A prison term in Georgia hasn’t stopped ex-Londoner Marc Emery being Marc Emery.
Canada’s Prince of Pot, whose libertarian philosophies were honed as outspoken owner of City Lights Bookshop in London, is having his scrapes with officials at the D. Ray James prison near Folkston, reports a longtime friend in London with whom Emery corresponds.
“They got upset with him because he was getting so many books that they started making all these rules . . . his followers were sending him books,” Londoner Gord Mood says.
Mood, owner of L.A. Mood Comics and Games, a few doors down from City Lights, is among those who have sent comics and books to the 52-year-old Emery.
“They didn’t give him everything I sent, they had some petty little thing against him,” Mood said, quoting from letters he has received from Emery.
“He wants to make them run by their own rules and he knows the rules.”
Emery, operator of a cannabis-related store in Vancouver, was extradited to the United States where he is serving a five-year term for selling marijuana seeds to Americans in the mail.
Emery was given a job in the prison library, a perfect job for a bookseller. Through the postings of his wife Jodie on Facebook and a blog posted at Cannabis Culture, he appealed for reading materials from his supporters.
In a late December letter to Mood, Emery said about 1,000 of the 1,050 inmates are Hispanic, with only about 10 Canadians in the facility he dubs a “concentration camp.”
He said he has helped more than 100 of his non-English-speaking fellow inmates with their legal paperwork.
Emery complained the facility, converted from a “notorious” state prison to an institution for foreigners, contained “no books from the last decade (and) were from 10 to 40 years old.”
So he solicited friends and supporters to send books, comics and magazines but the flood prompted prison officials to clamp down on him and restrict new books until he got rid of earlier ones he had received.
Emery talked about having no privacy in his ward with 63 other men.
“So far I have put in 10 months of this sentence,” he said. “If I get transferred back to Canada as I hope this summer, I could be out on parole by November.”
Mood, who worked for Emery at City Lights for two years in the mid-1980s, said he has stayed in touch with Emery.
His old friend, Mood said, “has his ups and downs” in prison that he complains is far below normal prison standards.
Mood said Emery is helping a man from Vietnam learn English and Emery himself is learning Spanish.
Emery’s wife Jodie still lives in Vancouver and regularly makes the long trip to visit him, Mood said.
It appears Emery is on an “up” again and his differences with prison officials have been patched up.
“They’re letting him get everything again,” Mood said.
So in the next week or so the comic book store operator will assemble a selection of comic books and other reading material he figures the caged libertarian might like.
– Article from The London Free Press.