Marc’s US Election Excitement from Behind Bars in Mississippi

Jodie and Marc in Yazoo prison, MississippiToday is Wednesday, October 3rd. In less than five weeks Americans will be voting candidates for President, Senate, the House of Representatives, their local statehouse representatives and senators, state attorney-generals, and their Mayor, City Council, sheriff, county commissioners, and possibly dozens of other elected offices at the state, county and local level. And then there are ballot initiatives that seek majority support for state laws legalizing possession of marijuana (Washington, Oregon, Colorado), medical marijuana (Arkansas, Massachusetts), and other proposed legislation.

Only about 20 states allow initiatives (also known as Propositions and Questions). In Canada, only British Columbia allows initiatives – and the signatures needed, about 400,000 voters in 90 days, are a daunting requirement. Nonetheless, my great friend and long-time activist Dana Larsen has undertaken this heroic task with his Sensible BC organization to get a marijuana possession decriminalization statute on a September 2014 ballot. Check out for information about that campaign.

Canadians have no experience with the numerous options on a ballot that Americans face each November. When Canadians go to vote, it’s for one office and that’s it. In British Columbia, a person votes for City Council on mid-November Saturday every three years. For the provincial legislature (the equivalent of the statehouse), in BC we vote for one person on the second Tuesday in May every four years. For the federal Parliament (similar to Congress), Canadians vote for their one representative from their district every four years, sometimes a bit sooner if no one party controls the majority of seats. In Canada, the federal parliament has five parties in it, compared to the two parties in the US Congress.

My wife Jodie Emery, and Jeremiah Vandermeer, editor of Cannabis Culture and Pot TV, will be at the New Approach Washington headquarters in Seattle on November 6th streaming live the results of the marijuana legalization initiative I-502 as they come in (as well as bringing in affiliates from Colorado and Oregon to broadcast the results of their state legalization votes). New Approach Washington ( is the organization that has done all the work writing up this proposed legislation, getting the necessary 247,000 signatures of Washington voters to put it on the ballot, and have raised millions to promote the initiative on television and in other media. Be sure to go to and for the livestream, and share the experience with thousands of others on that historic night!

Vote YES on I-502 in Washington!I am thrilled Jodie, Jeremiah, and his long-time girlfriend Carina will be at the epicenter when history is being in America – that is, when Washington State becomes the first US jurisdiction to legalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. The same legislation also sets up a state cannabis distribution system through all state licensed liquor stores, and although the federal government may try to interfere with that aspect of the legislation, there is little the US federal government can do in regards to negating the provision allowing all adult persons to carry and possess (and thus consume) marijuana, at least up to an ounce of it at a time.

The Washington state initiative is polling a much wider margin of success than similar initiatives in Colorado and Oregon; I attribute this to a very prescient organization in Washington state. This is not an initiative that percolated from the cannabis community. I-502 was done by organizational professionals who largely are more interested in aspects of civil liberty, reducing the pernicious effects of prohibition, and putting forth a practical legislative proposal that takes into account the concerns of the conservative straight voter who is likely to show up on voting day. People who show up to vote are usually those with a long-term stake in the community, usually with children or family as concerns. So when they are asked to legalize possession of marijuana, and these voters in the main don’t partake, they need to know that the community safety – and specifically, that of their family – is built into this kind of legislative proposal. New Approach Washington did just that. They raised and spent millions in advertising promoting that aspect of the legislation, and are being rewarded with the best polling results of the three legalization initiatives.

Vote YES on Amendment 64 in Colorado!I do hope the initiatives in Colorado (YES on Amendment 64!) and Oregon (YES on Measure 80!) pass too (check out and Mason Tvert, one of the principal forces behind the Proposition 64 in Colorado, with his group SAFER, has over a decade of tremendous work in Colorado, first getting a Denver initiative passed way back in 2007 – see more about that at Colorado already is a medical marijuana state. Polling in Colorado suggests the vote will be close, but is winnable. Oregon is walking a tightrope, and lacks funding to promote the initiative there, but Paul Stanford has done a very admirable job gathering the signatures with his group to get the legalization question on the ballot there, and Russ Belville has been working hard promoting it too.

These efforts will be in urgent need of your campaign dollars and your vote on Tuesday, November 6th. Perhaps the most important votes in the lifetime of anyone in the cannabis culture in those three states will be Tuesday, November 6th. Imagine your elation when you awake on Wednesday, November 7th, and marijuana possession is legal in your state – somewhere in your country! – and you helped make it happen! But don’t just dream it, you’ve got four weeks to make sure this dream becomes your reality!

Vote YES on Measure 80 in Oregon!Of course, if you live in Washington, Oregon, or Colorado, be sure you are registered to vote and go support these history making legalization initiatives. If you are in Massachusetts and Arkansas, get out and vote for their medical marijuana initiatives. And a big thanks to Marijuana Policy Project for providing money and infrastructure to get the Arkansas initiative up and on the ballot for Tuesday, November 6th. MPP has done a terrific job getting statehouses in Rhode Island and Connecticut – this year alone – to pass medical marijuana legislation, and historically have done more to provide the wherewithal to get initiatives on the ballot and legislation in the statehouse than any other group.

Definitely you should make contributions of money – even $10, $25, $50 – to Marijuana Policy Project, the Drug Policy Alliance, SAFER Colorado, New Approach Washington, the THC Foundation, and any organization making real political change happen. These are the people making history happen in America, and money is an essential lubricant of liberty.

As for voting for President, I cannot say anything positive about Mitt Romney or Barack Obama. I disagree with everything Mitt Romney says he wants to do, and I disagree with everything Barack Obama has done. There is simply nothing to recommend either of them. Both are warmongers, both want to maintain the drug war, both believe in the surveillance state, state secrecy, the Imperial Presidency. They are both the complete opposite of Ron Paul, my hero, who I pray stays healthy and fit to run for President in 2016. As to Ron Paul’s son, Rand Paul, the US Senator from Kentucky is a shadow of his great father, and while Rand Paul is in some ways sympathetic to curtailing the excesses of the drug war (as in the case of mandatory minimums, to his credit), he is not the courageous man of perfect principle that his father is.

There are two perfect candidates running for the job of President and Vice President, and while they have no hope of being elected to those positions, they are the best candidates ever put before the cannabis culture for ending the drug war: Gary Johnson, the former two-term Governor of New Mexico and a wonderful, intelligent individual whom I met in 2003; and (California) Judge Jim Gray, a decades-long critic of the drug war whom has met Jodie twice this year. They make up the Libertarian ticket for the White House. They are both articulate and offer the right positions on the military, the drug war, the surveillance state, on the environment, on abortion and female reproductive autonomy, the economy, taxes, the deficit. They are both impeccably honest and very experienced. See for more information.

There is a Libertarian candidate for virtually every position on the ballot. My recommendation is that you vote for every Libertarian you can, and give a small donation to each their campaign, and help them out, because every Libertarian wants to end the drug war and believes in individual freedom and liberty.

There are a few Republicans running for Congress who oppose the drug war – very few though, and they should be supported. However, many of the Democratic candidates for House of Representatives support some aspect of medical marijuana legislation, or legalization. Only a few Democratic Senators feel this way, alas, and only Rand Paul of the Republicans in the Senate is worth acknowledging in a positive way. You still need to educate your US Representative and US Senator from your district. Write them. Be heard. Watch how they vote in Congress.

Perhaps the greatest essay ever written on the colossal damage the drug war has done was recently published as a blog on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer by Vivian McPeak, the chief of the Seattle Hempfest. It’s poetic, brilliant, sobering and simply fantastic. I hope reading it – “Happy Birthday Prohibition – Now Die” – inspires you to give some money, your time, your vote and your involvement in the fight to end prohibition. These may be the most important weeks in the history of our movement, when your vote, your donations, and your voice promoting these initiatives makes a critical difference.

Jodie and Marc in Yazoo prison, MississippiIt would sure make the 610 days I’ll have remaining in this US federal prison a great deal easier to bear on the morning of Wednesday, November 7th. That the torch of the cannabis culture I tried to carry for decades has been carried on by millions of Americans who will not be, and were not, deterred by their governments’ resistance to justice. The very state of Washington, home of the Seattle federal court that sentenced me to prison for five years – specifically because of my legalization activities and supporting the marijuana movement with millions of dollars and millions of seeds – will have turned the world of prohibition upside down overnight by making I-502 the law, by making marijuana legal for the first time anywhere on earth. And my own prosecutor, who later realized marijuana prohibition is a failure, is working for legalization and campaigning against prohibition with the I-502 campaign. Our movement gains allies every day.

I’ll be locked down in my cell at 7:45pm Washington state (Pacific) time on Tuesday, November 6th. I won’t have heard any results by then, I won’t know if history was made until I get out of my cell at 6:00am sharp Wednesday morning and check my email from Jodie to read what transpired. I pray that Wednesday, November 7th is going to be my favorite Wednesday of my entire life – the day when legalization became more than just a 32-year dream of mine. The day I awoke and the world really changed.

Please do your utmost, if you live in Colorado, Oregon or Washington to make it your best Wednesday ever, too!

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 did not mean for the, ‘Subject’ to look like a Comment towards Sir Marc…….(anally raping women)……it was in reply to the, Post that first mentioned it.
    Sir Marc is a World Hero, and Ought to be in line for a Nobel Prize for all his work and personal sacrifice….
    [ Some of You remember, Nelson Mandela,….Right ?]
    War is not healthy for Anyone…..
    Hemp and Cannabis is healthy for ALL !
    D.Ken S. Okanagan, B.C.

  2. Anonymous on

    You are sick and need Medical Intervention, NOW !!
    How can You even type that garbage ??
    I am sure that if anyone tracks Your IP or ‘Other’ means of finding You….Look Out. Nobody needs the Mentally Ill (You),causing so much senseless disturbance. Please seek out help, or if You are just being an Asshole,…. Still get Mental Health Assistance. As a British Columbian who smokes THC freely in My city,….I am spreading the word,…(Thanks to Mr. Emery)….that Hemp and Smokable Cannabis will all be legal once again by 2020…….The way it was made illegal was a political pay – off idea. It had no basis in any Facts. NONE….It was only for Greed and Power. So many have paid such a high price due to it’s prohibition, it is truly sickening…..It’s Millions of People !! More than All the Wars in the last 100 Years.(Think of all the families and the children taken from parents, etc.) All over a Plant that is so useful for uncountable reasons.
    Vote YES, and Do ALL Possible to help put the shame behind us ALL.
    D. Ken S. Penticton, B.C.

  3. Anonymous on

    For more to the story

  4. Anonymous on

    Marc is a man who speaks wisely from experience and wisdom.
    Please donut tell him to shut up.
    The gentleman has more gonads than the PM or the Pres.Every-will have.

    Hey Harpy..imagine all the freedoms with a little help from our friends?

    The Choom Gang ;>)

    You go Marc,we got ya back when ya get out of the politically prison.

    People like you and Ron Paul,have my respect!!!!!

  5. Anonymous on

    As always you are a bright man and a strong one. Cheney. Rice, Bush and so many others belong in prison, but you don’t. Stay strong. I wish that Libertarian politicians had a vision for protecting the earth and creating a better world. They are right to end all wars especially the drug war and to stop having the government intrude into personal liberty. However if you look at Libertarian candidates you see a shocking lack of concern for saving our atmosphere, oceans, biodiversity, endangered species, water, trees, etc. They are in many ways tools of corporations and the rich. I will vote for Green Party Jill Stein. She’s against the drug war too. Be well Marc and get out of there soon!

  6. Anonymous on

    Even if Harper is out of office when you get out of the clink no matter who is in power the eternal cops will be watching you Marc for the rest of your life. Try to break the talk too much habit before you return to BC. It would really be a good idea to start now

  7. Anonymous on

    Marc Emery advocates anally raping women if they’re bitchy. Why the censorship?

  8. Anonymous on

    well put

  9. Anonymous on

    I completely agree with you Anon.

  10. Anonymous on

    I disagree with this. You said, “The way the law is written anyone who smokes cannabis on a regular basis would be DUI every time they drive a car even if they had not smoked the day they are pulled over”.

    This basically goes to say that the police will be pulling anybody over even those who do not exhibit signs of THC intoxication. These cases will be thrown out of court as the police cannot use the fact that “marijuana is legal now” as an excuse to pull over anybody they want. What you’re saying is absurd.

    Moreover, to test for THC intoxication at the most basic level is an intrusive test (mouth swab). The police will not be setting up mouth swab roadblocks to test if people have smoked dope in the past twenty-four hours. They’ll be looking for persons who exhibit tell-tale signs of intoxication on any substance (speeding, swerving in between lanes, aggressive driving, driving very slowly, crashing into other vehicles etc).

    At a roadblock, the police may speak to you, notice your eyes are bloodshot and your car stinks of burned marijuana, and use that as grounds to arrest you for THC intoxication and administer the test at that point to prove you were IN FACT intoxicated. An odor of fresh marijuana would mean that the pot is not yet burned, thus simple possession would be implied in that regard (which would be legal).

    “The police, judges and prosecutors will be jumping for joy for the millions in fines they collect and all the pot smokers that are arrested and lives ruined if this law passes”

    Whether I-502 is passed or not, people will continue to make stupid decisions (driving while intoxicated on any substance) just like they do right now. The police and judges will “jump for joy” as much as they are now. Lives won’t be ruined based on marijuana fines. They might be ruined if somebody gets so f*cked up that they kill somebody behind the wheel, but alcohol or types of painkillers can cause the same thing.

    Your reasoning is complete BS and based on pure speculation and lack of any kind of experience with the justice system or real facts. Not to mention you should pull your head out of your ass before you attempt to speak and make sense.

    Vote yes on I-502.

  11. Anonymous on

    Thank you so much, Marc. To me, you have always been the brightest star in marijuana reform – and continue to be so.


    Like Daniel in the lion’s den, he hold’s the flame up high.
    Even dungeon masters see kanabosm’s light.
    One hundred years of bondage will soon be history.
    The chain of lies is breaking. The truth will set us free.

    Mister Emery, light one up for me.
    It’s been so long since hearing freedom’s song.
    Mister Emery, give us sweet words of liberty.
    Take us up there. This desert’s getting cold.

    John Thomas Wanless

  12. Anonymous on

    All the growers who are growing legally now, will be able to grow legally after I-502 passes. It doesn’t affect medical marijuana. How blithely you lie that the Drug Czar wrote the DUI provision. The fact is, arrests will not increase, since impairment still has to observed to do so. Then field sobriety tests will be performed. THEN there may be blood tests performed.

    Since I-502 re-legalizes marijuana for ALL adults, there will likely be less arrests of drivers. The fraudulent prohibition was/is the basis for ALL the persecution of marijuana consumers – including drivers. With marijuana legal, there will be litte motivation to prosecute people who are only ‘statutorily’ impaired. When they try, the cases will be likely thrown out in court, since most will be easy to disprove.

    The best and fastest way to get reasonable driving restrictions and growing for ALL adults is to pass I-502.

    There is CERTAINLY no reason to vote against it. It’s clear you are just another greedy grower who doesn’t care his quasi-monopoly and outrageous prices are built on the persecution of millions of Americans – AND their children.

    You are definitely NOT a marijuana reformer.

  13. Anonymous on

    I think the Wash. initiative is doing better because of the people that live there – it’s obviously the poorest language of the 3 referendums, including a DUI provision written by the ONDCP, which the cannabis community has fought against in other states.

    Colorado is a great place but their votes on medical and legalization in the past show that it’s not particularly friendly to reform at the ballot box. Probably because the eastern half of the state is effectively a Midwestern state.

    Oregon also has a fairly strong religious fundamentalist community, and rejected a reasonable medical MJ dispensary referendum a few years ago.

    I’m not sure what you call a referendum where any amount of personal growing results in a SWAT team raid and jail. There are thousands of people growing cannabis in Washington state as we speak, many with children. Please don’t call it “legalization” in Washington. It’s a decrim bill with a nasty DUI provision that is not based on science.

  14. Anonymous on

    Marc: great article. 610 days to go in the armpit of the world. Finish your sentence & get the hell out of that hellhole they call America the Free. Uncle Sam Harper will be watching you when you return if he is still P.M. but there are millions of Canadians on your side. Chin up!

  15. Anonymous on

    Hello Marc,
    I am so sorry and ashamed for what this country’s government has done to you and your family. They are truly evil. The government would love for marijuana to become legal in Washington State because if it passes tens of thousands of cannabis smokers will be arrested and put in jail. The way the law is written anyone who smokes cannabis on a regular basis would be DUI every time they drive a car even if they had not smoked the day they are pulled over. For the last twenty years or more marijuana in Washington State has been decriminalized and possession of under 40 grams has been a $50.00 misdemeanor ticket. The police, judges and prosecutors will be jumping for joy for the millions in fines they collect and all the pot smokers that are arrested and lives ruined if this law passes. So I say vote no on I-502 so thousands of marijuana smokers aren’t arrested and thrown in jail or worse since they love to break down doors and kill innocent men, women and children.
    Sincerely, Mike Takemoto

  16. Anonymous on

    Hello Marc,
    It’s Howie. I am going to write your name in when I vote. I wasn’t even going to vote. I was going to vote for Ron Paul. I have voted all my life thinking it was my duty, but I have realized it is all a game. I believe the whole election process is a way the government tries to fool us into believing it’s citizens have some say. I don’t believe we do. ng government is going to keep killing and doing things I just don’t feel are right. I think the government is going to keep picking on good people who just use a helpful plant, and persecute anyone who uses drugs they term illegal. I think it is the way things just have to be the way the prohibition is. There are not enough jobs for everyone. So some people hustle and sell them, the cops try to catch them. Its all a game and the citizen is the commodity. The government thinks they own us.
    So that is why I am writing your name in Marc even though I know you are not eligable to be elected. Its my way of sayouging,” I see its all BS and I’m not playing!” fo
    I did four year in the marines. I bought everything they told me. I would have killed for them. They taught us to hate communists when I was in. 84 to 88. You know what? Who cares? honestly? The government told me I was supposed to hate them and I was young and thought I was doing what was right. Defending my country. Now I just see I was a fooled and it was all just a lie. We are all just people. Peace is the answer. Love. Not war and killing each other.
    So I will consider what Marc is saying about voting for libertarians but honestly I don’t think it matters and I am still going to take time out of my day. Go to the voting place. And write in my pal Marc Emery’s name for US president. Yeah. FREE MARC.

  17. Anonymous on

    Thank you, Marc, for your undying support and unending work to end prohibition in, not only your own home country, but in mine as well. You’ve done so much to further the cause of legalization and I want you to know that you are an inspiration to me and my family. My 8 year-old knows your name, knows your story, and proudly tells people why cannabis must be legalized. After watching her brother suffer and die from cancer, something that our brother-in-arms Rick Simson has proven can be treated (and in many cases, cured) by cannabis, she has taken it on herself to learn as much about the miracle plant. You are a hero to me, but more importantly, you’re a hero to her. Keep strong, brother, and be ready to celebrate with legal cannabis in Washington with the rest of us, because you’ll have a helluva party waiting for you here in less than two years!!!

    – J. Darin Ellis

  18. Anonymous on

    Thanks for this excellent article, Marc. It is truly amazing to see how accurately The Simpsons described the American presidential election system back in 1996. Nothing has changed: The presidential candidates in 2012 are Kang, Kodos and Gary Johnson. Kang or Kodos will be elected, just as in the Simpsons episode.