Skip to main content

Prisons: Marc Emery in Solitary Confinement for Podcast of Prison Phone Call

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #636)
Drug War Issues
Politics & Advocacy

Canadian "Prince of Pot" Marc Emery hasn't even been formally sentenced yet, but he's already being punished for what he does best: opening his mouth for the cause of marijuana legalization. Emery's wife, Jodie, told Canada's CNews Saturday that Emery is now in solitary confinement for violating prison rules.

Marc Emery
According to Jodie Emery, she recorded his calls from prison and played them as a podcast on the couple's Cannabis Culture magazine web site. That violated a prison rule that phone calls can only be made between a prisoner and the intended recipient and cannot be directed to a third party.

Jodie Emery said Marc had read the prison rules and did not think the podcast would be a violation. Now he will spend at least a week in solitary pending a hearing to determine the full extent of his punishment.

Emery, Canada's most famous legalization activist, pleaded guilty May 24 to one count of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, the culmination of a five-year battle between Emery and Canadian and US authorities to extradite and prosecute him for selling pot seeds over the Internet. Two of Emery's employees arrested along with him, Greg Williams and Michelle Rainey, earlier copped pleas and received probationary sentences to be served in Canada.

Emery plowed the profits from his business back into the legalization movement, earning the wrath of the drug prohibition establishment in both countries. When Emery was busted in 2005, then DEA administrator Karen Tandy gloated in a press release that it was "a significant blow not only to the marijuana trafficking trade in the US and Canada, but also to the marijuana legalization movement."

Under federal prison rules, Emery is allowed 300 minutes of phone calls a month and he can communicate via email through a closed computer system called CorrLinks, under which he can log onto a computer and compose a message that is read by prison officials before they send it over the Internet. Emery had used CorrLinks to post numerous dispatches from the gulag, but now, he is denied those privileges and could lose them for up to two months.

Emery will remain in the Seattle-area federal detention facility until his formal sentencing September 10. Then he will be transferred to the federal prison at El Reno, Oklahoma, where prison officials will decide where he will be sent to serve his time.

Emery's campaign to avoid extradition has now shifted to a campaign to persuade Canadian authorities to allow him to serve his sentence there, as has typically been the case with Canadians convicted of offenses in the US. But the Conservative government has in recent years begun to refuse to accept Canadians imprisoned on drug charges in the US.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


The United States is going to be put into a position where it is going to have to account for its misrepresentation of marijuana. The political process is slow and unfortunately it claimed Marc before the wheels of justice came to full realization. There will be a time in America where we will apologize to marijuana users and activists alike. Tho, this will happen long after marijuana is legalized, Marc Emery will undoubtedly live in the hearts of many Americans for many years to come, many of which currently don't even know who he is. Thank you Marc I am not fighting for you to serve you sentence in Canada I am fighting for you to be released...your crimes are not your crimes they are crimes against humanity and against nature.


Fri, 06/11/2010 - 2:46am Permalink
daniel (not verified)

Phillip morris has already bought 50,000 acres in northern california, so how much longer will it be before it is totally legal. The only reason the US extradited him was to show that they are the school yard bullies and no one can hide from them.

Fri, 06/11/2010 - 1:21pm Permalink
maxwood (not verified)

"A prison rule that phone calls can only be made between a prisoner and the intended recipient and cannot be directed to a third party" would seem to directly impact First Amendment freedom of speech which includes the right to decide whom or how many to talk to. This within a month or two of the Supreme Court ruling that corporations have a right to spend any amount of money they like to buy influence time with/over politicians via the campaign donation technique, because that is a form of speech.

Is Marc allowed paper and within solitary to continue providing words and diagrams pertaining to publishable ideas?

Fri, 06/11/2010 - 3:00pm Permalink
Buzzby (not verified)

In reply to by maxwood (not verified)

The First Amendment is not an issue for people in prison. Being a prisoner in itself demonstrates this. If they had the same rights as civilians, holding them would be kidnapping. There are all kinds of things that civilians take for granted as their rights that are denied prisoners. In terms of the First Amendment, besides limiting free speech, prisoners are also denied the right of free assembly. A free assembly of prisoners is called "a riot".

Fri, 06/11/2010 - 7:20pm Permalink
RAY CHISTL (not verified)

The new film "Principle of Pot" has a main thesis that people MUST be moved to action with RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION.Maybe in Anonymous Nation hiding behind the celebrity of FREE MARC EMERY,yet in spiritually dead america it's the dead DOGS rhat builds sympathy to slow the 50,000 yearly SWAT HELL.Get to CANNAFORNIA and register and VOTE YES>a great legal synthesis to begin adult SACRAMENTAL USAGE and the LOVE CHURCH begins to resurrect TRUTH.Pastor Ray Christl not anonymous your page forces anonymous are you CANADIAN a very free,but hiding grow -closet outpost.THC MINISTRY global 250,000,000 strong.

Fri, 06/11/2010 - 8:37pm Permalink
Anonymous One (not verified)

Now let me see if I got this right. Marc Emery exports seeds to the United States. These seeds are not toxic nor are they associated with overdose deaths or the development of disease in the United States, according to the government's own figures.

The United States exports tobacco which is associated with toxicity, death, and the development of lung cancer to Canada, with impunity. The United States would undoubtedly start a trade war if those shipments were blocked.

So much for sane, evidence based policy or for compassion toward people.

Is Canada truly a sovereign country, Eh? Really...

Thu, 06/17/2010 - 2:06pm Permalink

Here is a letter I wrote for the New Hampshire Free Press.
It is in the August/September issue of their paper at:

What a shame that a hero like Marc Emery was taken as a political prisoner and is being held in jail because he sent cannabis seeds to Americans.
In a year when the BP oil catastrophe destroys so much and no one is to blame except the company, why do the authorities go after Marc who has destroyed nothing?
The Pan Am Flight 103 (Lockerbie, Scotland) Bomber is free now, but Marc Emery is in jail.
In an age where celebrities get preferred treatment in jail while Mr. Emery gets solitary for something trivial, we all need to take a stand.
After all, justice is not just.
The scales do not balance.
The system is wrong.
Activists know this and most people are waking up to it.
In Los Angeles, the police were told to turn their backs on pot smokers.
That is significant because Marc may be transferred to the very state where L.A. is located.
Marc Emery sent cannabis seeds by mail, but people can smoke pot out in the open there.
Something is wrong with this picture.
Paid for votes talk.
Wealth talks, but freedom and the right to live free seems to be illegal in many circumstances.
We sure have "come a long way, baby", but in the other direction.
The wrong direction.
Our forefathers founded a nation based on freedom.
Abraham Lincoln even said ... "That government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
What this means is that the government is owned by the people.
The problem today is that most people do not know this.
They have been led for decades by a corrupt government that has bullied its way with lies and arrests of innocent people like Marc Emery.
It is based on greed and power.
The fact is that the U.S. Government is threatened by those who want to take freedom back.
This government has done far worse than Marc.
Sending cannabis seeds does not compare to the crimes of our so-called leaders in Washington, the FBI, the CIA, the IRS and other government criminals.
Thomas Jefferson once said ... "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent."
Take a stand.
Free Marc Emery.

George Vreeland Hill
Fri, 08/20/2010 - 11:22pm Permalink

My name is Brett LeMay, and I am going to jail to stand trial against charges for allegedly growing over 25 plants in Alaska. Alaska is a medical state, but off to jail I go. I deeply sympathize with Marc Emery's situation and the man is a hero of sorts to me. I intend on updating my blog from within jail, hopefully I do not end up in solitary confinement for doing so. The URL is Any support will be greatly appreciated, even if it is just a letter.

This "War On Drugs" is ridiculous and tyrannical. I know that in 20 years, people will look back at cases like mine and wonder why. Why destroy a family? 


Brett LeMay

Thu, 10/28/2010 - 2:20pm Permalink

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.