Marc Emery’s US Prison Blog #21 – Letter to Jodie and Loretta

Sunday Dec. 19, 2010
4:20 pm

Dear Jodie & Loretta,

You two just visited and it was wonderful! Having both of you here made it special as we were able to talk outside the usual range of subjects. So pleased to have you Loretta as an official part of the organization (Editor’s note: Loretta will fill the position of ad sales manager for Cannabis Culture) That is going to be great for all 3 of us, I assure you!

I’m totally excited by the prospect of elected Representative for the British Columbia Legislature Guy Gentner coming to visit me at D. Ray James, who is nearby in Florida of all things, to investigate private prisons. Please forward an edited compilation of my letters that specifically reference D. Ray James & its treatment of inmates here. Enclosed is that chart I compiled about contrasting regimes for inmates. Also enclosed is an article “Strength to Love: A Challenge to the Private Prison Industry”. Both should be copied and forwarded to Mr. Gentner with my edited letters.

As a contrast to the very bad recidivism rate of the US system, where 66% of released inmates re-offend: transfer Canadians moving from the US system to the Canadian system have a recidivism rate of about 3%. An astonishingly low figure! I mention this as Mr, Gentner may be interested in this figure (show him that article too) when you ask him to sign the letter to the Justice Dept. and Public Safety Minister. I hope Loretta is able to introduce him to Ralph whose work with private prisons we should find illuminating!

As I mentioned to you the mail room has been sending back any books and magazines when more than one is in a parcel, even when it comes from Amazon or the publisher. Dana sent me 4 books; A graphic novel”Return of Supreme, The Man who Wanted to Be King, about a fellow who was the basis of Kipling’s story “The Man Who Would Be King”, A biography of Kipling and a book on Genghis Khan. Jodie had two books returned from here that she sent from Amazon; “On Leadership” Thomas Jefferson and Nelson Mandela’s new book “Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela”. These were actually refused by the mail room and I wasn’t even told about it.

When the mail room removes clippings or other ‘contraband’ ephemera from the letters I get they do not inform me. So even the mail room here does not adhere to BOP procedures that should be added to my chart. And my newspapers are not being delivered promptly due to mail room weirdness. Of course, I’ll go to the mail room on Monday to see what they say. (Editor’s note: Due to the posting of Marc’s letters online the mail room weirdness stopped today. Please see this post for details.

Some reminders: I need a copy of the $100 fine receipt. Make sure you fax him the visitation form he has to fill out immediately and provide him with the fax number to fax it to D. Ray James.

Also, Jodie, be sure to contact the NY Times subscription/circulation dept. and change my address.

It was sure great to see Loretta in 27 months, I guess since Sept. 2008.

Loretta: I need you to contact the Atlanta field office of ICE and ask those questions about the stipulated deportation order. I’m curious to know if they can provide any information or insight on applications we have been sending in. (Time it takes to process, an FAQ on it, who is the Atlanta field agent, etc).

Also, a divorce kit or a kit with legal forms that includes divorce. Go over all the requests and queries I made and see if you can forward answers to me soon.

Monday, Dec. 20, 2010
Library 9:30 a.m.

Dr. Davis came and said she loved how the library looked and complimented us on a good job. I’m curious to know what the discussion with the mail room will be like at 1 pm. I’ll tell you later in this letter how that goes. I’m going to try to talk to the warden about mail room procedure.

I’m having fun working the library. We (or, rather, I) got no new magazines last week so I know the mail room is interfering with those, too. We’ll see. So, I’m anxious to get some new materials in here. Today’s mail should tell a story.

3:00 p.m.

Well, the mail room told me to come back on Tuesday (tomorrow) to discuss mail matters.

Loretta: I need a kit with do-it-yourself divorce papers good for any state in the US.

I’d like to be put on this company’s mailing list for their monthly catalog:

Edward R. Hamilton
PO Box 15
Falls Village CT 06031-0015

It’s also Hamilton Books online. I should get them as soon as someone sends me some books from them.

So, I saw case manager Garret Rodgers and gave him my visitation list addition of MLA Guy Gentner. It says Member of the British Columbia Legislature, Parliament Buildings, as address. He said he would submit it \right away so he could visit me soon. I said it could be as early as Christmas Day or the day after Christmas just to get them to do it right away.

Then I met the Major and explained my books were being rejected when there were two or more in a package and that this was not BOP policy. He actually stopped me to tell me this though:

“I saw you had a visit on Saturday. I was watching you on the camera and the rules say you’re supposed to have a brief kiss, not a movie kiss, and your kiss was too long.”

I said, “BOP policy at FDC SEA-TAC was 30 seconds, which I believe it was (the kiss in question), and 30 seconds in a 61/2 hour visit is brief. But what do you consider brief, 10 seconds?”

He said, “I’ll check on BOP policy, if it 30 seconds or 10 seconds…but 10 seconds sounds like brief to me.”

Then I asked him about the strangeness in the mail room. Then I, rather joyfully, said, “A member of my Government, an elected member of the legislature is coming to visit me next, so the kiss won’t be a factor there. He’s in the Southeast US and he is visiting government officials and he’ll be visiting me shortly.”

That’s when the Major, quite animatedly asked, “WHO ARE YOU?!” and looked carefully at my name tag.

That moment was so satisfying! So, I have no idea if that will change anything around here in regards to my mail or kissing Jodie. But I’m hoping my library resuscitation program can go ahead. Or if the Major or Warden Google my name they are going to get an earful! I’m sure they are doing that right now! I should show him the Angus Reid poll if he wants to know who I am, since the majority of Canadians want me home and a member of the Legislature is coming to see me.

I think I’ve got a fair bit of business for Kirk I think I’ll have three or four Canadians here to retain him on transfer paperwork and procedure. I met a guy who just arrived from New Westminster today and Randy got 36 months for a lot of weed in Oregon. He has 3 daughters, 27, 29, 31 who will likely visit him in Jan. or Feb. But he is just getting here after 3 1/2 months in transit. It seems all the Canadians took no less than 3 months to get here to their designated prison. So my 4 weeks was a record short by comparison.

He was at a county jail for one month, the was at Sheridan FDC for a month, then 3 weeks at Nevada Southern (he hated it there the most he said), then 1 week at Oklahoma City, then here. He was able to get bail until he was sentenced on Sept. 10 (sound familiar?) and then he was supposed to be at Sheridan as his designated prison. At least that’s what he hoped & what his lawyer asked the judge for. But, Canadians are not going to BOP prisons anymore. He ended up here. So, I introduced him to Brad and other Canadians. Our number is up to 9 now. Grant (Montreal), Carmen (Van), Peter (Alymer), Trevor (Van), Randy (New Westminster), me (Van), Toronto guy (whose name I forgot), that’s 8…I’ve forgotten somebody.

I need a paperback book in German for Peter. There are places like Sophie’s that might sell them and MCC Recenter its an office that works with citizenship’s and passport. It’s a Mennonite organization that works with providing books for Mennonites. Or you can order German fiction books on Amazon I bet.

They brought the mail. I got my subscription copy of MacLeans, the Dec. 27 issue, so that’s great! Not one you sent but my actual subscription. I got two envelopes from you full of articles from Atlantic, my facebook page from Dec 1-6, about wikileaks,, Washington Post and a whole bunch or articles from the news on Dec. 10 & 12. I got 80 pages in 2 envelopes!

Then I got CIA & the Culture War book and the Chomsky reader from Jeremiah. Addie and mary Clemons wrote and sent me the novel “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe” by Fannie Flagg for the library. So, I’m getting those books and subscription copies but I suspect the mail room is doing something with my mail. Mike (Anidas) gets Wall Street Journal and it comes through ok. But, sometimes, his USA Today doesn’t show up.

This is a forlorn place, Folkston, with a bizarre prison mail room. However, we shall see what happens tomorrow at 1:00 pm when I talk to the mail room woman.

I had a great visit with you both. Loretta, I hope you can make real functional with links to all my blogs, articles, interviews, in other words a great resource for anyone who wants to learn about my work, my career, my current situation, how they can help, where to send books, money, letters, how to organize Free Marc activism activities etc. And, when you’re not doing that sell lots of ads!


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.