Political Prisoner Marc Emery Denied Transfer Home by US Government

Happier times: Marc and Jodie Emery at home in Vancouver before his arrest and imprisonment in the United States.Happier times: Marc and Jodie Emery at home in Vancouver before his arrest and imprisonment in the United States.CANNABIS CULTURE – The United States Department of Justice has refused imprisoned political activist Marc Emery’s transfer back to Canada, meaning he will likely spend the majority of his five-year sentence in a US federal prison.

In a phone call placed this afternoon from a prisoner transfer center in Oklahoma, Marc informed his wife and fellow activist Jodie Emery that he received a letter from the Canadian consulate with news the US government would not approve his treaty transfer back to Canada due to “the seriousness of the offence” and “law enforcement concerns”. View the rejection notice PDF file here.

If the US and Canadian governments had approved the transfer, Marc would have been moved to a Canadian prison, closer to his friends and family, and would have been eligible for parole almost immediately upon his return. Twenty-three current and previously-elected representatives from every level of government in Canada had signed a letter to the Department of Justice asking for Marc to be transferred to Canada. View that official letter in PDF file format here.

Click to enlarge

“I’m really stunned and greatly saddened,” Jodie told Cannabis Culture. “It looks like the DEA and the US government want their pound of flesh, and they want Marc to suffer down there as a non-violent, peaceful political party leader imprisoned for his activism. This is devastating.”

Known as the Prince of Pot in Canada, cannabis activist Marc Emery was extradited to the US by the Conservative government on May 10, 2010 after a five year court battle. In 2005, his marijuana seed shop, Marc Emery Direct Seeds, was raided and shut down in a joint effort by Canadian and US authorities.

Marc, who was founder of the BC Marijuana Party and Cannabis Culture Magazine, was arrested for shipping pot seeds in the mail to the US, though the DEA admitted in its own press release that the activist’s arrest was a political act, stating:

Today’s DEA arrest of Marc Scott Emery, publisher of Cannabis Culture Magazine, and the founder of a marijuana legalization group — is a significant blow not only to the marijuana trafficking trade in the U.S. and Canada, but also to the marijuana legalization movement.

His marijuana trade and propagandist marijuana magazine have generated nearly $5 million a year in profits that bolstered his trafficking efforts, but those have gone up in smoke today.

Emery and his organization had been designated as one of the Attorney General’s most wanted international drug trafficking organizational targets — one of only 46 in the world and the only one from Canada.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars of Emery’s illicit profits are known to have been channeled to marijuana legalization groups active in the United States and Canada. Drug legalization lobbyists now have one less pot of money to rely on.

“This refusal is a terrible affront to the sovereignty of Canada,” said Emery’s Canadian counsel, Kirk Tousaw. “Marc is a target of political persecution that appears to have transcended his conviction and now infects the treaty transfer process. He qualifies under every relevant factor and should have been allowed to serve out his jail term in Canada, close to his wife Jodie and in the country in which all of his activity took place. We call upon Prime Minister Harper and the leaders of the Liberal Party and NDP to stand up for this Canadian hero and demand his immediate repatriation.”

According to Tousaw, Marc has the right to re-apply for another transfer in two years time. In the meantime, his wife and supporters vowed to exhaust every option to secure his swift return to Canada.

“Marc has never harmed anyone and has devoted his life to fighting oppression,” Jodie said. “He’s been punished for speaking out for the rights of tens of millions of cannabis consumers here and in the US and it’s truly frightening. Canadians who feel Marc has been treated unfairly with an unjust five-year US prison sentence for seeds should punish the Conservatives in the federal election on May 2nd for extraditing Marc in the first place.”

The circumstances surrounding Marc’s learning of the refusal are also peculiar.

“It is impermissible under the professional conduct rules in the District of Columbia for lawyers to communicate directly with a represented person, or cause others to communicate with a represented person, without going through their lawyer,” Tousaw said. “Here, neither I nor [Emery’s US lawyer] Ms. Royce were told of the US refusal. Instead, the US apparently told the Canadian Consulate first and it was the Consulate that informed Marc. This is very unusual and should not have happened. It makes me wonder whether the US and Canada are engaged in ongoing dialogue about Marc and lends support to the belief that politics are still influencing the process.”

Go to FreeMarc.ca to find out more about Marc Emery and how to help bring him home.

Get out and VOTE on MAY 2! Click here for more election information from Cannabis Culture and find out how to strategically vote out the Stephen Harper and the Conservatives.



  1. Anonymous on

    Our young Canadian soldiers are in the middle east dying trying help clean up the mess the US started and this is the thanks we get.
    drop your weapons and come home screw the US.

  2. Anonymous on

    If Marc was to end up in one of the Cheney owned prisons, he should be very afraid. It seems that all who used there public forums to speak out against the Bush team early in that right wing trash run for the presidency had trouble with the laws of the USA. Black, and Emery both used their means to speak out against the right wing uprising of the Bush family and friends? Conspiracy theory????

  3. s schofield on

    Just by chance you crossed a diamond with a pearl, you turned it on the world, thats when you turned the world around,
    Get along, get along kid charlemange
    Steely Dan “the royal scam 1976”
    Perhaps those pharma consultants could listen to those lyrics and offer everyone an explaination, too busy selling snake oil , still never mind eh
    next stop global financial apartheid.

  4. Anonymous on

    But someone needs to stand up to thease bastards and do things the right way without giving them an inch. I applaud marc for what he has and continues to do. I wish you the best and a swift return to our home!

  5. Anonymous on

    God damn bastards.

    America – land of the free?

    Where 5 right-wing supreme court justices appoint a mental retart president in 2000 just to advance their ideologic crusades, and we imprison people for political activism.

    What a crock of shit.

    Canada – get some balls already. The conservative sucking of America’s cock is getting a bit pathetic. Do you have any self-respect?

  6. Brandon on

    One day Marc, as well as the many other important people involved in his life, will have their story told (probably in the form of video, etc): The story of a Political Prisoner who did exactly what the Christians flaunt, that is (according to the ‘bible’), that ALL seeds should be used. This particular seed is single handily one of the, if not most, safest therapeutically active substances on Earth! Not even water can be handled as less toxic then cannabis. Marc’s story will be told over, and over, and over again. And to mention, this legal scenario certainly isn’t the end. Whether they know it or not, they’re simply allowing Marc to conserve his energy for when we finally break the walls of prohibition, around when Marc won’t be at the assistance of the United States Justice Department. But just think of how many people he will greatly help at these correctional facilities, so I think the U.S. really is just doing a service to the other prisoners. So, thank you, Marc. I will await your return, whenever that will be.


    I’m so sorry and ashamed of what my goverment is putting you and Jodie through. I think it will come back to bite them on the ass. Your time in jail is showing a lot of people that prison is unjust in your case, where no one was harmed by your actions. It also shows a lot of people that would not know, how prisoners are treated in the U.S. for a victomles crime. I talk to a lot of people that are for medical marijuana and they didn’t know of the unjust treatment of patients that your stories have brought to the fore front of the marijuana movement. I think that since you have been in jail the communication for the movement has gained ten x’s the amount of press than we had before. I want to thank you and Jodie for it. Marc, you and Jodie should be so proud of what your work has done. With out you doing what you did I don’t think medical marijuana would have not made as many states legal. Hold your heads up high. You both are heroes in a lot of peoples eyes, mine included. Thank you again.

  8. Anonymous on

    WRONG. The key is to fight when it’s most advantageous. Who will listen to him in prison? Marc needs to work hard to get out by being a model prisoner, so once he’s a free man again he can continue to spread our message. What’s more effective that tons of non-stop protesting? A well thought out plan, with enough protest to execute that plan.

  9. Wallstreet on

    The US won’t let Marc come home to serve balance of sentence – again, duh…

    Does anyone really think the US is going to let Marc serve one second less of his time of of their control? Plse…

    Hope they let him go at all. Redacted to jail for other charges???

  10. Avraam Jack dectis on

    Speaking of which, if two progressive parties split the progressive vote, the conservatives win.

    The focus of all progressive Canadians should be to get these two parties to merge.

    As an American, I had hoped for a bit more on this issue from the Progressive Democratic Administration.

    I do not understand how we went from the land of the free to the land of fascist oppression.

    Avraam Jack Dectis

  11. Anonymous on


  12. Dave on

    Wow, how wrong can a person be? Why do I continue to think our systems are the civilized ones. We’ve heard of cases in third world countries where prisoners and their families speaking up makes things worse for them. My first thought is these people are controlled by their egos; always thought we (Canada, US) were better than that. I suppose not!

    I don’t get it why are people in supposed positions of power over others so evil?

    My first thought, when I heard he was being moved, was that the reasonable people in both systems have been heard. He was being moved closer to the border so his family could more easily visit and in preparation for his transfer back. It’s a good thing I don’t gamble on my hunches.

    After this, I can say that Canadians and Americans are becoming fascists like the Nazi’s!

    They couldn’t break his spirit so now they’ll attempt to break him physically through hard labour. When they have worn him down they will begin breaking his spirit. We need a plan to shed light on their evils. Shed light, I’m sure most of the world knows of their evil. That’s why the US has no real friends and Canada under Harper and Co. is not to far behind.

  13. BC_Budman on

    I think we need a new T-shirt that highlights that Marc IS a political prisoner.

  14. Anonymous on

    This rejection seems to be directly related to Marc’s Blogs and complaints. It says, if he addresses certain behaviour, that he can change, then he can re-apply in 2 yrs.! Well, the only thing he has done wrong, has been to shed light on a pathetic, criminally run prison system. This has back-fired on Marc, and they are trying to shut him up once again. It seems. More likely still, is the fact that they probably had NO intentions of letting him come back here.

    Let us also note, that Stephen Harpers government is probably glad that the Americans refused, so that they don’t even have to make the decision! Bastards.. If Stephen Harper cared about Canadians, he would make a call, and bring MArc home. He does not.


  15. The BallyHoo on

    I had a feeling they would pull this shit. I believe the DEA , and the prosecutors feel the need to further punish Marc by not letting him come back. It REEKS of political-garbage. They wanted to make an example of him form the start. This is just the icing on their poison cake!


    Stay Strong Marc Emery

  16. Jack McClellan on

    Given everything we know about Marc and this case, the US decision to hold him for another 2 years is truly despicable. What do they fear he might do–mail some more cannabis seeds across the border to willing American growers? (who would then have to commit an act of furtherance by germinating them) And this supposedly merits federal prosecution more than the multitude of pot peddlers working US streets and parks, selling harvested marijuana to potential minors?

    No, there is something more to this extraordinary persecution and vilification of one person than selling naughty seeds and the establishment’s hatred of cannabis and its culture. Marc is correctly viewed by the authorities as an unrepentant nonconformist and social-change agitator–one who must be mentally (and possibly physically) broken at all costs, to set an example for others who might follow his path of challenging the questionable conventions of an unjust society.

    I’m one of the relatively few people who bothered to attend the rally at Marc’s hearing at the federal courthouse in Seattle last September, and the Free Marc rally in that city a week later (where I briefly met Jodie). I would have attended rallies at the nearby SeaTac Federal Detention Center as well, but it was apparently decided that these might do more harm than good regarding Marc’s mistreatment there. I hope more US protests specifically devoted to Marc will be held this year and next, to let the authorities know that many people are angry about his continued incarceration, and are continuing to monitor his situation here.

  17. Anonymous on

    Why are US taxpayers shouldering the burden -The light should be shown on Paula Wolff for her gross mis-appropriation of taxpayer funds..

    Seriousness of crime? odds are Ms Wolff had her share of smokes back in the 70’s

  18. Anonymous on

    Considering 4/20 is next wednesday and there is an election on May 2nd. Maybe we all should use 4/20 and all the events planned for that day to bring attention to the conservatives tough on crime (harmless pot smokers) B.S. Considering all the events that will be going on in canada and the media attention. Not to take away from what 4/20 is but this close to an election and the anti-prohibitionist have such an opportunity to get peoples attention and encourage pot smokers and the 420 friendly to vote out harper and his crap government. Considering the low voter turn out in canada and the potential influence we could have over the election. Every pot smoker should encourage every other pot smoker they know to vote out the conservatives. Only with the conservatives gone will canada have a chance at being a sovereign nation and having a government that stand up with some balls and tell the U.S. to return our citizen wrongly being held for a victimless crime. Doesn’t our constitution say something about cruel and inhumane treatment like say being tried in washington state close to friends and family but sentenced to a prison in georgia. Why ? to hurt even more by putting barriers in place preventing visitation from his friends and family.

    Good luck Marc.
    Peace and Pot.

    And vote out the F’n conservatives

  19. Anonymous on

    First off this is full and complete indication that Harper and Party are not trustworthy! But then we knew that before Emery got busted. I personally think the shove it in the face of those you need to get your point legal is not the best way for the legal separation of marijuana from cocaine and heroin and the legalization of marijuana. The right wing has a way of not forgetting those who spoke against them? Harper is no better. As it is now proven to be?

  20. Andy Hale on

    Marc is a model human being, very smart, dances around poking from any perspective to eliminate any logical argument, got in their game and won by their rules, generated the money to get to their level, and they say “well you just can’t win, that’s your prize”. I believe he is a convicted, meaning buried under by law now, political prisoner, Nelson Mandela. Marc Emery is not something they want running around the streets of the continent especially now with the momentum. This is, with all due respect to Marc Emery and his persistent truth “army”, fascinating really. Marc is just the man and that’s why he might do his time or even longer like proposed in his recent “sympathy for the devil” blog entry, which was true art. Marc Boyer has some real interesting points also. Well from Wisconsin, scary but should not be, a thousands year old game, Kent state, but not with Obama?, Mr. President, pressure cooker. I like when he says, “Not when I’m President”, the bravest soul, he shows but you got to watch and vote, Harper has the madman capacity, a real disciplinarian, he is very disciplined, but the notion of responsible freedom has to be allowed, educate not incarcerate, makes no sense till you consider history, families and money. In earlier times in man’s history it seems the bullets between the lower classes of Empires would already have been orchestrated by the upper management, it’s easy to provoke, sit and watch, out of the conflict. King Obama’s using his position and calling the bluff in international meetings that they actually get anything done or even care to because they all give the war face-they have nothing to lose, they will not die if their lower classes go to war, the people are their BUFFER/leverage. In international meetings, why would any leader want to make any movement on anything, just send a few boats and shoot some missiles, to rile the people and throw some bullshit into the nightly news and see how the mice react, the cattle. Then at the next year’s meeting, you might have some leverage. K. Obama reads what all these institutions call as their mantra or creed and calls them on it, in the meetings, “Hey, how do you leaders usually do this, Oh O.K. now I have a list of things, and they look at him, and just talk about the weather. Nothing happens till real damage is done usually, but Obama is transparent like never before with the people, he’ll go to a city square any where in the world because he is talking to your soul, he takes the pile of dirt and garbage off the newspaper so you can read it. We would be in WW3 if not for King Obama, yes, yes. If there are to be militaries, all human beings are treated as such and start from the lowest rank and all do the gun carrying the first two or three mandatory years. Another equality can be proven nonexistent today. Ozzie Ozbourne, sang about it in the “War Pigs”.

  21. Anonymous Lawyer on

    With marijuana laws in canada seemingly falling like a poorly built house of cards, it’s no wonder canada is where he’d rather be. If he found himself in a canadian prison when criminal laws are stricken down, he will be eligible for political asylum for his liberty and freedom being persecuted by a foreign country… invalidating the case for incarceration that the US has against him.

  22. Sparky on

    I supposed then that all slaves and prisoners of a tyrannical authority should just meekly submit and cower in the corner and STFU when under such unacceptable oppression from fascists?
    If people do not stand up for what is right and to correct outrageous injustices then we will all be enslaved much more than we already are.
    You’re the perfect submissive slave but the rest of us refuse to be so subservient to such tyranny. Marc should NOT STFU.

  23. Anonymous on

    Canada’s political representation now has an obligation to allow the Controlled Substances Act to fully expire regarding Cannabis, as has been set in motion, in order to protest this bullcrap. Enough is enough.

  24. Macassa420 on

    I am very sorry to hear the news that Marc will not be home soon.Big protests and marches are being formed across Canada for 420 celebrations next week. Get out and let the Conservative candidates across Canada feel your disgust.
    Hang in there Jodie.Peace.

  25. llehctim on

    Now the Grand Inquisitor story makes sense. The dream was true. In fact the last 2 of Marcs post make a lot of sense now. All you can do is hang in until Justice returns.

  26. Anonymous on

    He should not just sit back and shut up, he is an activist, he needs to fight til his last breath, just as we all do! If he just lays down that sets an example for us to all lay down and take it! I applaud his efforts and I wish him the best! DONT GIVE UP FIGHTING MARC FIGHT TIL THE LAST DAY!

  27. Anonymous on

    Saying he should be quiet is Crazy. That’s what they want from him. They want Marc and his msg to just die off somewhere, why elsekeep transferring him from place o place.

    I’m ashamed to be American. Our country is ran by corporations for their own profit.

  28. Dirty Harry on

    I hate to say it, but he needs to shut up and be a model prisoner. His continued activism in the system is a thorn in the governments eyes.
    He is in for political reasons but he remains political and expresses it to the world. That is not a good combination. If he was quiet and simply did his time as a model prisoner he would be on his way home.
    I wish him the best but it seems he is his worst enemy in this.

  29. David Alonzo on

    The USA- a country where war criminals (Bush, Rice, Cheney, etc.), corporate criminals (BP, Massey Energy, etc.) and banker criminals (Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo) are NEVER prosecuted, but a guy who sells plant seeds is. It seems to me that the only choice now is for Marc to continue documenting the Gulag prison-industrial complex from inside, and your legal team work with Amnesty International, ACLU, Human Rights Watch and others to make it as painful as possible for the US police state to keep Marc. I also believe that Harpie and the Canadian government (which is merely an arm of the US government and the corporations that own all governments) is complicit in this bullshit. You’ve seen what the USA does to prisoners- it tortures them, steals from them, forces them do to slave labor, and sometimes kills them. So you have to be very careful that they don’t set Marc. Remember what they did to JFK, Malcolm X, Judi Bari, Karen Silkwood, Bobby Kennedy and many others. It’s a challenge to handle this right. I wish strength and peace to Marc.

  30. Lostinusa on

    I knew this would happen.When I read a post from Marc here on CC saying that he would be freed almost as soon as he got back to Canada That was it.I knew right then after reading that.Sometimes one has to hold his hand close to the chest as to not tip it.Marc & Jodi,maybe you should try a less public approach just till you get back home.My heart grieves for you both,this is so sad.