Prison Blog: DEA Admits All My Seed Money Went To Activism

Jodie and Marc in Yazoo prison, June 23rd 2012It’s July 15th, and I have 724 days to go if I serve every day in the US federal system up to my early release date of July 9th, 2014. That means I now have less than two years to go on this sentence here in the US, though I am hoping to be transferred back to Canada next summer or fall to be home with Jodie in Vancouver by Christmas 2013.

If I do get a Canadian transfer, I’ll receive statutory release (parole until March 2015) in Canada anytime after July 2013. I was rejected for transfer by the US Department of Justice last year in April, and have to wait two years before an application is reconsidered.

Over a year ago, after getting the transfer application rejected, one of my lawyers put in a Freedom of Information request about me to the DEA, FBI, Department of State, Bureau of Prisons, and other U.S. federal agencies. The FBI claimed not to have any file on me, others sent minor paperwork, and the DEA stalled – claiming that with so many email accounts and servers to go through, they couldn’t afford the time to do it! But finally, some the DEA files were handed over; heavily redacted too, of course.

Some of the most interesting information is that the DEA confirmed that I gave over $2,000,000 to activists, activist groups, political parties, rallies, events, court challenges, and verified that over $753,000 of it was sent by Western Union wire. (I actually gave just under $4,500,000 in cash, check, money order, credit card and western union to those causes and people from 1995 to 2005, but the DEA apparently could only ascertain $2,000,000 of it, from 1999 to 2004.)

Here are the excerpts from the DEA release: [Click the images to view the full pages]

PAGE 14:

In a recent Editor’s Page piece, EMERY and assistant editor Giesz-Ramsay boast that “my [EMERY’s] organizations (including CC) have contributed over $2,000,000 toward court battles, ballot initiatives, jailed individuals, rallies, conferences, marches and elections – all involving cannabis or the drug war.”

It goes on to state, “There is virtually no drug reform group or organization in North America that has not received some assistance from us.”

These sentiments are confirmed by the investigation conducted by the San Francisco FD into the numerous Western Union wire transfers initiated by Marc EMERY to many marijuana political activists around the world.

PAGE 18:

The San Francisco Field Division, in coordination with the Blaine Resident Office is investigating Marc EMERY. At the request of Blaine RO, SFFD has conducted an analysis of Western Union wire transfers sent by EMERY for the period 5 April 1999 until 5 April 2004.

In total, $753,712.14 was transferred by EMERY through Western Union Financial Services. The financial analysis revealed that EMERY distributed this money to candidates for elections in the United States, Canada, Australia and other countries.

This Report of Investigation details the significant websites and email accounts documented in cables DTG: 102055Z June 2005 and DTG: 102110Z June 2005.

So there you have it. Although I have claimed all along to have donated millions of dollars (all my seed profits) to activist efforts in those ten years I was a seed seller – because that was the point of the seed business – it’s still nice to have the DEA confirm this. And out of the San Francisco Field Office of DEA, at that.

Of course, this further buttresses my claim that my extradition and prosecution was entirely political in nature, considering what DEA head Karen Tandy said on the day of my arrest:

“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.”

As always, that DEA press release can always be seen and downloaded from the front page of (click HERE for the direct link).

My band YAZOO had its July 4th concert on Friday evening, June 29th. Terry, my lead guitarist, played a beautiful Jimi Hendrix version of Star Spangled Banner in the middle of our 17-song set, which we managed to get completed in 100 minutes. It was my 8th concert, and our best yet, with few mistakes, and a comfortable 93 degrees F (34 C) temperature from 6:15pm to 8pm when we played. Our song list was:

1) Hey Joe (Hendrix)
2) Jumpin Jack Flash (Rolling Stones)
3) Sweet Home Alabama (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
4) White Room (Cream)
5) Red House (Hendrix)
6) Little Wing (Hendrix)
7) Star Spangled Banner (Hendrix)
8) Pride And Joy (SR Vaughan)
9) Back in Black (AC/DC)
10) Sharp Dressed Man (ZZ Top)
11) Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen (Santana)
12) Sunshine of Your Love (Cream)
13) Crazy Train (Ozzy)
14) Whole Lotta Love (Zeppelin)
15) Come Together (Beatles)
16) Blue on Black (KW Shepherd)
17) Voodoo Child (Hendrix)

For the last three weeks I have been learning ‘Heartbreaker/Living Loving Maid’ by Led Zeppelin, and now have it down. We’ll be adding that pair of songs to our Labor Day concert set list. I have just mastered ‘Plush’ by Stone Temple Pilots and am now intensely learning and practicing on ‘Enter Sandman’ (Metallica), with ‘Bad to The Bone’ (George Thorogood) and ‘Running Down A Dream’ (Tom Petty) to be learned next. We have over seven weeks until this next concert and we should have these songs mastered by then.

‘Heartbreaker/Living Loving Maid’ was perhaps my biggest challenge so far, although it took a lot of practice to get proficient on my two previous big challenges, ‘Black Magic Woman’ and ‘Crazy Train’. I’ve also been working more enthusiastically on the minor and major scales, because I have realized that all songs are created within a scale and I can see that, when I go through the B minor scale, for example, I can hear how ‘Lean On Me’ by Bill Withers was created out of that scale. So musical light bulbs are going off in my head about song construction and how these songs sound so ‘right’, it’s all in the scales!

We did get a ‘special’ July 4th meal: two hamburger patties instead of one, a slice of watermelon, and a pouch of Famous Amos raisin/oatmeal bite-size cookies. It could be worse – and usually is!

There is a charming poster of my band YAZOO by Gary Wintle posted on my Facebook fan page at I finally got some copies in the mail; numerous correspondents waxed enthusiastic about it, and my bandmates’ families have seen it and enjoyed it too. I want YAZOO to become the most popular band no one in the free world has ever actually heard!

If anyone reproduces the poster in color from Facebook and sends it to me, I’ll have each member of the band autograph it and send it back to you. (My mailing address is always on the front page of I’m hoping we can take that wonderful Gary Wintle illustration of the band, make some modifications to it, and put it on t-shirts and get them out there. If you would be interested in buying a YAZOO band color t-shirt for $15, let Jodie know. I’m hoping we can make 50 of each male and female t-shirts, give two to the families of my four band-mates, keep a couple for posterity, and sell the other 90. I promise to sign the t-shirt for anyone who has one when Jodie and I go on our 30-50 city cross-Canada speaking tour, from September to November 2014. Can’t wait to travel Canada to see our people and fire ’em up for the May 2015 federal election! We’ll have to make sure the NDP and Liberals fully intend to repeal the Harper mandatory minimums for marijuana as that election comes closer.

Canada’s new mandatory minimum jail sentences for marijuana and all illegal drugs come into effect November 22nd, thanks to the Stephen Harper Conservative majority government. This will change Canada’s cannabis culture significantly, and worryingly. There are numerous enhancements that make jail time longer, such as growing or selling in a rented property, in residential communities, second offenses, and more. Once Canadians start being charged under these new penalties, a chill will descend on Canada’s cannabis culture, and prices will rise (making the black market even more lucrative, of course). Canadians are increasingly opposed to marijuana prohibition, but the Harper Conservative government is in office until an election in May 2015. There are dark days ahead, and a lot of work will need to be done to fix everything!

I have fallen behind on responding to letters sent me, so I have decided to make four different postcards that I can use to send to everyone who writes me a letter within a day of my receiving it. Most of my letters that I write are 6-10 page letters and take 90-120 minutes. I love writing such long missives, but I don’t end up responding to most of the letters I get because I actually don’t have the time! So this way, I’ll be able to answer each letter with a postcard (the photos are of me and Jodie in the visitation room, or of me by myself in the prison photo room) and a personal message on each one that might only take me 10-15 minutes each. Most of the letters I write tend to repeat the same information (what I’m reading, the music I’m playing, etc.) and I cover that in these blog entries, so on the postcards I’ll be able to be a bit more personal (albeit brief).

I’m reading voraciously, mostly still outside, but as every day is 96-100 degrees F (35-38 C) now, and will be for the rest of July and early August, I escape to the air-conditioned environs of our unit every now and then. Some books of note that I finished recently include:

– ‘The Fish That Ate The Whale’, the biography of the ‘Banana Man’ Sam ZeMurray
– ‘Emperor of All Maladies’, a ‘biography’ of cancer
– ‘Armies of the Night’, by Norman Mailer, of the march on the pentagon in October 1967 protesting the draft and the Vietnam War
– All seven books in the ‘Joe Sandilands’ murder mysteries by Barbara Cleverly
– ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma’, by Michael Pollan, following up his brilliant book ‘The Botany of Desire’

I’ve been enjoying graphic novels by Grant Morrison, his ‘The Doom Patrol’ Vol. 1-4, ‘The New X-Men’ 1-3, ‘WE3’, a plethora of Carl Barks material, his Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge work from 1949-1960, a very bizarre and wonderful series called ‘CHEW’ about an investigator who is ‘cibopathic’, meaning he gets visions and information from eating anything (except beets). So to solve murders he (now this is strange) eats a sample of the flesh or blood of victims, or the murderer! I’ve also gotten larger hardcovers of the work of Steve Ditko and Bernie Kriegstein. Kriegstein did work for EC comics and others in the 1950’s, and Ditko has a career spanning the 50’s to the early 80’s, and is most famous for the first 38 Spiderman comics. He was an Ayn Rand acolyte, and that shows up in work like ‘Mr. A’ and ‘Avenging World’.

These and so many other graphic novels that I get (and lend around the prison extensively) come to me courtesy of my great friend Dana Larsen. And most of the books I’m reading, and music books I work from come from Dana too! Dana is organizing ‘Sensible BC‘, which exists to get a referendum on the ballot in British Columbia in September 2014 to essentially decriminalize marijuana possession in BC. Dana is an incredible activist and person and I hope you will join his Facebook page (click HERE) and support his dispensaries, Sensible BC at, and his many other extraordinary projects. Dana ran for leadership of the BC New Democratic Party from January to April 2011, and was very, very good in that campaign all the way to the leadership convention, and represented the cannabis community with great panache and honor.

Jodie and Marc in Yazoo prison, June 23rd 2012Jodie visited me last weekend, and you can always see the latest photos of us on my Facebook page, where she recently posted the photos from our visit here on June 24th and 25th, and she shares them in her weekly videos at (also always posted at and As you can see, there is a new photo background, a change from the fence by the seaside background that has been at Yazoo since May of last year.

For every anniversary or special occasion between Jodie and I, I make a special card relying heavily on the talents of one or two Mexican guys here. In prison there are many talented artists, particularly from Mexico, and they do great 3-D greeting cards. I help out in simple things like waxing the letters to make them shine and gleam, cutting out the paper or cardboard shapes, gluing pieces together, and choosing the text. I admit I don’t do the really talented work! I started work on June 4th for the card for Jodie and my 6th anniversary (on July 23rd), and finished it June 24, sent it June 25 only to have Jodie get an empty envelope in the mail! These are exquisitely beautiful cards and Jodie proudly shows them on her Jodie Emery show every week at and

Despite the latest card going missing in the mail (maybe look for it on eBay sometime in the future as an authentic Marc Emery signed card – hah!) I still have time to get another card made, so I’ve started work on it with my brilliant Mexican artist and I’m hoping we have one ready by next week in time to send to Jodie, arriving before July 23rd. Look for it on the Jodie Emery show of July 26th! And thank you to those friends and fans who send donations to my commissary, so I can buy phone calls to talk to Jodie, and other prison essentials. Jodie and I both really appreciate it!

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

    I think, that you commit an error. I can defend the position. Write to me in PM, we will discuss.

  2. Anonymous on

    You’re an ass.

  3. Anonymous on

    U r so misinformed Marc helps people who were in pain some people can only get relief w/ thc
    I often wonder how many countless people have commited suicide because their pains were so severe
    I think it’s time to decriminalize canna products and also generate a new legitimate industry and at the same time remove the illegal elements related to the Trade.Educate.Prohibition was tried (past tence)
    It didn’t work

    Signed smoke me off

  4. Anonymous on

    LOL.. You retard,

  5. Anonymous on

    I had nice glossy flyers to hand out, and lots of campaign buttons, fridge magnets, etc when I was on the ballot for the Marijuana Parties under Emery. No cheap looking BS like when I ran for the BC greens.

    When I ran for the bc greens I had crappy looking flyers, and the greens even billed me for the f*cking flyers! And they didn’t like it when I was against carbon taxes.

    My guess: In 2013 the Harper Regime will green-light Marc back to Canada, not because they have decency or goodwill, but because they will be desperately trying to boost their declining poll numbers.

    Norm S. Chilliwack

  6. Anonymous on

    It’s sad the the conservative government are getting ahead with their marijuana laws and stepping closer to full marijuana prohibition, it’s like Marc advocated for more than 20 years to get laws changed, organized marches, donated millions of dollars, to offer us all laxer laws for weed position, but it looks like come november 22nd we are heading into a dark era!
    a time where the police will arrest you and throw you in jail for a joint! and then where do we go from here? 10 years or 20 years from, the police will be allowed to Urine test you and charge you with position like they do in China, korea and japan
    lol.. we need to stop these conservatives from destroying lives!
    destroying peoples right to choice!

  7. Anonymous on

    Um… I hardly think having some fellow prisoners help in making a card for his wife on one of their anniversaries qualifies as exploiting… What’s gotten into you?

    Also I am fairly sure he’s at a prison for non-Americans. It’s not like he’s hiring cheap labour, he’s having others who he’s met help him out and I’m sure he does things for them when he can. I mean, there isn’t a lot to do in prison, anything is pretty much worth while so long as it passes the time. For example Marc being in a band and performing for everyone else there.

  8. Anonymous on

    Democratic and civil rights movements both in Canada & the USA all owe a lot to to Marc’s sacrifice. His incarceration is a vagrant abuse of power. Very undemocratic when you consider that he is really a political prisoner.

  9. Anonymous on

    yeah, uh-huh, my reCAPTCHA for this was “fulfilment boldHigh”

  10. Anonymous on

    So Mr Emery admits he is exploiting Mexicans now. Shame on him. Does he also get them to change his guitar strings & polish his guitar for him?

  11. Anonymous on

    Sounds all nice and dandy but marc gave in becasue some of his good friends were at risk of been thrown in there to and well they need there medicine to survive and stay healthy. Those of you who actually follwed these cases know that how the dea is rolling over there same thing happen to poor tom chong thye have an indirect threat to bring in people you love and care about, or you plead guility so Stfu and keep your lame ass comment to your self

  12. Anonymous on

    Marc, unfortunately all reform movements need martyr’s. You are it, & doing a fine job along with Jodie against the evil American & Canadian law makers. Cannabis prohibition is the worst case of power abuse in N.A. It is a human rights issue: the right of free choice as long as no one gets hurt.
    Hope you get out of that American hellhole soon and back eating Canadian food. I wouldn’t be surprised if Canadian prison food is supplied by American companies as well. Puke.

  13. Anonymous on

    If Marc had plead not guilty he would have been looking at Life not the 5 years he plea bargained for. The Americans don’t screw around when it comes to punishment. Cannabis prohibition is a true evil. Just ask millions of Americans & Canadians who smoke it regularly & scoff at these stupid laws. The war on drugs is evil, just like the criminal who initiated it, Richard Nixon.

  14. Anonymous on

    poor guy, he should of pleaded not guilty, marc emery is a victim of a guilty concance, the dea tried it on me but i never ever talked, i never help them convict myself of crimes that tandy and clinton have commited, hope he makes it out alive

  15. Anonymous on

    On utube free our weeds man) )) and at I robert carr am a mumber Adminstrator for the state of kentucky I am having a rally this fall at wayne countie park I can be reached at [email protected]. or by calling 606)278-2769 .also on facebook thank you I would like input you guys are willing to share with me thank you

  16. Jodie on

    When Marc was arrested, he had $11 in his bank account – admitted by the US prosecution – and had given away all of the money to reform. That’s why he wasn’t fined when he was sentenced; the investigation found that he has nothing to his name. He gave away all of the millions of dollars to activism and political campaigns from 1994-2005, including marijuana ballot initiatives (Colorado, Washington DC, Nevada, and others), suing the US federal government on behalf of 30 patients, funding medical marijuana court challenges and cases, financing the Marijuana Policy Project when it was going defunct, paying for the US Marijuana Party and BC Marijuana Party campaigns (plus others), and so much more.

    You want a list of some of what Marc did with the seed money? Here’s a partial list:

    Help to Compassion Clubs:
    * Gave $15,000 toward re-establishing VICS (Vancouver Island Compassion Society) in Victoria after a raid in 2003?
    * Gave $2,000 to Lyn Harichy’s club in London, Ontario in 2002 after raid?
    * Gave $10,000 to BC Compassion Club for legal fees

    Help to Court Battles:?
    * Gave $28,000 toward airfares, train fares, hotel rooms and lawyers for medical marijuana class action suit against US federal government in 1999 in Philadelphia?
    * Gave $85,000 toward Canadian Supreme Court challenge to legalize marijuana , 19995-2003, when we lost in the Canadian Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision in December 2003?
    * Gave $12,000 to Nimbin Hemp Embassy after Police Raid in 2001

    Ballot Initiatives & Political Activity?
    * Gave $5,000 to pay for signatures to put medical marijuana initiative on DC ballot in 1998
    ?* Gave $10,000 to pay for signatures to put medical marijuana on Colorado ballot in 2000
    ?* Gave $15,000 to pay for signatures to put medical marijuana on Arizona ballot in 2000?
    * Gave a combined total of $17,000 to promote Alaska legalization ballot initiatives in 2000, 2002, 2004
    ?* Gave $152,000 to finance 79 candidates for BC Marijuana Party’s full slate in BC provincial election of 2001?
    * Gave $35,000 to provide brochures, cards, advertising, deposits, for 2000 Canadian Marijuana Party campaign?
    * Provided $20,000 to 44 candidates of BC Marijuana Party for literature, advertising in 2005 campaign
    ?* Provided $20,000 to run for Mayor in 2002
    ?* Provided $12,000 to run for Mayor in 1996
    ?* Provided $3,000 to the Israeli Green Leaf Party in 2003
    ?* Provided $6,000 to Aotearoa (New Zealand) Legalize Cannabis Party in 1999
    ?* Provided $35,000 to US Marijuana Party from 2002-2005
    ?* Provided $30,000 to conduct the Summer of Legalization Tour in 2003, arrested 6 times (Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, St. John’s, Moncton and Regina)?
    * Financed Global Marijuana March from 1999-2005 with $35,000 annually = $205,000
    ?* Gave $5,000 to Journey for Justice in Florida in 2002
    ?* Gave $2,000 to Journey for Justice in Texas in 2003
    ?* Provided $8,000 to print 50,000 color cards supporting NDP candidates across Canada in 2004 election after Layton promises to support marijuana legalization?
    * Gave Marijuana Policy Project $15,000 to start it off in 1998?
    * provides $15,000 to challenge the Canadian government’s Drug Literature Ban (prohibiting the sale of High Times Magazines, Emperor Has No Clothes, grow guides in any retail location) in court, July 1994 – July 1995, culminating in court victory overturning the ban. Emery has been distributing banned books and magazines about cannabis trying to get charged from 1991-1992, 1994-1995.

    Other Funded Activities:
    * Provided $210,000 for free drug treatment for 61 patients over two years at Iboga Therapy House from 2002-2004 using pioneering methods with ibogaine hydrochloride ?
    * Provided money annually for April 20 celebrations in Vancouver from 1995 (first one worldwide) to 2005 = $45,000 total over 10 years.
    ?* Provided $10,000 to U.K. Green Party for a massive rally in London, England protesting prohibition in 2001?
    * Provided $1,000 to Anti-Prohibition Parade in Bologna, Italy in 2004.?
    * provided $400 in 2005 to put together packages to submit to Malaysian Embassy to stop execution of man convicted of cannabis trafficking?
    * PROVIDED $45,000 for staff and offices of HEMP BC Legal Assistance Center (Vancouver) from July 1996 to Dec. 1997 to provide free legal service to people charged with cannabis offenses?
    * Sponsored Chris Bennett’s Entheogenesis I & II in 2002 and 2003, $20,000
    ?* John Walters Repudiation project, Nov. 2002, $750
    ?* Provided $15,000 to purchase two full pages ads in Vancouver Sun and Vancouver Province in Nov. 1997 to protest the meeting of Asia-Pacific Economic Countries (APEC) in Vancouver. The ads outlined and condemned the prohibition policies of each nation in attendance.?
    * Opened the first Vapor Lounge/Cafe (called Cannabis Cafe) at 301 West Hastings with all hemp foods & vaporizers at every table on July 2 1997. Closed in Sept. 1998 after police raids.
    ?* Sponsored Tokers Bowls from 2002 to 2005 with subsidy of $25,000 each year?
    * Provided Steve Kubby Refugee Project with $17,000 in 2001-2002?
    * Provided $5,000 to Steve Tuck Refugee Project in 2001?
    * Provided $25,000 to Renee Boje Refugee Project in 2000-2004?
    * Financed POT.TV in its pioneering period from 2000-2005 with $800,000 over 6 years (no commercial revenue flowed to POT.TV, completely underwritten with seed sales)
    ?* Gave $2,000 to Joe Doe Radio to keep it going
    ?* Gave $1,000 to Free Talk Live* to keep it going
    ?* Gave $1,000 to buy half page ad in Timmins, Ontario newspaper in late 1999 to protest police ban of High Times and Cannabis Culture at local stores. Publisher Emery goes to Timmins and gives out 500 copies free in front of Timmins police station, 350 people crowded the police station, get free copies & smoke out said cop shop. No arrests are made.?
    * Provides $15,000 to put Kirk Tousaw through university classes and his Canadian Bar Exam in 2004

  17. Anonymous on

    I.m robert carr from u.s.a I would like to talk with you when you can talk I am vary sorry for all you have been throw on this sir thank you for your work

  18. Anonymous on

    I would hope you can come to Windsor Ontario, where i live…i am awaiting trial for cultivation, trying to get my MMAR card and cultivation license…i couldn’t wait any longer and starting growing…thankfully the mandatory minimums won’t apply to me…hope you are well and you come home soon…love the Smith family