Marc Emery released from prison
On Monday, October 18, Canada's Prince of Pot was released from the Saskatoon Correctional Centre after serving 61 days behind bars. He is now once again a free man.
Emery had been sentenced to 92 days on August 19, for passing a joint while gathered with some university students in Saskatoon's Kiwanis Memorial Park. As with any prisoners who exhibit good behaviour, Emery was released after serving two-thirds of his sentence.
The missing suit
Emery's first moments of freedom began ignominiously, as prison officials scrambled to find the Armani suit Emery had been wearing at his arrival to the prison. Emery had worn his best suit for his court appearance and sentencing, and it had been taken by prison guards and put into storage along with the rest of his personal possessions. But upon Emery's release the suit was missing, and after a 45 minute search the guards admitted the suit could not be found.
Whether one of the guards stole Emery's expensive Armani suit, or whether they were simply incompetent enough to lose it, the missing garment is an embarrassment to the prison. Corrections Saskatchewan is fully liable for losing the suit and may very well have to compensate Emery for its value.
Regardless of the missing wardrobe, the newly-freed Emery immediately gave an interview to CBC TV outside the prison entrance, then bundled into a waiting cab to spend an hour on Saskatchewan's John Gormley talk radio show.
Emery then came down to the vigil in his honour that was celebrating its 56th day across from the provincial courthouse where Emery had been sentenced. In the heavy snow and winds, Emery hugged and thanked the Vigil Keepers, then he knelt in the snow and kissed the cannabis flag that had been flying over the vigil.
"I kiss this flag because it perfectly represents our goals with this movement," said Emery. "The tolerance and idealism of the Canadian nation, combined with the beauty, utility and majesty of the cannabis plant and our wonderful culture."
Emery gave more interviews to the gathered media, explaining his insights into why the prison system needs to be completely overhauled, and how the persecution of the marijuana culture parallels the persecution of jews, blacks and other scapegoated groups throughout history. Then the vigil was packed up for the last time, and Emery took his friends and allies to a celebratory lunch.
Emery spent most of his first day of freedom talking to the media, doing multiple interviews with TV, radio and newspapers. In the evening, Emery gathered with his supporters at a secret location, where fine food was consumed, copious cannabis was smoked, and plans were made for the creation of the Saskatchewan Marijuana Party.
Words of thanks
"I am honoured and deeply moved by the devotion you have shown to me and our movement, by selflessly keeping this vigil and watching my back while I remained behind bars," Emery told the Vigil Keepers. "I will be back here again, to campaign hard for the Saskatchewan Marijuana Party. I will not cease in my work to help bring Saskatchewan, and all of Canada, into the light of tolerance and freedom for our culture and our people."
The next day, Emery returned to Vancouver, and was soon back in his regular place at BC Marijuana Party HQ. He enjoyed a warm reception and celebration from his co-workers, friends and loved ones.
"I am glad to be out of jail and back where I belong," said Emery. "But I expect that I will go to jail again at some point in the future, as I continue to battle this vicious pogrom against our peaceful culture. I learned a great deal while I was in prison. I saw first-hand why our prison system should be abolished. I studied the lives of other freedom-fighters like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. I have crystallized my ideology and I understand my mission now better than ever before. Nothing will ever stop my devotion to freeing our culture and ending the war on marijuana!"
- Marc Emery's prison blog: www.bcmarijuanaparty.ca
- The background to Marc's bust and sentencing: CC online, Marc Emery speaks from jail
- Cannabis Culture forum thread about the Saskatoon vigil: Click here
- Cannabis Culture forum thread welcoming Emery home: Click here
- Marc Emery Marijuana Seeds: www.emeryseeds.com