Marc Emery Plans to Run BC Marijuana Party From His US Prison Cell

Illustration by Aaron Baggio.Illustration by Aaron Baggio.Marijuana activist Marc Emery swears imprisonment in the U.S. won’t put out the fire in him.

In a phone conversation today (August 18), following his talk last evening at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch as part of his cross-country farewell tour, Emery told the Straight that he will continue to run the B.C. Marijuana Party from jail.

Vancouver’s so-called Prince of Pot is also hoping to get some of his work published and even run in a Canadian election while doing time in a U.S. federal prison.

Emery has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to plead guilty to the charge of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana.

He previously operated a Vancouver-based mail-order business that sold marijuana seeds.

His shop was raided by Canadian police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in 2005, and he was arrested and charged by American authorities for selling marijuana seeds over the Internet.

Emery’s camp has noted that the cannabis activist paid $600,000 in income tax over the years he was in business.

Emery chose to go with a plea agreement rather than continue to fight extradition to the U.S. and face the prospect of a 30-year prison term.

He will turn himself in at the border next month, and is expected to be sentenced to five years in jail by U.S. District Court judge Ricardo Martinez on September 21 in Seattle.

Rallies around the world are being organized for September 19.

Emery said he hopes that he will be transferred to Canada, where he could be out on day parole after 10 months in prison. Day parole would see him out working during the day but back in a halfway house by evening.

Once in Canada, Emery could also get full parole after 20 months.

“Normally transfers are automatic for any Canadian prisoner in the United States,” Emery said. “We have treaty transfers. They get transferred automatically normally. But the Conservatives have stopped transferring marijuana prisoners back. So it requires some degree of lobbying now to get transferred back.”

– Article from The Georgia Straight on August 18, 2009.



  1. Anonymous on

    Odds are Mr. Emery wont need to worry over gang affiliation. As long as Mark is respectful of the gangs, and makes it known what is reasoning is for imprisonment. I think ,if anything, he may even gain a strong following from them. Unfortunately convicted felons lose their voting rights, so any following gained would be as useful as you whom do not vote…. My heart goes out to those who sit in prison over this plant, especially to those who sit in protection of their family, friends, and colleagues.

  2. Anonymous on

    First off Marc has been laying the ground work for a while. Not just with his political party he helped start but on the Illegal side which was his choice and this is what he ment to do. He means to get more people aware of the situation and slowly out themselves and I’m pretty sure he was well prepared to do the time well before he started being a marijuana activist.
    He’s just getting it out there that hey I’m going to jail for these reasons and so can you its called advertising not oh poor me I’m off to jail. Not to mention making people aware of the up coming bill c-15 which if passed I hope everyone is prepared to do the time then when your smoking because they will make it easier to catch us all in the act along with sending us to jail for 6 months. Also I hope his activism reminds you of someone who was fighting for unjust laws since before most of us were born and do you know what he said.

    “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”

    Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

    So before you just say oh well Marc didn’t really do anything. Well he’s done a lot and I’m sure we wouldn’t be as tolerant towards drugs or as aware of the unjust laws as we are today without his activism. Once more people see that and start disobeying our unjust laws the quicker the legal system will change.

  3. Anonymous on

    Although I applaud Emery in his effort! I am not sure if the tactics are not what has created the trouble Mr. Emery is in. I find that while seeking a change in Old School Politics it is not the stick it in the face argument that wins the lobby? Not that the currant neo right in Canada will listen to reason. But, the cause would be better served by working the same tactics as those lobbying a wins with Ottawa regardless of politics.

  4. Anonymous on

    I shouldn’t have used the term “we” when I said “we allllllll hate it”. I, and quite a few others in many communities are not fond of it at all. It’s like calling himself “Spicoli” and then trying to command respect.

    Also if your sure the BC marijuana party has discussed his leadership, post the minutes from that meeting, I’d be interested.

    Two questions to the masses:
    1. Has he even been sentenced yet? It’s a much different atmosphere in the states than it was when the government tried to take him down. What are the chances they just say “screw this, we have plenty of our own cannabis users/dealers to keep the prison industrial complex going”

    2. I’m not a big follower of a niche political party such as the marijuana party (nor any party for that matter), but has there ever been a leadership rally or is this just Marc’s club?

  5. Anonymous on

    We are talking about about plant classified as an illegal drug here Kelly Christie (the lady with two first names :)). Why not post your drivers license and address so we can scrutinize your life and see what angle your coming from? Probably because it’s an absurd idea, as I think you’ll agree.

    Anonymity is a feature Cannabis Culture allows for a very good reason. It borders (and borders is an *understatement*) on the ignorant to believe people trying to stay safe are prohibitionists.

    Why oh why is it that we can’t differ on opinions without being called “cops” or “prohibitionists”.

    Oh and regarding Marc’s “not out of my pocket” farewell tour… well, the fact that he can’t pay for a ticket to celebrate with his friends, followers and devotees should make you (one of the above) a little more than angry as it did myself.

  6. Kelly Christie on

    It seems that many people prefer to be “anonyomous”,
    most of them are probably prohibishionists.

    Marc has spoken at length about “what is next” during his farewell tour.
    There is much to be done by everyone, the BCMP is only a small part of that.

    Speak out, silence is consent.

  7. josht45 on

    If Harper is slamming through harsher drug laws, if the VPD speaks of a “crack down” on MJ growers/users, what all has Marc done on the “ground floor” exactly?

    I am hard pressed to think of anything Marc has been involved in that wasn’t mostly about Marc and his moniker, which is cute, but has grown weary over the years. If seems that most anything he was involved in was more about “The POP”, and not so much the issues.

    If the MJ Party truly thinks that it should be run by someone who is going to be sitting in jail (and again, bummer about that), then they have lost a great deal of legitimacy in my eyes, and the eyes of many voters who may agree with the platform, but will both be turned off by the sheer ego issues and amateur hour antics that come from having your “leader” jailed.

    I would have more respect for Marc if he took any time to speak about what is next while he is doing time – how we could ALL take action, and be our own Princes/Princesses of Pot. Hero worship, regardless of Right/Left, is dangerous,and putting yourself in the company of Ghandi, MLK, etc is not only absurd, it’s insulting. Even Rainey admitted that there were consequences to the actions that brought these charges about. If you don’t want to do the time, don’t do the crime, even if you don’t THINK it’s a crime. Is the DEA motivation BS? Of course it is. BUT that doesn’t change the fact that if you break international laws for a number of years, there are probably going to be consequences.

    And man the fuck up and put your NAME on what you write. It’s called taking responsibility….

  8. Anonymous on

    Ummmm no we love the term “Prince of Pot” and I’m sure I’m not the only one to feel this way. He’s done a lot for getting the ground work on the floor so Canada can legalize, regulate all drugs and the end result being ending prohibition. So if anyone deserves that label it would be him.
    Plus I’m sure the BC marijuana party has already discussed reasons why he’d still be running things so no its not his delusions of grandeur it would be your stupidity to see that this man is doing a lot of good no matter where he is and that is what the Party has decided or else he wouldn’t be leading the charge from behind bars.

  9. josht45 on

    I agree with Meglamania. Marc, it’s time to let it GO, man. I’m sorry you are facing jailtime, but that does not change the fact that you are NOT the best person to run the party. No one would be if they were jailed. You can’t meet with folks, can’t tour, can’t attend debates, can’t meet with folks to solicit $$$, can’t canvas neighborhoods, can’t participate in rallies….etc etc etc.

    I’m rapidly losing respect for you, b/c your insanely large ego keeps getting in the way. Write a book, that’s great, but to think you can run a party from prison is more than sad, it’s destructive to the cause.

    Unless you are no longer about the cause, just the fading attention it has provided you.

  10. Anonymous on

    Marc is not the only person qualified to run the party, it just shows his narcissistic need to be at the front of the charge.

    Pass the torch Marc, do your time (if they don’t throw it out) and then run for the leadership again.

    This seems very self centered and disregards the many valuable members of the party that can be in Canada and walk the walk that you will be unable to do. In my eyes this is the noble way to handle the situation.

    If you can’t rely on your peers to lead while your gone, you haven’t built up a party worth a damn.

    And for gods sake, stop with the “Prince of pot” moniker, we allllllll hate it and you lose respect every time you use it. Your a human being, get out of your delusions of grandeur.

  11. Oh Cannaba on

    You thinking about being loyal to you’re political party, i would be thinking about gang you will associate with in US immigrant prison.

  12. THAT Vancouver art critic on

    Ah ha ha har har ha heh heh heh ha ha ha heh heh heh hee ho ho ho har.

  13. Anonymous on

    If they are not using the treaty for the Marijuana offenders, what are they using it for?

    The most peaceful crime in the book and it’s treated the worst.

  14. Anonymous on

    If they are not using the treaty for the Marijuana offenders, what are they using it for?

    The most peaceful crime in the book and it’s treated the worst.