs to put a wedge between the dominant culture and those targeted for persecution. 

After the propaganda campaign comes the changes in laws that affect every aspect of life: the ostracization by law. Jews and the cannabis culture that do not hide their cultural affiliation cannot be teachers. They cannot be judges. They cannot be policemen. They cannot hold elected office. They cannot be bonded. They cannot get security clearance for sensitive government jobs. They can have their children taken from them for 're-education'. They cannot travel to neighboring countries. They get urine and blood tested before being considered for most jobs in industry or the federal government (European Jews were not required to submit to this), and if they are verified as part of the Jewish or cannabis culture, they are eliminated from consideration for employment. They can be refused public assistance in the form of welfare, food stamps, public housing, student loans, student grants, admission to universities and colleges.

In North America, neighbors, utility inspectors, fire inspectors, municipal zoning officers, postal delivery people, are all organized to inform to the authorities if anyone in the cannabis culture house is suspected of having cannabis plants in the home. The parents must advise the children never to discuss the use of cannabis or the existence of plants/Jewish rituals in the home with anyone else, or the state and its agents will seize the children, seize the home, and/or arrest the parents. The police are empowered to destroy or seize the home and the contents of the home. Notices can be posted outside the home on the front lawn, by police, that say, "drug house"/"Jews" and all neighbors encouraged to ostracize the cannabis culture/Jews living therein. Landlords are informed and certainly urged by authorities to evict the cannabis culture/Jewish family immediately. The media are advised, and the cannabis culture/Jews will have the police visit publicized. Employers will be encouraged by this media exposure to fire the cannabis culture person/Jews from their employ, lest the business be tainted by bad relations with the state and propagandized population.

The necessary corollaries for the propaganda and demonization campaign are severe laws punishing the practices of the cannabis culture through Prohibition. All aspects of the cannabis culture are prohibited, whether banning the implements of use of cannabis, or material to cultivate cannabis, or any aspect of its distribution. These prohibition laws manufacture millions of 'criminals' overnight; the laws of the state virtually manufacture crime where previously there was none – manufacturing criminals where previously there were none. 'Crime' organizations instantly exist to re-create the previously unhindered legal use and distribution. This has the necessary effect of creating violence within the cannabis culture, as what was previously of almost no financial value becomes an extraordinarily lucrative commodity. Demand remains constant while production is now entirely moved underground, the scope so vast as to permit the state to relentlessly increase the size and scope of its police repression with unquestioned and virtually unlimited annual increases in taxpayer revenues.

Once the full effect of laws are applied at the municipal level through safety inspections, utility inspections, at the state/provincial level through employment tests (urine, blood, social media, government contracts), Child Protection Agency inspections, and road-stop inspections, at the federal levels through pervasive legislation, government mandated blood and urine tests, then the state unleashes its full fury through militarized and violent assaults on the cannabis culture/Jewish culture. At this point, SWAT teams, fully militarized armed and masked agents of the state, routinely (meaning daily) smash into peaceful dwellings, immediately killing pet animals and threatening to kill everyone inside if they do not immediately submit to being laid on the ground, roughed up, handcuffed and led outside.

The modus operandi of the current terrorization of the cannabis culture by state agencies in Canada and the US is virtually identical to the European persecution of Jews. Police have full reign to wiretap, surveil, use any level of force, destroy as much property with impunity, have the residents evicted, seize the property by outright forfeiture, the children sent to re-education centers away from the custodial care of the parents. Then in order to re-occupy the home, the residents must submit to extortion by municipal electrical, safety, and housing inspectors, costing upwards of tens of thousands of dollars to meet compliance with rules specifically passed into law to harass and humiliate the cannabis culture family.

The popular media is then enjoined unquestioningly to trumpet the heroic efforts of the police who seek out and rid the community of "vermin" Jews/cannabis culture. The media never question the premise of this daily police violence; the federal government regulates television networks, and the private newspapers, always desperate for revenue, rely on a constant infusion of government advertising revenue.

Once the terrorization has been underway, the cannabis culture/Jews are arrested and placed in prisons, for increasingly longer sentences, under continually deteriorating or inhumane conditions of over-crowding, substandard food, violence by guards and other 'criminals'. It happens with such daily frequency the 'regular' civilian population pays virtually no attention. Police have absolute power, government ministers are immune from any consequences of their systemic cultural destruction, and the cycle is now well on its way to the conclusion of the deliberate campaign by government, the elimination of the cannabis culture/Jewish culture entirely.

For what is the ultimate intended effect of the marijuana prohibition by the US and Canadian federal government? It can only be the total and utter destruction of the cannabis culture through demonization, ostracization, terror, and finally elimination. What was the ultimate goal of the many central and eastern governments in Europe in regards to the existence of Jewish culture? There are few or no Jews in Germany, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, Hungary, and Greece, where there were over six million before 1935.

The question before the North American cannabis culture for the last 45 years has always been "how far will you let the governments of Canada and the United States go before the 4-stage cycle of cultural annihilation is complete?"

The Jews of Europe and the Cannabis Culture of North America asked the same question during their brutal ordeals of arrest, imprisonment and worse: "Why do they hate us so?"

There is only one answer, and the answer is: The State likes the cruelty, the grotesque exploitation of power, and the immoral lust for dominance. Why else be a cop? Why else be a judge? Why else be a politician? Why else to use unlimited and unearned power over the lives of others to dispose of their peaceful and honest lives at whim?

"But why us? We have so much to offer!" cried the Jews and the cannabis culture. And the state replies, as they have not ever one rational basis for this mass abuse of the Jewish people and cannabis culture, "You must suffer precisely because you are so good and have given so much, and we are so unworthy of what you have contributed to our lives and so we spite you to put you in your place, you are and always will be subservient to us, if we even let you live!"


As an activist for the end of the prohibition of cannabis and the end to the pogrom by the governments of Canada and the United States toward the cannabis culture, I was arrested 28 times from 1996 to 2010, all for cannabis-related offenses.

I was arrested when a police SWAT team of the Victoria, British Columbia police raided my home with my then-partner and her child at 4:00am one early morning in January 2003, ostensibly looking for plants. There were no plants, and the police grounds for a warrant were completely fraudulent and invented. I was arrested six times and jailed on my Summer of Legalization Tour in 2003 when I was legally (according to Canadian law at the time) smoking a bong in front of the Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Regina, St. John's and Moncton police depts. (Charges were all dropped, as I was right that the law didn’t exist then.) I was arrested when police SWAT teams raided the offices of Cannabis Culture Magazine, and my HEMP BC store, in January 1996, December 1997, April 1998, and September 1998. I was arrested and jailed for 68 days for passing one joint in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan after speaking at the university of Saskatchewan in March 2004. I was arrested and cuffed by the highway for having four grams in my possession in July 2003. I was arrested on July 29, 2005 by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at the behest of the US DEA and with the complete collaboration of the Canadian federal government, and sentenced to five years in a plea deal instead of getting thirty years to life and dying behind bars.

So I know about the abuse of power at the pernicious whim of authorities.

Every Justice Minister/Attorney-General of Canada since Pierre Elliot Trudeau was Justice Minister in 1967 is a party to this pogrom so severe as to be unforgivable and its immorality inerasable from the historical record. The same is true for Attorneys-General of the United States. The Presidents and Prime Ministers of both countries who permitted such a brutality against millions of citizens to occur on their watch are fully guilty of a crime against humanity and all still alive should be brought to trial and prosecuted.

This includes Justice Ministers of Canada Kim Campbell (Mulroney government), John Turner (Trudeau government), Jean Chretien (Trudeau government), Rob Nicholson (current Conservative government), and Irwin Cotler (Paul Martin's government) and all others who served as Justice Minister and permitted this prohibition abomination to persist.

Irwin Cotler was Justice Minister when one of his minions in the court of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan sentenced me to three months in prison for passing a joint in March 2004.

When anyone from the cannabis culture reaches elected office, the responsibility on that person, having once been part of a persecuted minority, is much greater than that of any ordinary person. The elected person from the cannabis culture retains intimate knowledge and experience as to how insidious and abusive the arbitrary authority of government can be. So when someone from our culture reaches elected office, the betrayal is far more egregious if that person becomes a prohibitionist drug warrior. It is unforgivable and the greatest treason to decent human values as well as a complete negation of morality. That person is more evil because they know better, but for power and lust of domination, they betray us and become our worst enemy. In this class we can include many politicians, but certainly President Barack Obama.

So too is the responsibility for any Jewish person who achieves power in government, particularly a Justice Minister or Attorney-General. When a Jewish person turns his back on his collective history of persecution and becomes the channel for mass persecution of those exercising peaceful and honest lifestyle choices, he becomes a cipher for pure evil.

In this regard, you have to ask yourself, as I did in September 2004 while serving a three-month prison sentence in a Prairie gulag a thousand miles from home, what do you call a Jewish human rights activist who, as Justice Minister, betrays the principles of decent humanity for arbitrary punishment and power? Do you call him a Nazi Jew or a Jewish Nazi? To me, there is no doubt about his capability and capacity for evil as a government agent; the only question is the appropriate terminology to describe his perfidious deal with evil. And so I wrote that in my prison blog while serving that incarceration in September 2004. My diary thoughts on what was the appropriate description to refer to Irwin Cotler were never printed anywhere, and in fact, you can't find my original daily diary notes of that incarceration anywhere – which is quite unfortunate, because my writings from August 20 to October 19, 2004, the period of incarceration (I served seven days in March 2004 awaiting bail) produced some of the best work I have ever done.

Ten months later, the Liberal Justice Minister Cotler, in collaboration with Republican President George W. Bush's Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales, signed on to the extradition request of the United States seeking to imprison me in the US for my political activities.

In May of 2010, Conservative Justice Minister Rob Nicholson handed me over to Democratic President Barack Obama's Attorney-General Eric Holder's US federal justice system to be incarcerated for a five-year sentence, despite never having gone to the United States.

Michael Coren's column in the Toronto Sun ridiculed and insulted me, my wife Jodie, and the rest of the legalization movement. It's such a pity that a man who prospers free from persecution can so easily cast away the collective past history of our people. In 1983, I wrote a biography of a woman from my hometown of London, Ontario – Fanny Goose – who escaped the Holocaust in Europe, seeing every member of her huge family murdered. It's a compelling and riveting story, a triumph of her spirit during a staggering, horrific ordeal. The lesson of the holocaust is 'Never again'. Not for anyone, anywhere, of any peaceful and honest lifestyle, to suffer the arbitrary cruelty of immoral government power. Not for race, not for religion, not for the plants you grow in your home, or backyard. Not for your beliefs or peaceful lifestyle. No way, no how, not ever again.

Cannabis Prohibition has been abusive to well over 30 million North Americans (and I do not, for lack of statistics, include Mexico or Central America here, but more's the tragedy, one can be certain) in the last 50 years, and Michael Coren thinks it is no more than a parallel "to the right to masturbate".

He's wrong. Never Again. Not now, not ever, no way, no how, can he make prohibition and its persecution in any way legitimate. He's a disgrace to his journalistic profession, as a Canadian. Michael Coren is an apologist for the powerful and cruel. He spits on the persecution and injustice meted out to myself, and my people. For that, he is loathsome. He should know better.


Part 2:

Part 3:

Marc Emery on Ron Paul: “The Great Man Has Left The Building”

submitted by on November 25, 2012

Ron PaulRon Paul, my hero and great political and moral influence, gave his farewell speech to Congress on November 14th after 23 years of serving as the lonely, often marginalized, voice of reason and stalwart of constitutional principles in the House of Representatives.

In those years Ron Paul always voted against any financing for the drug war and the drug czar's office. He sponsored bills to legalize possession of marijuana, industrial hemp, and medical marijuana; a Truth in Trials Act, allowing introduction of state medical marijuana laws in federal trials; bills to end the US military empire abroad, Plan Colombia, the Patriot Act (and not voting for it in the first place), and the School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia (training of foreign military elite in torture and repression). [See the video clips and more links about Ron Paul's position and action on marijuana and the drug war in Marc's December 2011 blog post: "Support Ron Paul for President!"]

Never did Ron Paul ever vote for or support any legislation that restricted our liberties, allowed government secrecy, carried out the war in Iraq, maintained the US military abroad, expanded surveillance of the US people, debased the money, raised taxes, imposed censorship, or any other unconstitutional incursion into the rights of the citizens or the states.

He has been the greatest Congressman in the history of the United States, for he was, and is, the only true patriot to ever have served in the Congress honoring the US Constitution in a devotion that was, thankfully, fanatical and unwavering.

You must watch and/or read Ron Paul's farewell speech. (Click Here or watch the video at the bottom of the page.) It is one of the vital documents of our time. Not a false word is spoken or written. Clearly and plainly, Ron Paul explains what went wrong, why liberty is fundamental to all of human success and progress, asks all the right questions, and lays blame appropriately – at the feet of government and the citizens who enable governments to do so much of the evil that gets done.

When I first read Ayn Rand's "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal" in October, 1979, and changed the philosophical course of my life to reflect those values, I asked my new friends who had introduced me to the book, "Does anyone in politics actually adhere to these principles? " Yes, he said; "a Congressman named Ron Paul".

In the US presidential election weeks ago, the media seemed to have a field day denigrating the philosophy of Ayn Rand as part of their smear/criticism of Vice-Presidential candidate Paul Ryan. Yet Paul Ryan is a warmonger, a devout Roman Catholic, and an adherent of the drug war. No believer in the supernatural and warfare state/Imperial American Empire could ever be a credible acolyte of Ayn Rand.

Ron Paul is the proper standard to compare Ayn Rand, although there are some differences. Ron Paul is a Christian, true, and he is opposed to abortion – though as a man who has delivered 4,000 babies as an obstetrician-gynecologist physician, it's at least understandable. But importantly, Ron Paul doesn't believe any woman should ever be punished for seeking or having an abortion. He doesn't believe the Constitution allows the federal government to criminalize abortion, and that is why he received virtually no support from the anti-abortion conservatives that Rick Santorum did. Ron Paul's influences are varied, and include Murray Rothbard, Ludwig Von Mises, Frederick Hayek, and Lysander Spooner; in fact, Ayn Rand is only one of many of Ron Paul's influences. He is a well-read individual.

I believe Ron Paul left Congress because, plainly, Congress is made up of collectivist statists (kind of a redundancy, I know) and 23 years is enough punishment. Now he is going on a hopefully long tour of universities to speak to students and his people about liberty and the nature of man and politics. I wish him well. I hope he runs for President again in 2016.

Marc Supports Ron PaulRon Paul was always the best friend we anti-prohibitionists have ever had in Congress. Never once did he ever support any aspect of the drug war. Yet most of the legalization movement chose to ignore him or pay him no respect. It makes me sad in my heart to know that most in our community – and society at large – are politically ignorant, biased, and most often plainly ambivalent when it comes to political activism, and when it came time to support Ron Paul in the primaries in 2008 and 2012, most of our people did not heed the call to help this great man, this once-in-a century man.

Even in his farewell address to Congress, he does not forget us.

His first question is: "Why are sick people who use medical marijuana in prison?"

He also asks amongst his many pertinent questions:

"Why can't Americans manufacture rope and other products from hemp?"

"Why should there be mandatory sentences, even up to life, for crimes without victims-as our drug laws require?"

"Why haven't we given up on the drug war since it's an obvious failure and violates the people's rights? Has nobody noticed that the authorities can't even keep drugs out of prisons? How can making our entire society a prison solve the problem?"

"Why do we sacrifice so much getting needlessly involved in border disputes and civil strife around the world and ignore the root cause of the most deadly border in the world – the one between Mexico and the US?"

At 78, Ron Paul is still in great health, so I hope he has many years, decades I should hope, to remind us of where we should be going, and how we can get there, and why we must put heart and soul (and money) into that effort.

It's such a disappointment that Canada has no equivalent giant in politics, no great statesman philosopher politician to give the people a clear vision of liberty and freedom. All we really have is second- and third-rate statists at best, grubby thugs at worse, in institutions under the dictatorial thumb of a soulless Prime Minister and wholly inadequate Premiers.

Ron Paul. The great man of the people has left the building.

Ron Paul's Farewell Address:
Click Here or watch video at bottom of this page


In 2006, Marc Emery researched and created an enormous profile of the voting records of every US Congressional Representative for the Cannabis Culture Magazine "US Stoner Voter's Guide 2006". He reviewed every US Congressman and Congresswoman's position on pot and other related topics, and Ron Paul came out on top for Freedom Fighter!

From the 2006 Stoner Voter's Guide District Profiles page, by Marc Emery:

Texas – 14th District: Your US REPRESENTATIVE is RON PAUL, a REPUBLICAN. Ron Paul refers to himself as 'libertarian'.



RON PAUL RECEIVED 175 points of a possible 185 points, THE CHAMPION OF THE CONGRESS, the highest possible grade.


1) oppose a $25 million increase in anti-marijuana government propaganda,
2) oppose the Justice Dept. war on med pot patients in states with med-pot laws (Hinchey Amendment)saving the sick and dying from persecution,
3) oppose the reauthorization of the Office of the Drug Czar (ONDCP)
4) oppose a $287 million transfer of funds to the BYRNE JUSTICE ASSISTANCE GRANTS federal anti-drug task force program,
5) reduce the spraying of poison over the Colombian rainforest (PLAN COLOMBIA),
6) end the police state apparatus known as the PATRIOT ACT,
7) end the War in IRAQ,
8) stop a massive government bureaucracy (HOMELAND SECURITY) from forming,
9) oppose a tenfold increase in punitive fines on TV and radio broadcasters of controversial material (Broadcast Decency Act)
10) close an American torture school for foreign military interrogators – The SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS at Fort Benning, Georgia.

RON PAUL is also sponsor of the TWO drug-law reform bills;
* The States' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act. This is a very important bill (H.R. 2087) that would reclassify marijuana as a schedule 2 drug, allowing states to enact medical marijuana laws without federal interference.
* H.R. 4272 – Steve McWilliams Truth in Trials Act. This bill will allow an affirmative medical marijuana defense in federal or state courts where such states have a legislated medical marijuana program.