Today I got photos from Marc in prison! They were taken during our visit on July 4th, when inmates can buy photographs of themselves with family. We had to choose one of four painted walls as the backdrop, so we picked the Seattle skyline at night.
I was so pleased to get these photos in the mail, and share them on Facebook so people can see how Marc looks and what his inmate clothes are like. This is the first glimpse of Marc in US federal prison for everyone but me and his lawyers. He has lost weight, but he eats everything he can.
I was also pleased to see an LTE (letter to the editor) by me printed today in the Calgary Sun! It was the first submission I’ve sent in a long time, and it was published, as my letters often are, so I’m reminded to keep writing! It was in response to a great column – one of many recent ones in Canada – about how the Canadian government’s prison plans doesn’t match the crime statistics.
Here is my letter:
Re: Call for prisons, Aug. 9: Dave Breakenridge writes “for someone to go to jail, people need to report the crime, a suspect has to be arrested, tried and convicted.” Not quite, at least not with the modified definition of “serious crime” announced by the Conservative government.
Under the changes, any amount of cannabis grown or sold is now a “serious crime”, which allows the police to use their “organized crime” tool box, without court permission, and asset forfeiture without needing a conviction. Cops won’t need more people reporting crimes. They will simply spy on anyone they believe to be growing or selling any amount of pot, arrest them, seize their property, then deny them bail — all without due process normally applied to regular citizens.
So don’t be mystified about who will fill those new prison cells; it’ll be your friends and family who use even a little bit of cannabis on weekends, because they are now guilty of a “serious crime.”
(Drug policy is a mess. – Calgary Sun editorial comment)
So that was good to see! Marc was also very pleased with it. I used to read the newspapers (Vancouver Sun, The Province, National Post, and Globe & Mail) every morning while Marc slept in, and I would often write a letter to at least one paper every other day. It’s been a while, so it’s nice to know that my first LTE in a few months was printed!
Additionally, on August 9th the Vancouver Sun had an article on “smart meter” technology and how it will help police detect grow-ops. I was contacted by the journalist to give my perspective on it, and I send my response – and I was quoted word-for-word:
Advocates of legalizing marijuana, meanwhile, think the grow operations most likely to be detected by the new meter technology are family enterprises.
“Prohibition breeds creativity for getting around obstacles and law enforcement, so there will be ways for large-scale growers to go undetected,” Jodie Emery said in an e-mail.
Emery’s husband is Marc Emery, an outspoken advocate of pot legalization now serving five years in a U.S. penitentiary for a mail order business that shipped marijuana seeds from Canada to the United States.
“They can just get generators, or buy entire gas stations (as we’ve seen done in the past), or use new LED lighting technology, or grow smaller crops in more locations, which actually spreads the problem out and makes it harder to detect,” Jodie Emery said.
“The most dangerous aspect of the smart meter program is that it means small-scale, mom-and-pop indoor gardens will be more likely to be shut down, whereas organized crime can afford the techniques and technology to avoid detection (in the ways I outlined above). So it puts more of the cannabis market into the hands of gangs, and out of small-scale personal gardeners.
“No matter what BC Hydro does with smart meters, grow ops will never go away unless cannabis prohibition ends.”
My comments there were the final words in the article, so I feel good about getting the truth out! My fight is not only to bring my husband home, but also to end prohibition so every drug war prisoner can go home to their loved ones.