Spreading The Word

Marc Emery came to Thunder Bay as part of his farewell tour before he goes to prison in the United States. (Photo by Jeff Labine)Marc Emery came to Thunder Bay as part of his farewell tour before he goes to prison in the United States. (Photo by Jeff Labine)Marc Emery is making sure his looming stint in a United States federal institution isn‘t going to affect his cause.

The marijuana activist known as the Prince of Pot was in Thunder Bay on Sunday for a stop on his cross-country Farewell Tour. He is spending the time leading up to his incarceration in the fall making sure his message gets out so others will be ready to take up the fight.

“These tours are designed to inspire people to replace me,” Emery, 51, said at the Kakabeka Legion. “We have a minority government, and an election‘s coming really soon, and the one problem is pot people, typically, are cynical about voting. They don‘t think it accomplishes anything.

“And they may be right, but the alternative is certainty that nothing good is going to happen. If you vote, maybe nothing good will happen, but the likelihood is if we all voted, we probably would have some say. We would probably have some impact, and we would begin to neutralize the vote of the very elderly, who are opposed to (legalizing marijuana).”

The inspiration Emery spoke of Sunday afternoon was to come back Sunday evening, when he and his wife Jodie were to give a two- to three-hour, wide-ranging talk about what he‘s been up to, his pending prison time, ending marijuana prohibition, and general appreciation of the marijuana culture.

But Emery was working to inspire everyone he could even before his 6 p.m. speech, walking the grounds at the Kakabeka Legion and speaking with the multitude of supporters he‘s got in the Thunder Bay area.

Emery said he always makes sure he‘s the last one there, so if anyone has a question before or after his speech, he‘s available.

He said Thunder Bay‘s stop on the tour was the biggest so far, with 250 tickets sold. In all, 33 cities will be visited over the course of the summer, Emery said.

And then, he‘s gone to the United States where he‘ll likely serve just over four years as a result of a plea agreement.
The case stems from his 2005 arrest on drug charges. Emery‘s Vancouver-based mail order business sold pot seeds to U.S. customers, and was raided by Canadian police after a request by U.S. authorities.

Emery fought extradition for a while, then decided serving time under a deal was better than the alternative.

“It‘ll be a maximum of four years and two months if I stay the entire time there, and if I get transferred back to Canada, I could be out on full parole in about two years,” Emery said. “I‘ll admit to one count of distributing marijuana as seeds.”

In return, three charges relating to an alleged conspiracy to grow and distribute marijuana, and money laundering, will be dropped, Emery said.

All that, the well-spoken Emery said, could‘ve resulted in 25 years in prison and a $1-million fine. And if he were to get that fine, any chance of being transferred to another prison, such as one in Canada, is gone, Emery said.

“Get this . . . 1.1 million pounds of marijuana, they‘re attributing to me in their statement to the court,” Emery said. “And what they‘ve done is they‘ve taken all my seeds, and estimated how much would‘ve come from each seed.

“They say 100,000 pounds every year I was in business,” said Emery, who was in business 11 years. “They estimate that‘s worth US$3 billion. So that makes me the largest trafficker in the history of the criminal justice system, according to them.”

So it‘s less jail time, but it‘s still jail time.

But through it all, Emery never, ever stopped fighting for what he believes in.

“I love doing this,” he said. “I grew up in the ‘60s thinking this is the best thing you can do, is fight for the oppressed, the underdog, against the government who has all the money, all the power, all the laws. I‘m quite convinced I was destined for this.”

He‘s been arrested 23 times for pot-related charges, and also for other activities such as selling copies of a 2 Live Crew album which was banned in Ontario when it was deemed obscene.

These days, though, marijuana laws are his focus.

He said current laws are punishing the wrong people.

The big-time and mid-level dealers go to jail anyway, Emery said. But the smaller users or sellers – say, a young person selling a bit of pot – are getting hit with jail time, too, which leaves them vulnerable.

“What happens when you go to jail is you join gangs,” Emery said. “All the prisons in this country are run by gangs.”
He said new inmates are intimidated into joining a gang for various reasons such as protection, and access to amenities like phones, food or floor space.

But the problem is, once a person joins, they‘re in, and that means getting involved in gang-related activity on the outside, which is potentially violent.

“We‘ve had 19 murders in Vancouver this year, all gang-related,” Emery said. “If we had an end to (marijuana) prohibition, this year, I tell you, we would‘ve had a zero murder rate.

“On the one hand, it shows how civilized we really are, and yet we manufacture crime by these laws.”

Emery‘s speech Sunday was recorded, and will be broadcast on LU radio in the coming days, organizers said.

– Article from The Chronicle Journal

Prince of Pot visits Thunder Bay

by Jeff Labine, tbnewswatch

Mark Emery is facing extradition to a United States prison so he’s gathering support in a nation wide farewell tour.

Emery is a publisher of Cannabis Culture magazine and a activist for the controversial plant. He readily speaks out for Cannabis and sells seeds on his website. He and his wife are touring Canada as a farewell and to gather support for him to serve his sentence in Canada.

“I’m going to jail,” said Emery on Sunday. “I’m here to give people their marching orders as to what they should be doing while I’m gone to get this prohibition ended.”

He is facing three charges; two are drug related and the other is money laundering. Emery said the money laundering charges were related to a $4 million donation to charities, political parties and other activities.

“It’s very peculiar. The Americans are saying I am the number one drug kingpin in all of Canada. It’s just seeds and it is five years in a Federal prison. I won’t even be with people who speak English.”

Emery said he purchases his seeds from Canadian farmers and then sells them online. Emery said because he is from Canada, he will be considered an alien and will be placed with other foreigners. He said he believes most of the inmates will be speaking Spanish so he plans on learning some.

“Last year the American Government and I agreed I would plead guilty to save my two co-accused. (That way) I would spend five years in a Canadian jail. The Canadian government didn’t agree to that and now I have a five year deal that I will serve in a U.S. penitentiary.”

Approximately 200 people showed up to the event. It was held at the Royal Canadian Legion Kakabeka Falls and Rural District Branch on Sunday. Nine bands provided music for the various people who showed up to say goodbye. Jodie Emery, BC candidate for the Green Party and Mark’s wife, came with him on his tour.

“It’s very distressing and very depressing when I do focus (on him going to prison),”said Jodie. “It makes me feel a lot better that there are a lot of people who will come out to events like this.”

Jodie said their lawyer is still working on the case to keep him in Canada. The two will be leaving Thunder Bay on Monday.

– Article from tbnewswatch.



  1. Freedom Fighters on

    Along time ago we had no rights that today people take so easily for granted, to find a Bong was a treasure because the Law made these simple items contraband and you only had rolling papers and your own creativity. It was people like Marc Emery who is the frontier of these times that people so easily take for granted simply do not think of and the fact that it is possible to go backwards once more and lose what precious freedoms we’ve gained this far.
    People like Marc Emery come only once in a rare lifetime to be able to see the world and effectively make changes in areas that help causes and is an amazing motivator, while sharing us knowledge, enough for us all who sat in our closets in fear of our Government while he taught, “You are not alone, Knowledge is their to defend with real truths”. So people like me and others who want to reach out and help that one person in the crowd to save someone but can’t, won’t or just don’t know how to help them or themselves. Marc is that one person, no matter what the criticisms out their may be, The screaming voice coming from the crowd yelling for help that everyone ignores and walks by, Marc reached out and so many others appeared from the crowd strengthened and ready to help, when just before they stood in apprehension saying to themselves should I even bother. It takes that one Leader from the crowd and soon you have the movement but if that one person never steps forward then it becomes the same repetitive sad story of, what can I do and nothing gets done. Marc said I know what to do and now he’s taking the bullet for being on that front line for us and it seems to me to be pretty honorable when the funds that he received went back to our cause and has nothing to his name to show for it but our memories and how we remember him. Sure Marc might have had multiple personal reasons which gave him his push but no one can say they have reached in this country as far as Marc has by changing the many peoples minds from old misinformation and lies to the truths. This Man gave it all away and is possibly about to lose many years and we will look back and see what he sacrificed just to make it so we the people don’t have to hide like we are ashamed and instead yell I am a better person because of Cannabis. I am thankful to Marc Emery who showed me I am not alone and I should not be ashamed but proud to choose a safer healthier lifestyle.
    So when Marc does come back, hopefully; someone will stand at the front line trying to make changes on our behalf until that day and see it might take bigger shoes then they ever thought possible.
    Sorry to put you on that pedestal Marc but someone has to be up their or there would be no Gandhi or Luther Martin King and you have that job for our cause in this country and I hope we remember this when he comes back and we may find after that time we have lost Marc this day forever because prison does change you on the inside..

    Please give till it hurts and try and make Marcs stay a little less hell like.
    Thanks again Marc for what you maybe giving up I hope you know you did reach many and you did take away the frustrations and fears by giving us truer knowledge,
    Thank you and God Bless.

  2. stephan on

    Thanks Marc and Jodie for making your visit to Thunder Bay a Great one. Great Bands, Great People and Great speech by the man himself. Thanks again! Looking forward to seeing you and to continue the movement when you get out of jail Marc!! I’m behind you all the way Buddy!!