Marc wrote this prison blog in response to an offensive, inaccurate attack column against Jodie, Marc and all marijuana legalization activists written by Michael Coren, a columnist and TV host for “Fox News North” Sun Media. Coren has had Jodie on his TV show three times, but the third appearance resulted in an online backlash against him, leading Coren to write this column.
Watch Jodie’s appearances on Coren’s Sun TV show; the third is the most recent one, which began the controversy (you can also watch the videos at the bottom of this page):
1) November 2011
2) February 2012
3) December 2012
My Response To Michael Coren
By Marc Emery
The two greatest cultures on Earth that have done most to enhance the lives of people of the planet in the last 100 or so years are the Jewish culture and the cannabis culture, two historically demonized and persecuted peoples.
The Jewish culture is remarkable in that such a small relative population currently numbering no more than 30 million people worldwide (a little more than half a percent of the current 7 billion population) has not only endured murderous pogroms* in Europe for 500 years (1450-1950), but in the last century Jewish individuals were recognized with 105 Nobel prizes for achievements in science, economics, chemistry, physics. Consider that Islamic culture, of which there are over one billion people on Earth, or 14 percent of the world's population, has won only 3 Nobel prizes in the same 110 years, and one of those went to Yasser Arafat.
(*Pogrom means an organized campaign by government to demonize and persecute an identified minority with a larger society. Originally a Russian word, it is now part of the English language. It is identified most closely with the persecution of Jews in Russia from 1820 to 1917.)
Jewish people have been prominent in all aspects of business, science (biology, disease control, vaccination, chemistry, physics, electricity, and many more sciences), aerospace, technology, industry, film, journalism, literature, theatre, and computers. The impact by Jewish people in human advancement is stunning by comparison with all other races, religions, or cultures – except one, the Cannabis Culture.
Although Shakespeare, the greatest writer in the English language, was a proven cannabis consumer, the staggering achievements of the cannabis culture are most noticed in the last 60 years, particularly in the fields of music, literature, film, theatre, science, art, technology, computers, architecture, astrophysics, and business.
The number of marijuana consumers on Earth currently number about 200 million, despite the arrest and incarceration of 30 million of the cannabis culture worldwide since 1961, when the first universal law of prohibition (The Single Convention Treaty on Narcotics) was signed into law by all member states of the United Nations. It is believed 60,000 people have been murdered or executed by the police and enforcers of prohibition worldwide for offenses that were exclusive cannabis related, since 1960.
In Canada, since 1967, over two million Canadians have been arrested for cannabis-related offenses of the law; over 300,000 of these individuals served time in jail. In the United States, since 1966, 26 million Americans have been arrested for cannabis related offenses, and over five million have spent time in jail after these arrests. In New York City today, 50,000 citizens are charged with marijuana offenses annually, and in Canada, over 10,000 are charged with marijuana possession offenses annually.
I myself am serving five years in a US federal prison for (ostensibly) selling cannabis seeds from my desk in Vancouver, despite never having left Canada while doing so, but the head of DEA said in the press release the day of my arrest that it was all about my political activity for legalization. In fact, our Freedom of Information Act request to get my file from DEA revealed that they had in fact tracked over $2 million dollars in my contributions to activist organizations and individuals operating in the United States, including ballot initiatives in Washington, DC (1998), Colorado (2000), Arizona (2000), Alaska (2000, 2002, 2004), class action lawsuits against the US government (1999), and over 200 other campaigns.
When I was arrested in 2004 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for passing one joint, and sentenced to three months in provincial prison (much to my surprise, as the police had seized no marijuana, having only a witness who said I passed a joint to a 22-year old person), I had my first incarcerated experience of the drug war and spent much time studying its pernicious underpinnings.
I read then a book I consider the greatest study undertaken to understand the drug war, and it greatly influenced me then, and still does to this day. I have never found a book more insightful as to the true nature of our enemies, the Prohibitionists, as I have in the book DRUG WARRIORS & THEIR PREY by Richard Lawrence Miller. There simply is no more important book about the drug war and why the cannabis culture, and by comparison in the book, the European Jewish culture, were both targeted for destruction and elimination by the dominant governments of the times, the cannabis culture by the American and Canadian governments from 1969 to the present, and the European Jewish culture by almost every central and eastern European government from 1900 to 1945.
It explains the four processes of culture annihilation that both The Marijuana People and The Jewish People faced (and face) in their respective culture.
These four processes, approved and codified in laws affecting every aspect of North American life today for the cannabis culture and every aspect of Jewish European life in the 1900 to 1945 period, are, in order:
3. Segregation & Terrorization
In the Demonization process, the government engages in propaganda to condemn the cannabis culture or Jewish culture as deviant, impure, corrupting to youth, foreign, unpatriotic, unhealthy. Conservatives in both the United States and Canada wage every campaign of the last 35 years as an attack of the cultural values of the 1960's. Stephen Harper has launched his pogrom against the cannabis culture in Canada by specifically identifying the culture of the 1960's, with its cannabis-inspired music, theatre, poetry, sexual freedom, anti-authority journalism, dissent, environmentalism, anti-war ethos.
(From Marc's prison blog from 2009, "Stephen Harper and the End Of Days (of Canada As We Know It)": Marijuana use represents everything Stephen Harper wants eliminated from acceptable Canadian society. Harper, when launching the National Anti-Drug Strategy on October 4, 2007, cited permissive values of the 1960's when launching his latter-day crusade against the infidels – click here to watch the video: "A simple war on drugs is not going to be successful," he said, "but neither is simply being soft on the question going to be successful. We are up against a culture that, since the 1960's, has had at the minimum not discouraged drug use and often romanticized it, or made it cool. My son is listening to my Beatles records and asking me what all these lyrics mean. I love these records. I'm not putting them away. But we have to change the culture.")
Governments in Europe in the 1930's and governments in the periods 1970-present in North America used the schools to encourage children to turn in marijuana people, propagandizing all students with absurd, unscientific hate spiels. Governments buy ads on television, radio, newspapers, entirely with the cowed compliance of all media in both countries, to assert fictions designed to separate the cannabis culture from being regarded as first class citizens. Jews and the cannabis culture are asserted to be different from 'regular' citizens, not entitled to the constitutional protections that other citizens receive. Jewish culture and cannabis culture are in fact, peaceful and honest lifestyles harming no one, so the government needs to put a wedge between the dominant culture and those targeted for persecution.
After the propaganda campaign comes the changes in laws that affect every aspect of life: the ostracization by law. Jews and the cannabis culture that do not hide their cultural affiliation cannot be teachers. They cannot be judges. They cannot be policemen. They cannot hold elected office. They cannot be bonded. They cannot get security clearance for sensitive government jobs. They can have their children taken from them for 're-education'. They cannot travel to neighboring countries. They get urine and blood tested before being considered for most jobs in industry or the federal government (European Jews were not required to submit to this), and if they are verified as part of the Jewish or cannabis culture, they are eliminated from consideration for employment. They can be refused public assistance in the form of welfare, food stamps, public housing, student loans, student grants, admission to universities and colleges.
In North America, neighbors, utility inspectors, fire inspectors, municipal zoning officers, postal delivery people, are all organized to inform to the authorities if anyone in the cannabis culture house is suspected of having cannabis plants in the home. The parents must advise the children never to discuss the use of cannabis or the existence of plants/Jewish rituals in the home with anyone else, or the state and its agents will seize the children, seize the home, and/or arrest the parents. The police are empowered to destroy or seize the home and the contents of the home. Notices can be posted outside the home on the front lawn, by police, that say, "drug house"/"Jews" and all neighbors encouraged to ostracize the cannabis culture/Jews living therein. Landlords are informed and certainly urged by authorities to evict the cannabis culture/Jewish family immediately. The media are advised, and the cannabis culture/Jews will have the police visit publicized. Employers will be encouraged by this media exposure to fire the cannabis culture person/Jews from their employ, lest the business be tainted by bad relations with the state and propagandized population.
The necessary corollaries for the propaganda and demonization campaign are severe laws punishing the practices of the cannabis culture through Prohibition. All aspects of the cannabis culture are prohibited, whether banning the implements of use of cannabis, or material to cultivate cannabis, or any aspect of its distribution. These prohibition laws manufacture millions of 'criminals' overnight; the laws of the state virtually manufacture crime where previously there was none – manufacturing criminals where previously there were none. 'Crime' organizations instantly exist to re-create the previously unhindered legal use and distribution. This has the necessary effect of creating violence within the cannabis culture, as what was previously of almost no financial value becomes an extraordinarily lucrative commodity. Demand remains constant while production is now entirely moved underground, the scope so vast as to permit the state to relentlessly increase the size and scope of its police repression with unquestioned and virtually unlimited annual increases in taxpayer revenues.
Once the full effect of laws are applied at the municipal level through safety inspections, utility inspections, at the state/provincial level through employment tests (urine, blood, social media, government contracts), Child Protection Agency inspections, and road-stop inspections, at the federal levels through pervasive legislation, government mandated blood and urine tests, then the state unleashes its full fury through militarized and violent assaults on the cannabis culture/Jewish culture. At this point, SWAT teams, fully militarized armed and masked agents of the state, routinely (meaning daily) smash into peaceful dwellings, immediately killing pet animals and threatening to kill everyone inside if they do not immediately submit to being laid on the ground, roughed up, handcuffed and led outside.
The modus operandi of the current terrorization of the cannabis culture by state agencies in Canada and the US is virtually identical to the European persecution of Jews. Police have full reign to wiretap, surveil, use any level of force, destroy as much property with impunity, have the residents evicted, seize the property by outright forfeiture, the children sent to re-education centers away from the custodial care of the parents. Then in order to re-occupy the home, the residents must submit to extortion by municipal electrical, safety, and housing inspectors, costing upwards of tens of thousands of dollars to meet compliance with rules specifically passed into law to harass and humiliate the cannabis culture family.
The popular media is then enjoined unquestioningly to trumpet the heroic efforts of the police who seek out and rid the community of "vermin" Jews/cannabis culture. The media never question the premise of this daily police violence; the federal government regulates television networks, and the private newspapers, always desperate for revenue, rely on a constant infusion of government advertising revenue.
Once the terrorization has been underway, the cannabis culture/Jews are arrested and placed in prisons, for increasingly longer sentences, under continually deteriorating or inhumane conditions of over-crowding, substandard food, violence by guards and other 'criminals'. It happens with such daily frequency the 'regular' civilian population pays virtually no attention. Police have absolute power, government ministers are immune from any consequences of their systemic cultural destruction, and the cycle is now well on its way to the conclusion of the deliberate campaign by government, the elimination of the cannabis culture/Jewish culture entirely.
For what is the ultimate intended effect of the marijuana prohibition by the US and Canadian federal government? It can only be the total and utter destruction of the cannabis culture through demonization, ostracization, terror, and finally elimination. What was the ultimate goal of the many central and eastern governments in Europe in regards to the existence of Jewish culture? There are few or no Jews in Germany, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, Hungary, and Greece, where there were over six million before 1935.
The question before the North American cannabis culture for the last 45 years has always been "how far will you let the governments of Canada and the United States go before the 4-stage cycle of cultural annihilation is complete?"
The Jews of Europe and the Cannabis Culture of North America asked the same question during their brutal ordeals of arrest, imprisonment and worse: "Why do they hate us so?"
There is only one answer, and the answer is: The State likes the cruelty, the grotesque exploitation of power, and the immoral lust for dominance. Why else be a cop? Why else be a judge? Why else be a politician? Why else to use unlimited and unearned power over the lives of others to dispose of their peaceful and honest lives at whim?
"But why us? We have so much to offer!" cried the Jews and the cannabis culture. And the state replies, as they have not ever one rational basis for this mass abuse of the Jewish people and cannabis culture, "You must suffer precisely because you are so good and have given so much, and we are so unworthy of what you have contributed to our lives and so we spite you to put you in your place, you are and always will be subservient to us, if we even let you live!"
As an activist for the end of the prohibition of cannabis and the end to the pogrom by the governments of Canada and the United States toward the cannabis culture, I was arrested 28 times from 1996 to 2010, all for cannabis-related offenses.
I was arrested when a police SWAT team of the Victoria, British Columbia police raided my home with my then-partner and her child at 4:00am one early morning in January 2003, ostensibly looking for plants. There were no plants, and the police grounds for a warrant were completely fraudulent and invented. I was arrested six times and jailed on my Summer of Legalization Tour in 2003 when I was legally (according to Canadian law at the time) smoking a bong in front of the Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Regina, St. John's and Moncton police depts. (Charges were all dropped, as I was right that the law didn’t exist then.) I was arrested when police SWAT teams raided the offices of Cannabis Culture Magazine, and my HEMP BC store, in January 1996, December 1997, April 1998, and September 1998. I was arrested and jailed for 68 days for passing one joint in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan after speaking at the university of Saskatchewan in March 2004. I was arrested and cuffed by the highway for having four grams in my possession in July 2003. I was arrested on July 29, 2005 by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at the behest of the US DEA and with the complete collaboration of the Canadian federal government, and sentenced to five years in a plea deal instead of getting thirty years to life and dying behind bars.
So I know about the abuse of power at the pernicious whim of authorities.
Every Justice Minister/Attorney-General of Canada since Pierre Elliot Trudeau was Justice Minister in 1967 is a party to this pogrom so severe as to be unforgivable and its immorality inerasable from the historical record. The same is true for Attorneys-General of the United States. The Presidents and Prime Ministers of both countries who permitted such a brutality against millions of citizens to occur on their watch are fully guilty of a crime against humanity and all still alive should be brought to trial and prosecuted.
This includes Justice Ministers of Canada Kim Campbell (Mulroney government), John Turner (Trudeau government), Jean Chretien (Trudeau government), Rob Nicholson (current Conservative government), and Irwin Cotler (Paul Martin's government) and all others who served as Justice Minister and permitted this prohibition abomination to persist.
Irwin Cotler was Justice Minister when one of his minions in the court of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan sentenced me to three months in prison for passing a joint in March 2004.
When anyone from the cannabis culture reaches elected office, the responsibility on that person, having once been part of a persecuted minority, is much greater than that of any ordinary person. The elected person from the cannabis culture retains intimate knowledge and experience as to how insidious and abusive the arbitrary authority of government can be. So when someone from our culture reaches elected office, the betrayal is far more egregious if that person becomes a prohibitionist drug warrior. It is unforgivable and the greatest treason to decent human values as well as a complete negation of morality. That person is more evil because they know better, but for power and lust of domination, they betray us and become our worst enemy. In this class we can include many politicians, but certainly President Barack Obama.
So too is the responsibility for any Jewish person who achieves power in government, particularly a Justice Minister or Attorney-General. When a Jewish person turns his back on his collective history of persecution and becomes the channel for mass persecution of those exercising peaceful and honest lifestyle choices, he becomes a cipher for pure evil.
In this regard, you have to ask yourself, as I did in September 2004 while serving a three-month prison sentence in a Prairie gulag a thousand miles from home, what do you call a Jewish human rights activist who, as Justice Minister, betrays the principles of decent humanity for arbitrary punishment and power? Do you call him a Nazi Jew or a Jewish Nazi? To me, there is no doubt about his capability and capacity for evil as a government agent; the only question is the appropriate terminology to describe his perfidious deal with evil. And so I wrote that in my prison blog while serving that incarceration in September 2004. My diary thoughts on what was the appropriate description to refer to Irwin Cotler were never printed anywhere, and in fact, you can't find my original daily diary notes of that incarceration anywhere – which is quite unfortunate, because my writings from August 20 to October 19, 2004, the period of incarceration (I served seven days in March 2004 awaiting bail) produced some of the best work I have ever done.
Ten months later, the Liberal Justice Minister Cotler, in collaboration with Republican President George W. Bush's Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales, signed on to the extradition request of the United States seeking to imprison me in the US for my political activities.
In May of 2010, Conservative Justice Minister Rob Nicholson handed me over to Democratic President Barack Obama's Attorney-General Eric Holder's US federal justice system to be incarcerated for a five-year sentence, despite never having gone to the United States.
Michael Coren's column in the Toronto Sun ridiculed and insulted me, my wife Jodie, and the rest of the legalization movement. It's such a pity that a man who prospers free from persecution can so easily cast away the collective past history of our people. In 1983, I wrote a biography of a woman from my hometown of London, Ontario – Fanny Goose – who escaped the Holocaust in Europe, seeing every member of her huge family murdered. It's a compelling and riveting story, a triumph of her spirit during a staggering, horrific ordeal. The lesson of the holocaust is 'Never again'. Not for anyone, anywhere, of any peaceful and honest lifestyle, to suffer the arbitrary cruelty of immoral government power. Not for race, not for religion, not for the plants you grow in your home, or backyard. Not for your beliefs or peaceful lifestyle. No way, no how, not ever again.
Cannabis Prohibition has been abusive to well over 30 million North Americans (and I do not, for lack of statistics, include Mexico or Central America here, but more's the tragedy, one can be certain) in the last 50 years, and Michael Coren thinks it is no more than a parallel "to the right to masturbate".
He's wrong. Never Again. Not now, not ever, no way, no how, can he make prohibition and its persecution in any way legitimate. He's a disgrace to his journalistic profession, as a Canadian. Michael Coren is an apologist for the powerful and cruel. He spits on the persecution and injustice meted out to myself, and my people. For that, he is loathsome. He should know better.