Marc Emery Plans to Run BC Marijuana Party From His US Prison Cell

Illustration by Aaron Baggio.Illustration by Aaron Baggio.Marijuana activist Marc Emery swears imprisonment in the U.S. won’t put out the fire in him.

In a phone conversation today (August 18), following his talk last evening at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch as part of his cross-country farewell tour, Emery told the Straight that he will continue to run the B.C. Marijuana Party from jail.

Vancouver’s so-called Prince of Pot is also hoping to get some of his work published and even run in a Canadian election while doing time in a U.S. federal prison.

Emery has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to plead guilty to the charge of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana.

He previously operated a Vancouver-based mail-order business that sold marijuana seeds.

His shop was raided by Canadian police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in 2005, and he was arrested and charged by American authorities for selling marijuana seeds over the Internet.

Emery’s camp has noted that the cannabis activist paid $600,000 in income tax over the years he was in business.

Emery chose to go with a plea agreement rather than continue to fight extradition to the U.S. and face the prospect of a 30-year prison term.

He will turn himself in at the border next month, and is expected to be sentenced to five years in jail by U.S. District Court judge Ricardo Martinez on September 21 in Seattle.

Rallies around the world are being organized for September 19.

Emery said he hopes that he will be transferred to Canada, where he could be out on day parole after 10 months in prison. Day parole would see him out working during the day but back in a halfway house by evening.

Once in Canada, Emery could also get full parole after 20 months.

“Normally transfers are automatic for any Canadian prisoner in the United States,” Emery said. “We have treaty transfers. They get transferred automatically normally. But the Conservatives have stopped transferring marijuana prisoners back. So it requires some degree of lobbying now to get transferred back.”

– Article from The Georgia Straight on August 18, 2009.