Marc Emery Prison Blog, Monday April 2nd

It’s Monday, April 2nd, 828 days to go to my release date of July 9, 2014. Although I get ‘released’ from prison on that date, because I am Canadian I have a ‘detainer’ on me, so what happens is US Immigration picks me up from the prison and takes me to an immigration detention center, puts me before a judge where I confirm I want to be deported back to Canada, and then I’ll wait in an immigration jail until they put me on a plane to Vancouver with some US Marshall escorting me.

That apparently takes a few weeks, so I’m hoping to be home with Jodie in time for our 8th wedding anniversary on July 23, 2014.

This Saturday I have my 5th concert outside in the recreation area with the excellent amplified equipment they have here for concerts. This is the Easter Weekend concert, and our band YAZOO will be playing in this order:

1) Don’s Jam (a warm-up improv piece)
2) Come Together (Beatles)
3) White Room (Cream)
4) Hey Joe (Hendrix)
5) Sweet Home Alabama (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
6) Wind Cries Mary (Hendrix)
7) Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen (Santana)
8) Crazy Train (Ozzy Osborne)
9) Sunshine of Your Love (Cream)
10) Sitting on the Dock of the Bay (Otis Redding)
11) Stormy Monday (T-Bone Walker)
12) Red House (Hendrix)
13) Purple Haze (Hendrix)
14) Blue on Black (Kenny Wayne Shepherd)
15) Pride & Joy (Stevie Ray Vaughan)
16) Hotel California (Eagles)
17) Voodoo Child (Hendrix)

I’ve been practicing every day for a few hours and tonight we have our final studio rehearsal where we run through all 17 of our songs and see where we might have a few things to work out this week in the days leading up to the concert. I feel we know the material pretty well now, my big hope is for good weather. If it rains, we can’t have all this electrical equipment outside and the concert would be postponed.

Yesterday we took photos of the band members Don, Terry, Sapp, Chap, and myself, which you will see on my Facebook page in about 3 weeks or so after Jodie gets them in the mail. We aren’t permitted to have our instruments in the photo, so we’ll be having an artist here make a band poster using our photographs as reference and then drawing us in the studio playing our music. From there I’ll use that to make posters for our upcoming concerts here. I’m sure you will see this YAZOO band poster on Facebook and when it’s completed.

April 20th is coming up in a few weeks, and I’m not shy about saying that this now-colossal worldwide Cannabis Celebration event was started by my HEMP BC staff in April of 1995, and on that April 20 in Victory Square (at Cambie & Hastings street), it was a beautiful sunny day with music, speeches, toking and good times. The original idea to have April 20 change from just a time of the day (4:20pm) to a whole day (4/20, April 20) was inspired by two Grateful Deadheads who worked for me, Danna Rozek and Cindy Lassu. In 1997 we moved the rally to the Vancouver Art Gallery, where about 1,000 people came and toked from about 1pm to 6pm.

In those years from 1997 to 2008, the master of ceremonies and co-ordinator was activist and ‘dealer dignity’ advocate David Malmo-Levine. It grew from attendance of 1,000 to 10,000 in that decade, and by 2005 the event had evolved to become a farmer’s market of cannabis consumables along with a day-long smoke-out, peaking at 4:20pm with a massive collective cannabis plume floating above the Art Gallery square bounded on all sides by Georgia, Howe, Robson and Hornby streets. There is nothing else like it in the world, not even Amsterdam or any other cannabis mecca has a day-long smoke-out in the major downtown public square combined with a fantastic assortment of cannabis ingestibles, smokeables and consumables for sale.

This year even the school board has closed the high schools for Friday, April 20th, accepting the inevitable 4/20 absences and making it official. This means even more young people than usual will be toking all day, and hopefully not drinking alcohol, as problems each year arise from alcohol excess. Police are polite and stay on the periphery to guide traffic, and there are never any major problems. I encourage you to spend money and patronize the vending booths and pavilions by the main sponsors “Marc Emery’s Cannabis Culture Headquarters” (or CCHQ), Vancouver Seed Bank, The Dispensary, and EndProhibition.

Marking his 18th April 20 involvement in Vancouver, having been involved in every Vancouver 4/20 ever, former Cannabis Culture editor (1995-2005), Dispensary entrepreneur, author (Hairy Pothead & The Marijuana Stone), former BC NDP leadership candidate and my best friend Dana Larsen is organizing this year’s huge event with Jacob Hunter of co-ordinating the day’s logistics and Adam Bowen (host of the BCMP Vapour Lounge Jam Night) arranging the incredible musical line-up and staging of the presentations that go on from noon to the early evening. You can see videos and photos of Vancouver’s 4/20 from previous years at the new website to whet your appetite for the greatest outdoor pot party on earth this year!

As a point of clarification, Seattle definitely has a huge 3-day rally in August, that possibly sees 250,000 people attend at Myrtle Edwards Park, and there is no peer on Earth to that event, but it’s not an open-air farmer’s market with cannabis products sold openly and without police interference and consumed openly for 10 hours on end. But why not attend both and see for yourself? They both represent the height of achievement within the movement. Seattle is an all-volunteer event that has incredible political credibility with Congressmen, the Mayor of Seattle, State representatives and other big names speaking. The sheer scale is awe-inspiring. Vancouver’s 4/20 has attracted Members of Parliament Libby Davies to speak at last year’s event, but it is largely a massive party and celebration of the cannabis culture.

On April 20, while the party goes on, the Vancouver Province newspaper will be sending columnist Jon Ferry down to Yazoo Medium to interview me that weekend. The weather here in Mississippi is warm and sunny every day, quite a contrast to my hometown of Vancouver, where most days are described to me as cool, overcast or rainy. I’m certainly grateful for the very sunny, warm days, the constant breezes, the excellent air that I breathe when I’m outside here. It’s a large component in why I feel so healthy here.

I’ve been reading some wonderful graphic novels, comic books, my many magazine subscriptions, the NY Times newspaper (I do the crossword each day too), some excellent books, and I remain a major source of reading items loaned to many inmates here. Our MP3 players have yet to be put on sale, and although these delays (the MP3 player has been ‘coming soon’ since I arrived here a year ago) are suspenseful, it has not hindered my musical progress. The current scuttlebutt is that they go on sale in the first week of May.

This last weekend I had a visit from my great friend and Rhode Island activist Catharine Leach. This is the second time Cat has come to visit me, and both times she has had numerous challenges! The first time she visited last October, the electrical system on her plane here failed mid-air and she thought she was going to die until they made a successful return to the airport. This time, she encountered numerous annoyances like banks that wouldn’t change a $50 bill into quarters and small bills, the guards here held her for inspection of her rental car, and they refused her admission because her shoes had no backs on them (a rule for visiting), so she had to go into town and buy an $18 pair of shoes with backs on them (that put dents in her feet, as she showed me) to get in to visit me. Then her plane leaving Jackson required maintenance and she was held overnight in Atlanta because she then missed her connecting flight. Plus she came down with a cold and missed her husband and children. It’s possible that’s the last time Catharine is going to visit me, but I really enjoyed seeing a friend and laughing a great deal over the weekend. I always cherish seeing Jodie visit me every two to four weeks, but seeing a friend in the two years I’ve been inside US prisons is very rare.

April 12th is my 8th anniversary of Jodie and I becoming involved with each other. In our entire time together, Jodie has had to live with the tension of having me go to jail or being in jail. When I get out in July 2014, I’ll be so excited to be with her without the imminent threat of jail time awaiting me. The week we became very close I was in court for passing one joint in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, with saw me ultimately get sentenced to three months in jail later that summer. After that stint at Saskatoon Correction from August to October 2004, I was arrested the following year for extradition to the USA, and here I am.

So I’m excited that finally Jodie and I, in July 2014 – by then more than 10 years after we became an item – will be able to have some peace and serenity in our relationship without the threat of prison hovering about our heads. I LOVE MY BRAVE AND AMAZING MRS. JODIE EMERY! It will be so wonderful to finally be home. 828 days to go. (See the daily countdown clock at

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.



  1. Anonymous on

    we didnt get enough signatures though. No way we get a referendum this time. next time though.

  2. Anonymous on

    The personal meetings can be to help run his political business. Jodie is running a large political party and needs his help. I look forward to marc’s release as it will (hopefully) be in time for the referendum vote.

  3. Anonymous on

    give me a break. this dude sounds like a drone, trying to stir things up and divide the mmj community. I’m sure Emery had SOME cash put away before he got locked up. Any smart person in this industry would, and he’s the fucking genius.

  4. Rhythmtech on

    What you are suggesting, if I may say so, is simply outrageous. Unfounded skepticism at best, and an insult to the marijuana activism movement.

    I am certain Mrs.Emery is far more ethical than what you are implying.

  5. Anonymous on

    Just read an article here in the Vancouver Sun about Jodi’s visits with Marc. It says she visits bi-weekly by flying from Canada to Mississippi by plane. Of course, then there is the motel cost, ground transportation, etc. I know of no other spouse of a prisoner who has the luxury of visiting that often from so far away. Do folks know where their contributions are going??? The prisoners have phone and email expenses also (and therefore in-person visits are not absolutely necessary.) it sounds like thousands and thousands of dollars of contributions to the marijuana cause are actually going so these two can continue their romantic relationship at a level beyond what any common person can afford. I think folks are being scammed here.

  6. Ballyhoo on

    Who cares? Everyone’s responsible for their own life/fate.

    Marc will be home, when his sentence is done. Just like all the people in prison. He knew what he was doing.

    Soon, he will be home. All the activism , in the world, couldn’t bring back those days……..etc……

    {The The}


  7. Riley on

    The Harper government is a evil bunch of reptilians. Harper is the one who should be in jail right now,not Mark Emery. Pretty sick times were living in. This freak reptoid-Harper government can go to hell.

  8. guitarod on

    Marc should be a fairly accomplished musician by the time he gets out of there. At least something good will come out of this and it would be nice if his band could do a reunion concert with him every year providing his band mates get released. This is not likely to happen in Canada or the U.S. though as the laws won’t permit convicts from associating with other convicts, or cross border interaction. Ironic when you consider the many musical greats that are worshiped by Americans & Canadians had a history of drug and alcohol abuse, drugs much more powerful than cannabis.

  9. tyler durdan on

    “We realy admire what youre doing”, “youre a brave man sir”, you were only around last week checking out security, “its tight as a drum sir”

  10. Eli Lauffer on

    Mark, you are a true freedom fighter and political prisoner, I hope you know this and live every day with the pride of knowing that the cannabis movement would be in the shadows without your involvement. It’s a huge injustice that you are doing time but hopefully when you get out cannabis will be looked at entirely differently in the US and the rest of the world may be able to follow suit without fear. May you be one of the last humans to serve time incarcerated for cannabis!

    Reading your blog makes me happy and I hope writing it makes you happy. I love seeing all the pictures and hearing about your music! I hope you do an album or mixtape possibly from jail ala Mac Dre style??? or just when you get out if there is no way to records instruments from there! I love the setlists, they got me to listen to Jimi for the first time in years, hometown hero 🙂 Lots of love and good energy being sent your way from Seattle!


  11. Lora on

    Marc, thank you so much for keeping us up to date! Look at the inspiration you have been to people who are in a lot of pain and afraid of our own government BECAUSE OF A PLANT! The ignorance of the elite cannot be ignored much longer because the next generation are sick and tired of being sick and tired and poor!! Corruption collapses! When it does, you and Jodie will get to make up for lost time!

    I wrote this to vent my anger at bureaucrats who won’t answer my good questions! Cheers to you.

    A Poem for Elected Officials who ignore my questions:

    You Say

    If you ask me NO questions, I’ll tell you no lies!
    But if you do ask me one I’ve been taught to devise
    An answer of sorts to deflect any whys,
    So you all in the workforce won’t realize,
    That your money was spent to build that high rise!

    I Say

    Why don’t we protect our children? Hear all their cries!
    Please study abuse! Perverts I despise!
    Take down corruption! A FAIR CANADA: the prize!
    Remember Our Father who looks down from the skies!
    If our world is so ending, we want time for goodbyes!

    Love and awe, Lora B

  12. Danny in Canada on

    I envy you soo much Mark as you have gone trough what for most would be impossible and to others not even a thought. I spent years of my life in and out of prison and I say that there is no better feeling for one person to feel then to walk out of the doors a free man no longer a cow to the system I know that the days in there can be long for you as I remember the days I spent in the Pen very vividly even today years after being in there I can still close my eyes and be brought back to that learning experience as it really was (well for me at least and I am sure it has been for you to) because as I sat in there and knew the day I was getting out where as the guy down the hall doing life might never have the chance to walk out a free man and even then you think someone else in life has it just that much worse then you do and can really be sad at the same time be so up lifting.I must say I honestly believe in what you have put forth to the Cannabis movement Hell your the prince of pot right you must be a big part of the movement I am on the other hand am one of millions that was so suppressed by the laws and by fear that we never really and still probable don’t know what to do or how to go about coming out of the pot closet as we are fearful of going to jail.I Can say that the Doctors here in Canada really need to open there eyes and start getting educated about Cannabis and it’s many benefits that are there and are not going to just go away…. I went to the doctors because I have 2 shattered heels 2 broken ankles a broken femur with a metal rod and four screws hairline fracture in my pelvis 2 crushed vertebrates in my back my L2 an L3 to be exact I also have two broken metacarpals in my right hand and one in my left hand that one needed and plate and screws in it to hold it together as well my left hand is my writing hand all these happened in three different insadents the femur was when I was 17 car accedent. the heels ankles and pelvis were from when I was 21 and being chased by the Police an jumped out a second floor window. My back was broken at 24 years old again the cops only this time it was a 4th floor window I know most would think I’m crazy but I swear I’m not it;s just I get fearful of being caught and I run or jump then both broken hands are from hitting Objects instead of people and yeah from all this I get pretty bad pain and I can for sure say arthritis has set in,in many different areas I for many years was addicted to pain killers until it became way to much on me so I got on Methadone and kicked the habit I have been slowly coming down off the methadone because all in all it is very bad for me to I just needed to kick the pills the easiest way I could I have two big reasons for kicking the pills #1 For my Fiancee and Kids #2 I have Hep C and the pills are killing my liver and well I wanna be there for My fiancee and kids that’s where Cannabis comes in I use it every day throughout the day and it helps me to deal with my pain in a manageable way I really believe it is the best thing for me to be using as it is killing my pain at the same time it;s not killing me but when I brought the forums to the Doctors to get signed they didn’t even give the paper work a second look and shewed me out the door as fast as they could which leaves me ether being in pain every day or taking my chances and having to be a (brown dirt warrior ) well I wish I could be him far from it but hey I try lol anyways I fear for my self and my children and fiancee as I don’t need to be the next person who got caught growing just to be pain free and no other reason other then that one simple fact I feel like I am lost because I don’t don’t where to turn now that the doctors told me no there the ones I need to sign for me !!!!All in all I guess at the same time I am wishing you the best I’m crying out for your help I don’t know what to do mark I really don’t and it scares me to think I put myself and my kids and fiancee at a huge risk when there should be no reason for a doctor in there right mind to sign for me is there anything you could do to help me out mark !!!!P.S have you ever thought about maybe starting a advicasie center for needy people who have tried everything they can and still have gotten turned away when there really is a need for them to have it a center that will fight for the rights of the sick and people like me in desperate need of relief from terrible arthritis pain !!!

  13. Shawn Christopher on

    to many around the world. as started to read your post and saw u have 800 some odd days left, I actually started to cry, you are sitting in prison for something that millions of us do every day, just for being outspoken and spreading the truth about marijuana. I”m so sorry you have to go through this and I wish there was something more I could do beside spreading the word. we are here for you

  14. Dave on

    I admire you Marc. No way could I deal with the injustice and insanity you have had to. I feel bad for you and Jodie. The government has robbed you of your time and life. Probably y ou wrote this blog before the Oaksterdam raids. Amerika is becoming more an Idiocracy every day. Only a few hundred of us had the courage to protest in person what happened to Oaksterdam. The DEA is an occupying army. The American people are weak and scared. People who tell the truth such as you are few and far between. Unless the Amerikan people rise up against their tyrants and the corporations and elites like Mormon Mitt, it is a done deal for the death of democracy, and Harper is no better.
    Be strong. You are a hero.