Free Marc Emery

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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!

HOW TO HELP

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

Telephone
(613) 944-4875
1-800-830-3118

Fax
(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

Canada

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
EMail: steven.blaney@parl.gc.ca

 

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 

FACTS ABOUT MARC EMERY

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.
POLITICAL PRISONER
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.

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 CannabisCulture.com 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 Amazon.com 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 FreeMarc.ca

 

Marc, prison music, MRSA infections, and more.

submitted by on March 10, 2013

Marc and Jodie, Yazoo prisonToday is Sunday, March 10. I've 486 days to go, 1,104 days done, now over 3 years done on this sentence. My Canadian transfer paperwork has arrived in Ottawa and my US transfer paperwork goes to Washington, Dc on April 8, the required two years after I was rejected for transfer to Canada by the US Department of Justice on April 6, 2011.

I'm hoping that if my transfer application is accepted (say, by June 10 in Washington, July 20 in Ottawa), I'll be back in the Canadian prison system in September and free at home by next January. Otherwise I'm in the US prison system until July of next year.

The 'We The People' website at WhiteHouse.gov now requires 100,000 signatures in 30 days for any petition to get an official response from the White House. Their responses thus far to any petitions have been very superficial and inadequate. Last year, when a petition urging a pardon for me exceeded the then-threshold of 5,000 signatures, the White House response was worse than negligible – it was insulting, a “No Comment” statement.

Then the level was raised to 25,000, and many petitions urging the federal government to legalize marijuana, or reschedule it from schedule 1 to 2, etc. met the threshold – and as a cynic would expect, all received canned propaganda repudiations from drug czar Gil Kerlikowski. If only US citizens would have rallied around Ron Paul as a presidential choice, how different the official White House response for legal marijuana would be!

So I won't be encouraging a petition drive to 'We The People' regarding my transfer, though in January I thought that would be a good idea. What I really need my American friends to do is write their US representatives and Senators requesting a letter to the Department Of Justice endorsing my transfer back to the Canadian prison system. The person to contact is listed here; and my previous blog has more info, here.

My band Yazoo performed our 12th concert in freezing-cold 5 degrees Celsius temperatures outside on the evening of Saturday, February 16th (Presidents Day concert). Though it was cold (I was wearing a t-shirt, two thermal undershirts, a shirt, my winter coat, a wool hat, and wool gloves when I wasn't playing – I was nice n' toasty in all that) and our audience small, it was our best performance as a band, and my best performance individually. We had a great time. Our set list was:

1) Hey Joe (Hendrix)
2) Boys are Back in Town (Thin Lizzy)
3) Running Down a Dream (Tom Petty)
4) Jumping Jack Flash (Rolling Stones)
5) Black Magic Woman (Santana)
6) Plush (Stone Temple Pilots)
7) Pride & Joy (Stevie Ray Vaughan)
8) Red House (Jimi Hendrix)
9) Whole Lotta Love (Led Zeppelin)
10) Green River (Credence Clearwater Revival)
11) Kryptonite (3 Doors Down)
12) Purple Haze (Jimi Hendrix)
13) Little Wing (Steve Ray Vaughan)
14) Sweet Home Alabama (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
15) Blue on Black (Kenny Wayne Shepherd)
16) White Room (Cream)
17) Voodoo Child (Hendrix)

I am pleased to say I made virtually no mistakes performing (which I can rarely boast) and the tone on the Carvin bass was perfect.

Marc Emery bass guitarAs you can see, I was able to get some photographs done here at Yazoo with me holding the Carvin bass I play in the band. There are a few photos with Terry my best buddy and bandmate on lead guitar. My 13th concert is next weekend (March 16), and we'll be adding songs Blues Deluxe (Joe Bonnamesa), The Last Resort (by Papa Roach) and bringing back Texas Flood by Stevie Ray Vaughan, Stormy Monday, Heartbreaker/Living Loving Maid (Led Zeppelin) and a few others from the vault. Ten photos of the band performing Red House and Green River in the rehearsal room are on their way to Jodie and will appear soon on Facebook. They will be made into a poster with a band photo and individual performance shots. "The greatest rock band the free world has Never heard… YAZOO" will be at the top of the poster.

Last Friday I wrote Jodie an email about my friend and previous cellie Daniel having a massive bacterial infection in his whole lower right leg. On Tuesday, a boil appeared on his leg, his third in two months since he had a surgery here for a hernia. He squeezed it, which is dangerous to do. I know, as I contracted a massive infection on my left butt cheek when I was at D Ray James for-profit private prison in Georgia (prior to being sent here) and had a quarter sized hole in my cheek leaking pus and blood for two weeks after a week of intense swelling and inflammation in the area. Fortunately, the infection was not near any vital organs, which is when a MRSA infection is particularly dangerous. MRSA is a kind of aggressive 'staph' infection that starts very innocuously and rapidly spreads. Most modern antibiotics are no longer effective in defeating the infection. MRSA (stands for 'Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus') infections require immediate and aggressive treatment of still-effective antibiotics, or a person can get gangrene and lose limbs, have vital organs shut down, and even die. The creator of The Muppets, Frank Oz, died from a massive infection that could not be treated in time, for example.

In prison here I read a very good novel about how antibiotics went from theory (pre-1929) to fact when Dr. Alexander Fleming discovered antibiotics in the late 1920s. He found that moulds cultivated on stale bread seemed to attack bacteria. But it was not possible for the next ten years to efficiently produce enough antibiotics to even save one person. Our generation has no experience with the kind of mortality that used to occur when people before 1943 got a bacterial infection, whether it was venereal disease, staph infections, and others. Healthy people could scrape their knee on Wednesday and be dead in hospital by Monday in the times before 1945, there was no effective cure for most infections. The book is called “A Brilliant Radiance” by the novelist Lauren Belfer (I also highly recommend her other novel about the first massive hydro-electric project, at Niagara Falls, providing power for the city of Buffalo, called “City of Light”). A Brilliant Radiance showed how a massive effort by the pharmaceutical industries and the US War Department made finding a way to mass produce antibiotics a priority of the war effort. It was so successful that in the five years from 1940 to 1945, antibiotics went from being the rarest of any medical resource to staggering abundance, such that antibiotics were sold for pennies a pill only five years later.

Antibiotics have cured the industrialized world of cholera, meningitis, tuberculosis, dysentery, E-coli, and dozens of other previously fatal bacterial infections. Antibiotics might be the greatest medical development in the history of mankind. But now, due to excessive and wasteful use, the bacteria are adapting, such that what are called methicillin-based antibiotics no longer work on a range of staphylococcus-type infections. And 'staph' bacteria is a plentiful presence on all skin surfaces and found everywhere in ordinary daily circumstances.

Last Tuesday night, Daniel had his third boil in two months on his right leg. Recurring boils on the body are a sign of MRSA, the boils come from festering infection in the body, but are not yet near major arteries or organs. He showed me his leg, and to me, this third boil was clearly indicative of MRSA, as the area around the boil was inflamed. His previous two boils, though open and weeping, had gone away with antibiotic ointment. He had hernia surgery two months ago, and it was obvious to me he picked up MRSA during the surgery. I told him to go see medical. They gave him Clindomycin, an antibiotic that may or may not be effective against MRSA. By Friday the whole leg was red with inflammation, the boil was weeping significant pus, and all the leg was swollen from the knee to the ankle.

I told Daniel the infection was spreading and getting more substantial and had to go to medical and insist they give him Bacterum, an effective antibiotic (used on me when I had my major MRSA infection in February 2011). I warned him that within days if the infection overwhelmed his leg, he could get gangrene and lose his leg to amputation, or worse. This made him feel very uneasy, of course. He went back to medical at 1:00pm. After looking at it, they said yes, it looks serious, but the earliest a doctor could see him was Monday. When he complained to his counselor, the counselor replied, "If you don't see a doctor by next Wednesday," (in five days!) "come back and tell me." I told Daniel if he had to wait until Monday, he'd likely lose his leg, the infection was so obviously serious.

Then I wrote Jodie my concerns regarding Daniels extremely perilous health situation and she posted about it on Facebook, reaching tens of thousands of people who were quite concerned too. At 3:30pm an unusual call came to our unit from medical, requesting Daniel come to medical immediately. There was a doctor, the chief medical administrator, and the head nurse to examine him. They prescribed him Bacterum, and said the surgeon who performed the surgery would be here to see him Monday. His leg continued to be inflamed and swollen over the weekend. On Monday he was hospitalized, and 48 hours later, he was still there. I was grateful the medical department took the infection seriously, but I don't know how Daniel is faring.

The worst fear any prisoner has in captivity is having a life-threatening medical emergency essentially around strangers (fellow inmates) and with largely ambivalent (and way overworked) medical staff. It’s at a time like that you want a loved one or someone who actually cares for you to be nearby. The thought of dying essentially alone among strangers who probably care not a wit for you is disconcerting. When an inmate gets hospitalized, they are shackled all the way to hospital, and to the bed at all times, which is humiliating, of course. Hopefully Daniel will return from the hospital fine.

[Update from the 28th: Daniel just got back, he looks glad to be alive and well, he very effusively thanked me. He was hospitalized for 72 hours and given antibiotics intravenously over that time, and was released back in to the custody of Yazoo here, on the mend and out of danger! I'm grateful for that. He was on two IV drips, one nutrition, the other antibiotic, the whole time. He leg is greatly recovered.]

The US federal government cuts in federal department budgets has me worried that life here will be worsened. All the C.O.'s (correctional officers) and staff here are going to be required to take a day off without pay (furloughed) every two weeks. I'm also concerned that the money spent on food will be cut back to make our meals even more dubious.

All the money spent on music equipment, pool tables, televisions, cable TV programming, arts and crafts, the leatherwork shop, sports and exercise equipment, all inmate activities of every kind (except education) are paid for by inmate trust funds. The taxpayer doesn't pay for anything to do with my band Yazoo, our equipment, or any of the recreation equipment like exercise bicycles, poll tables, basketballs, etc. So that is not affected by any federal government cutbacks. The 1,700 inmates here spend approximately $150,000 a month in the commissary (inmate store for hygiene items, extra food, etc.) so about $45,000 a month of those sales (items are all costs plus 30%, which then goes to the inmate trust funds) goes to pay for everything the inmates do on the rec yard, in the rec hall, all TVs and TV programming in the unit day rooms.

In addition to a reduction in staff starting Friday, the airports will have fewer people working from the Transportation Safety Authority (TSA) and air traffic controllers, meaning Jodie's flights to see me will likely go through delays. And there will be fewer staff here at the prison, so I'm concerned visitation processing will be slower. Yesterday and today all prisoners have been locked in our units, and not allowed outside. And it’s a gorgeous day outside today. There is no explanation why. [Note from Jodie: The US federal government announced that prison lockdowns may become more common simply to deal with the spending cuts, but this lockdown was likely the result of a prison employee being killed in another state, which results in lockdowns at all federal facilities.]

I slept terribly the other night because being cooped up, all I do is read and do crosswords, but that is not enough to make me tired enough to have a good sleep. I've always been a difficult sleeper, most of my life not getting tired until 4:00 or 5:00am, and often shaking my legs violently. But a month ago I started a personal program of not eating anything after 5:30pm – I mean nothing at all, drinking only water and absolutely no coffee or tea, and I never drink sodas. That's been working very well. I'm sleeping well if I go to bed on an emptier stomach feeling somewhat hungry (hard to resist the urge to eat something). That will be a hard discipline to maintain when I'm in the free world at home. Smoking pot always stimulates appetite and so I typically ate things in the evening and late at night. Plus it stimulates other desires and wants. What cannabis has never done is make me sleepy. So I didn't really ever get tired until 5:00 or 6:00am in the morning, I'd sleep till 10:30 or 11:00am and get up.

I've sent thank you cards to the three Americans who sent me the four issues of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. They are circulating widely in our 120-man unit. And thanks to Dana Larsen for putting a book wish list for me at amazon.com where anyone can send me a book off that wish list. Already I've received ten books off the wish list, some graphic novels, Rex Stout mysteries, Ann Rule true crime stories, guitar tab music books. I'll send a note out to anyone who sends me any book via the amazon wish list, but receipts don't have the name or address of the payee, so feel free to tell Dana or mail me a note saying you sent me a book. In the last three weeks I've sent out 50 cards (with wee small lettering to get as much in there as possible), trying to catch up on my correspondence, on one side is a photo of me in prison, or a photo of Jodie and I in the visitation room here, and the other side is blank, and I found I can get four or five of those done every day in about two hours.

Jodie Emery for Vancouver-West EndMy wonderful wife Jodie is again running for a seat in the British Columbia Legislature. The provincial election is on Tuesday, May 14. Jodie needs money to run her campaign, and any individual or corporation in the world can donate any amount to her campaign. All British Columbia residents who donate between April 15 and May 14 get a tax-creditable receipt; a portion of your donation (if you are a BC resident) is good for a refund off your BC provincial income tax. All others can donate anytime from now to May 14, and in any amount, and you'll get an official receipt, but it’s not tax-creditable in your jurisdiction. Jodie needs to raise $5,000 to $15,000 to do phone electioneering, pay for signs, literature, and advertising. Make checks and money orders to "The Campaign to Elect Jodie Emery" (you must include your name and address along with donation) and send to: The Campaign to Elect Jodie Emery, 307 West Hastings St., Vancouver, BC, Canada V6B 1H6. PayPal donations can be sent to jodie.emery@greenparty.bc.ca and more information about donations can be found on her website www.JodieForMLA.ca

On that final note, be sure to support Dana Larsen's extraordinary Sensible BC campaign to put decriminalization to the voters of British Columbia with a ballot initiative signature drive. It’s at www.SensibleBC.ca. Jodie's BCMP vapor lounge is donating 50% of proceeds from Tuesday’s open mic jam nights to the Sensible BC campaign. Dana also has a patron (Bob Erb, the marijuana activist winner of a $25 million lottery and a former BC Marijuana Party candidate) who is matching all contributions dollar for dollar, so please contribute money to the Sensible BC decriminalization ballot initiative drive to keep the anti-prohibition conversation going strong.

 

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

submitted by on February 25, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marc Emery cannabis plants

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

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

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

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

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

Marc Emery plant photo by Jeff V

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

____________________________________

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

Marc and Jodie, Province newspaper

 

 

 

Marc Emery Begins His Campaign to Come Home

submitted by on January 24, 2013

Marc and Jodie Emery, December 1, 2012Last week I filled out my paperwork for the Canadian government regarding my desire to be transferred to the Canadian prison system. In March I will fill in the US paperwork to have it in Washington, DC by approximately April 6th, two years to the day after the US Department of Justice rejected my first application.

If I don't get accepted for a transfer by either the US or Canadian governments, I will be released on July 9th, 2014 here in the United States, spending 15-20 days at a US Immigration & Customs Enforcement facility (likely in Oakdale, Louisiana), and then flown to either Vancouver or Toronto. I'd like to think that, at the latest, I'd be home with Jodie for our 8th wedding anniversary on July 23rd, 2014.

However, if I get approved for transfer under the Canada-US treaty (International Transfer of Offenders Act), I could be en route to a Canadian federal prison in the summer of this year. If I arrive at a Canadian prison on September 1st this year, under new rules enacted by the Conservative government, I’ll be held for a while before being released on December 10th, 2013 – just in time for Christmas.

If I were originally sentenced in Canada, I would have been automatically released July 4th, 2013, at 2/3 of my sentence; that was the statutory release date for any federal prisoner. But under punitive new rules by the Harper government, I will, upon arrival at a Canadian federal prison, have to spend 1/3 of my remaining US sentence in a Canadian prison, even though it goes beyond the statutory release date for any other prisoner.

So whereas I should be released in Canada on July 10th this year (having served 40 months of a 60 month sentence that day, the Canadian release time for any other Canadian federal prisoner) if I am brought back and arrive on September 1st (an estimate, as it takes up to three months after the Canadian government approval to wend my way back through the US system into a Canadian prison), instead of being automatically released, I have to serve an additional 1/3 (of the sentence up to the July 9th, 2014 US release date). That's 1/3 of 317 days, or 106 extra days past September 1st, which would be December 11th, 2013.

Marc and Jodie Emery, December 2, 2012

But at least I would out before Christmas this year, and home almost 7 months earlier than my US release, so it's still a benefit.

Here's how the treaty application system works, and how I very much need the help of everyone who thinks I deserve their help – hopefully, that's you and any other members of the cannabis culture you can talk to in person, on Facebook, in other social media, at school, at work, at your local medical pot club, vapor lounge, and your friends and your family.

Since I'm a Canadian citizen who lived in Canada before my incarceration, and I'm not affiliated with organized crime, or a threat to the safety of any Canadian, I qualify to be repatriated into the Canadian system. Once I file my Canadian paperwork, they process it and send someone from Corrections Canada to see Jodie, check out our apartment where I'm going to live, and ask a lot of personal questions.

The decision by the Canadian government to accept or reject my application will be made after the US Department of Justice (DOJ) makes their decision, which will be 6-8 weeks after my US application is received in Washington, DC.

My application will go to the DOJ in Washington by the second week of April, and I should have an answer back by the end of May. If approved, this information is sent to the Canadian embassy in Washington, and then is forwarded to the Canadian Minister of Public Safety – currently the Honorable Vic Toews – and he can accept, reject, or stall.

I fully qualify by the criteria set out by both the US and Canadian federal governments regarding treaty transfer approval. But that does not mean approval is automatic; governments often do ignore their own criteria, so as much political pressure as can be applied needs to be leveraged.

 

 

THE CAMPAIGN, AND WHAT YOU CAN DO

US flag

 

 

 

 


For My American Supporters:

I need you to contact your Congressmen (your US Rep in the House and US Senator – click here to find yours) or other sympathetic elected officials urging them to write a letter (or add their name to an existing letter that Jodie will soon provide on www.FreeMarc.ca) endorsing my transfer back to the Canadian penal system. You are asking them to write to the International Transfer of Offenders program director:

Paula A. Wolff, Chief
U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division
OEO, International Prisoner Transfer Program
JCK Building, 10th Floor
Washington, DC
20530

You should point out that I am a non-violent cannabis offender who was convicted in Washington state of selling seeds from my desk in Vancouver, Canada. (You can also cite any of the other important details about what I did and why, which are listed under the "Who is Marc Emery" page at www.FreeMarc.ca) You can say I have had an exemplary career despite this one federal conviction. You can say I have served over 3 years of a 5 year sentence already, and am due for release in July 2014 even without a transfer. I have had no incidents of any kind in over three years of prison, so I am considered a model prisoner. I am not asking for a commutation or pardon, merely a transfer back to Canada under the current US-Canada prisoner exchange treaty.

Copies of any letters by elected officials should be forwarded to Jodie (her email address is JodieEmery[at]gmail.com), who will then forward these to my transfer lawyer in Washington, DC, who makes a pitch to the DOJ on my behalf sometime in April or May. I am hopeful the original prosecutor in my case, former Western Washington US District Attorney John McKay will write a letter endorsing my transfer, particularly in light of his sponsorship and advocacy in the campaign to legalize marijuana with the I-502 initiative that was successful in November, and which Jodie and I were official endorsers of.

In mid-February, Jodie and CannabisCulture.com (and FreeMarc.ca) will begin a campaign to make my supporters aware of an impending petition drive to be put on the US government website "WE THE PEOPLE", similar to the one in 2011 asking for me to be pardoned, which the White House was forced to respond to (but weaseled out of with a “no comment” answer).

On March 15th the "We the People" website will have a petition titled "TRANSFER US FEDERAL PRISONER MARC EMERY BACK HOME TO CANADA". The petition will ask the President to direct his Attorney-General Eric Holder to direct the administrator of the International Transfer of Offenders division of the DOJ to approve my transfer application. We have 30 days (March 15th – April 14th) to gather 25,000 signatures/names so that it meets the threshold for President Obama's office to acknowledge it.

 

Canadian flagFor My Canadian Supporters:

The Canadian campaign to repatriate me to the Canadian system kicks into high gear once the US Department of Justice approves my transfer application at their end, in Washington, DC. That is expected to be by the end of May, early June.

By April, I need all my Canadian supporters to write their Member of Parliament (find yours by clicking here) and any other elected local or provincial representatives, seeking them to write a letter to urge the Public Safety Minister to accept my transfer application immediately upon acceptance by the US Department of Justice. The Minister of Public Safety Canada can be contacted via email or by regular post.

(Postage not required)
Minister of Public Safety
House of Commons
Ottawa, Canada
K1A 0A6

We should be able to secure the support of 30-40 Members of Parliament, and 20-25 other elected officials from across Canada. This is much greater than any previous transfer applicant, by far. MP's from the New Democratic Party, Liberal Party, and of course Elizabeth May of the Green Party should be approached especially, as they are most likely to be supportive. If you live in a riding represented by the government (i.e. a Conservative), you are very much encouraged to urge them to approach the Minister of Public Safety in support of my transfer application. You can indicate to any MP that their participation (or not) will very much influence your vote in the 2015 election.

Once the Canadian Ministry of Public Safety has been informed of the US DOJ approval, we will urge you to again contact the Minister and your elected representatives – politely, of course, as rude or threatening calls won’t help – to get them to tell the Minister to approve the transfer.

If, after 28 days, there is no answer, a nationwide phone blitz for one specific day will be announced (well in advance), where hopefully thousands of Canadians will spend as much of that day as possible calling every phone number at the Minister of Public Safety, and every office on Parliament Hill of every Conservative MP, and every Conservative MP constituency office across Canada. This will be done every 14 days until the minister approves the transfer. If he rejects the transfer, the phone barrage will continue every 14 days, urging him to reverse this decision. For that campaign to be effective, we need the support of thousands of Canadians, who can keep the phone lines busy for nine hours straight on those targeted dates.

Ideally the phone jam campaign won’t be necessary, as we hope to have my transfer application quickly approved by both the US and Canadian federal governments. It depends on you to help make that happen! Thank you in advance for your support.

_________________

This blog in mid-January is to inform anyone reading this how the transfers work and how the campaign to repatriate me to Canada will be done. To make it happen I will need you and as many people as you can round-up to help out in the ways indicated. Please stay tuned for updates on The Jodie Emery Show at www.Pot.tv and www.YouTube.com/PotTVNetwork and at www.CannabisCulture.com and www.FreeMarc.ca

 

The History of Marc’s Prison Bands Behind Bars

submitted by on December 13, 2012

Marc's prison band It’s December 6 today, I've got 4 months until I get my transfer-back-to-Canada application to the Department of Justice in Washington D.C. It’s 580 days to go if I serve my entire sentence here in the US federal prison system (up to July 9, 2014) with 1,010 days now served – that’s 33 months done, 19 to go (on a 60-month sentence, I'll serve 52 months with my good time credit).

My band, Yazoo, performed its eleventh concert on the afternoon of Saturday, November 24. Our set list turned out to be 20 songs in just over 2 hours. I've been playing a bass guitar just over 18 months now, having never played any instrument in my life prior to coming here to Yazoo City federal prison (one of the inspirations for the name of the band, which I chose, since it’s my band). I remember shortly after my arrival picking up a guitar on May 7, 2011 and deciding to learn the instrument.

I struggled and showed no talent, but on the tenth day, a guy named Grizz who was in this amazing band I had heard in concert in my first weekend here noticed I was giving it a try, and said "Have you ever considered learning the bass guitar?"

"Uh no, should I?" I said.

"Well, I think our band is going to need a bass player shortly, and if you worked on the bass everyday, I'd teach you, and you could be in our band."

I was dumbfounded. "You mean, I could be in your amazing band if I started learning the bass????!!!!"

"Yeah, it shouldn't be too hard."

Rock and roll fantasy overruled my trepidation, and I said yes. So Grizz, a guy who'd been inside 30 years (1982 to 2011) with swastikas and white power tattoos and slogans covering his entire arms, patiently and kindly and expertly taught me bass guitar starting that day and every day for 2-4 hours, always outside, often in 100 degrees Fahrenheit days for weeks on end. Despite the tattoos and Grizz's gruff persona, I never heard him say an insulting word about anyone in all the time I knew him. He said he'd left that confrontation part of his life (the swastika/white power stuff) behind him.

Six weeks later on July 2, 2011, I performed live my first concert, 8 songs, including All Along the Watchtower, Purple Haze, Sunshine of Your Love, Tightrope (SR Vaughan), and Johnny B. Goode. I only was able to do root notes, but I got through it okay, and I was pleased that I was a 'musician' now. Grizz was the bandleader, and a great bassist, but Grizz wanted to be the singer in the band and play rhythm guitar, Terry would be the lead guitarist, and Sapp would be the drummer, so that’s how I got the job on bass. The name of the band was 'Stuck' (as in 'Stuck in Prison').

Oddly, within a few weeks of working together, he made me assistant band leader (though I knew virtually nothing at the time about the mechanics of music or being in a band) and he had the band paperwork amended to say that. "In case something happens to me, you can keep the band going," he said.

Well, by August, just before our second concert, something did happen to Grizz. The prison assigned him a new cellmate, one whom, it was said, has a sex offense. Well, Grizz was very old-school, spending most of his 30 years inside in penitentiaries (maximum security), and he could not be the cellmate of a sex offender. Grizz had actually received an additional ten years to his remaining prison sentence for stabbing a sex offender nearly to death; in this situation Grizz tempered his instincts and merely said to the new cellmate, "you can't be in here with me, you have to roll up." In prison, to 'roll-up' means to turn yourself in to protective custody, which is solitary. But when someone here is forced by other prisoners to 'roll-up', the prison demands to know who pressured you to 'roll-up', otherwise they won't put you in protective custody. So that day both the so-called sex offender and Grizz were taken to the SHU (solitary housing unit), and after several months in solitary for each, both were transferred to other facilities.

Then my drummer Sapp got into a fight, so he went to solitary for two months. So in August last year I was missing my drummer and bandleader/vocalist/rhythm guitarist. The band went through some adjustments, merging with a reggae band for two months, doing Bob Marley songs like I Shot the Sheriff, No Woman, No Cry and Stir It Up.

Then we reformed our original group, as Sapp came back, we got a new vocalist, and the band became Yazoo (because it’s where we met, where I learned bass, and where we practice and play). We got a singer named Victor, who also played rhythm guitar. In that period, we played country songs like Out In The Backwoods, Killing Time, Don't Blink, and Way Out Here and rock songs. By this point I was no longer doing songs in root notes, but full proper bass lines, but my notes weren't ringing out enough and I wasn't always very smooth.

Victor decided to strike out and form his own band about a year ago (he still hasn't ever got a band successfully together, but we're still friends and he's a great talent), so we got soul singer named Trece as our vocalist and went through a period of soul/R&B songs like Sittin on the Dock of the Bay, A Change is Gonna Come, Stormy Monday, Easy Like Sunday Morning. Trece was released from prison at the same time as our rival band 'Out of Bounds' broke-up when their drummer/singer was transferred, so Chap the bass player and Don the guitarist from Out of Bounds joined us back in March, and that’s been our line-up since: Chap singing the vocals, I play bass, and Don and Terry do alternate leads on guitar.

It’s a pretty amazing band now, and I can't believe I'm in it. I've practiced every day for over 18 months and I've really gotten much better. My finger memory is way improved, my notes ring out, and I can be taught a song often in just two or three afternoons. Sometimes, like with Texas Flood (by Stevie Ray Vaughan), or Heartbreaker/Living Loving Maid (Led Zeppelin), it takes me 30 days to get it right though. Just today, in my afternoon practice I was doing Money by Pink Floyd and I sounded so much better than six months ago – it’s been that long since I even practiced it, and I sounded much better just doing it out of the blue after that huge absence than I used to sound, even when I practiced every day for weeks back then.

I practice on an acoustic bass every afternoon, which is kind of largish and a little awkward to set comfortably on one's thigh to play, and then on Monday evenings we rehearse as a group our songs that we've been practicing on independently. Terry and I always practice together every afternoon, and Don and Chap often work together in the evenings, and all five of us put it together Monday nights from 5:30 to 8pm in the wonderful electric band room with amplification and electric bass and guitars. I play with a Carvin bass to a Carvin amplifier on Monday nights and in concert. When I get out I'm going to buy an electric Fender Precision Select bass.

Marc's prison band poster by Gary WintleOur set list on November 25 was:

1. Running Down A Dream (Tom Petty)
2. Come Together (Beatles)
3. Black Magic Woman (Santana)
4. Jumpin Jack Flash (Rolling Stones)
5. Blue on Black (KW Shepherd)
6. Heartbreaker/Living Loving Maid (Led Zeppelin)
7. Too Young (Garth Brooks)
8. Turn the Page (Bob Seger)
9. Pride and Joy (Stevie Ray Vaughan)
10. Texas Flood (SRV)
11. Plush (Stone Temple Pilots)
12. Crazy Train (Ozzy Osbourne)
13. Sweet Home Alabama (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
14. Sunshine of Your Love (Cream)
15. Enter Sandman (Metallica)
16. Hey Joe (Hendrix)
17. Purple Haze (Hendrix)
18. Red House (Hendrix)
19. White Room (Cream)
20. Whole Lotta Love (Led Zeppelin)

It was a beautiful clear, sunny afternoon and I was pleased with how the concert turned out, my only real difficulty was a cramp in my right hand (where my index and middle finger alternate hitting the strings) when Terry did an eight-minute lead guitar solo at the end of Whole Lotta Love, and as the bassist I do the riff B-D-B-D-E E-E E-E throughout most of the song, including the solo, and I just had to stop and hit the low E string for a minute before coming back in the riff once the cramp subsided. After 130 minutes of playing, I was tapped out!

Since Terry, Don and Chap are very experienced musicians with 28, 12 and 13 years respectively of regular playing to their credit, we agreed to scrap our existing repertoire for the next concert and develop a new set list, because they are a bit bored of playing the same songs with only three news ones each concert. So for the January concert (we're going to pass on a Christmas show, we won't have the new songs all ready), here's our set list, each of us choosing three new songs plus keeping Running Down A Dream, Texas Flood, and Turn The page, which we've only done once in concert:

I chose:
Smoke on the Water (Deep Purple)
Stray Cat Strut (Stray Cats)
Beautiful Day (U2)

Chap chose:
Your Disease (Saliva)
Isolation (Alter Bridge)
Last Resort (Papa Roach)

Don Chose:
All Right Now (Free)
Simple Man (Shinedown)
Kryptonite
(Don will sing these three while Chap plays guitar on them with Terry)

Terry chose:
Surfing With An Alien (Joe Satriani)
Boys Are Back in Town (Thin Lizzy)
Eruption/Ain't Talkin Bout Love/You Really Got Me (Van Halen medley)

I've already got the bass down for Boys Are Back in Town, Last Resort, Simple Man, and have a grasp on but need to do hard work on Stray Cat Strut, All Right Now, Surfing With The Alien (this is a fast song!!!!!) and the two Van Halen songs (Eruption is just a lead guitar). Then on to the remaining five!

I want to say thank you to the amazing people of Alberta's cannabis community who held their third annual Christmas fundraiser for me in Lethbridge, and raised a record amount of $1,680, which I am extremely grateful for! That will pay for my commissary (food, toiletries, clothing), phone and email, music downloads, photo copies, and postage for two full months. The first fundraiser was organized by Tamara Cartwright and Fiona Doherty, and Fiona is carrying on the work with other local activists. They have all been supportive for years, including my time on the Farewell Tour of 2009. Thanks to Fiona Doherty, Austin and Dana, the sponsors and stores who contributed, and the hundreds of people who came together to make this event fun, magical and so helpful to me. So I promise them that once I get out, I'm hoping to work with musicians, develop a song set list, put together a band and make my first public musical performance outside of Vancouver in Lethbridge, Alberta!

The two things that I'm proudest of about my time in prison is how Jodie has risen to the challenge and become the best she can be in activism and business management, and how I’ve developed as a musician. When this difficult time for Jodie and I is over, we will both have new capabilities and skills that we both otherwise would not have developed. That is the essence of successfully dealing with adversity: showing improvement and advancement as a result of the ordeal.

I can't wait to see that poster in Lethbridge, "Saturday Night! Speech by Jodie Emery, Music by Marc Emery & Friends!"

From Yazoo federal prison,
In Yazoo City, Mississippi,
Marc Emery

________________________________

A note from Lethbridge fundraiser organizer Fiona Doherty on the Facebook event page:

Lethbridge, Alberta FREE MARC fundraiserHi! Just a final post on the Marc Emery Lethbridge fundraiser 2012…

Thank you very much to each and every single sponsor who donated the amazing prizes, please do your Christmas shopping with them as without their support we couldn't have these fun events…

BOBHeadquarters who donated the beautiful bongs and the volcano plenty that were raffled off, and all the silent auction and door prize donors–Charisma, B.C.P.R., Calgary 420, Amy Taylor, HeadWearz, CCHQ…

Thank you to the Lovely Lisa MamaKind for donating books, signing autographs, and sharing her bongslut wisdom…

Thank you DeathPledge, you guys are a kick ass band!!!

Thank you to Damage Inc., you really ARE the best Metallica tribute band in western Canada!!

Thank you Moose Hall for graciously hosting us for the third year in a row…

Thank YOU to everyone who came out, bought tickets, played the raffle and silent auctions, and made sure that you supported something very important–our Canadian sovereignty! Between all of us, we just sent a bank draft for $1,682.50 to Jodie Emery to help make things easier for her and Marc; and to show that we care and can make a difference from our little city!!

Thanks for making this year a success, Lethbridge activists!!!
See you all next year!
~peace!~

 

Marc Emery’s Reaction to Legalization in the USA

submitted by on November 9, 2012

Marc and Jodie, Yazoo prison, September 28th 2012It took 75 years. Seventy-five years to win the majority support for legalizing marijuana at the ballot box.

Colorado and Washington voters passed, by substantial pluralities, legalization bills that guarantee universal access to any one, resident or visitor, 21 years or older, of up to one ounce of marijuana. In Colorado, anyone can grow up to six plants, and stores will sell marijuana to adults. In Washington, the state is obliged to distribute marijuana in retail locations.

Yes, the US federal government will object, but they can't do anything about a state withdrawing all penalties for possessing marijuana, and they would be very unwise to overrule or challenge a state constitutional amendment such as Colorado’s Amendment 64.

The federal government doesn't prosecute grows under 100 plants and the DEA doesn't bust local dealers or individuals in possession. A confrontation is what the movement needs. The framers of the I-502 initiative in Washington brilliantly wrote it up and are already in talks with the US Department of Justice on how they are going to implement the law.

There is no going back now. It's a done deal. And the news is going all over the world. Even the China Daily News quoted Jodie and myself about this historic event. Every marijuana enthusiast across the planet is excited by what's happened in Washington and Colorado.

And in 2014, I believe California, Nevada, Oregon (who lost this time 54% to 46%) and Massachusetts will have universal access initiatives on the ballot, and perhaps other states too. The movement towards voter-approved legalization – or rather, an end to marijuana prohibition – is gaining ground with each passing year. Now 75% of British Columbians favor legalization of marijuana; that is a staggering plurality. Every day some new elected official, judge, prosecutor, former Attorney-General, mayor, DEA agent, FBI agent, Congressman or legislator comes on board.

I think marijuana legalization will be a main election discussion policy in the British Columbia May 2013 election. Members of the Legislature like Liberals Kash Heed and Joan McIntyre, and the NDP's Nicholas Simons, have recently made public statements recommending a completely legal, regulated and taxed marijuana distribution regime. It's getting to be a bi-partisan policy these days. I am encouraging Jodie to run in that election this May to keep the media and voters of British Columbia focused on ending prohibition.

Every one reading this felt a unique and extraordinary wave of elation on the evening of Tuesday, November 6th or the following morning when you heard "Marijuana legalized by voters in Colorado and Washington State." This incredible euphoria has affected me; as I write this, I am giddy with the hope, excitement and possibilities of the future.

However, in Canada, it is marred by the sobering fact that the Harper government's severe and harsh penalties for cannabis growing and selling come into effect this month. The new Safe Streets & Communities Act contains even more severe and wide-ranging penalties for all other illegal drugs. There will be pain and anguish and the further entrenchment of prohibition debasement of us all by the new Harper punishments.

But remember, Stephen Harper and the compassionless zombies that make up the Harper government are into punishment. They like it. It was the philosopher Nietzsche who warned "beware of those in whom the urge to punish is strong." The next Canadian federal election is still 30 months away.

This is no time to slack. Everyone reading this has a job, a duty, a calling, to do more. Preparation for 2014 initiatives must be set in motion. Contact the Marijuana Policy Project, the Drug Policy Alliance, NORML, and other organizations – do more for the initiatives closest to you that are being planned right now.

In Canada, be prepared for demonstrations, occupying the offices of the Members of Parliament and even the Prime Minister's constituency office in Calgary, demanding an end to marijuana prohibition. Canadians MUST engage in a conversation with your provincial MLA or MPP, and your federal Member of Parliament. I expect anyone reading this to support my tirelessly hard-working wife Jodie when she announces her intention to run as MLA in the May 2013 election. All Canadian activists should feel duty-bound and obligated to give cash and support to Dana Larsen's Sensible BC campaign to get a referendum in BC on decriminalizing marijuana in 2014. Get involved!

75 years it took to get to this point where the movement can now harness a majority of voters to end marijuana prohibition. This is the tipping point. My 607 days remaining in this US federal prison in Mississippi has been made a cross somewhat easier to bear, knowing that the end of prohibition is imminent.

But it won't happen like magic. Be inspired by the example of Mason Tvert of Amendment 64's Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol and SAFER Colorado, and the example of Alison Holcomb of the Washington ACLU and the New Approach Washington I-502 organization. Be grateful for Peter Lewis and Rick Steves funding the Washington initiatives, and the organizations behind all of the legalization and medical marijuana campaigns. Pledge to take action somehow yourself, wherever you are!

May I repeat, my friend and incredible cannabis advocate Dana Larsen has virtually single-handedly put the Sensible BC referendum proposal on the map for British Columbia, but he really needs more money to continue this campaign all the way to September 2014 when the citizens of BC can vote for decriminalization. Donations can be accepted from anywhere in the world, so go to the Sensible BC website at http://www.SensibleBC.ca and give Dana some well deserved cash – $10, $25, $50, anything. It helps. A lot.

The voters of Colorado and Washington did the world a wonderful favor in looking after their own interests. They proved it can happen, not only in our lifetime, but today. I've dedicated my life to fighting marijuana prohibition for 22 years now. To the citizens of Colorado and Washington, I am awed with gratitude to you – and especially those who made this historic 'fall of the cannabis Berlin Wall' moment happen: I salute you. You’ve made history, and shown us how we can make history too. And we shall!

Marc Emery, #40252-086
Yazoo City federal prison
Mississippi

__________________________________________

INSPIRED? EXCITED?

WANT TO DO SOMETHING?

Get involved!

Read Marc's article: "Advice for Aspiring Activists"

Donate to any organization that works to reform marijuana laws, and volunteer some time for their campaigns:

http://www.DrugPolicy.org
http://www.MarijuanaPolicyProject.org
http://www.NORML.org
http://www.StopTheDrugWar.org
http://www.LEAP.cc
http://www.SSDP.org
http://www.StopTheViolenceBC.org
http://www.SensibleBC.ca

 

www.FREEMARC.ca
Marc in Yazoo prison, Mississippi

 

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Marc’s US Election Excitement from Behind Bars in Mississippi

submitted by on October 7, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vote YES on Amendment 64 in Colorado!I do hope the initiatives in Colorado (YES on Amendment 64!) and Oregon (YES on Measure 80!) pass too (check out www.RegulateMarijuana.org and www.Vote80.org). Mason Tvert, one of the principal forces behind the Proposition 64 in Colorado, with his group SAFER, has over a decade of tremendous work in Colorado, first getting a Denver initiative passed way back in 2007 – see more about that at www.saferdenver.saferchoice.org. Colorado already is a medical marijuana state. Polling in Colorado suggests the vote will be close, but is winnable. Oregon is walking a tightrope, and lacks funding to promote the initiative there, but Paul Stanford has done a very admirable job gathering the signatures with his group to get the legalization question on the ballot there, and Russ Belville has been working hard promoting it too.

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

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

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

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

There are two perfect candidates running for the job of President and Vice President, and while they have no hope of being elected to those positions, they are the best candidates ever put before the cannabis culture for ending the drug war: Gary Johnson, the former two-term Governor of New Mexico and a wonderful, intelligent individual whom I met in 2003; and (California) Judge Jim Gray, a decades-long critic of the drug war whom has met Jodie twice this year. They make up the Libertarian ticket for the White House. They are both articulate and offer the right positions on the military, the drug war, the surveillance state, on the environment, on abortion and female reproductive autonomy, the economy, taxes, the deficit. They are both impeccably honest and very experienced. See www.GaryJohnson2012.com for more information.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Marc on the Huffington Post, and other news from prison

submitted by on September 18, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'm hoping!

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

 

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

 

Prison Blog: DEA Admits All My Seed Money Went To Activism

submitted by on July 16, 2012

Jodie and Marc in Yazoo prison, June 23rd 2012It's July 15th, and I have 724 days to go if I serve every day in the US federal system up to my early release date of July 9th, 2014. That means I now have less than two years to go on this sentence here in the US, though I am hoping to be transferred back to Canada next summer or fall to be home with Jodie in Vancouver by Christmas 2013.

If I do get a Canadian transfer, I'll receive statutory release (parole until March 2015) in Canada anytime after July 2013. I was rejected for transfer by the US Department of Justice last year in April, and have to wait two years before an application is reconsidered.

Over a year ago, after getting the transfer application rejected, one of my lawyers put in a Freedom of Information request about me to the DEA, FBI, Department of State, Bureau of Prisons, and other U.S. federal agencies. The FBI claimed not to have any file on me, others sent minor paperwork, and the DEA stalled – claiming that with so many email accounts and servers to go through, they couldn't afford the time to do it! But finally, some the DEA files were handed over; heavily redacted too, of course.

Some of the most interesting information is that the DEA confirmed that I gave over $2,000,000 to activists, activist groups, political parties, rallies, events, court challenges, and verified that over $753,000 of it was sent by Western Union wire. (I actually gave just under $4,500,000 in cash, check, money order, credit card and western union to those causes and people from 1995 to 2005, but the DEA apparently could only ascertain $2,000,000 of it, from 1999 to 2004.)

Here are the excerpts from the DEA release:
[Click the images to view the full pages]

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PAGE 14:

In a recent Editor's Page piece, EMERY and assistant editor Giesz-Ramsay boast that "my [EMERY's] organizations (including CC) have contributed over $2,000,000 toward court battles, ballot initiatives, jailed individuals, rallies, conferences, marches and elections – all involving cannabis or the drug war."

It goes on to state, "There is virtually no drug reform group or organization in North America that has not received some assistance from us."

These sentiments are confirmed by the investigation conducted by the San Francisco FD into the numerous Western Union wire transfers initiated by Marc EMERY to many marijuana political activists around the world.
—-

 

 

—-
PAGE 18:

The San Francisco Field Division, in coordination with the Blaine Resident Office is investigating Marc EMERY. At the request of Blaine RO, SFFD has conducted an analysis of Western Union wire transfers sent by EMERY for the period 5 April 1999 until 5 April 2004.

In total, $753,712.14 was transferred by EMERY through Western Union Financial Services. The financial analysis revealed that EMERY distributed this money to candidates for elections in the United States, Canada, Australia and other countries.

This Report of Investigation details the significant websites and email accounts documented in cables DTG: 102055Z June 2005 and DTG: 102110Z June 2005.
—-

 

So there you have it. Although I have claimed all along to have donated millions of dollars (all my seed profits) to activist efforts in those ten years I was a seed seller – because that was the point of the seed business – it's still nice to have the DEA confirm this. And out of the San Francisco Field Office of DEA, at that.

Of course, this further buttresses my claim that my extradition and prosecution was entirely political in nature, considering what DEA head Karen Tandy said on the day of my arrest:

"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."

As always, that DEA press release can always be seen and downloaded from the front page of www.FreeMarc.ca (click HERE for the direct link).

My band YAZOO had its July 4th concert on Friday evening, June 29th. Terry, my lead guitarist, played a beautiful Jimi Hendrix version of Star Spangled Banner in the middle of our 17-song set, which we managed to get completed in 100 minutes. It was my 8th concert, and our best yet, with few mistakes, and a comfortable 93 degrees F (34 C) temperature from 6:15pm to 8pm when we played. Our song list was:

1) Hey Joe (Hendrix)
2) Jumpin Jack Flash (Rolling Stones)
3) Sweet Home Alabama (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
4) White Room (Cream)
5) Red House (Hendrix)
6) Little Wing (Hendrix)
7) Star Spangled Banner (Hendrix)
8) Pride And Joy (SR Vaughan)
9) Back in Black (AC/DC)
10) Sharp Dressed Man (ZZ Top)
11) Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen (Santana)
12) Sunshine of Your Love (Cream)
13) Crazy Train (Ozzy)
14) Whole Lotta Love (Zeppelin)
15) Come Together (Beatles)
16) Blue on Black (KW Shepherd)
17) Voodoo Child (Hendrix)

For the last three weeks I have been learning 'Heartbreaker/Living Loving Maid' by Led Zeppelin, and now have it down. We'll be adding that pair of songs to our Labor Day concert set list. I have just mastered 'Plush' by Stone Temple Pilots and am now intensely learning and practicing on 'Enter Sandman' (Metallica), with 'Bad to The Bone' (George Thorogood) and 'Running Down A Dream' (Tom Petty) to be learned next. We have over seven weeks until this next concert and we should have these songs mastered by then.

'Heartbreaker/Living Loving Maid' was perhaps my biggest challenge so far, although it took a lot of practice to get proficient on my two previous big challenges, 'Black Magic Woman' and 'Crazy Train'. I've also been working more enthusiastically on the minor and major scales, because I have realized that all songs are created within a scale and I can see that, when I go through the B minor scale, for example, I can hear how 'Lean On Me' by Bill Withers was created out of that scale. So musical light bulbs are going off in my head about song construction and how these songs sound so 'right', it's all in the scales!

We did get a 'special' July 4th meal: two hamburger patties instead of one, a slice of watermelon, and a pouch of Famous Amos raisin/oatmeal bite-size cookies. It could be worse – and usually is!

There is a charming poster of my band YAZOO by Gary Wintle posted on my Facebook fan page at www.Facebook.com/PrinceOfPot. I finally got some copies in the mail; numerous correspondents waxed enthusiastic about it, and my bandmates' families have seen it and enjoyed it too. I want YAZOO to become the most popular band no one in the free world has ever actually heard!

If anyone reproduces the poster in color from Facebook and sends it to me, I'll have each member of the band autograph it and send it back to you. (My mailing address is always on the front page of www.FreeMarc.ca) I'm hoping we can take that wonderful Gary Wintle illustration of the band, make some modifications to it, and put it on t-shirts and get them out there. If you would be interested in buying a YAZOO band color t-shirt for $15, let Jodie know. I'm hoping we can make 50 of each male and female t-shirts, give two to the families of my four band-mates, keep a couple for posterity, and sell the other 90. I promise to sign the t-shirt for anyone who has one when Jodie and I go on our 30-50 city cross-Canada speaking tour, from September to November 2014. Can't wait to travel Canada to see our people and fire 'em up for the May 2015 federal election! We'll have to make sure the NDP and Liberals fully intend to repeal the Harper mandatory minimums for marijuana as that election comes closer.

Canada's new mandatory minimum jail sentences for marijuana and all illegal drugs come into effect November 22nd, thanks to the Stephen Harper Conservative majority government. This will change Canada's cannabis culture significantly, and worryingly. There are numerous enhancements that make jail time longer, such as growing or selling in a rented property, in residential communities, second offenses, and more. Once Canadians start being charged under these new penalties, a chill will descend on Canada's cannabis culture, and prices will rise (making the black market even more lucrative, of course). Canadians are increasingly opposed to marijuana prohibition, but the Harper Conservative government is in office until an election in May 2015. There are dark days ahead, and a lot of work will need to be done to fix everything!

I have fallen behind on responding to letters sent me, so I have decided to make four different postcards that I can use to send to everyone who writes me a letter within a day of my receiving it. Most of my letters that I write are 6-10 page letters and take 90-120 minutes. I love writing such long missives, but I don't end up responding to most of the letters I get because I actually don't have the time! So this way, I'll be able to answer each letter with a postcard (the photos are of me and Jodie in the visitation room, or of me by myself in the prison photo room) and a personal message on each one that might only take me 10-15 minutes each. Most of the letters I write tend to repeat the same information (what I'm reading, the music I'm playing, etc.) and I cover that in these blog entries, so on the postcards I'll be able to be a bit more personal (albeit brief).

I'm reading voraciously, mostly still outside, but as every day is 96-100 degrees F (35-38 C) now, and will be for the rest of July and early August, I escape to the air-conditioned environs of our unit every now and then. Some books of note that I finished recently include:

- 'The Fish That Ate The Whale', the biography of the 'Banana Man' Sam ZeMurray
- 'Emperor of All Maladies', a 'biography' of cancer
- 'Armies of the Night', by Norman Mailer, of the march on the pentagon in October 1967 protesting the draft and the Vietnam War
- All seven books in the 'Joe Sandilands' murder mysteries by Barbara Cleverly
- 'The Omnivore's Dilemma', by Michael Pollan, following up his brilliant book 'The Botany of Desire'

I've been enjoying graphic novels by Grant Morrison, his 'The Doom Patrol' Vol. 1-4, 'The New X-Men' 1-3, 'WE3', a plethora of Carl Barks material, his Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge work from 1949-1960, a very bizarre and wonderful series called 'CHEW' about an investigator who is 'cibopathic', meaning he gets visions and information from eating anything (except beets). So to solve murders he (now this is strange) eats a sample of the flesh or blood of victims, or the murderer! I've also gotten larger hardcovers of the work of Steve Ditko and Bernie Kriegstein. Kriegstein did work for EC comics and others in the 1950's, and Ditko has a career spanning the 50's to the early 80's, and is most famous for the first 38 Spiderman comics. He was an Ayn Rand acolyte, and that shows up in work like 'Mr. A' and 'Avenging World'.

These and so many other graphic novels that I get (and lend around the prison extensively) come to me courtesy of my great friend Dana Larsen. And most of the books I'm reading, and music books I work from come from Dana too! Dana is organizing 'Sensible BC', which exists to get a referendum on the ballot in British Columbia in September 2014 to essentially decriminalize marijuana possession in BC. Dana is an incredible activist and person and I hope you will join his Facebook page (click HERE) and support his dispensaries, Sensible BC at www.SensibleBC.ca, and his many other extraordinary projects. Dana ran for leadership of the BC New Democratic Party from January to April 2011, and was very, very good in that campaign all the way to the leadership convention, and represented the cannabis community with great panache and honor.

Jodie and Marc in Yazoo prison, June 23rd 2012Jodie visited me last weekend, and you can always see the latest photos of us on my Facebook page, where she recently posted the photos from our visit here on June 24th and 25th, and she shares them in her weekly videos at www.YouTube.com/PotTVNetwork (also always posted at www.Pot.tv and www.FreeMarc.ca). As you can see, there is a new photo background, a change from the fence by the seaside background that has been at Yazoo since May of last year.

For every anniversary or special occasion between Jodie and I, I make a special card relying heavily on the talents of one or two Mexican guys here. In prison there are many talented artists, particularly from Mexico, and they do great 3-D greeting cards. I help out in simple things like waxing the letters to make them shine and gleam, cutting out the paper or cardboard shapes, gluing pieces together, and choosing the text. I admit I don't do the really talented work! I started work on June 4th for the card for Jodie and my 6th anniversary (on July 23rd), and finished it June 24, sent it June 25 only to have Jodie get an empty envelope in the mail! These are exquisitely beautiful cards and Jodie proudly shows them on her Jodie Emery show every week at www.Pot.tv and www.FreeMarc.ca.

Despite the latest card going missing in the mail (maybe look for it on eBay sometime in the future as an authentic Marc Emery signed card – hah!) I still have time to get another card made, so I've started work on it with my brilliant Mexican artist and I'm hoping we have one ready by next week in time to send to Jodie, arriving before July 23rd. Look for it on the Jodie Emery show of July 26th! And thank you to those friends and fans who send donations to my commissary, so I can buy phone calls to talk to Jodie, and other prison essentials. Jodie and I both really appreciate it!