Marc Emery

  • by Sabrina Fendrick June 1, 2012

    The NORML Women’s Alliance has been growing at an unprecedented rate.  Women have been organizing around the country, targeting the female demographic and spreading the word of marijuana law reform.  The enthusiasm for this NORML Foundation program has crossed the border and gone international. The Women’s Alliance has become the latest sensation for marijuana law reformers in Canada, and is spreading like wildfire across the territories. From Vancouver to Toronto, the NORML Women’s Alliance has brought together an amazing group of strong, empowered, like-minded women.

    In early May, the NORML Women’s Alliance of Canada had the honor of serving as one of this year’s Grand Marshals for the Global Marijuana March.  Along with Jodie Emery and other well-known Canadian marijuana figures, the women of NORML lead 20,000 people through the streets of Toronto in support of marijuana law reform.They dressed up in 1920s and 1930’s costumes and were followed by a vintage car of the same era, so as to make a clear connection to America’s ill-fated alcohol prohibition, and women’s role in ending that failed policy.  The goal was to reenact a similar campaign image put on by the Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform, which has since become a staple image for reformers today.

    Just last week, our Canadian Sisters were invited to have a presence at the annual Treating Yourself Expo of 2012, a three-day event that brought tens of thousands of people to the Toronto Convention Center.  The women were not only given the opportunity to hand out literature, several of them were even invited to speak on a panel about the purpose and significance of the NORML Women’s Alliance.  This panel featured an amazing group of leaders including Jodie Emery of Cannabis Culture Magazine, NORML Women’s Alliance Coordinator of Canada, Kelly Coulter, Andrea Matrosovs, Lisa MamaKind Kirkman, Joanne Baker, Loretta Clarck and Sandra Colasanti.  Keep up the great work ladies!

    Check out the videos below the fold.

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director October 15, 2010

    Dear NORML members and supporters,

    Canadian businessman and law reform activist Marc Emery is a political prisoner of America’s federal government.  Arrested in 2005 for selling high quality cannabis seeds to willing American cannabis consumers and medical patients, he now sits in a federal prison in Washington state costing taxpayer’s thousands of dollars per month, while at the same depriving Canada of an otherwise lawful and tax-generating businessman, and Marc’s family and friends of his presence in their lives.

    Below is a request from Marc’s lawyer and cannabis law reformer Kirk Tousaw to help raise $8,500 to retain an expert in treaty transfers between Canada and the United States so that Marc can serve the reminder of the time he must be in the criminal justice system back in Canada.

    Please join NORML in supporting this effort to help expedite the day Marc can return to Canada, his wife, businesses, (primarily Cannabis Culture Magazine) and to his full-throated advocacy for cannabis legalization in Canada.

    An American prison is no place for Marc.

    I think most every cannabis law reform activist in the US feels guilty that our government decided—if only for pathetically symbolic reasons, like the persecution by the feds of Tommy Chong for selling bongs a few years earlier—to arrest, persecute, extradite and incarcerate Marc for what is effectively legal these days in medical cannabis states like California, New Mexico, Colorado, Rhode Island, Montana and Maine.

    Please read the info below from Kirk on how we can all help Marc out.

    Thanks in advance and kind regards!

    I write on behalf of Marc Emery, recently sentenced to five years in prison for selling cannabis seeds as part of his effort to “overgrow the government” and provide funding to the marijuana legalization movement.  Marc made millions in this highly successful campaign and gave every dime away to activist causes and groups.  When arrested in 2005, he had only $11.00 in his bank account.  And now he needs our help more than ever.

    As part of our effort to have Marc repatriated to Canada, he hopes to hire US lawyer Sylvia Royce, an expert in treaty transfers between the United States and Canada.  Ms. Royce will handle the US side of the process while I will continue to assist Marc with the Canadian undertaking.

    In order to retain Ms. Royce, Marc needs to raise $8,500.00, and he needs to do it by the end of October. We are hoping to do it in one day with a Free Marc Emery Money Bomb on October 16, 2010.  A money bomb is a one-day fundraising effort designed to achieve a specific goal.  In this case, it is raising enough money to hire Ms. Royce.  Any extra funds will go toward future legal fees.

    I know that you value Marc’s activism, dedication to our shared cause and sacrifice.  Five years is a long time to be a political prisoner.  Our profound hope is that he can at least serve that time in Canada, near his family, friends and loving wife, Jodie Emery.

    I’m asking you to be a part of this Money Bomb in the following ways.  First, consider making a donation from your organization.  Second, publicize the Money Bomb to your membership through posting on your website and distribution through your email network

    With your help, I know that we can achieve our goal of raising $8,500.00 on October 16, 2010.  If you are willing to donate, your commitment to do so will be recorded and announced on the day of the Money Bomb.  Additional details can be found below my signature.

    Thank you.

    Kirk Tousaw
    Executive Director
    Beyond Prohibition Foundation
    142-757 West Hastings, Suite 211
    Vancouver, British Columbia V6C1A1
    (c) 604.836.1420
    (f) 1.866.310.3342
    (e) kirktousaw@gmail.com

    * * * * *
    What: Free Marc Emery Money Bomb

    When: October 16, 2010

    Goal: Raise $8500.00 to retain a US expert on prisoner treaty transfers

    Why: Marc Emery raised and donated millions of dollars to help legalize marijuana and is now going to spend five years in prison for his efforts.  Whenever he was asked to help a good cause, he did.  Now he needs your help in his effort to be repatriated to Canada to serve his sentence in his home country.

    How: Donate funds on October 18 (or before) by check, credit card, email money transfer or cash donations.  Donation details can be found at www.freemarc.ca and below:

    1) Make donations with your credit card through the Cannabis Culture Online Store in the “Free Marc” section at www.CannabisCulture.com/store

    2) Send a PayPal donation to Marc’s wife, Jodie, at Jodie_Giesz@hotmail.com and it will be transferred to the US account for the lawyer’s fees

    3) Call 604-669-9069 on Saturday with your credit card information, or email it to: Accounts@cannabisculture.com

    4) Mail a check or money order made out to “0883467 BC Ltd.” to The Free Marc Campaign, 307 West Hastings Street, Vancouver BC, V6B 1H6, Canada

    5) Drop off in-person donations at “Marc Emery’s Cannabis Culture Headquarters” at 307 West Hastings Street in downtown Vancouver

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director September 5, 2010

    Special to The Seattle Times

    By John McKay

    I don’t smoke pot. And I pretty much think people who do are idiots.

    This certainly includes Marc Emery, the self-styled “Prince of Pot” from Canada whom I indicted in 2005 for peddling marijuana seeds to every man, woman and child with an envelope and a stamp. Emery recently pleaded guilty and will be sentenced this month in Seattle, where he faces five years in federal prison. If changing U.S. marijuana policy was ever Emery’s goal, the best that can be said is that he took the wrong path.

    As Emery’s prosecutor and a former federal law-enforcement official, however, I’m not afraid to say out loud what most of my former colleagues know is true: Our marijuana policy is dangerous and wrong and should be changed through the legislative process to better protect the public safety.


  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 12, 2010

    [Editor’s note: This post is excerpted from this week’s forthcoming NORML weekly media advisory. To have NORML’s media advisories delivered straight to your in-box, sign up for NORML’s free e-zine here.]

    Canadian Justice Minister Rob Nicholson has reportedly signed off on an order extraditing longtime Canadian marijuana activist and publisher Marc Emery to the United States, according to the Associated Press.

    Emery’s attorney stated that he will be transferred to the US imminently.

    United States law enforcement officials indicted Emery in August of 2005 for selling marijuana seeds to US customers.

    Under a plea agreement, Emery faces up to five years in US prison. Under Canadian law, he would face no more than one month in jail (and probation), if convicted.

    In a letter from MP (member of Parliament) Libby Davies sent this week to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, she criticized, “Your government took a rare and unnecessary step today, by extraditing a Canadian citizen to serve a prison sentence in America for actions that are not worthy of prosecution under Canadian laws.”

    Marc Emery has long maintained that his prosecution was politically motivated. Upon issuing his indictment in 2005, former US DEA administrator Karen Tandy asserted that Emery’s arrest struck “a significant blow to the marijuana legalization movement. … Drug legalization lobbyists now have one less pot of money to rely on.”

    For nearly two decades, Emery operated a highly visible seed bank in Vancouver. Emery declared hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes to the Canadian government, and officials at Health Canada – which oversees the nation’s legal medicinal cannabis program – frequently advised patients to purchase his seeds. Virtually all profits from Emery’s business ventures were distributed among various national and international drug law reform organizations.

    Cannabis Culture has posted additional information on this development, as well as the essay: ‘75 Things You Can Do to Free Marc,’ online here.

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director September 29, 2009

    Just over four years ago, former U.S. DEA administrator Karen Tandy announced to the world that her agency had struck “a significant blow … to the marijuana legalization movement” by indicting Canada’s so-called ‘Prince of Pot,’ Marc Emery.

    For nearly two decades Emery operated a successful marijuana seed bank operation in Vancouver, British Columbia — a venture which he used to directly fund cannabis law reform efforts around the globe, including the magazine Cannabis Culture, the internet site Pot TV, and the founding of the British Columbia Marijuana Party.

    Emery’s seed business was hardly a secret. For many years, Emery mailed copies of his seed catalogue to Canadian politicians. A Canadian court convicted him in 1998 and sentenced him to a $2,000 fine. Undeterred, Emery continued to sell seeds — and pay federal taxes on his profits — up until his arrest. Canadian authorities were happy to accept his tax money, and officials at Health Canada, which oversees Canada’s legal medical marijuana program, often recommended that patients contact Emery for grow advice. Nevertheless, when the Feds came calling, the Canadian authorities were swift to throw Marc Emery to the wolves.

    Even though Emery’s alleged crimes would have warranted, at most, a month in jail in his home country, Canadian authorities yesterday placed Marc into custody so that he can be extradited to the United States. Once here, he faces up to five years in prison for pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana (more than 100 plants) in violation of 21 USC 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(B).

    But lets not kid ourselves. Marc Emery was hardly a high level target because he sold marijuana seeds to the U.S. — a simple google search will yield dozens of listings of competitors that presently engage in similar activities. No, it wasn’t so much what Marc did (“There isn’t a single victim in my case, no one who can stand up and say, ‘I was hurt by Marc Emery.’ No one,” he told the Vancouver Sun) as it was what he did with his money that aroused the ire of U.S. anti-drug officials.

    And we have Karen Tandy’s own words to prove it.