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 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

 

Letter to Jodie upon receiving the bad news

submitted by on April 25, 2011

Dearest Sweet Wife: Today, April 16th, I have 1,188 days to go until my release date of July 9th, 2014. That includes my 235 days good time credit, so I have to hope I can maintain that good standing to get out by then. That's 38 months and 3 weeks away, a long time, no doubt, but it was once 60 months. And before that there was five years where you and I anticipated the inevitable extradition and incarceration with anxiety and unspoken dread.

All our time together since you and I became intimate exactly seven years ago this week has been tinted with the certain knowledge I would be going to jail. When you and I got involved in April of 2004, I was facing charges of passing one joint in Saskatoon, a charge that kept me in jail five days just to obtain bail the month before, March 2004. I had been on a university speaking tour across Canada, and after speaking at the University of Saskatchewan campus, 40 of us went to smoke a few joints in the park beside the Bessborough Hotel where I was staying. We were all nestled in the Vimy Ridge memorial pavilion, honouring the soldiers who died in the infamous WW1 battle (fighting for "our freedom" as they say). After we finished, a police officer came by, said he smelled smoke, and asked a 23-year old university student, "Did Mr. Emery pass you the joint?" Yes, the student replied.

On August 19th, 2004, I was convicted of trafficking that one joint, and much to both our shock, was sentenced to three months, 92 days, in Saskatoon Correctional Center. My time there is well documented, and you should resurrect some of the choice jail blogs that I made throughout my time there, especially so they don't get lost into the cybersphere forever, as those were some of the best writings I had ever done up to that time. Remember, that is where we fell completely in love, if we weren't already, because each night I would furiously write my thoughts and politics from 10pm to 2am each night, and then after my job in the jail was done from 8am to 2:30pm – I was the janitor of the prison administration center where much of that staff worked, paid $5 a day, the top wage in the inmate job hierarchy – I called Chris Bennett of Pot-TV collect and he would record my voice narrating my writings of the night before. He would put this on a CD and hand it to you, and each night you would painstakingly listen to the disc, line by line, and type it up so it could be read on the internet.

Just as my newsletters I wrote at D. Ray James were read by the staff there, at Saskatoon Correctional, all the staff would read my jail blogs of my time there. When I was vacuuming the carpets around the staff, I would spy out of the corner of my eye them reading the latest entries. It was a passionate retelling of each day there, and all the political, emotional revelations that were going on. A lot seemed to happen in the 62 days there. I went in to court on August 19th, and I thought I would get a $500 fine, but instead was stunned when the judge, after a long speech condemning my bad influence on the community, gave me 3 months. The last words I said as I was handcuffed and lead away immediately after sentencing was, "Three months for one joint!!!????" It was a blazing hot summer day outside that August 19th.

I was released on October 19th into a beautiful snowy blizzard. Your taxi to pick me up was an hour late because of the bad roads. It was cold and the snow fell relentlessly, but there are few days in my life when I was happier. You were there to pick me up at the prison with Dana and Rebecca, and you accompanied me to the various TV and radio stations to give my comments on my highly publicized release. I savoured the food in four different restaurants that day, and then by mid-afternoon, I could wait no longer and we made love in the hotel. I remember that evening I was in the hotel computer room, doing my email, you sitting beside me, and I was speaking on my phone and said "I just got out of jail", then, noticing a person on the computer beside me, put my hand on his shoulder and said to him, "Don't worry, it was nothing unsavoury", and he turned around and said, "I know." It was Canadian musician Matthew Good, performing that night in Saskatoon, staying at the same hotel, also checking his email.

US transfer application rejection letterUS transfer application rejection letterI bring this jail memory up because yesterday I received the dreadful, but not wholly unexpected, DENIAL of treaty transfer from the US Department of Justice.

I know you had sincere strong hopes that both governments would accept my transfer application. I certainly qualified in all of the criteria set out in the DOJ guidelines, and I had unprecedented political support in Canada – a Senator, 14 Members of Parliament, a Member of the BC Legislature, four city councillors, two mayors, and at least one State Representative. Those are just the elected officials we are aware of whose endorsement for transfer we have copies of. Yet I was refused because of the "seriousness of my offense" and "serious law enforcement concerns".

Additionally, it would appear my constant critiquing of the US penal system in my newsletters was inferred as a reason for the refusal, as the DOJ referred to my "actions within my control" that caused them to deny me.

DEA chief Karen Tandy always said my arrest was political, in fact, in her statement issued the day of my arrest, she doesn't actually mention my so-called crime of selling seeds to consenting adults, because that, juxtaposed with being one of the top 46 most wanted in the world, would sound outrageous and absurd. Instead she railed on repeatedly about my political 'crimes' in opposing the US federal government war of cannabis.

DEA Head Karen Tandy's statement on MarcDEA Head Karen Tandy's statement on Marc

"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."

When I called you and told you the upsetting news about my transfer application being rejected, you were thunderstruck. I know it was a shock and disappointment, and of course, we both know it's further punishment because of my life's work in repealing marijuana prohibition, and for the millions of dollars – not hundreds of thousands as Tandy stated, but millions of dollars – I contributed to the US, Canadian and worldwide repeal movements, and my pride in doing so.

We have no choice but to channel our indignation into the movement. I expect every soldier in our great cause to do their duty. I hope our American friends and supporters will appeal to hold "OBAMA: FREE MARC EMERY" signs, banners, etc. at every opportunity at every rally, gathering, website, Facebook profile, meeting, town hall, sports event, and wherever people gather. I enjoin them to begin a campaign to write the President and urge him to pardon me.

I also urge my American friends to support the Presidential nomination campaigns of Congressman Ron Paul and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. These two men are great men, fully behind the repeal of cannabis prohibition, and do not retreat from saying so. They need our full support, in primary votes, in campaign contributions, in volunteer efforts, fundraising, and sign carrying. I cannot stress this too much. Ron Paul was the real man of Hope in 2008, but the false Hope was elected instead. Ron Paul is the greatest man of our time, a champion of the Constitution and has opposed every aspect of the drug war since first elected to Congress in 1974. He is co-sponsor of bills legalizing personal possession of cannabis [video link], industrial hemp, medical marijuana, the Truth in Trials Act, ending the Drug Czar's budget – simply every aspect of the federal drug war, Ron Paul has opposed it. [Marc's massive study of all US Congress votes for Cannabis Culture Magazine #63 showed that Ron Paul was the #1 supporter of our culture. View that article here.]

It is my fervent hope that the Republican Presidential ticket for 2012 will be Ron Paul & Gary Johnson as President/Vice-Presidential nominee. Ron Paul is an incredibly decent, honest, ethical man, an intellectual giant and a down-to-earth person. There simply has never been a better candidate for the trust of the people in the last 50 years for the office of President. For our people, our cannabis culture, there simply is no one who comes close. Jodie, if our American people want to honour my life-long struggle to secure their freedom in the face of this prohibition tyranny, they MUST support Ron Paul in his bid for President. [Read more about Ron Paul's stance on cannabis and the drug war here, here, here, and here.]

My Canadian people must commit themselves to voting in the May 2nd Canadian federal election. It is vital to punish the Conservatives for both extraditing me, and persisting in bringing in legislation to impose mandatory minimum jail sentences and other cruel punishments upon the cannabis culture. Most young people do not vote; this has had, and will have, tragic consequences if that happens May 2nd. I recommend all young people, all Canadians reading this, vote at the earliest advanced poll they can find for their riding, before May 2nd. They must vote for the candidate with the greatest chance of defeating the Conservative. In English Canada, this means voting Liberal or NDP, in French Canada, this means voting for the Bloc or Liberal. This is no time to vote Green; that alas, only helps the Conservative. Certainly, it is not the time in our culture's history, in our nation's history, to fail to vote. Think "FREE MARC EMERY – IMPRISON STEPHEN HARPER" and get out and vote.

If they need a push, Jodie, beg them to read my most recent essay, amongst the best works of writing I have ever done, "A Visit by the Grand Inquisitor Himself on the Eve of an Election Call". If they don't realize who the Grand Inquisitor in the story is, Jodie, please tell them. Whatever people think of Michael Ignatieff or Jack Layton, they are not evil men. Stephen Harper is evil and death, to our culture particularly, and to Canada certainly. [See "10 Reasons to oppose the Harper candidate in your riding" from Rabble.ca for a great list of why Harper is such a threat to Canada.]

As for us, I hope our wonderful supporters who have been so caring, loving and generous to myself and you will continue to be so kind, you will need the financial help so you can visit every two weeks in Mississippi, and I will need the great uplifting letters I continue to receive. 38 months and three weeks IS a long time, but it is made endurable by the gifts of love and respect I receive from those who take the time to show their support, consideration and understanding.

Send mail or money to Marc

Most of all, my dear sweet Jodie, without you I would be lost, forlorn, and ever so lonely. You are my rock, my pride, you have exceeded all my expectations and have become one of the most respected activists for our glorious cause. Every day you impress me and hundreds of thousands of others by your dedication, passion and eloquence. I live on through you and am dearly proud that you bear my name, Mrs. Jodie Emery. I pray for your well being, and I am not a religious man, but those positive affirmations to the universe make me feel better, and I can only hope that many others will do what they can to help you, when and how they can do so.

I remain, Your honoured husband,
Grateful I have so much, under these circumstances, to still be thankful for,
Marc
xox

Political Prisoner Marc Emery Denied Transfer Home by US Government

submitted by on April 19, 2011

CANNABIS CULTURE – The United States Department of Justice has refused imprisoned political activist Marc Emery's transfer back to Canada, meaning he will likely spend the majority of his five-year sentence in a US federal prison.

In a phone call placed this afternoon from a prisoner transfer center in Oklahoma, Marc informed his wife and fellow activist Jodie Emery that he received a letter from the Canadian consulate with news the US government would not approve his treaty transfer back to Canada due to "the seriousness of the offence" and "law enforcement concerns". View the rejection notice PDF file here.

If the US and Canadian governments had approved the transfer, Marc would have been moved to a Canadian prison, closer to his friends and family, and would have been eligible for parole almost immediately upon his return. Twenty-three current and previously-elected representatives from every level of government in Canada had signed a letter to the Department of Justice asking for Marc to be transferred to Canada. View that official letter below:


Click to enlarge

"I'm really stunned and greatly saddened," Jodie told Cannabis Culture. "It looks like the DEA and the US government want their pound of flesh, and they want Marc to suffer down there as a non-violent, peaceful political party leader imprisoned for his activism. This is devastating."

Known as the Prince of Pot in Canada, cannabis activist Marc Emery was extradited to the US by the Conservative government on May 10, 2010 after a five year court battle. In 2005, his marijuana seed shop, Marc Emery Direct Seeds, was raided and shut down in a joint effort by Canadian and US authorities.

Marc, who was founder of the BC Marijuana Party and Cannabis Culture Magazine, was arrested for shipping pot seeds in the mail to the US, though the DEA admitted in its own press release that the activist's arrest was a political act, stating:

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.

"This refusal is a terrible affront to the sovereignty of Canada," said Emery's Canadian counsel, Kirk Tousaw. "Marc is a target of political persecution that appears to have transcended his conviction and now infects the treaty transfer process. He qualifies under every relevant factor and should have been allowed to serve out his jail term in Canada, close to his wife Jodie and in the country in which all of his activity took place. We call upon Prime Minister Harper and the leaders of the Liberal Party and NDP to stand up for this Canadian hero and demand his immediate repatriation."

According to Tousaw, Marc has the right to re-apply for another transfer in two years time. In the meantime, his wife and supporters vowed to exhaust every option to secure his swift return to Canada.

"Marc has never harmed anyone and has devoted his life to fighting oppression," Jodie said. "He's been punished for speaking out for the rights of tens of millions of cannabis consumers here and in the US and it's truly frightening. Canadians who feel Marc has been treated unfairly with an unjust five-year US prison sentence for seeds should punish the Conservatives in the federal election on May 2nd for extraditing Marc in the first place."

The circumstances surrounding Marc's learning of the refusal are also peculiar.

"It is impermissible under the professional conduct rules in the District of Columbia for lawyers to communicate directly with a represented person, or cause others to communicate with a represented person, without going through their lawyer," Tousaw said.

"Here, neither I nor [Emery's US lawyer] Ms. Royce were told of the US refusal. Instead, the US apparently told the Canadian Consulate first and it was the Consulate that informed Marc. This is very unusual and should not have happened. It makes me wonder whether the US and Canada are engaged in ongoing dialogue about Marc and lends support to the belief that politics are still influencing the process."

Go to FreeMarc.ca to find out more about Marc Emery and how to help bring him home.

Get out and VOTE on MAY 2! Click here for more election information from Cannabis Culture and find out how to strategically vote out the Stephen Harper and the Conservatives.

URGENT: What to Write to Help Marc now that his transfer application is in!

submitted by on December 12, 2010
Here is a letter from our lawyers explaining what you should write when contacting the US Justice Department asking for Marc to be transferred. Thank you for your continued support! 

Click here for the official letter.

To: Friends and Supporters of Marc Emery

From: Sylvia Royce, American attorney, and Kirk Tousaw, Canadian attorney

Re: Letters in support of Marc’s prisoner transfer to Canada

Dear All:

First, we apologize for the form letter, but it is the only effective manner to get this information to everyone.  Please allow us to explain.

As you know, Marc was arrested in 2005 in Canada and eventually brought to the United States to face charges that he had violated U.S. drug laws.  In the face of a certain conviction and prison time of at least 10 years and possibly up to 25 years, he quickly pleaded guilty and was sentenced to serve 60 months in prison.

There is a treaty between Canada and the United States which allows citizens of each to go to their home country to serve their foreign sentence.  There is no reduction in the sentence after transfer, but because Canadian parole practices are more generous than the U.S. laws on supervised release, Canadians who return to Canada are almost invariably released on parole far in advance of when they would be released in the U.S. 

The sentencing judge in Marc’s case recommended that “any application by Mr. Emery to serve his sentence in Canada pursuant to [the Treaty] be approved.”  But the recommendation of the sentencing judge does not end the matter.  Applications must be approved by the U.S. Department of Justice, of which the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is a part.  So we must persuade the Department of Justice to ignore its own colleagues to obtain their approval for Marc’s transfer.

Marc deliberately disobeyed U.S. (and Canadian) drug policy in an effort to bring about an important political change.  This is in the tradition of civil disobedience as a means of political protest.  In the civil disobedience tradition, however, the perpetrator often faces the consequences of the illegal act in an effort to draw attention to the unjust law. 

Here, we are asking the Department of Justice to accord Marc a benefit which will have the effect of reducing the amount of time he will serve in prison, and having him serve it in a different political environment.  Thus, we face another hurdle in persuading the Department of Justice to approve Marc for transfer, because in their eyes Marc will appear to be just another criminal looking for a break, not an advocate for sensible public policy.

Marc’s transfer case will probably be decided on the U.S. side around February 1, 2011.  If you would like to write to the U.S. authorities in support of Marc’s transfer, please prepare your letter as follows:

1.  Address the letter to:

            Paula A. Wolff, Chief

            International Prisoner Transfer Program

            U.S. Department of Justice

2.  Send the original of your letter (not a copy, please) to:

            Kirk Tousaw

            142-757 West Hastings, Suite 211

            Vancouver, British Columbia  V6C1A1

            Kirk will assemble all the letters at the end of January and send them in a single FedEx to Sylvia. 

3.  In your letter, please consider the following:

            a.  First, tell Ms. Wolff a little about yourself: who you are, what you do for a living, how you know Marc Emery, and how long you have know him.  Make sure that Marc’s full name is mentioned in the first few lines of your letter or on a separate line after the address.

             b.  Second, acknowledge in your letter that you are aware of the basic underlying situation, and that you understand that Marc admitted his illegal conduct in the U.S.  If you believe that Marc has accepted responsibility for his actions, include that.

            c.  Share with Ms. Wolff your opinions of Marc, both as a person and as an advocate for legalizing marijuana within the U.S. and Canada.  Indicate whether you think society would benefit from Marc’s return to Canada, and whether, in your opinion, he is likely to violate the law again.  If you know anything about Marc’s prior charges for violating marijuana laws in Canada, indicate whether you think he will resume that.  As you may know, Marc himself has promised to obey the law upon his return to Canada or release from prison.

            d.  Indicate somewhere that you understand that transfer is a matter of grace or government discretion, not a routine matter or a right.

            e.  Please type your letter if at all possible.  Handwritten letters can be hard to read and we want to be sure that the U.S. authorities read all your letters.

Sincerely,

Kirk Tousaw and Sylvia Royce