On Friday, April 15, Marc Emery sent me an email telling me the devastating news that his US Dept. of Justice Treaty Transfer Application was rejected (we converse with the inmate email system CorrLinks once again as he’s being moved to Yazoo City Mississippi Prison). My day went from total elation at learning my 7-year-old son has an IQ of 132, to total devastation in learning my hero, Marc Emery, was not going home soon.
Wednesday, April 20th, is my birthday. It’s true. I will be 29 years old. I have a day of action planned for Marc Emery including a rally at our State House, and huge signs for the overpass in Providence. Each poster board has its own letter (they are only $0.38 each) to read: “OBAMA: FREE MARC EMERY” and it will be huge. Then, with doors opening at 4:20pm, ReLeaf Magazine is going to be hosting a “Free Marc Emery” party at the downtown Providence nightclub Sequel, and I will be gathering signatures there to send to President Obama demanding Marc’s pardon. The recent news of his transfer being denied only fuels the fire in my heart for justice.
On April 15 via CorrLinks, Marc wrote:
So how do you feel about being part of the ‘OBAMA: FREE MARC EMERY’ campaign.
A pardon is my only campaign to keep up awareness and get me back to Canada, so that’s the proposed slogan.
I am comforted that legislation is being introduced in Kansas, Maryland, Connecticut, and so many others for medical marijuana. There is plenty going on in so many places.
Jodie is stunned but bravely getting the word out today. Three years and a bit to go in the gulag, I’ll need all the help I can get to get me through this.
Be sure to do what you can to support Ron Paul’s bid for President, I think he’s going to announce soon. He’s the true hope, not the sham we got with Obama in 2008. What Bush started with me, Obama continued, unless he pardons me, the cannabis culture in the US must rally behind a Ron Paul/Gary Johnson Republican bid.
Marc is bravely taking the news and moving forward with more plans to end prohibition. My campaign moves from urging the Canadian Government to accept the Treaty Transfer to now putting the spotlight on President Obama to pardon Marc. I am also trying to stress how important our own civic duties are here in the U.S.A.
This is more than a campaign for one man in prison. This is a campaign for all those who have had their freedom taken away for a plant that brings relief and treatment to millions. I would most certainly want folks making sure I was still around if it were me rotting in a cell for mailing cannabis seeds to consenting adults in the USA. This community is stronger than the prohibition that rips us from our loved ones and steals our children, houses, assets, and future. But we need to be strategic in our political activities. Obama promised change and then continued the assault on medical cannabis states and their state laws protecting patients and dispensaries. He needs to be punished for that betrayal.
I recently wrote a letter to my congressman, Sheldon Whitehouse, about repealing the Federal laws prohibiting cannabis and incarcerating its consumers. His response nearly left me dumbstruck:
Dear Mrs. Leach:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the federal law banning the possession and use of marijuana. I appreciate your input.
We need a firm but sensible drug enforcement policy in our country, one that focuses on disrupting drug rings, prosecuting dealers, interdicting drugs as they enter the country, and providing treatment to those suffering from drug addiction.
Drug abuse remains a serious concern in America today. Particularly among young people, abuse of illegal or controlled substances can be very harmful. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a person who smokes five marijuana cigarettes per week is consuming the same amount of cancer-causing chemicals as a person who smokes an entire pack of tobacco cigarettes every day. As Rhode Island’s Attorney General, I saw first-hand the detrimental impact of drug use. While I entirely respect your views, I do not support legalizing the recreational use of marijuana or other illegal drugs.
I do believe, however, that marijuana has been proven to possess legitimate medicinal or palliative benefits in certain cases, and I support decriminalizing the use of marijuana for medical use when closely monitored by a qualified physician who believes the use of the drug is a proper course of treatment.
Again, thank you for contacting me. I hope you will continue to keep me informed on this issue and any other areas of concern to you.
United States Senator
He mentions the “fact” that “According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a person who smokes five marijuana cigarettes per week is consuming the same amount of cancer-causing chemicals as a person who smokes an entire pack of tobacco cigarettes every day.” But yet cigarettes are legal under Federal law and cannabis is not, not even medical cannabis. So we, as Americans, can choose to put tobacco into our bodies, or alcohol into our bodies, but we do not have the free choice to put cannabis into our bodies.
The Federal Government does not recognize any medical benefits of cannabis use, and you cannot use that as a defense in Federal Court. You are not allowed to tell the jury it was for medical use. Many people do not realize this crucial point. As far as the Federal Government is concerned, there is no “Medical” cannabis. So Senator Whitehouse refuses to change any Federal Government laws prohibiting cannabis, yet then says he recognizes the medicinal qualities of cannabis. Which can only mean that Senator Sheldon Whitehouse believes medicinal cannabis users should still be prosecuted and incarcerated for something that he himself admits they should have the right to use.
He even says “We need a firm but sensible drug enforcement policy in our country, one that focuses on disrupting drug rings, prosecuting dealers…” A SENSIBLE drug enforcement policy is one that leaves non-violent, consenting adults to choose the substance that suits them, and puts those that commit violent crime in prison. We have rapists getting out of jail in half the time as non-violent cannabis users, and this seems to be a-ok with our politicians.
In Rhode Island the big news is Matthew Woodmansee, who tortured and killed a 5-year old boy in our state, now getting out of prison 12 years early for “good behavior”. Good Behavior. So you can torture and murder an innocent child, serve a portion of your sentence and get out on “good behavior” but you cannot get out of the US Federal Prison system for selling SEEDS. Who was harmed? Where is the victim? Our politicians don’t care because it’s not their son or daughter in jail; it’s not their house being taken away; it’s not their freedom being lost – for a substance safer than alcohol or tobacco, in fact probably the safest substance on earth!
We are all fed up with our government in one way or another. But this type of hypocritical rhetoric, by the very leaders who are supposed to be representing us, needs to stop. It only stops with our political actions. Our public schools don’t have the best track record for teaching American children our civic responsibilities. We are all too busy watching Jersey Shore to care who we should vote for, or sit through a lengthy committee hearing at our state house. And we are paying the price for that apathy. We have self-serving, ill-informed, hypocritical leaders and we as citizens of America the “not-so-free-for-cannabis-consumers” need to wake up and re-learn our civic responsibilities. It’s the most important right we have, and we’d better start using it before that right is taken away too.
Please, write to your representatives, call them, get your friends and family to call and write. They need education and they need to know that we are all watching their actions.
When I wrote back to Mr. Whitehouse, I politely corrected each non-fact he gave with real facts and proof to back up those facts. Then I went to remind him that because of his stance, I, my husband, and all of my friends and family will NOT be voting for him in the future, and he no longer has our support. Because if I were to go to jail for my cannabis consumption, taken away from my husband and children: Whitehouse would be a-ok with that. It’d be for “my own good” after all.
Please go to FreeMarc.ca for ways to help free Marc Emery.
Please go to http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/ to learn all about the Rhode Island legislature and find out who your congressmen are!
Please email me your thoughts, comments, etc.! I’d love to hear from you: [email protected]