Campaigning in California for Cannabis Legalization

Working the phones at Prop 19 HQWorking the phones at Prop 19 HQBefore Marc was shipped from Seattle to a prison in southern Nevada (en route to his designated prison in Taft, California) he told me I should go to California to help the Proposition 19 campaign to legalize cannabis. He was excited for me to do phone calls, hold signs, and whatever else was needed to help Prop 19 win.

Cannabis Culture editor Jeremiah Vandermeer would join me to cover the campaign and stream the November 2nd election results live online at our Cannabis Culture Ustream account. I already had a flight booked from Vancouver to Seattle to visit Marc on Saturday, October 30th, so the plan was for me to visit him and then go to Oakland, California that night. However, on Thursday, October 21st Marc was shipped out from SeaTac FDC to a private prison in the state of Nevada (please send him mail!), so I wouldn’t be able to visit him that weekend. Instead I went down to Oakland earlier on Saturday and arrived that night to help campaign on Sunday, October 31st.

My arrival in California to help the Prop 19 campaign was already announced in the Canadian media: Lena Sin from The Province newspaper interviewed me on Friday October 29th for an article about Proposition 19’s possible effect on BC’s cannabis industry. The story was picked up by other newspapers in the PostMedia news chain and published in Sunday’s Province.

I hadn’t been to California since I was 12 years old when my family went to Disneyland. Before Marc was extradited and imprisoned, we spent every day together and didn’t ever leave Canada – and certainly never went to the USA. With Marc locked up, I have been to Seattle in Washington many times to visit him, and also spoke four times at Seattle Hempfest in August of this year (I also spent one day in Seattle in 2009, before Marc was extradited, to speak at Hempfest). I’ve also been to Portland, Oregon on September 11th to attend and speak at the 6th annual Portland Hempstalk festival, with the generous help of Paul Stanford and THCF. That was a wonderful experience.

But this was my first time to legendary California as a cannabis activist! I was so excited to be able to see the Prop 19 campaign in action. Marc and I supported the initiative one hundred percent, and were both so disappointed in the final results of 46% yes, 54% no. But we were both overjoyed and impressed with the people who worked so hard to achieve so many yes votes, opened the dialogue about – and bringing global attention to – ending cannabis prohibition, and created a team of professionals and volunteers that accomplished more than any activism effort in history. It was astounding.

On Saturday night I checked into my hotel, the Clarion on 13th Street. Looking at the Google Earth map to see the location, I was stunned to see a visual of a boarded-up, abandoned building, but the Clarion website assured me a fairly new hotel was in place. The entire downtown of Oakland was once notoriously dangerous and run-down, but when Richard Lee – the man behind proposition 19 – opened his dispensaries in the mid-1990s and started bringing people and money to the downtown core, the city of Oakland began to develop and grow. My hotel was just six blocks from Oaksterdam University and the Prop 19 campaign headquarters, and I felt very safe and impressed with the businesses and people in the area. I went to sleep and prepared myself for the next day.

Oaksterdam UniversityOaksterdam UniversityDAY 1 – SUNDAY, OCTOBER 31

Sunday morning I woke up feeling a bit nervous. I was in a new city, by myself, going to help out at the campaign headquarters of a state initiative I had been so impressed by and supportive of. I was here to make a difference! After a breakfast of oatmeal, fruit, toast and orange juice at the hotel restaurant, I headed down 13th street to Broadway, and then walked along Broadway up to the University. It was a beautiful sunny day. I passed by Oakland City Hall, a majestic and beautiful structure, and admired the architecture of buildings along the street, especially the lean, tall triangular ones with the entryways at the narrowest point where the road divides around it – there are a few smaller versions of that style in Vancouver, so charming!

I passed by the front doors of Oaksterdam University, a large building with a huge white exterior wall overlooking a massive parking lot, with a gigantic “Oaksterdam University” name and the school seal painted on the side. It was just like I had seen in pictures! I passed by, knowing that the Prop 19 headquarters was one block further, in the old Oaksterdam University space. For the last year the old university location was the home of Prop 19, the base of operations. I was excited when I showed up, and there were tables with computers and phones, banners and information hanging on the walls, and people working hard making calls, talking about plans, and sorting signs.

I introduced myself and said I was here to work – Marc told me to “make phone calls, hold signs, sweep the floors, get them coffee; whatever you can do to help!” – and I met a few people before being introduced to Dave, whom everyone called Super Dave. He made record numbers of phone calls, and was one of the stars of the campaign. I was brought to an old-school computer and a very old phone (most political campaigns are bare-bones), and Dave explained how the program on the computer made the calls, showing their name and location on the screen (it’s a list of people who voted in the last election), and I just spoke when there was a clicking sound. After saying “Hi, my name is Jodie and I’m a volunteer with the Proposition 19 campaign. Have you voted yet?” and going through the rest of the question-answer-information script – which wasn’t necessary to follow once you got the hang of what to say – you checked off their response from the drop-down list provided on the computer screen. The program would then move to the next call. It was actually a lot of fun once I got the hang of it!

On the walls, before I even cameOn the walls, before I even cameI met a number of people at the Prop 19 headquarters who knew about Marc and wanted to thank me for coming all the way from Canada to help. There were even FREE MARC cards on the walls. Richard Lee came in, the wheelchair-bound entrepreneur behind “Oaksterdam” and Prop 19, and I was so excited to say hello and introduce myself after having communicated via email about my trip down to help, among other brief online conversations. I explained that I was there to do whatever I could to make sure Prop 19 passed.

Kevin Zeese, the current president of Common Sense for Drug Policy, and long-time political and cannabis activist extraordinaire, introduced himself to me. He had been regularly writing to Marc through Corrlinks before Marc was sent away from SeaTac, and I was excited to meet him after hearing so many good things from Marc. We planned on meeting up later that night with Chris Conrad and Mikki Norris, a wonderful couple who were very involved with Prop 19, and who produce the newspaper West Coast Leaf. Chris was also editor of Jack Herer’s “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” and Mikki is behind HR95.org, an effort to bring attention to drug war prisoners.

In four hours of making phone calls, I had an actual impact. I managed to change three “no” votes into “yes” votes! The first was a younger man who said, “I don’t want the industry to be taken over by Marlboro and Camel, I heard they’ve already bought big pot factories!” I explained to him that that wasn’t true, and he and others who didn’t want to buy legal cannabis from mega-corporations would still be able to buy local, organic produce from the businesses that already exist – businesses that would flourish with options for people like him. I also explained that because those companies specialize in tobacco, they can’t and won’t go into the cannabis industry (it’s actually against the law). The young man agreed with me, and I thanked him for changing his vote, saying I was a volunteer from Canada and my husband Marc Emery and I are behind Prop 19 one hundred percent. He said “Marc Emery? The legend Marc Emery? You’re his wife?!” and was so excited. I thanked him again, asked if he was going to take his friends to vote “yes” with him, and he promised he would – I could hear them in the background cheering for Marc. So I checked that young man off as a “yes” vote and moved on to the next call. Victory!

The next convert was an older Hispanic man who said that he was voting no because he didn’t want kids getting access to marijuana. I said, “the problem is that kids are getting cannabis right now, from their friends in high school, am I right?” and he said that was true. “Right now,” I continued, “young people are able to get marijuana much more easily than they can get tobacco and alcohol. So by legalizing it, you can have rules about who can buy it, and kids won’t be able to get access. Proposition 19 protects your children, the policy of prohibition is what creates the problem you are concerned about.” He agreed with me and said that he and his oldest daughter would go and vote “yes” for proposition 19!

CBS News interviewing supportersCBS News interviewing supportersCBS news came in and interviewed people, including me while I was on the phone making calls, and then talking about Marc. It was a busy place, and I was so excited to be there among so many motivated people. I was asked if I wanted to speak the next day at Berkeley University, where Prop 19 supporters were having a rally. I eagerly accepted! They were so pleased that I was ready for duty. I did phone calls for four hours, then had to go back to the hotel to meet Jeremiah, editor of Cannabis Culture, who had just arrived from Vancouver to start covering the campaign for CC. He grabbed a bite to eat at Burger King and then we took a cab to Chris Conrad and Mikki Norris’ home, where Kevin and his companion had had dinner with Chris and Mikki. It was Halloween night, and there were jack-o-lanterns on doorsteps and kids in costumes being herded about, but that died down after we arrived late in the evening.

We spent some time relaxing and talking about Prop 19 and other subjects, including Canada’s sudden and shocking dangerous shift under the Harper Conservatives. “Everything your government is doing is exactly what happened here in the 1980s, the big prison and drug war boom,” Kevin said after we explained the latest laws and proposed legislation. It’s absolutely true. Americans are stunned when we tell them what’s happening in Canada, the terrifying changes taking place with so little public outcry. But at least we’re not as bad as the USA… yet.

It was getting late, so Chris drove us to the nearby BART station (Bay Area Rapid Transit) and we got one of the last trains down to Oakland. It was a very interesting experience, with ticket machines and weird “turnstile” things. We got off at the 12th Street station, right by our hotel, and walked up from underground to a dead silent night. It was Halloween, but everyone had partied hard on Friday and Saturday, so it was quiet but for the talkative security guard in the plaza who seemed eager for any conversation on a cold, lonely night. We chatted for a bit then headed back to the hotel, eager to get some sleep!

DAY 2 – MONDAY, NOVEMBER 1

I woke up early and did a phone interview right away for News 1130 radio back home in Vancouver. They had seen the Province article and wanted my opinion about what Proposition 19’s passage would mean for BC’s economy – that was the predominant question from the Canadian media. After doing that bit, I got a call from Douglas Quan from the Vancouver Sun, also of the PostMedia news chain, who said he was coming down to Oakland to cover the campaign, and wanted to meet up with me to get my thoughts and comments throughout the entire experience. I was happy to be of assistance!

Jeremiah and I had breakfast downstairs in the hotel restaurant and then got in a cab to go to Berkeley, where the rally took place on the steps of Sproule Hall. All along the walkway area there were students at tables for various groups and organizations, and I felt a lot of admiration for the young people there – people my age – championing their causes and being educated with 30,000 other students. The Prop 19 booth was set up and supporters were wearing shirts and holding signs, giving away stickers to students. I had worn my winter coat and scarf because of the brief morning chill, but it was nearly noon and I was sweltering in the heat, so removed my layers promptly. It’s autumn in California, definitely not like Canada!

See photos from Berkeley and more!

Photos by Jeremiah Vandermeer

I spoke on the steps and received a great response, then did two interviews for independent media. Jeremiah and I took a look around the area, which was just a tiny fraction of the enormous campus, then we went to the Student Union building and took refuge at a table near a coffee shop, where I did an interview on Christy Clark’s show on Vancouver’s CKNW radio at 1:30 (go to the 30-minute point here).

It was almost 2pm and we had to get back down to our hotel, because Ed Rosenthal and his assistant Angela were picking us up for a late lunch meeting with his wife Jane at their house. Jeremiah and I took a walk to the BART transit station near Berkeley, and ran into Prop 19 campaigners on the train. They got off at 19th, right outside Prop 19 headquarters, and Jeremiah and I continued to 12th, outside our hotel. Within moments Angela and Ed were out front in their car, and we drove to Ed’s house. It was a lovely place, previously a childcare centre and remodeled into a combination home and office for Quicktrading Distribution. We sat down for some delicious Chinese food and talked about the Prop 19 campaign, which they were both enthusiastic supporters of. We were all quite discouraged by the anti-19 campaigners, who had been very effective in spreading doubts and fears throughout the cannabis community – the essential base of voters we needed. After being shown around their home, Jane had me sign a print of the roach-art portrait of Marc and me made by Cliff Maynard of Chronic Art, and then I sat down to do a video with Ed to encourage people to vote yes on Prop 19.

I got a phone call from CBC “Power and Politics”, the nation-wide show hosted by Evan Solomon. They wanted to do a live interview at 3pm my time on November 2nd, 6pm out east, and said they wanted me in the Vancouver CBC studio. I had to tell them I wasn’t in Vancouver, which I was so sad to say because Power and Politics is definitely a big show to be on (I’ve been a guest before about the “Free Marc” campaign, as have my employees Jeremiah and Jacob Hunter). They said they would try to set up a studio in Oakland, and would let me know the next day.

Angela offered to drive us back down to our hotel so we could go to the Prop 19 headquarters. When we got to HQ, Jeremiah and I stayed put for a while testing the MacBook Pro and camera for our live streaming broadcast planned for Tuesday night. The place was buzzing with activity! Media were coming around for the big story. I introduced Jeremiah to people and we spent a bit of time at the headquarters doing our testing and planning, and then went back to the hotel to get some dinner. Jeremiah got a message from Angela saying we should go to a restaurant she once worked at in downtown San Francisco. San Fran is just a quick BART train ride away from Oakland, and you get there under the water by train, or over a bridge by car. I felt so sleepy, but Jeremiah said, “You can’t come all the way to Oakland and not go to San Francisco, it’s right there! You won’t regret it, I promise!”

We walked from the hotel to the BART station, and walked by three guys smoking a joint outside a bar. “Vote yes on Prop 19 tomorrow!” I yelled as we walked by, and they said “We’re growers, we’re voting no!” We were stunned – there they were, the cannabis base turned against us, the prohibition profiteers showing their true colours and without any shame. “You’d rather line your own pockets than save people from prison?” I exclaimed, and they threw their hands in the air – “yeah, so?” they seemed to say, not caring. “Shame on you,” I cried out as we turned the corner. How depressing it was to see the reality on the ground, which we had hoped was just Internet chatter – the actual growers who would betray the movement for their own selfish greed. So sad!

We got on the BART train and suddenly people began cheering and whooping – the Giants baseball team just won the World Series game that night in Texas. People in San Fran went crazy! It was wild to get out of the BART system and hear the excitement and honking and celebration on the streets, orange flags and orange lights everywhere. It was like Vancouver at the Olympics when Canada won gold in hockey; people were going nuts! It was lots of fun walking to the restaurant, which was actually more of a bar, and we had a bite to eat as we waited for Angela to arrive. I was on the phone with Marc, as he calls me regularly from the private prison he’s in right now, and we talked about what I had done that day. Angela brought a friend over to our table, a Republican who was on the fence about voting for Prop 19, as he was neither for it nor against it. We had a long conversation about why conservatives should support ending prohibition – it’s an economically unsound, liberty-reducing, society-damaging policy – but I can’t say for sure we convinced him. At least we tried.

After dinner, Angela took us for a late-night tour of San Francisco. We drove to a viewpoint by the Golden Gate bridge, and then went up to Haight and Ashbury streets, where so much counter-culture and peace activism happened, and I was even shown the “painted ladies” houses where the TV show “Full House” was filmed. The city was bathed in orange light for the Giants victory win, and we got a spectacular view of the whole city from Treasure Island, a great vantage point located along the Bay Bridge between Oakland and San Francisco. It was a wonderful night and Jeremiah was right, I didn’t regret it one bit!

See photos from the Prop 19 headquarters and more!

Photos by Jeremiah Vandermeer

DAY 3 – TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 2

Election day, and excitement was hanging in the air. Jeremiah and I got up and went to the 10am Proposition 19 press conference on the steps of City Hall, right between our hotel and the campaign headquarters. Marc had told me to make calls and hold up signs, so I got up behind the podium with others and held up a Prop 19 sign, front and almost-centre! Backdrops at press conferences are very important so having a lot of people holding up a recognized logo is essential for messaging. I was surprised by how intense and warm the sun was, but I held my sign high and smiled. CNN, Fox, everyone was there – and I got a message from a supporter saying he saw me on CNN! Sure enough, the Prop 19 video on CNN’s YouTube account shows me right there with my sign (unfortunately, only Americans can view the video).

November 2nd press conferenceNovember 2nd press conferenceJeremiah and I decided to stop by the deli located next to the Oaksterdam University entrance, and I ran into Richard Lee’s mother, a Republican from Texas who was enthusiastically in support of her son’s campaign and opposed to the war on drugs. She and I chatted for a while, and she was deeply sympathetic about Marc’s imprisonment. I then did a very long phone interview for The Metro newspaper back home, 40 minutes discussing prohibition, cannabis, the government of Canada, and much more.

After that conversation ended, Jeremiah and I decided to go to a Tully’s coffee shop in one of the previously mentioned triangular-style old buildings, right by City Hall. We wanted to test out our live broadcast again because at least 120 people were already in our live stream chat waiting for our video feed to begin. We had said it would start at 6pm that night, but people were excited for updates already! Jeremiah and I were also waiting for CC ad manager Britney to meet up with us, as she had flown in that morning to help us with the live broadcast that night. Most people don’t know that she and Jeremiah are the only employees of mine for Cannabis Culture Magazine, except for occasional article contributors – we have a small but hard-working team!

Walking down the street, we saw two guys in white t-shirts that said “NO ON 19” with the 19 in a red crossed-out circle, like a “no smoking” sign. I shook my head and couldn’t even face them, while Jeremiah went up and stated debating. I eventually walked over and we exchanged our differing opinions, then I had to drag Jeremiah away before the argument got out of hand. Their concerns were that California would lose all of its money to other states, which didn’t make sense. There was no way to reason with them. We continued to the coffee shop to wait for Britney. After she arrived we began some live streaming from my MacBook Pro, but the free coffee shop Internet connection kept cutting out. We announced that we were going to the hotel to check Britney in, and would try the live stream again from Jeremiah’s room.

Once back at the hotel, we did some updates and shared more information online, watching the audience numbers climb. Marc called and we spoke to him, and let everyone know how he’s holding up. He explained that he was waiting to be transferred to Taft FCI in California, and was getting anxious about moving on because the Nevada Southern Detention Centre was a brand new private prison and somewhat chaotic, and he has no books or magazines or mail because we thought he wouldn’t be there long. He talked about how important Prop 19 is and why it was so momentous for the cannabis culture. It was a great update from my man!

We decided to pack up our things, have a quick break, and then head to the Prop 19 headquarters, so we said goodbye to our 1,000 or so viewers and promised to be back at 4:20pm. We grabbed a bite to eat at Subway, and promptly began our live broadcast as we walked to the campaign headquarters. It was streamed from Jeremiah’s iPhone 4, a brilliant piece of technology that allowed our fans and supporters to walk around with us. We ran into a fan on the street wearing a FREE MARC shirt, she goes by Holy Hemptress; then we saw the Oaksterdam tour vehicle, an old-fashioned bandwagon with Prop 19 signs all over it. We continued down the street to the Prop 19 Headquarters, where things were busier than ever in the full swing of Election Day!

Broadcasting live onlineBroadcasting live onlineI received a call from Douglas Quan, who wanted to meet to get some information and quotes for his PostMedia story. Jeremiah, Britney and I hung out in the headquarters and showed our online viewers around the area, introducing and interviewing many of the people involved in the campaign. I met with Douglas and we spoke for a while, and he took some photos for his story on Prop 19. My laptop’s Internet connection was interrupted a lot because there were dozens of computers hooked up to the hard-wire, and the wireless was too unreliable with all the people tapping into it, so we began to use the iPhone 4 for more of the broadcasting.

Time was ticking down and people were on every phone, seated around every possible table, making phone calls and tallying the amounts on the wall – “We’ve hit 37,000 phone calls today alone, we can reach 50,000, yes we cannabis!” shouted team members (and they did reach that record by the end of the night). Ed Rosenthal and his wife Jane came by and said hello to our online audience, which was at over 2,000 viewers tuned in well before the 6pm time we had announced it would happen. We got others to give updates too, and reminded people to get out and vote. CBC Power and Politics informed me that they were unable to secure a studio but wanted me to do the live nation-wide show the next day – but I had to turn them down yet again, as I would be flying home at the scheduled time! It definitely bummed me out to miss two great opportunities, but at least I was able to do everything else.

At 6pm we headed for Oaksterdam University, bringing along our online audience via the iPhone 4, where a large projector was being set up to broadcast the election results live on the side of the building outside in the parking lot. Tents and chairs were set up, and we inquired about getting the hard-wire Internet connection and power cords. Because it was so chaotic and the staff were overwhelmed, we were left to figure it out for ourselves; thankfully, some burly guys setting up the lighting with electricity cables had sympathy for our situation and hooked us up with a big power cord to charge our laptops and phones. We took a seat at a table by some lights and used Jeremiah’s iPhone while we figured out how to get Internet. There was wireless from Oaksterdam University but we were unable to get a strong enough signal, so we relied on that iPhone 4 all night! We had been told that we could attend the “VIP” gathering inside, but not with our cameras, so we opted to stay outside.

See photos from Election Night!

Photos by Jeremiah Vandermeer

At 8pm the polls were closed and we were already seeing results come in. Prop 19 was failing right off the bat with under 45% “yes”, and I was immediately concerned. Had the growers and dealers really had such an impact? Would the medical marijuana community – the presumed base of California’s movement – fail to get out and vote “yes”?

NBC news was on hand with a news anchor, and she spoke to me about my involvement in the campaign, and Marc’s imprisonment for selling seeds, and I pointed out that Marc sold millions of seeds to California that helped build the cannabis industry there. Douglas Quan also sat nearby and got regular updates from me for his news stories being sent back home. Jeremiah, Britney and I were surprised that there weren’t more people there to watch the results. There were about 200 or so, but spread over a large area and huddled in groups against the cold that swept in after sunset.

NBC reporter interviewing meNBC reporter interviewing meThe numbers of viewers on our Cannabis Culture Ustream account kept rising, up to 4,000 at once, but the voting results failed to gain any ground and we had to sadly watch and report as the hours passed by and nothing changed. It was a disappointing end to a magnificent campaign.

After Prop 19 was declared a failure by the media, the projected image changed from the news channel to a camera inside Oaksterdam University, where Richard Lee was on stage prepping to make an announcement. The Prop 19 campaign’s core backers were on stage with him and he thanked everyone for their support. Everyone took turns speaking, led by the campaign spokeswoman Dale, and they enthusiastically thanked the volunteers and staff who had accomplished a final vote of 46% yes – not victory, but an incredible number of Californians who wanted to end prohibition and replace it with a solid, sane model of control and taxation.

Jeremiah, Britney and I said goodnight to our viewers at midnight as the tables were being folded up and the chairs packed away, and we spoke to Richard Lee when he came out to say goodbye to attendees. Feeling sad about the defeat, but still excited by everything that had happened, we walked to our hotel and relaxed while discussing it all. I went to bed and fell asleep right away.

DAY 4 – WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 3

I woke up to a phone call from CBC radio “As It Happens”, a major cross-Canada show, and did an interview for them that Marc told me afterward was “absolutely perfect, just wow, great job!” (I played the audio for him over the phone; it’s file number 3 here, and begins after the 7:25 mark.) CKNW radio ran a quote from me, as did News 1130, and after that, Douglas Quan called for an interview we had arranged to discuss the results. I went down to the hotel lobby, where he filmed a quick interview video and took notes for his story.

Jeremiah came down to the lobby and we had breakfast (Britney was too tired) then had to pack up and leave by 11am. I did an interview with the Vancouver Courier, and then another one for the Georgia Straight, so Marc was definitely right when he said that my presence in Oakland for the campaign would get lots of media attention! Even though it was an electoral defeat, there were many smaller accomplishments and steps forward.

It was another brilliantly sunny day, and I was happy to be heading home after such a truly awesome experience in California. We got a cab for the airport, and discussed what had happened, how the so-called “marijuana movement” prohibition profiteers – the growers and some “compassion club” dealers – sided with the police, prisons, evangelicals, cartels, booze companies and others who opposed Prop 19. The cracks that had formed in the movement’s solidarity broke wide open, and sadly, a lot of anger and resentment boiled over throughout the next few days, understandably so. I just hope that these wounds can heal quickly, but it’s hard to say if those who profit from prohibition and the quasi-legal status of medical marijuana are willing to ever vote for a policy that forces them to leave the underground and get legitimate. Time will tell!

Photo by Douglas Quan, PostMedia NewsPhoto by Douglas Quan, PostMedia NewsIt was a phenomenal experience to be at the epicenter of the Proposition 19 campaign, and I am so utterly pleased to have been part of it. We may not have reached victory this time, but the campaign and team in place will not be defeated two years from now, when California or other states have legalization on the ballot! There is no way to turn back everything that has been accomplished. There are too many US states ready for legalization and other progressive drug policy changes including improved medical marijuana legislation and access. I saw for myself the effort and passion behind the Prop 19 election and education campaign, and thank everyone involved for doing such pivotal and essential work. It was an honour to serve beside you all even if just for a couple days! Next time, we’ll all be celebrating victory, and hopefully my husband Marc Emery will be free and at my side to see it happen with me.

Free Marc Emery!
End Prohibition!

Jodie Emery
Jodie Emery

Jodie Emery is a Canadian cannabis activist, politician and business owner. She is the wife of activist Marc Emery, and owner of Cannabis Culture Magazine, Pot TV, Cannabis Culture Lounge and Cannabis Culture Headquarters.

Comments

27 Comments

  1. Anonymous on

    You need to update your blog. Marc Emery is no longer in the Nevada detention center – he’s in the BOP Transfer Center in El Reno, Oklahoma.

  2. Covey69 on

    It seems insanity that we still sit here debating over this fact and even more that people whom have had to carry the stigma of shame and hiding for so many years from ignorance and propaganda that they would squabble over the specifics instead of just getting the damn thing legalized and then make the changes necessary.
    It’s ignorant and selfish and greedy to think of perfection to a law when prohibition of Cannabis has held back saving lives NOW instead of later, if they’re were activists whom have fought for so long and went against prop 19, it seems insane, I can’t imagine they’re thinking and by Lord if we go backwards again, I’ll have to run around being insane, which really wouldn’t be being insane becasue everyone else would think I’m normal, which makes me a sane, Insane.
    All the world is affected by this hold back of selfishness to perfect something that has not been for too long. It’s benefit out ways the squabble of a law being perfect, just be and then change.
    Now The World waits longer again because it may have been possible except for illogical thinking, just get it legal, Damn IT!

  3. fatigues on

    Give it a rest.

    Jodie noted — and quite correctly so — that the growers in the Emerald Triangle voted to maintain prohibition to line their pockets with profits of the black market. They voted to support a higher price per ounce at the cost of **somebody else going to prison for years** — or decades.

    We have a word for that. We call it – and the people who voted that way for that reason – TRAITORS. There will be no peace and no sympathy for TRAITORS to the cause.

    Jodie finds this extremely offensive and said so. *Most* activists in Cakifornia find it extremely offensive, too. Jodie was exactly right for decrying this behaviour and you are exactly WRONG for suggesting her calling a spade a spade was inappropriate. It was enturely appropriate and the voters in the Emrald Triangle voted no shamefully.

    Marc Emery took the money he made on seeds and gave hundreds of thousands it on the legalization movement. He didn’t spend it on vacation homes, condos, and SUVs. The money that NORML, ASA and DPA had to fight to keep rights under 215 alive and expanded came in part from Marc Emery.

    Those legal fights and expanded rights under 215 continue to protect the growers in the Emeral Triangle who voted with their wallets, and not with their principles.

    There is no hypocrisy here — other than your own. If you cannot take the exposure of the truth? Without putting too fine a point on it: *Too Fucking Bad* for you.

    Nobody here owes you an apology — least of all Jodie Emery. If you don’t like the sound of this? You better get used to it. You are going to be hearing it from the cannabis community in Cali for YEARS to come.

    The next growers who get busted in Humboldt will find little sympathy from anyone in the movement. That’s reality. You need to square with that – whether you like it or not.

  4. lakua on

    One need not be a national to protest against injustice. Because Jodie is a Canadian and not a Californian makes no difference. Jodie is fighting for all of our freedoms by trying to end cannabis prohibition. Shame on all of those who put their own profits over everyone’s freedom. Morality is beyond borders… cannabis prohibition is an evil that must be ended everywhere.

    Imagine how you’d feel if your beloved was taken from you and thrown in a prison in a foreign country for something that’s not even a crime in your own country.

  5. fatigues on

    Jodie,

    Thanks for taking the many, many hours to write up your recount of your trip to Oakland and your participation in the Prop 19 campaign. I watched your coverage during the night of November 2, 2010 and I was very grateful for the time you, Jeremiah and Brittany took that evening. It was appreciated.

    I am certain that Marc is proud of the commitment and time that you have devoted in the past – and continue to devote now and in the future – to the cause. I am also sure that Marc (and many other people) believed that you were fully capable of being an effective activist during the course of Marc’s unfortunate incarceration. And I’m fairly sure that there were the usual bunch of naysayers, as there always are.

    It is, however, becoming increasingly clear that most of us underestimated just how successful an activist you can be.

    I do wish you would reconsider running for the Green Party in your riding. Regretfully, as the vote count in your own riding in the last federal election demonstrates — and as you mentioned during the course of the evening of November 2, 2010 — the split of the vote on the left-side of the spectrum can allow the Conservative Party of Canada to attain a plurality of votes that they could not otherwise attain if the Green Party was not running candidates. The split of the vote on the left has permitted the Tories to leverage a vocal minority of voters to maintain the Tories grip on power. We all suffr for it.

    That does not mean that the goals of the Green Party are improper or undesirable. It does mean, however, that however sincerely held your goals and legislative dreams may be, the practical reality is that the continued existence and participation of the Green Party in federal elections is hurting the very people you want to help. We don’t have a system of Proportional Representation at the federal level. Accordingly, drawing 9% of the vote away from the Liberal and NDP without much affecting the support for the Conservatives is hurting the country, perpetuating the rule of a minority Tory government. Sadly, as you know all too well, it’s hurting your own husband, too. I know it sucks, but there it is. No matter how sincere you may be, there comes a time where principles must be reconciled with their practical effects upon the country you love. I expect this issue troubles you when you think of it; I know it would trouble me a great deal.

    The practical result it that you would accomplish more for yourself, your country and the cause if you channelled your talents and activism through either the NDP or the Liberal Party of Canada.

    Thanks again for all your efforts.

  6. josht45 on

    Carol is right, Jodie. Your arrogance and hypocrisy is evident, not only in this matter but in others. You have comments removed if they are critical of Marc, and I found your article on coming to a foreign country and yelling “shame” at people about par for the course. Perhaps you should consider if asking for money so you can visit Marc from people who, ta dah, make their money on the “black market” isn’t the height of eye rolling hypocritical choices. You seem like a very nice young woman, but please spare us.

  7. renney b. on

    i watched with you all night on cannabis culture and was also disappointed with the no vote… thanks jodie and team for the great work, thanks for making marc proud… although this is a small step forward in terms of numbers and status, cannabis is now main stream… it would have been a great victory if they had not divide the cannabis loving community. arnold gave them one ounce of decriminalization and they turned their backs on the tree of life…continue the great work to free the whole cannabis culture and set the captives free… peace and love, from; renney b.

  8. rol1 on

    Can Marc have visitors in Pahrump? It is about 60 miles over the hump(hill) from Las Vegas.

    I didn’t know they had a private prison there. Nothing there on Google maps, so must have been built in the last year.

    It was the location of Art Bell’s Broadcasts.

  9. Anonymous on

    Eric Nash grew 4200 kilos of marijuana.
    From 2001 to 2009.
    Don’t you think it’s extremely Greedy of Canada to keep all that greeny a$$ bud.
    On top of that canada got pig police men, robing drug dealers.
    So no one can smoke.

    Wouldn’t you say canada are the rotten drug dealers and not one person on the street caught just smoking are guilty.

    Thats like someone ordering everyone in Canada to die….
    Of natural causes.

    I want to see Bush, Stephen Harper, and Obama. All go to the most dangerous neighbourhood. Try and buy a weed. And people would shoot them all the way to legalization.

    DMX – Stop being Greedy

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytOchwtcf4U

  10. Adrian on

    I believe the legalization movement passed this proposition by in the year since Lee got it on the ballot. The concessions it gave where too little, too late. People want more rights, and less government, and 19 was weak on both of those.

    I don’t blame Lee at all in this. He crafted a proposition based on his experience and from his perspective. I can understand that. But not everyone wants the Oakland model for their area.

    Maybe we’re idealists, but when so much of our lives have already been compromised, we get tired of taking the good with the bad. Why can’t we smoke without taxes? Why can’t we sell to our neighbors the same way we’d sell extra tomatoes or strawberry’s from our backyard? After all it’s just an herb. And why can’t we pass a law that releases those being held on marijuana only charges?

    Some compromising is fine but when the split becomes so uneven, as it did here, many will question if it’s worth it, and ultimately say “no”. Don’t get so caught up in the couple of crumbs you can have right now, that you lose focus on the bread of freedom we’re all after in the end.

    And DON’T, DO NOT, let this fester and cause an unrepairable breach in a mostly unified movement. Those of you who lead are responsible to make sure that doesn’t happen.

  11. California2012.org on

    Thank you Marc and Jodie

    I enjoyed the whole live Video Cast. I am JTG on CC and I was ErnstB on chat for those of you who know me.

    I am a private Citizen and I am sponsoring a Public Forum for all people who want to advance Legalization of Cannabis with a focus on California.

    We have many Sites that have Politics and Activist forums and now we have a Neutral Site for all the Folks of California and around the world to share the news and gather to discuss what the Initiative will be in 2012.

    Already we have Jack Herer’s Initiative http://Www.yourhfederation.com on the front burner.

    Come and be a part of a “Town Meeting” on the State level!

    Come to California2012.org and be with fellow Citizens who care to advance Legalization we can all live with!

    Together We Cannabis in 2012!

  12. MaryJane Cannabian on

    Thanks for sharing your Prop 19 adventure, Jodie! As always, great job by you, Jeremiah and Britney. :-)

    @ Bruce What you fail to understand is that unfortunately not everyone is a relegalization advocate, and when it comes to ending War both sides make concessions with alot of kicking and screaming leading up to a truce. If we are ever to win over the mainstream we need regulation that appeases the masses. While no one likes taxes, setting up a taxable, regulated distribution model like we have for alcohol will go along way in swaying the voting public. Cash strapped states will discover that recreational Cannabis sales are an economic boon that will help education funding, infrastructure spending, health care costs, etc. As a Mother I like this idea – that weed tax helps schools – and I know other Moms’ will appreciate this factor.

    I can understand if some people had a problem with the 25×25 space for growing or some other aspects of the prop, but to vote no because it wasn’t “perfect” is sad. The fact is that California had the whole world watching, and had the opportunity to send a message ’round the globe that Cannabis Prohibition has been defeated! Prop 19 was so much bigger than “just California”, because on voting day we were all Californians!

  13. Carol on

    Jodie we all love your energy and we feel bad for you and Marc and want him to be free, but sometimes you come across as very arrogant and know it all and that doesn’t work well for you. You are a Canadian who came to our country and tried to tell us how to vote. You are also a relatively young person who has not been in the cannabis scene in California ever. So really you don’t know the dynamics of the situation. Also must call hypocrisy on your constant statements about people wanting to profit off the black market. Isnt that what Marc did when he was selling 10 seeds for a hundred dollars or more and what your peeps are still doing now in Couver selling at black market prices? You concentrate on making cannabis totally legal in BC and Canada and leave us alone. What we want is what an earlier person said, the plant should be legal like it was in 1937. That’s the only law worth passing other than the medical law that already got passed. Try not to let your good looks and energy go to your head. Conceit is not pretty:) But we do care about you and Marc, so please take this the right way:)

  14. Jodie on

    There were no rules requiring personal growers to pay taxes for their personal crops. Taxes were only to be applicable on legitimate, legal businesses that would have started up to sell recreational cannabis to customers — and even then, municipalities were allowed to set the tax rate, so some places might have said “no taxation” at all!

    See, you opponents seem to know nothing about the FACTS of the proposition, and chose instead to cling to fear and lies and rumours and propaganda. Shame on you.

  15. lakua on

    I agree with you 100% Jodie. The people against Prop 19 can use all the nonsense and lies to attempt to justify their GREED. They’d rather see people locked up in prison just so the price of cannabis is artificially propped up by the evil of prohibition.

    Those who voted no on Prop 19 will pay for it through bad karma. The universe demands that they be punished for their GREED.

  16. Beatnuck on

    Well if the public won’t accept it, F’em. Status quo is better than Soviet-style mind control. Why should I pay the government so I can grow a couple plants for my own use? Why would I want to pay for marijuana when I can grow it for free? Why do you think marijuana is called weed? (because it is so easy to grow)

    Marijuana is also called “tea.” LESS government, not more!!!

  17. Bud 72 on

    You tell them Jodie!
    what is it that makes people think that if an initiative is not perfect in every way that it should be voted against? Sure it would be great if legalization was perfect and everyone could use and possess cannabis whenever and wherever they wanted but that’s not the world we live in! WE HAVE TO COMPROMISE A LITTLE IF WE EXPECT ANY CHANGE!!!

    Whether it’s putting up with taxes or having corporations selling it we “abolitionists” will have to compromise with those who are against us if we want to make any progress. Those growers who are unwilling to lose a small amount of their profits are just as bad in both moral and ethical character than ANY Phillip Morris or R.J. Reynolds tobacco company and if they think that it’s a fun “game” to vote down legalization and keep their markup thanks to the blood and freedom of others then they have blood on their hands and will never be forgiven.

    WE WILL WIN

  18. Jodie on

    “Nope, what we really want is the right to grow untaxed, unregulated and without government controls.”

    You’re living in a dream world. Haven’t you taken a look at REALITY lately? That’s not going to happen — cannabis law reform is a separate issue from government/regulation/taxation reform, but you threw away the cannabis reform because of your naive and irrational dream-land perspective.

    Shame on you. You should have passed Prop 19 and then worked to get rid of ALL excessive taxation and regulation, but no, you betrayed the movement and told hundreds of thousands of people that they will have their lives ruined for the next two years while you blabber on about some nonsensical, impossible fantasy about a world free from any government and structure. SHAME.

  19. Jodie on

    You bought into the lies and propaganda, the hysteria about “mega corporations taking over”, which is NONSENSE. You voted to put tens of thousands of your brothers and sisters in prison, and ruined the lives of hundreds of thousands of children, because you bought into the fear-mongering and outright lies perpetrated by greedy growers and dealers. Shame on you for siding with the irrational idealists and prohibition profiteers, and betraying the progressive and realistic move forward that would have helped save so many more lives. Shame.

  20. Jodie on

    MERP and CCHH did not make it on the ballot because they are impossible to win! The public is NOT going to accept the wide-open, no-rules initiative you want to pass. Extensive political work was done on Prop 19 because you have to be realistic — not idealistic — when drafting legislation.

    And tell me, Richard Lee had to fund Prop 19 with his own money — so why didn’t any of the MANY dispensaries (that make millions of dollars each) support and fund YOUR initiatives?

    Richard Lee is being slammed for not endorsing and funding your initiative rather than his own (which was drafted with professionals to have an actual chance of passing), but why not slam the anti-19 people who have more than enough money to finance YOUR campaign?

  21. Bruce Cain on

    Richard:

    Please. Enough. The truth is my little group (Pepper Kazenski, Dragonflower etc.) would have been in 100% support had Lee gone with Jack Herer’s CCHH. I’ve been involved in this for over 20 years and have spent far more than I have gained from this exercise in sadomasochism. But it is apparent that we did have some effect in the defeat of Prop19. Certainly “Cannabis Warrior” and other believe that as they are talking about boycotting us . . . whatever that means.

    At any rate let us just get Lee to move forward with CCHH in 2012 and we will be 100 percent behind your efforts and I’m sure it will pass.

    Lee’s Oaksterdam Board “member” Wilcox was hoping for a 50 million dollar Mega Grow facility while the larger intent was to push home growers out of the business. Bottom line: I simply believe each adult should be able to grow whatever amount of Cannabis they would like without any taxes or regulation. This is the only true way to provide cheap medicine, destroy the Cartels and stop the home invasions.

    I surely hope you will be on board as we push forward with MERP and CCHH.

    We’re not going to wait another 40 years for NORML to get it’s act together.

  22. Lavonne on

    To all on the legalization of cannabis, to all the work that was done to provide for the rest of the citizens to utalize cannabis, your hard work is being well appriciated but would I would like to see this hard work that was put forth in the CCHH.. I agree that we are going to have legalization one day, and it will happen but not with this bill Prop 19.. I am a patient that utalizes cannabis under the laws of this state, and have the freedome to grow and utalize for myself where many are unable to and i am really grateful for that. But i voted no on prop 19, for i did not see legalization in this bill at all.. it was about corporations only to be in charge and this would have put the small growers out of what they needed for their ailments and have each county put limitations on how much we can grow and how much of a space we are allowed to grow in,, for you see our counties only see one thing,, and that would have been this input of what was in the prop 19 for all, it would not have separated the medical from the non-medical and would have put more violation laws on the book and many would have to face the courts .. I am not against legalization at all, but i feel that we should be all able to grow as much as we want, utalize how much we need, and be able to just sell it in any store like we obtain our herbs and vegitables. Its bad enough that our state and our counties and cities can not get along with the laws on hand concerning this issue under the medical laws. I feel that we should work on rescheduling in California and across our USA and only then will legalization come about. I understand that this prop has separated allot of the activist and destroyed many friendships and medical patients whom felt threaten by this bill.. no parent wants to be in jeporady for utalizing cannabis in their own home, where prop 19 made it so that they could not utalize in the same space, but if they drink beer, or other kinds of beer, they could in the same space of a minor, in parties, in family outings, ect.. but not cannabis… so where is the legalzation concerning cannabis in this aspect.. there is none. so the legalization of it was no where to be found. I am positive that we need more safe access to those whom really benifit from the use of cannabis, and being able to go to a store front and obtain what is needed. But many issues concerning this prop 19 was not for the good of the people but for the good of the corporate greed that wanted to take this and obtain millions of dollars for their personal gain. We have enough being taken from us already, and many are suffering due to the ill management of this state while other states are being more pratical in their spending. but Cannabis needs to be respected and so do the people of this state concerning this issue.. Prop 19 would have destroyed Prop 215 and destroyed SB420 and all the others laws conerning this issue..
    Legalization is not about taxing, regulating or controling… Cannabis is the protection of the seriouse terminally ill and the really sick citizens whom utalize it.. but legalization for all use,, would be well written that would benifit us as a whole instead of some personal gain behind it.. stop the greed, stop the hate, stop the critizizing of the people whom have diffrence of opions.. if this bill was written better than it was, than everyone would have been on board.. we need legalization that would not only benifit california citizens but also all the rest of the citizens in this country that we live in… I am sorry that all whom voted on Prop 19,, but i have been humiliated due to my diffrence of opions on this issue all for seeing it in a diffrent light and i was not the only one.. But to be critized, attact personally and called names, and so forth due to being diffrent, was appalling. And uncalled for… we all have a right to vote, we all have the right to live in peace..no matter what surroundings we come from..
    As a citizen, as a wife, as a mother, as a grandparent, as a seriously ill person with MS and other seriously illness that challenges me on a daily basic , i was disapointed on how some people treated others due to their diffrence of opions. I have suffered not once in the court to prove myself ligit, but twice. and still out and about and utalizing cannabis.. the laws work, in the court of law… but we all have our challenges to face.. but we need to work in homorny with the rest of the people, not just for a few.. this bill was selfish, and only for the control of the county and not for the welfare of their citizens.. and some counties don’t give a hoot..
    Freedom to grow , to live in peace, freedome to not be afraid of procecution of any kind due to the use of cannabis is important. No control of any kind. To have our counties, our cities, to stand behind us, and work with us, not arrest us. not tax us per ounce, per plant, not give us limitations of how much we can grow for ourselves or others or space we are allow to grow in only is unconstutional to our freedome to choose, to live to be free to utalize , to grow..only then can cannabis be legalization…

    I was disapointed in how drug policay presented their representaion of prop 19 on their forum for all members, if you disagreed with them, then you were attacked personally, battered, bagered, and kicked off the list for having a diffrent outlook on this issue.. if you don’t agree .. then you don’t get to be apart of the group.. if you want to change the voters views, you don’t attact them, you answer their questions, you give them a diffrent view to look at.. but they could not .. instead they battered me online on the group.. so .. I am very disapointed in this organization whom represents cannabis and hope in the future that they will present themselves in a better manor.. and treat their members with respect..

    Have a good day, wish everyone good will, and lets get the cannabis rescheduled… for the better of all whom support it.. shame this bill was not for the people.. instead it was for control of the people…
    C
    I have been an activist for more than 10 years now… in spite of my challenges… so… your corporate greed should change for the better of mankind instead… otherwise we will never have legalization… Unity amonst us is more inportant than the monies that take from the sick and terminally ill in order to gain legalization of cannbis. It was not just the police, sherrifs, ect but also the medical cannabis patients that voted against this bill.. manily for what prop 19 did to take away from all of us, instead of a positive soulution, it gave to us a negitive soulution…

    We need all of our citizens to support this legalization, we need our board of supervisors, city mayors, fire department, police department and Federal to come on board … with out their suport .. without rescheduling of cannabis… Legalizion of cannabis will not happen…insted it will cause more harm than good..

    I am not in the work force, and i am of sound mind inspite of my challenges.. i speak from my heart and my inner soul on this issue.. if anyone disagrees that is ok,, but if your going to attack me.. let me just let you know…

    Sticks and stones many break my bones, but names will never hurt me..lol..

    And constitution and the laws of this state will protect me…

    God bless everyone , and thank you all for all your hard work on trying to bring legalization … one day.. we will have it. freedom to choose to grow to live in peace for all mankind…..

  23. Richard N. Lake on

    DrugSense Supports Legalization in 2012 http://www.DrugSense.org

    Bruce Cain is an embarrassment to Michigan. He is an agent provocateur and a certified nut case who opposes all efforts and organizations that support legalization. Pay him no mind.

  24. Catharine M. Leach on

    Dear Jodie, your hard work for this campaign is so appreciated and was SO important (just look at all the media opportunities you had in that small span of time! Priceless!!)
    this is only a Battle lost – we CAN still win the WAR.
    Thank you for your hard work, efforts, persistence and diligence in ending Prohibition. Truly an inspiration to us all, Jodie.
    Thank you to your staffers, Jeremiah and Britney too – your small but loyal staff does amazing things…and no, we didn’t know they are your only employees – which means they are doing an excellent job!!
    “With Booze ya Loose – With DOPE there’s HOPE” pass it on…
    -Catharine Leach :)

  25. Bruce Cain on

    The bottom line is that most Re-Legalization advocates don’t want our sacred plant taxed, regulated and controlled by monopolies. Nope, what we really want is the right to grow untaxed, unregulated and without government controls. And why should this not be our goal? After all even NORML’s Armentano admits that Cannabis is “safer than alcohol.”

    I fully expect that you and Marc will support our efforts to convince Richard Lee that the vehicle for 2012 should not be a “reworked” Prop19 but rather Jack Herer’s CCHH (99 flowering plants and 12 pounds per adult). Just as the Berlin Wall was ripe to fall in 1989 the Marijuana Laws are ripe to fall in 2010.