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The Jodie Emery Show – April 4, 2013

submitted by on April 19, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay informed, stay involved at:

Watch thousands of hours of Pot TV at:

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

submitted by on April 4, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"What does that mean?" I asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vancouver & Canada 4/20 websites:

World-wide 4/20 rally list:

2013 Global Marijuana March rally list:

Global Marijuana March Wikipedia page:


Two great 420 Vancouver 2012 videos shot from up high:


Part 2:

The Jodie Emery Show – March 28, 2013

submitted by on

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay informed, stay involved at:

Watch thousands of hours of Pot TV at:

The Jodie Emery Show – March 21, 2013

submitted by on

Jodie and Marc continue to be excited by the approaching possibility of a transfer back to Canada for Marc. Read his blogs and find out how you can write to Marc. He loves to hear from fellow supporters and activists. All the info is at:

Jodie shares more photos she Marc had taken as well as another beautiful work of art sent from the prison by Marc. He's proud of Jodie's election campaign with the BC Green Party, for the May 14th British Columbia provincial election! Find out more about it at – and remember, anyone can donate from anywhere in the world!

Mason Tvert, leading U.S. cannabis activist who made marijuana legal in Colorado, was in town to take part in Sensible BC's public forums. Jodie was on the Sensible BC panel when the forums went to Langley, BC. Read about Jodie's presentation in the Langley Times news here:…

For all the info about Sensible BC, please go to

Dana Larsen, organizer of the Sensible BC campaign to decriminalize cannabis in the province, was featured with an article in the Vancouver Sun newspaper, pointing out that cannabis use is much safer than alcohol. You can see that article at:…

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

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

Stay informed, stay involved at:

Watch thousands of hours of Pot TV at:

The Jodie Emery Show – March 14, 2013

submitted by on March 22, 2013

With 481 days left on his prison sentence, Marc is excited that his prison transfer application to come home to Canada is going to the US government next month. Marc meets all of the criteria for transfer, and should serve the remainder of his sentence closer to home. Please send a letter politely explaining why you think Marc should be transfered home to Canada:

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

Read Marc's blog about his transfer campaign here:…

Read Marc's latest blog here:…

Jodie shares pics of Marc and his buddy Terry, both with their instruments as they prepare to play another concert for the prison with their band "Yazoo". We look for full band performance pictures to arrive in the weeks ahead!

Our good friend Mason Tvert, who is responsible for legalized cannabis first in Denver and then the entire state of Colorado, is in Vancouver to be part of the Sensible BC Publiuc Forums being held to inform the public about the forthcoming Sensible BC referendum to make marijuana the lowest police priority in British Columbia. Mason will be part of the panel speaking on March 15, 2013 in Coquitlam at the Poirier Community Centre, Centennial Room. It runs from 7-9pm.

Jodie will also join the Sensible BC panel on March 20, 2013 to be held in Langley at the Fraser Presentation Theatre. Future public forums will be held in the following locations: Richmond, Delta, Surrey, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Kamloops, Kelowna, Prince George, Dawson Creek. For all the info go to

Another weekly winner is pulled from the BubbleBag and will receive a signed FreeMarc poster, Free Marc t-shirt, stickers and a pin. To be in the bag to win, just send an email to

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

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

Stay informed, stay involved at:

Watch thousands of hours of Pot TV at:

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 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 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 and more information about donations can be found on her website

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 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.


The Jodie Emery Show – March 7, 2013

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It's less than one month until Marc's application for transfer back to Canada will go in to the U.S. Department of Justice. He currently has 488 days left on his sentence, but could be released much earlier if transferred home. You can help by writing letters; all the details and where to write can be found in this blog by Marc:

Jodie shares more pictures of her and Marc taken at the prison during one of her visits to Yazoo, Mississippi, and soon we'll be able to see photos of Marc and his band "Yazoo" playing on their instruments together!

With the move towards legalization the business world is gearing up to try to take advantage of the billions of dollars to be made in the new industry. Jodie shows us The Walrus and Canadian Business magazines covering the story and quoting Cannabis Culture.

Sensible BC, the campaign to decriminalize cannabis in British Columbia, has been holding discussion in their "PUBLIC FORUM AND PANEL SERIES". Hear from police officers, health professionals, local politicians, academic researchers and legal experts. Find out how BC can implement a sensible marijuana law at and you can also watch the forums live and in the archive at

Another signed Free Marc poster along with a Free Marc t-shirt, stickers and a pin are given away in Jodie's weekly draw. To have your chance to win next week send an email to

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

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

Stay informed, stay involved at:

Watch thousands of hours of Pot TV at:

The Jodie Emery Show – February 28, 2013

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On the last day of February, Jodie has new visit photos and two pictures of Marc with his prison bass guitar! He now has 495 days left on his US prison sentence, plus the possibility of coming home earlier if transferred to Canada. With the US facing budget cuts, we hope they'll approve his transfer to get him out of the American prison system!

There's plenty of protest over the GEO Group's attempt to advertise and sponsor a stadium at Florida Atlantic University. The GEO group operate private prisons in the US and are campaigning to expand into Canada. Marc was in one of their prisons in Georgia and it was corrupt and very poorly run. He blogged about it between November 2010 and May 2011. Read the story about GEO Group's stadium plans here:

The BC election campaign has begun. Jodie shares some photos from when she and Jeremiah went out to gather the signatures she needs to be able to run for office. The BC Green Party had Jodie run as a candidate in 2009, and officially supports ending prohibition, so we support them! If you like to help, donate or read Jodie's platform, go to

Sensible BC, a campaign to decriminalize Cannabis in British Columbia spearheaded by amazing long-time activist Dana Larsen, hit the newspapers with ads for their free public forums and dialogues on BC's marijuana policy. Public forums will be held in the following locations: UBC, SFU Harbour Ctr., West Van, North Van, SFU Burnaby, Coquitlam, Richmond, Delta, Surrey, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Kamloops, Kelowna, Prince George, Dawson Creek. For the details go to

Jodie gives away another Free Marc t-shirt, stickers and a pin, plus some extra goodies. She also shows us a special prize for next week's draw – a poster autographed by Marc Emery back in 2009 right before he began his prison sentence. You have to be in the BubbleBag to win, so send an email to

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

Stay informed, stay involved at:

Watch thousands of hours of Pot TV at:

The Jodie Emery Show – February 21, 2013

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Jodie is just returning from another great visit with Marc, who now has 505 days left to serve on his U.S. prison sentence. He remains optimistic as the April date to be able to apply for transfer back to Canada draws near. He also stays busy playing bass guitar with his band "Yazoo" who are practicing for an up coming concert for the prison. If you would like to write to Marc or send books and magazines, all of the details and rules can be found at:

The BC Green Party is celebrating its 30th Anniversary and on February 22 they will be having aparty and the official launch of their 2013 Campaign. That's  H.R. MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver. For more info go to:

The GEO Group, operators of private prisons including the one in Georgia where Marc was sent,  have caused controversy by paying millions of dollars to a Florida University to have their name on the stadium. Read the story here:–ncaaf.html

Many States are following the lead of Washington and Colorado. The latest is in Pennsylvania where a Democrat Senator is working on a legalization bill to introduce to that State's legislature. Read about it here:

Jodie picks another winner in the weekly draw for a Free Marc t-shirt, stickers and a pin and shows some extra goodies for next week. To have your chance to win, send an email to


Keep warm this February with amazing sales on clothing and glass at CCHQ!


Sale ends February 28th.

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

Stay informed, stay involved at:

Watch thousands of hours of Pot TV at:

The Jodie Emery Show – February 14, 2013

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Happy Valentine's Day everyone! It was also Marc's 55th birthday yesterday (February 13). Unfortunately he had to spend it in prison, as he has 510 days left in his US federal sentence. You can write to him or send books and magazines; all of the details and rules can be found at

Bob Erb, long time marijuana activist and recent winner of a $25 million lottery has pledged $120,000 to the Sensible BC campaign to decriminalize marijuana in British Columbia, and has also offered to match donations up to $500,000 – so if you can donate, your money will be doubled! Sensible BC will require a 90 day blitz between September and November to sign up 10% of registered voters in each riding. It's a massive task that will require a lot of help, but it is possible and will make a huge difference for Canada! Please go to to sign up, donate, and volunteer.

There's lots happening in the United States, carrying on the momentum of Washington and Colorado, with Rhode Island and Vermont intoducing legalization bills and North Carolina introducing a medicinal marijuana bill. Stay tuned with world-wide cannabis news at and

Here in Canada the fight continues against proposed changes to our Health Canada Medicinal Marijuana program. Demonstrations and actions are planned through two campaigns:

"Fight The MMPR" is spearheaded by Victoria, BC activist and "Hempology 101" instructor and author Ted Smith, who is co-ordinating protests, letter writing and a phone jam. Visit to join in!

"MMAR Coaltion Against Repeal", organized by medical activist Jason Wilcox, is helping coordinate another effort with the help of prominent BC lawyer (and friend to the Cannabis Culture) John Conroy – a class action lawsuit on behalf of patients with the MMAR Coaltion Against Repeal. For more details about that, go to

It's a great time to shop at Marc Emery's Cannabis Culture Headquarters. We've got Hemp Hoodlamb jackets on sale at 20% off!  All other clothing is 50%, and all of the Heady Glass is is marked down 30%. You can easily shop online at or visit the store at 307 West Hastings St in Vancouver. We're open 7 days a week. "We've got everything you need except the weed!"

HEMP HOODLAMB JACKETS 20% OFF! Enter Code: Hoodlamb
ALL OTHER CLOTHING 50% OFF! Enter Code: Clothing
GLASS ART 30% OFF! Enter Code: Glass

Jodie picks another winner of a FreeMarc t-shirts, stickers and a pin. To have your name in the BubbleBag send an email to

Stay informed, stay involved at:

Watch thousands of hours of Pot TV at: