Prison Blog #29 (Newsletter #5) – The madness continues

February 8-14: On January 6, Warden Booker told me I was to be reinstated to my job in the law/reading library. After three weeks of waiting and going to the library daily in any case, I saw on the call-out sheets (daily assignment sheet) in late January that I was assigned to pick up garbage on the compound in the afternoon and evening. Considering any inmate can do this job but only 4 or 5 English speakers in the entire population can do the paralegal/secretarial work I was doing on behalf of the 1,500+ Hispanic inmates here, this new assignment was clearly an attempt by someone here to thwart the warden and humiliate me.

Jodie and Marc, January 29thJodie and Marc, January 29thAbout 7 days ago I saw the warden and brought this to his attention. He remarked, “I’m a man of my word,” and proceeded to make a call on his cell phone to correct the ‘error’ on the call-out sheet. I left him to do that, and 7 days later, 30 days after the warden said I was reinstated, I am still unassigned but still available in the law library. We shall see what happens. [Note from Jodie Emery: Marc has since been reassigned and now works Monday through Friday in the library.]

I would get paid 12 cents per hour to do either job. What I can’t understand is how a private corporation like Geo Group can legally hire all these “deportable aliens,” none of whom have visas to legally work in the United States. Have they received a special exemption from the Federal government that allows a for-profit US corporation like GEO Group to do what no other US business entity is allowed to do: hire illegal aliens to work in their factory/business/enterprise? Many of these ‘illegal aliens’ here were undocumented workers doing labor for US businesses and they were incarcerated for doing precisely that. So by what political or legal alchemy can these same illegal “workers” be hired by GEO Group to essentially maintain this ‘industry’ here at D. Ray James Correctional?

And this business of 12 cents per hour: if you don’t concede to work on the assignment given to you, you can be put in solitary confinement. So a private, for-profit, US corporation, answerable only to shareholders, can put any inmate here in a lonely dungeon for 23 hours per day if they refuse to be a slave? The Thirteenth Amendment abolishes slavery “within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” So either GEO Group seems to be illegally hiring illegal aliens, or employing slavery, or both, but I’d like to know what law permits a for-profit US corporation to do either.

Meanwhile, GEO Group has cut back on the hours of many of its employees here. Many Correctional Officers (C.O.’s) have had their hours cut from 40 to 32 hours a week. This was an unhappy bit of news for them because most, if not all, full-time workers cannot easily readjust their lifestyle and obligations with a 20% cut in pay. One extra unpaid day off in this economically depressed area is not something anyone who works here needs. One C.O. drives 52 miles a day to come to work here at D. Ray James, that tells one story of how difficult jobs are to come by in south Georgia and north Florida. The collapse of the housing market and the reduction of tourism from the recession and the Gulf oil spill have turned south Georgia and north Florida into one of the areas of highest unemployment in the United States. A competently run prison would be a benefit to the inmates here AND the local population so desperate for gainful employment.

More and more I am concerned about the quality of the water we are drinking here. The staff largely drinks bottled water, which is not available to inmates except in the visiting room, but staff have been buying all of the visiting room water bottles. That’s why the machines are often out of water for visitors on weekends. The water that we inmates have to drink is yellow when put in a white cup, smells, variously contains debris, paint flecks, etc. The water tower that recently was embellished with a massive GEO Group paint job has never had a filter changed within it, if it even HAS a filtration device within it all.

Ominously, the subcontracted group responsible for our very poor food diet, the Canteen Corporation, is about to get replaced by GEO Group’s own food services. GEO Group ran Rivers C.I. in Winton, North Carolina, which was closed down by order of the NC legislature, and many inmates from Rivers are here. All uniformly agree the food at Rivers was the worst they had ever encountered in the Federal system. So, incredibly, it’s possible what is already a monotonous and repetitive diet deficient in vitamins B, C, calcium, potassium, essential fatty acids and so much more, plus high in starches, sugars, and protein, is about to get even worse!

It would seem very few people running the show here are qualified to do so. The psychologist on staff has no degree in psychology or psychiatry; he’s a drug and alcohol counselor of some kind. The welding teacher has no credentials in welding. The recreation director has no credentials in health, fitness or physical education. The library does not have a certified librarian (it usually has no one supervising at all, to save money), and the director of education has no degree in education. The chaplain does not have a Masters of Divinity. Not a single Corrections Officer has ever worked in a Bureau of Prisons facility before; therefore they have no experience with federal regulations of federal prisons. Many of the staff here worked at the state D. Ray James prison, but state regulations are substantially different than federal regulations, and that results in a fair bit of confusion.

Most B.O.P. minimums and lows have an outdoor visitation area. D. Ray James has, according to the D. Ray James Procedure Statement, an outdoor visitation area. I sure hope one is planned because thus far, it’s not available. I will be asking the warden if one will be provided here, consistent with his statement SEC-014.06, which was signed by him only a few months ago: “Visitation may be conducted in a designated outdoor visitation area if approved by the Shift Supervisor. Only inmates who have had clear conduct for six months and have no security issues within the facility will be allowed to have visitation outside.”

Occasionally the visitation staff tells the inmates and their visitors not to hold hands, even though it is called a ‘contact visit’ and from my understanding, every federal minimum, low and medium security federal prison in the B.O.P. system permits handholding. The staff in visitation are otherwise good.

I’ve been reading ‘Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do (The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in Our Free Country).’ This is a marvelous book by Peter McWilliams. Peter was stricken with AIDS in later life and after Proposition 215 was passed in California, proceeded to participate in a marijuana garden (with Todd McCormick, who spent over 4 years in jail) and was convicted under Federal law for growing marijuana. Peter used cannabis to stanch the nausea form the cocktail of AIDS medicines his doctors prescribed him. The Federal judge had forbade Peter from using marijuana for his nausea, and days later Peter McWilliams died in his bathtub choking to death on his own vomit. Peter was an author of many books on positive thinking, emotional survival and personal wealth (titles include ‘Surviving the Loss of a Love’, ‘You Don’t Have the Luxury of a Negative Thought’, and ‘Wealth 101’). I decided to re-read Peter’s great literary contribution to law and philosophy, ‘Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do’ when the online curator of Peter’s legacy [click here]sent me a gift copy to inspire me here in jail. The book is truly brilliant and wonderful, at once straight forward and easy to read, and I’m learning so much; when you’ve been an advocate for 31 years, sometimes you think you can’t learn anything new about liberty, only to be proven delightfully wrong.

I found McWilliam’s discussion of relationships illuminating. “The idea behind laws against consensual activities is that if some people are in a bad relationship with something, then that thing should be banned. The problem is, that solution doesn’t solve anything: the problem doesn’t lie with the thing (or substance) itself, but with some people’s relationship to it. Yes, there are some things with which it is easier to be in a bad relationship with than others. Cigarettes practically beg for a bad relationship. But then, they were designed that way. For the several centuries prior to the Civil War, tobacco’s use was primarily recreational: people would inhale it, choke, get dizzy, fall on the floor, roll around. For the most part, people used tobacco (a botanical relative of the deadly nightshade) once or twice a week, and that was it. After the Civil War, the south needed a cash crop less labor intensive than cotton. A special strain of tobacco was developed that allowed people to inhale deeply without coughing. This let people smoke almost continuously if they liked it. It also resulted in almost immediate addiction. Almost every tobacco smoker is addicted. While there are many ‘social drinkers’, there are no ‘social smokers’. Smokers begin from the time they wake up to when they go to sleep… Addiction is a sure sign of a bad relationship.”

Sex, food, caffeine, gambling, religion, marriage, sports: all of these and virtually every other substance, activity or opportunity has the potential in all of us to be a good or a bad (or neutral) relationship.

Halfway through the book I’ve re-learned much about the US Constitution (and how, tragically, myself being a case in point, the United States has abandoned the Bill of Rights and other restraints on government), the history and ideas and strengths in the separation of church and state, and the separation of society and state. Peter makes it all fun too. I was being educated on every page with what seems like no effort.

The book I finished before Peter’s was ‘The 10 Cent Plague – The Great Comic Book Scare of the 1950s’. This recounting of hysteria that surrounded comic books causing ‘juvenile delinquency’ from 1949 to 1956, putting 80% of all comic books out of business by municipal, state, and in Canada in 1949, Federal laws. There were huge public bonfires of comic books in dozens of communities, and a frenzy of indignation blaming comic books for all manner of crime and youth corruption. The US Constitution was no more an impediment on the US Government committee that hounded the comic book industry with scurrilous hearings, nor was the Bill of Rights any defense against state and city laws that saw sellers and producers arrested, fined, and even jailed. Over 800 people lost their jobs in the comic book industry and never got them back, as it took the comic book industry 15 years to recover. The hysteria resulted in censorship that drove out of business all the best comic books and left only the innocuous to survive.

At various times in US history, movies, television, more specifically horror movies, marijuana, racy pulp magazines of the 30’s, gum cards (Garbage Pail Kids), rock and roll records, religious “cults”, dance crazes, and more have all been subject to local or even state censorship, but none of the whipped-up furors ever had the destructive effect on free expression as did the 1949-1956 anti-comic book crusade. At its peak, comic book publications issued in 1952 totaled nearly 100 million copies monthly, by 1958, laws were passed, distributors, printers, producers, newsstands, intimidated, distribution was down to under 17 million copies monthly.

Sometimes censorship is disgusting on the smallest scale. The reading library here at D. Ray James Correctional is kept as useless as possible. No current books of the last 10 years, virtually no educational texts in math, English, science – nothing at all for a student to learn. No contemporary books like James Patterson, Stephen King, etc. Just beat up old library books from 10-40 years old, of no use to anyone. No magazines had been ordered since D. Ray James opened 4 months ago. Then one magazine arrived today, a Hispanic magazine, ‘ALMA’. It’s a terrific publication, and while it’s in a language I can’t read, it made me wish I could. It contained articles and interviews with Noam Chomsky, Mario Vargas Llosa, Jean Michel Basquiat, Orson Welles, and Ryszard Kapuscinski. There was a series of famous photographs by the “Three Giants of Photography” Stieglitz, Steichen, and Strand. The quality of all the magazine’s photographs is very good, the material very elegantly laid out, and it was clearly all very intellectually superior material.

ALMA Magazine: Needlessly defaced on every page (click to enlarge)ALMA Magazine: Needlessly defaced on every page (click to enlarge)Dr. Davis brought the magazine into the library, and before our very eyes scrawled in thick black marker “D R J C F” (the prison name initials) across every one of the 112 pages of the magazine. The reason given was that the Halle Berry photos were too lascivious, and that marking up every page would deter theft. I copied a selection of 16 pages of the defaced ALMA to highlight the experience of seeing a beautiful magazine defaced, while knowing the perpetrator is head of Library and Education Services. This one act describes the desperate and hopeless situation facing anyone here who wants to see the library here function with the noble purpose of knowledge and enlightenment.

I will admit I’ve been depressed over the most recent 8 days since Jodie’s visit on January 29 and 30. My daily life is full of frustrations and aggravations, but I can usually try to forget these hassles of D. Ray James life and move on. But as happened to me around Christmas for 10 days, sometimes a darker, more pervasive malaise sets in, and this makes each day an ordeal. My property should have arrived within 30 days of my arrival. But it hasn’t. It was sent to Taft where I was supposed to end up, but at the last minute I was somehow sent here instead. I miss my Sony radio, Koss headphones, and nighttime book light, my photo albums of Jodie. I’ve only had a half dozen to a dozen photos of Jodie in the 3 months I’ve been here. Jodie’s most recent letter to me did not arrive. One sent to me eight days ago from Alabama has not arrived. (Jodie was emailing letters to our friend Loretta who printed them up and mailed them here, usually it takes 2-3 days to arrive, as is typical of all US mail to me, vs. 6-8 days for a letter from Canada). Originally Jodie was going to try to send me a letter every day, once we no longer had “Corrlinks” email like at Sea-Tac FDC. In 5 months at Sea-Tac, she sent me approximately 500 emails and I sent her over 1,000 emails in that time (she saved every one of them). But Jodie is very busy, so in December I received only three letters and in January only one letter. Her letters are usually 4 to 8 typed pages full of wonderful detail and I treasure them above all others, but I am crestfallen at her sending me so few of them lately.

Today, when I went to the post office to mail Jodie a Valentine’s Day gift, the post office was arbitrarily closed. It is only open for one hour on Tuesday and Thursday, from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm, so when they close like that, with no explanation, it is very frustrating, as I have waited since Saturday to mail it (it’s in a home-made tube and needs weighing and a customs document to ship by mail), and if I had been able to mail it today, there was reasonable hope it would arrive by next Monday on Valentine’s Day. Of course, the obvious thing would be to hand it to her myself this weekend when Jodie visits me on Saturday February 12, and my birthday Sunday, February 13, but of course, here at (‘We Put the “D” in “Dysfunctional”’) Ray James won’t allow that.

Exercise of any kind, sit-ups, push-ups, jogging on the spot, walking around the pod, has been banned and inmates have been threatened with insubordination write-ups if they continue. All inmates are now ordered to exercise out in the yard only. To do sit-ups in the yard would be cold or muddy or dirty or uncomfortable, but that’s the rule, whether it’s raining, cold, hot, or humid. Currently we only get outside 5 to 6 hours daily tops, but are awake and in our pod up to 18 hours daily. There is no explanation for this enforced prohibition on stationary exercise. My sleeping has been disturbed for four nights in a row, usually I sleep soundly and without interruption, but these last few nights I am awake much of the night, shuffling and shaking. Most of the English speakers I know are fatalistic and sad or certainly resigned. I am more annoyed with the shrill whistling, yowling, yelling, and repeated childish voices that some of my Hispanic dorm mates persist in doing (reminder: we don’t have cells, we’re put into dorms with 64 bunks beds). Not all of them are annoying, mind you, but just enough to make me rue at the thought of three and half years of this depressing place. All these things and the additional daily frustrations are getting to me, I fear.

My eyesight is getting weaker. I need new prescription for glasses. I have no confidence in the medical services here. If I did get a new optometric prescription for my lenses, I’d mail it to Jodie and she’d send me a new pair of glasses. My request for a dental cleaning 7 weeks ago has thus far been ignored. I was assured that I was put “on the waiting list”. I haven’t had any dental work of any kind since I was put in jail last May.

I had written to my wonderful supporter and friend Catharine Leach asking her if Rhode Island had an initiative process, so cannabis legalization could be put on the ballot. The voters of Rhode Island voted for one in 1996, but the legislature did not pass an initiative process bill into law. There was also proposed legislation in both the House and Senate in 2010 to pass an initiative process and no vote was ever taken, thus the bills died. So that was disappointing, as we both wanted to get a legalization initiative mirroring Washington’s on the ballot in 2012. I think Rhode Island voters would approve legalization into law by the ballot if they had the chance.

A Maine state legislator, Diane Russell (Democrat), has made the news by introducing a legalization bill in the statehouse there. While 40-55% of New Englanders may support legalization, legislators who represent that view are still virtually non-existent. This is also the case, perhaps even worse, in Canada’s provincial and federal governments. That is why I was so excited to believe (mistakenly) Rhode Islanders could go through an initiative process.

Malcolm MacKinnon of High Times made an attempt to interview me here at D. Ray James for a feature article, but owing to High Times’ stated support of marijuana, the warden here turned down the request. So Malcolm submitted 16 questions to me and my expansive and candid answers should show up in an issue of High Times out in May or June. Jodie will also have some comments regarding her perspective on coping with my incarceration.

I would like to thank four people, none of whom I know, who put $50 in my commissary account here at D. Ray James, over the past two months: Martin M. (twice!, on Feb. 7), Lawrence J. (Feb. 1), Mathew W. (Jan. 4), and Ashley N. (Dec. 20). That helps relieve the pressure off my wife Jodie to send me money I need for commissary, phone calls, photocopy machine cards, photographs, and more. [Note from Jodie: You can send Marc money through Western Union now! Go to for details.]

A special thanks to Paul Maverick of Massachusetts who sent me 34 books over the last 8 days. 11 I will try to read, the remaining 23 I’ve distributed around the pod for anyone else to read. Many of them are on spiritual matters, U.G. Krishnamurti in particular, which isn’t really my interest, but two books by Paul’s father Maury (a columnist for Texas newspapers) and 9 books of historical nature I’m going to try to tackle.

By Sunday, February 13, my 53rd birthday, I will have served 335 days on this 1,825 day sentence, with 235 days good time credit. That’s 570 days from my total 1,825 to be served, meaning there are 1,255 miserable days to go if I get stuck in this American gulag for foreigners. (July 7th, 2014 is my US release date). If I get approval from the US government in June for my transfer to Canada, and the Canadian government approves the application in the following months, I could be home by early next year. Please continue to write letters and make phone calls for my transfer to be approved – the addresses and details are at

Marc Emery #40252-086 Unit Q Pod 2
C.I. D. Ray James
PO Box 2000
Folkston, GA

Marc Emery
Marc Emery

Marc Emery is a Canadian cannabis activist, entrepreneur, and politician. Known to his fans as the Prince of Pot, Emery has been a notable advocate of international cannabis policy reform for decades. Marc is the founding publisher of Cannabis Culture and Pot TV.



  1. J. Nayer Hardin on

    Thank you for your review of Peter McWilliam’s book AINT NOBODY’S BUSINESS IF YOU DO. Like you, I consider Peter one of the greatest men of our generation. His humor, compassion, wisdom, grace and power have served as a light of truth in my life. He was so right in all his books, His curator is a most amazing person who is filling Peter’s shoes and our lives with his words. Stay strong ’cause we are overcoming now!

  2. Gregg on

    Thanks for the blog. That was really interesting stuff about writer Peter McWilliams. Would like to learn more about him. Can you please provide the link to the Facebook page? I tried going there but the link did not work. Thanks. Stay strong Marc

  3. Gregg Hamm on

    Thanks for the blog. That was really interesting stuff about writer Peter McWilliams. Sure would like to learn more about Peter McWilliams. Can you please provide the link to the Facebook page about him? I tried going there and the link did not work. Thanks and stay strong.

  4. smitty on

    The American judicial system is a joke that doesn’t generate laughs.

    Jurisdiction-as practiced in America-is as flexible as a wet noodle.

    Here is a simplified explanation of how jurisdiction works in the present American justice(sic) system:

    The American government man and I both walk in to the local carry-out store and head straight to the cooler for a 12-pack of BUDweiser. There’s only one there, and I get to it first, grab it and head to the check-out counter.

    The government man pulls out his sidearm, points it at my head and says “I have jurisdiction here, hand over that 12-pack.”

    There is no legal argument that will suffice in the face of brute force, so the government thug departs, 12-pack in hand…

    This kind of legal garbage is similar to the sort of judicial bullshit that is described in Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence as a major portion of the complaints compelling the revolutionary break with the British tyrant King George. 1776 was much more about judicial corruption than any silly tax upon tea…

    But, compared with the treatment we face if ensnared in legal proceedings today, the justice of King George would be almost a blessing.

  5. smitty on

    Yeah, lock up his wife, conficate his property…

    You are so obviously a stupid, idiotic, sick, jack-boot licking dumbass.

    You need to rot in the American Gulag yourself for a spell, though it’s highly doubtful that even that would cause maybe even two of your very few brain cells to activate…and I bet you’d be crying for mama after less than a week in a cage; lights on 24/7, constant noise, food unworthy of being called such, and so on.

    Marc is a freedom fighter. That he is imprisoned means he’s a fallen freedom fighter-and worthy of some measure of support from those of us brave enough to be in the struggle.

    All through history freedom fighters have had to endure such idiocy in the captive population comprised mostly of sheeple that are willing to go along with whatever tyrannical authoritarian program dished out by the ruling thugracy.

    You, Mr. Anonymous, are a perfect example of human sewage, and down the drain of history shall the likes of you be washed.

  6. Evan Simard on

    Dear Marc Emery

    You are my hero and it is my dream to fight along side you towards a just cause I’m asking for help so i can start fighting for this cause i am going to school to obtain a PHD in political science with a masters in journalism and creative writing I was wondering if it would be possible to get your friends to send me some legalization posters as well as other accessories cause i know i can build a large support group here in Vermont. I self medicate for bi polar and i have not been diagnosed with anything but i also constantly have muscle spasms that are very painful and they do not go away. Most of all though i want to fight for everyone’s rights. i know how everyone else in my predicament feels and i know it doesn’t feel good. You can contact me at my email or my phone number

    [email protected]

  7. Wes Word (proudly not anonymous) on

    I just want to say I’m sorry for your situation. I live in Texas and too have been incarcerated for a needless prohibition. I feel like my youth, career potential, and social standing have all been stunted by these labels of “criminal” “druggy” or even “rebel”. I believe in my right to freedom (of many things I will not list here). I believe in YOUR right to freedom, Marc. I most sincerely apologize for your living environment. I know how nasty those places are and I do not even drink my own tap-water..I can only imagine what it is like there. I wish I could send you money..books..anything. I am struggling just like the rest of America. I send you something that not many people do anymore.. LOVE and COMPASSION. I just hope that you keep your head up and keep on doing what you do best… not fight for freedom.. but LIVE it. All this while you inspire us to do the same. Thank you. Be strong.

  8. Anonymous on

    they should lock up his wife, take his store, and leave the fight with the people who are actually sick. people are tired of this asshole jumping in front of a camera every chance he gets exploiting the sick for his own personal agenda…. thats why he’s in jail. every medical marijuana licensee ive ever met is just some retard trying to make a buck selling the shit on the street for crack. Besides Michelle Rainey of course. Now that she’s gone I wouldn’t doubt Jodie is seeking out another sick person who’s back she can ride on to further her own goals and her selfish husband’s. Free Marc Emery Free Marc Emery Free Marc Emery. Fuckin pisses me off to see them whine cause he can’t handle jail, crying on You-tube panhandling for money for Marc. What about cancer patients? How much of this money is going to them? I don’t see her fighting for them anymore. This whole thing is proof of what the Emery’s are all about. Greed and Greed and Greed. Selfish Fucking Greed!

  9. Anonymous on

    they should lock up his wife, take his store, and leave the fight with the people who are actually sick. people are tired of this asshole jumping in front of a camera every chance he gets exploiting the sick for his own personal agenda…. thats why he’s in jail. every medical marijuana licensee ive ever met is just some retard trying to make a buck selling the shit on the street for crack. Besides Michelle Rainey of course. Now that she’s gone I wouldn’t doubt Jodie is seeking out another sick person who’s back she can ride on to further her own goals and her selfish husband’s. Free Marc Emery Free Marc Emery Free Marc Emery. Fuckin pisses me off to see them whine cause he can’t handle jail, crying on You-tube panhandling for money for Marc. What about cancer patients? How much of this money is going to them? I don’t see her fighting for them anymore. This whole thing is proof of what the Emery’s are all about. Greed and Greed and Greed. Selfish Fucking Greed!

  10. Anonymous on

    Just thought of how you were doing and googled marc emery status as I read your blog it made me think of how much better you have made that hell hole for a whole lot of people. It is more important maybe then advocating Mj all the work you are doing there on behalf of the legal rights and dignity of the prison community. The best thing is you project high vibes through this blog and that should mean a lot to those who read this and start asking themselves questions like, “What could I being doing to help?” Those of us fortunate enough to still have what little is left of our freedom out here should be asking ourselves this more often. As I read this blog I couldn’t help thinking they put the wrong guy in jail and not for the obvious reasons. You gonna come out of there a premier legal mind x100 while at the same time help those who are getting there legal rights taken away and helping us from losing ours out here. I am glad I thought of you tonight and I look forward to reading your next post. I will try to do what I can to help.

  11. Anonymous on

    “So how is it that the UN doesn’t have any concern about Cannabis seeds or leaves but Canada and US do? I would think that the UN as a whole is probably more qualified to make that judgment than, say, 7 government appointed Supreme Court judges.”

    It’s not clear which supreme court this refers to but both have nine justices.

  12. Anonymous on

    “So how is it that the UN doesn’t have any concern about Cannabis seeds or leaves but Canada and US do? I would think that the UN as a whole is probably more qualified to make that judgment than, say, 7 government appointed Supreme Court judges.”

    It’s not clear which supreme court this refers to but both have nine justices.

  13. Anonymous on

    Seems very odd to me that Canada and the US have a different definition of the word Cannabis than the United Nations. They must not have heard that this is the internationally accepted definition;

    “Article 1


    1. Except where otherwise expressly indicated or where the context otherwise requires, the following
    definitions shall apply throughout the Convention:

    a) “Board” means the International Narcotics Control Board,
    b) “Cannabis” means the flowering or fruiting tops of the cannabis plant (excluding the
    seeds and leaves when not accompanied by the tops) from which the resin has not been
    extracted, by whatever name they may be designated.”

    So how is it that the UN doesn’t have any concern about Cannabis seeds or leaves but Canada and US do? I would think that the UN as a whole is probably more qualified to make that judgment than, say, 7 government appointed Supreme Court judges. Maybe it’s because the UN is capable of seeing the obvious, that it would be completely impractical to use seeds or leaves as a source of THC. This tells us that Canada and the US inflict arbitrary laws on its people just because they like to be as oppressive as possible and waste as much tax money as possible.

    The obvious question is how are these countries able to justify putting people in prison for seeds and leaves when the UN never even suggested doing so and instead specifically excluded them from the Convention. The only explanation is that these countries are just too primitive to be on the same level as the other UN countries. They are the slow kids at the back of the international class. A bunch of goddamn barbarians really. I guess you just can’t educate western politicians because they are apparently learning disabled.

  14. Bob in IL on

    As of 3/8/11, Canucks lead the west with 93 points in 67 games and still have the best record in the NHL.

    An 8 game win streak ended for the Hawks in Florida tonight against the Panthers.

    Hope you received Mother Jones.

  15. Anonymous on

    It’s probably hopeless and Marc is doomed to serve the whole 5 years in the hole. I keep hoping there’s some kind of loophole but it doesn’t look very promising. Looking at the U.S. v. Cotroni extradition case it’s clear that we have very little rights against extradition in Canada. They can pretty much extradite anybody for anything just because they feel like it. Marc should have researched the subject because it’s very clear that he could be extradited anytime and Canada would be very unlikely to prosecute here instead. It’s standard Canadian legal policy. Since most of Marc’s customers were Americans it was really just a matter of time until it happened. All I can say is I guess Marc just didn’t mind going to American prison because his story only had one possible outcome and that was it. Was he crazy? I don’t know. You tell me. Some people cut themselves with a razor blade. Others are more imaginative.

  16. Anonymous on

    My guess is that if there were grounds to appeal the extradition order then it would have been done already by Marc’s attorney.

    Marc wrote about High Times not being allowed to interview him per the Warden because they advocate marijuana — herein in lies an obstacle to getting approvals for Marc’s return to Canada. In Canada Mark would probably be able to be interviewed and in custody in Canada he would probably have far greater access to the Internet both receiving and sending. The conservatives in Canada probably would prefer to hear as little as possible from from or about Marc. It appears that the US has taken that lead by sending him as far away from BC as possible to a jail with no Internet access. If he managed to do a podcast from a phone there the Warden would probably blow a gasket.

    So while I hope Marc gets a ticket to Canada from Georgia I would not be surprised if the applications to the US & Canada are not approved quickly.

    Does anyone know what the steps are now that the application to the US has been submitted?

  17. Anonymous on

    I’d like to add this, from the Single Convention;

    “Article 36

    iv) Serious offences heretofore referred to committed either by nationals or by
    foreigners shall be prosecuted by the Party in whose territory the offence was
    committed, or by the Party in whose territory the offender is found if extradition
    is not acceptable in conformity with the law of the Party to which application is
    made, and if such offender has not already been prosecuted and judgement

    Marc Emery wasn’t just “found” in Canada, that’s his home country and where the offense was committed. Canada was obligated under the treaty to prosecute Emery for the offense of distribution. If Emery had run away to the US and the US refused to extradite him back to Canada, where the crime was committed, then the US would be obligated to prosecute him there. That didn’t happen. Nicholson illegally extradited Emery for a crime wholly committed in Canada that was included in the treaty. The money laundering was also an illegal extradition because there was evidence of a $10,000 transaction, just $4,000,000 worth of a bunch of $50 ones. Sadly for Nicholson and the DEA none of those transactions qualify. So that’s actually two counts of illegal extradition by Nicholson, two violations of Emery’s Charter rights. The manufacturing charge was extraditable but one out of three IS bad, if you’re the Justice Minister of a major western democracy. I don’t know whether the US can be sued for putting a person in prison simply because he pleads guilty, even when there is absolutely no evidence of a crime having been committed, but Canada can certainly be sued for violating his civil rights, two counts.

  18. Anonymous on

    Why do I say that? Because he’s imprisoned for the crime of “conspiracy to distribute marijuana seeds”. Who did he conspire with? Greg and Michelle. He didn’t conspire with any US citizens to distribute seeds. They were only involved in buying the seeds. Buying is not conspiracy to distribute, that would be conspiracy to possess. When you buy drugs you’re not charged with conspiracy to traffic are you? Well, Marc didn’t supply retailers in the US with his seeds for them to then resell. No seed merchants were mentioned in the extradition application as being part of the case, therefore the whole conspiracy to distribute took place in Canada and involved three Canadians and zero Americans. Now, the conspiracy to manufacture would have been a US crime, because Marc conspired with numerous US citizens to grow Cannabis by selling them supplies and providing instructions, but that’s not what he’s in prison for.

    Marc should now inform the US Justice Department that he will forgo the multimillion dollar lawsuit for false imprisonment (or whatever the appropriate offense would be) if they agree not to press either of the other two charges he was extradited for and drive him to the BC border. Or perhaps they could explain why they are prosecuting citizens of other countries for crimes entirely committed in those countries by yanking them out and chucking them in a concentration camp.

    Even if that other country agrees to extradite the person, the US simply has no jurisdiction over conspiracies that don’t involve US citizens in any way, like distributing seeds from a store in Vancouver. Conspiracy to import would have been a valid charge, but that wasn’t the charge, it was conspiracy to distribute and where are the US citizens who were involved in running Marc’s store? They don’t have any. Marc’s Cannabis seed distribution company was wholly Canadian, no US subsidiaries or partners.

    Though I’m sure the DEA would LIKE to punish the conspiracy between Marc, Greg and Michelle that occurred in Canada, they simply have no jurisdiction whatsoever to do so. The only people with that jurisdiction were the Canadian authorities and they didn’t bother. I don’t think it’s actually legal to just say here, foreign country, you prosecute our citizen because we really can’t be bothered. Kind of a violation of Charter rights and such. Can you legally extradite a person for a crime they obviously are not guilty of, like conspiring to distribute Cannabis seeds in the US when the return address on the envelopes was Canada, the store was in Canada and everyone involved in the distributing was in Canada, distributing meaning to portion out and send? What Americans were involved in the portioning out or the sending of the seeds?

  19. Sad Veteran on

    and now it comes out that the dead soldier body count is done in such a way as not to reveal the actual number of combat deaths which are at present 73000+, much more than my era, Viet Nam.

  20. Jodie on

    Marc’s transfer application was sent to the US Department of Justice at the end of January so that’s why we asked for a flood of letters at that time. We wanted some to submit with the application itself, too. But letters are still required now until whenever Marc gets approval to come home! The more regularly they arrive at the DOJ office, the better.

  21. Jodie on

    Marc’s transfer application was sent to the US Department of Justice at the end of January so that’s why we asked for a flood of letters at that time. We wanted some to submit with the application itself, too. But letters are still required now until whenever Marc gets approval to come home! The more regularly they arrive at the DOJ office, the better.

  22. Jodie on

    The page does have the money instructions; here they are:


    If you would like to send Marc money for his commissary account (to cover expensive long-distance phone calls, mail postage, writing paper, toiletries, etc.) you can do so through Access Corrections at or by calling 1-866-345-1884.

    Only American credit cards are accepted. Payments are made to “Marc Scott Emery #40252-086” at the “D. Ray James Correctional Institution in Folkston, Georgia”.

    NEW as of February 2011: WESTERN UNION transfers!

    Now you can send money from anywhere through a Western Union money transfer, available at Money Mart in Canada and various other places (use Google to find the one nearest Western Union location you).

    When sending money, use the “Quick Collect” form and the following information:

    Pay to: D. Ray James CF
    Code City: DRayJames
    State: GA
    Acct. #: 40252-086 Emery
    Attention: Marc Emery

    If you would like to send money to Jodie to deposit in Marc’s commissary, or to contribute to Jodie’s travel and accommodation costs to visit Marc as often as possible (as he cherishes visits more than anything else in the world at this time), send mail to the address below or contact [email protected] for details.

    Jodie Emery (Pay to: Jodie Giesz-Ramsay)
    307 West Hastings Street
    Vancouver, BC
    V6B 1H6

    Marc and Jodie sincerely appreciate any contributions toward making prison more bearable.
    Thank you so much for your support!

  23. Anonymous on

    Jodie, Two things, marc writes above that instructions for sending marc money are available on However on that page there actually are no instructions on how to do it. There’s a place that says “Send marc mail or money”, but only instructions for mail are given. Can you update with instructions on money?
    Also there’s a request for letters regarding treaty transfer. It said the decision was expected by February 1st. This has been passed already? Are letters still needed? Thanks.

  24. Anonymous on

    aaahh thanks for the update

  25. Anonymous on

    A Ron Paul fan likes Noam Chomsky? “Now I’ve heard everything”… Chomsky is justly socialist & civil-libertarian, not an economic-libertarian like that rich fool Paul & his even more foolish son, Rand. To be fair, it’s not they’re fools per se, it’s that they have some deeply stupid & false ideas about what economic & social systems lead to the most well being… I mean, stupid like, evolution-denying stupid… stupid like, gold-based economy stupid… stupid like, anti-civil rights stupid, etc. Chomksy on the other hand (way over on the other, Left, hand) has some excellent views!

  26. Son of Sam Walton on

    The War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan is being waged by contract workers and not the U.S. or Coalition militaries . . . we have cheaply paid (maybe a buck or two a day) foreign workers whom aren’t even native to the occupied lands –from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka etc. Many of our traditional military jobs when setting up camps, running them and rebuilding the infrastructure are all outsourced –even cooking food that the troops eat is done by some corporation from some country in the Persian Gulf hiring cheap laborers from the Indian Subcontinent . . . these guys work 12-18 hrs a day –some are lucky enough to receive $30 a month while getting two days off a month –while these same workers don’t get access to body armor which might come in handy in a warzone (I don’t know maybe its just me and war’s safe) . . . most of them have family to support –thus spending maybe $2-$5 dollars just to ship the money to their folk across the Indian Ocean, while still having to pay American prices we pay at the military shops (PX) for stuff such as soap, toothpaste, socks etc. These foreign corporations contract out with American corporations such as KBR and Halliburton, which is why we have more suits running the war than politicians and troops . . . you find your necessary military responsibilities negated by some corporate contract the foreigners are under. We even have Pizza Hut, KFC, Burger King, Chilies etc in Iraq and Kuwait and can you guess whom works their? The Indians all work there . . . we force Hindus whom are just trying to make a living for their family to cook tons and tons of beef for maybe a dollar or two a day –at least we feed them for free –but you don’t want to know of their living quarters –Makes Marcs look like the Holliday in –buildings that normally house 4-6 soldiers holding up to 40 Indians with one bathroom for every 100 . . . sometimes its better, sometimes its worse . . . sounds like Worker Dorms that the Chinese use –and we keep them caged up behind wire when they are done working –not giving them the freedoms that American soldiers, Coalition Soldiers, or non third-world workers have at the end of the day. Oh yeah, we hire African Mercenaries (sounds like what some Libyan dude does) whom do our inner security –walking around with M16’s and some Company Logo on their uniform –at least most of them get some sort of body armor and have it better than the Indians.

  27. Stefan M on

    This is terrible stuff, Jesus Christ what the fuck is wrong with the united states?!

    This is the second time I’ve read about the prison system in the USA, first time was a death row inmate writing about the same nasty water, filthy walls, disease and misinformation.

    Marc’s letters are just a confirmation that this is most likely happening all over the country.

    You might not know this Marc, but a quick google search for GEO Group shows that this is a global corporation.

    That is what is happening to the USA, the country is being raped by global corporations with no reins on and blindes to the rest of the world. Don’t for a second think that your “elected” politicians aren’t encouraging this.

    These global enterprises have no allegiance to a flag or a made up border. They don’t have borders. To them borders are merely stop overs for their travelling employees and different currencies to trade their wealth and declare their taxes in.

    When is the world going to wake up and demand transparency in government and strong government regulations of multinational corporations?

    I am distraught by this letter, I hope you make it off parole Marc. <3 from Sweeden.

  28. James John Bianco on

    Hello Marc, As a friend of Peter McWilliams for many years, just wanted to say, ” thank you ” for your comments on Peter. From experience and from the knowing, I found Peter to be a great friend and a wonderful man. My wife and I love reading his books and if it was not for Peter, I probably would of not been here to meet my wife.
    From Peter’s Page I have gotten to know a young Lady Ms. Julia Rose who statred Peter’s Page. She’s a wonderful Lady and she is very greatful about your blog. As a matter of fact we both are. It was great writting and a great read.
    Sorry I do not know to much about you, but I wanted to thank you Sir. Hope all is well and hope things get better for you. You seem like a compassionate
    person. Something it seems the world needs more of. Again thank you.


    James John Bianco

  29. Dave on

    Pretty sure the fantasy of “US Constitution” applies to everyone on American soil; whether kidnapped or there willingly?

  30. Anonymous on

    …many here have duly noted the terrible conditions marc is being subjected to…have any inmate died there…

  31. Anonymous on

    good point Jodi . . . its not like Marc is in Cuba or Africa at some BlackOPS prison camp you always hear about . . . Even the Iraqi’s in the POW camp I worked at received better treatment than what most Americans receive in Prison here -but that’s probably because we always had NATO, CIA, FBI, UN and news agencies running around the joint watching for any violation -got to be in a foreign place for Americans to care about what’s going on. Hell, we even made sure a Muslim served and cooked their food so none of our prisoners would end up in Hell for a sin. Common sense is rarer in America than a Mexican owned and operated Chinese restaurant in America making 100% authentic Chinese food that one can only find in Wuhan.

  32. Jodie on

    But the US Constitution don’t apply to non-Americans, so how does that one apply to the non-American citizens that populate D. Ray James (there are NO Americans in that facility)?

  33. MikeyZero on

    The 13th Amendment of the US Constitution surely DOES allow for slavery, under very specific conditions, which you have met, Marc.: Punishment for crime(Multiple charges) whereof the party(you) have been duly convicted (plead and convicted)

    Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
    Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.[2

  34. Anandaground19 on

    I there,i am José Gaia from Lisbon,Portugal.
    I have been reading some thing`s about you and your arresting in Canada by the DEA,man this shit is for nut`s.
    I know this is a dog world and only the Big Money God`s are able to live freely to do what they wanna do nin this unlawfull world.
    And were they speaking about the comunist`s for so many time,and now they are even worst than Hitler himself.
    Let us remind that the US as sponsored and will continue to do it for many year`s to come,and that is the most Racist Country in the world,that is the state of Israel.
    Marc u have gained a new supporter to your cause,and more i also am trying to make here in Portugal an Marijuana movement but people here are not to into Politics and when someone speaks about making something toward`s the Legalization of Marijuana in Portugal,in the end nobody show`s up affraid of i don`t know what.
    We will have a Weed March,in March.
    We are going to meet in the center of Lisbon and then we will March to the Portuguese Parliament to delivery there a Petition to the Parliament Party`s.
    It is a Pacific full of joint`s March.
    In Portugal is not a crime to smoke a joint,but you can not sell or grow.
    Here we can only have up to 5gr of hash,or 25gr of Weed,in our pocket`s but not all police people follow`s that and normally they ask us to put in the floor and smash it with our feet`s,that suck`s.
    To buy Hash we have to go to street dealer`s,to find Weed is very hard and expensive here comparing to Hashish.
    For Hash normally €10-3 or 4gr,for the Weed is €7 to €10.
    I believe that 90% of the Hashish here is from Morocco.
    Well Marc i hope you can read this email to you,from someone who is very worried to your situation there.
    I leave you my email; [email protected] if you want to email me .
    I will continue emailing you some thing`s for you to read.

    From a friend,José Gaia from Lisbon,Portugal

  35. Anonymous on

    I posted in the last blog that Marc shouldn’t have been extradited because it violated s.12 of the Charter, cruel and unusual punishment. Apparently, that doesn’t really apply in extradition cases as this quote shows.

    “Professor Peter Hogg, in noting how the definition of fundamental justice has been ambiguous and that the courts have taken on “enormous discretion,” argues a shocked conscience is particularly difficult to measure. He writes that cruel and unusual punishment (prohibited by section 12 of the Charter) should obviously be shocking potential punishments. However, he observes that some potential punishments considered cruel and unusual in Canada have been considered acceptable in extradition. Thus, Hogg notes that some punishments considered “cruel and unusual, …are not shocking or unacceptable!”[1]”

    Canada doesn’t consider huge mandatory sentences for harmless crimes “shocking to the conscience”, just bad enough for the Supreme Court to say they violate s.12. You see, there is very little that would be shocking to Nicholson’s conscience. They could whip Marc Emery in front of him and Nicholson would sleep like a baby. Welcome to Canada. We won’t inflict cruel and unusual punishment on you here, we’ll just ship you to the US where cruel and unusual has a whole different meaning. Merely depriving a person of their freedom for a decade for a non-violent offense is just American hospitality to them. Bottom line, if you’re going to openly sell Cannabis seeds to the US, do it from the UK and not Canada. The UK is on less friendly terms with the US than Canada is. I guess it’s that little Revolutionary War thing. Canada will just say “here, do whatever you want with them, Sir”.

  36. Anonymous on

    If only Emery could get a get out of jail free card, like in Monopoly.

    You got to remember though today alot has to with money and politics.

    Celebrities don’t pour their souls out on lyrics no more, it’s all about money and fame.
    But then everyone has to answer to somebody. Even these singers on t.v. , that have to answer to record label. According to how the record label wants it. And if you haven’t noticed rappers have turned rap into Mr.Dress Up….

    And the way the government system for law and order is set.
    Is so cases never get the proper time needed. Criminals get let out of jail for rape, yet no government offical has banded people from having sex. Or come close to putting the thought out that people need change in order to grow.

    And putting people in jail is all for the government’s benefit, familys missed, people you were close to become fatherer away after “Jail”.
    With prison gaurds who either give you love or hate….

    Then worst part about the system is cops who think everything in the world is only suppose to be one way without change.

  37. David Shaw on

    I forgot to mention Julia Rose’s wonderful tribute to Peter McWilliams which includes her beautiful song about him (called STILL).

  38. David Shaw on

    For Peter McWilliams to have died like that as a direct result of the so called War on Drugs shows how utterly stupid and misguided it is. What harm is there in someone medicating themselves with marijuana in the privacy of their home? I’ve never been a drug user myself but it upsets me to see lives ruined because of bureaucratic red tape. BTW did you know that Krishnamurti was identified as the Messiah in Transition by the Theosophists in his youth?

  39. MOTFA on

    yep, sounds like a corp. is getting away with slave labor. that is just fucked.
    but, since when did america ever care about the rules? they are meant to be broken, didn’t you know?

  40. Worm on

    When are you suppose to be rehabilitated? Does not sound like that is a priority. 1255 days does not sound like a lot but i do not have to spend it there. Keep your spirits up Mark, i hope someone in our government will speak up for you and press hard for your transfer. I look forward to meeting you in the vapour lounge when you “free”. Peace & Pot