Marijuana and the campaign for attorney general

A couple of issues involving marijuana have arisen in the Democratic primary campaign for Oregon attorney general, and I shall attempt to sort them out here. Some background:

— Oregon was the first state to decriminalize simple possession of marijuana. The 1973 Legislature made possession of less than one ounce punishable as an infraction with a maximum fine of $100. (It’s now a maximum of $1,000.)

— The 1997 Legislature passed a bill to recriminalize simple possession as a misdemeanor. But opponents collected enough signatures to force a statewide election on the measure — which automatically put it on hold — and voters rejected it in November 1998 by a 2 to 1 majority (66.5 percent against the 1997 law).

— Also in the same 1998 election, voters approved a separate ballot initiative to authorize medicinal use of marijuana for specified conditions, with a doctor’s permission. (The majority here was 54.6 percent.) California was the first state to do so in 1996. Sixteen states and Washington, D.C., have such laws; Maryland allows it only as a legal defense, and is not among the 16. Federal law, however, makes no such provision.

— Law enforcement types favored the tougher possession law and opposed the medical-marijuana initiative, but lost on both. The medical-marijuana law has been amended a couple of times by the Legislature, but only after a consensus product was negotiated. Oregon does not allow its sale, unlike California, but patients registered with the state can designate registered caregivers to supply it. Persona limits are 24 ounces and 24 plants (6 mature and 18 immature). Doctors must grant permission, but they do not write “prescriptions.”

Back to the election, which has two candidates in the Democratic primary for the office being vacated by Democrat John Kroger. There is no Republican, and whoever wins the Democratic primary is the odds-on favorite for the Nov. 6 general election, even if there are minor-party candidates on that ballot. The contenders are Dwight Holton, former interim U.S. attorney for Oregon, who has spent 15 years as a federal prosecutor in New York and Portland, and Ellen Rosenblum, also a former federal prosecutor (not at the same time as Holton), a Multnomah County judge and Oregon Court of Appeals judge.

A political committee called Citizens for Sensible Law Enforcement has weighed in against Holton and for Rosenblum, based on a past statement by Holton that the 1998 medical-marijuana law was a “train wreck,” a letter by him to landlords housing offices assisting medical-marijuana patients, and federal raids last fall (while he was the interim U.S. attorney) on state-sanctioned marijuana grow sites.

(The state law is not a legal shield against federal action.)

Here’s a statement from Robert Wolfe, director of Citizens for Sensible Law Enforcement:

(start of Wolfe statement)

“Ellen Rosenblum will support Oregon’s voter-approved medical marijuana program, and says personal marijuana use is the lowest priority for law enforcement. That’s common sense.

“Dwight Holton has called our voter-approved law a ‘train wreck’ and is campaigning on his plan to gut it. Holton is openly disrespectful of Oregon voters, and hostile to medical-marijuana patients and providers. He would be a disaster as attorney general.

“Most voters agree that marijuana law enforcement should be a low priority. Holton used prosecutorial resources to go after state-approved medical marijuana providers. That’s wasteful and unnecessary. That’s just part of why Dwight’s not right for attorney general.

“Judge Ellen Rosenblum brings years of Oregon experience as a prosecutor and a judge, and she supports this key law that Oregonians overwhelmingly support. The choice is clear for supporters of our medical marijuana program or voter-approved initiatives in general.”

(end of Wolfe statement)

The group organized pickets outside the Governor Hotel in Portland, where Holton and Rosenblum appeared Friday at the Portland City Club. (Full disclosure: I had planned to go, but I had some computer problems at the office that delayed my work.)

Now for Holton’s responses, which were furnished by his campaign at my request:

(start of Holton’s furnished material)

On support for Medical Marijuana Act: I will enforce Oregon’s Medical Marijuana Act as attorney general. The voters passed it for a very compassionate reason and it will be my job to uphold the law.

On problems with OMMA: The law should be about meeting the needs of patients — that was voters’ intent when they passed it. I’ve heard two things: One, advocates say that people who need it can’t get it.  And two, law enforcement says that it’s ending up on the black market. If you care about the law, then you also need to protect its integrity.  It should not be used as back-door legalization.  It is on this point that Ellen and I differ.

On Ellen’s comment on her Web site that that “marijuana enforcement will be a low priority”: Ellen says she will make marijuana enforcement a low priority.  She is making a campaign promise not to enforce Oregon’s marijuana laws and that is appalling — especially when you’re running to be attorney general, the state’s top law enforcement officer.

So the choice before voters is someone who will uphold Oregon law – or someone who makes campaign promises not to enforce the law in order to get votes. I don’t believe the AG gets to make unilateral decisions about which laws to enforce and not enforce. The voters and the legislature expect you to uphold all state laws.

(end of Holton’s furnished material)

I should note, as I have in previous coverage, that the district attorneys in Oregon’s 36 counties — not the attorney general — initiate most criminal prosecutions. The Department of Justice, which is led by the attorney general, does have responsibility to assist district attorneys and defend appeals of criminal convictions in trial courts.

See also separate post on Holton’s criticism of Wolfe on a related matter.

— Peter Wong

CONTINUE READING…

Marijuana and the campaign for attorney general

A couple of issues involving marijuana have arisen in the Democratic primary campaign for Oregon attorney general, and I shall attempt to sort them out here. Some background:

— Oregon was the first state to decriminalize simple possession of marijuana. The 1973 Legislature made possession of less than one ounce punishable as an infraction with a maximum fine of $100. (It’s now a maximum of $1,000.)

— The 1997 Legislature passed a bill to recriminalize simple possession as a misdemeanor. But opponents collected enough signatures to force a statewide election on the measure — which automatically put it on hold — and voters rejected it in November 1998 by a 2 to 1 majority (66.5 percent against the 1997 law).

— Also in the same 1998 election, voters approved a separate ballot initiative to authorize medicinal use of marijuana for specified conditions, with a doctor’s permission. (The majority here was 54.6 percent.) California was the first state to do so in 1996. Sixteen states and Washington, D.C., have such laws; Maryland allows it only as a legal defense, and is not among the 16. Federal law, however, makes no such provision.

— Law enforcement types favored the tougher possession law and opposed the medical-marijuana initiative, but lost on both. The medical-marijuana law has been amended a couple of times by the Legislature, but only after a consensus product was negotiated. Oregon does not allow its sale, unlike California, but patients registered with the state can designate registered caregivers to supply it. Persona limits are 24 ounces and 24 plants (6 mature and 18 immature). Doctors must grant permission, but they do not write “prescriptions.”

Back to the election, which has two candidates in the Democratic primary for the office being vacated by Democrat John Kroger. There is no Republican, and whoever wins the Democratic primary is the odds-on favorite for the Nov. 6 general election, even if there are minor-party candidates on that ballot. The contenders are Dwight Holton, former interim U.S. attorney for Oregon, who has spent 15 years as a federal prosecutor in New York and Portland, and Ellen Rosenblum, also a former federal prosecutor (not at the same time as Holton), a Multnomah County judge and Oregon Court of Appeals judge.

A political committee called Citizens for Sensible Law Enforcement has weighed in against Holton and for Rosenblum, based on a past statement by Holton that the 1998 medical-marijuana law was a “train wreck,” a letter by him to landlords housing offices assisting medical-marijuana patients, and federal raids last fall (while he was the interim U.S. attorney) on state-sanctioned marijuana grow sites.

(The state law is not a legal shield against federal action.)

Here’s a statement from Robert Wolfe, director of Citizens for Sensible Law Enforcement:

(start of Wolfe statement)

“Ellen Rosenblum will support Oregon’s voter-approved medical marijuana program, and says personal marijuana use is the lowest priority for law enforcement. That’s common sense.

“Dwight Holton has called our voter-approved law a ‘train wreck’ and is campaigning on his plan to gut it. Holton is openly disrespectful of Oregon voters, and hostile to medical-marijuana patients and providers. He would be a disaster as attorney general.

“Most voters agree that marijuana law enforcement should be a low priority. Holton used prosecutorial resources to go after state-approved medical marijuana providers. That’s wasteful and unnecessary. That’s just part of why Dwight’s not right for attorney general.

“Judge Ellen Rosenblum brings years of Oregon experience as a prosecutor and a judge, and she supports this key law that Oregonians overwhelmingly support. The choice is clear for supporters of our medical marijuana program or voter-approved initiatives in general.”

(end of Wolfe statement)

The group organized pickets outside the Governor Hotel in Portland, where Holton and Rosenblum appeared Friday at the Portland City Club. (Full disclosure: I had planned to go, but I had some computer problems at the office that delayed my work.)

Now for Holton’s responses, which were furnished by his campaign at my request:

(start of Holton’s furnished material)

On support for Medical Marijuana Act: I will enforce Oregon’s Medical Marijuana Act as attorney general. The voters passed it for a very compassionate reason and it will be my job to uphold the law.

On problems with OMMA: The law should be about meeting the needs of patients — that was voters’ intent when they passed it. I’ve heard two things: One, advocates say that people who need it can’t get it.  And two, law enforcement says that it’s ending up on the black market. If you care about the law, then you also need to protect its integrity.  It should not be used as back-door legalization.  It is on this point that Ellen and I differ.

On Ellen’s comment on her Web site that that “marijuana enforcement will be a low priority”: Ellen says she will make marijuana enforcement a low priority.  She is making a campaign promise not to enforce Oregon’s marijuana laws and that is appalling — especially when you’re running to be attorney general, the state’s top law enforcement officer.

So the choice before voters is someone who will uphold Oregon law – or someone who makes campaign promises not to enforce the law in order to get votes. I don’t believe the AG gets to make unilateral decisions about which laws to enforce and not enforce. The voters and the legislature expect you to uphold all state laws.

(end of Holton’s furnished material)

I should note, as I have in previous coverage, that the district attorneys in Oregon’s 36 counties — not the attorney general — initiate most criminal prosecutions. The Department of Justice, which is led by the attorney general, does have responsibility to assist district attorneys and defend appeals of criminal convictions in trial courts.

See also separate post on Holton’s criticism of Wolfe on a related matter.

— Peter Wong

CONTINUE READING…

Marc Emery’s suggestions from prison to better B.C.

By Jon Ferry, The Province April 29, 2012

Marc Emery has 10 suggestions for improving life in British Columbia:

1. Eliminate the provincial income tax, lowering it to zero in thirds over three years.

2. Abolish the RCMP in the province. Establish a modest-sized provincial police force answerable to the provincial solicitor-general and attorney-general. B.C. will need far fewer cops and jails once you eliminate the illegal drug markets.

3. Base MLA selection based on a combination of preferential voting (first, second and third choices, etc., on each ballot) or a first-past-the-post system combined with proportional representation.

4. Make the referendum process in B.C. much more accessible by lowering the threshold of signatures required to four per cent of registered voters obtained over a 180-day period, with paid signature-gathering permitted.

5. Eliminate all provincial tax subsidies to business, including the entertainment industry.

6. Raise the royalties on resource extraction (lumber, oil and gas and mining) while reducing regulations.

7. Allow offshore oil and gas exploration.

8. Require all B.C. educational facilities to encourage students to become proficient in Chinese languages.

9. Get the B.C. government out of education, ending the "monolithic union influence," and set up a voucher system so parents can send children to a school of their choice in a vibrant marketplace with multiple options for both parents and teachers.

10. Reduce the number of people sent to prison by ending drug prohibition and so-called computer crimes and by making greater use of house arrest. Put violent people in cottages in remote locations with electronic monitoring, a garden where they can grow food and a limited library.

Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/news/Marc+Emery+suggestions+from+prison+better/6537155/story.html#ixzz1tTq2RLrm

Marc Emery’s suggestions from prison to better B.C.

By Jon Ferry, The Province April 29, 2012

Marc Emery has 10 suggestions for improving life in British Columbia:

1. Eliminate the provincial income tax, lowering it to zero in thirds over three years.

2. Abolish the RCMP in the province. Establish a modest-sized provincial police force answerable to the provincial solicitor-general and attorney-general. B.C. will need far fewer cops and jails once you eliminate the illegal drug markets.

3. Base MLA selection based on a combination of preferential voting (first, second and third choices, etc., on each ballot) or a first-past-the-post system combined with proportional representation.

4. Make the referendum process in B.C. much more accessible by lowering the threshold of signatures required to four per cent of registered voters obtained over a 180-day period, with paid signature-gathering permitted.

5. Eliminate all provincial tax subsidies to business, including the entertainment industry.

6. Raise the royalties on resource extraction (lumber, oil and gas and mining) while reducing regulations.

7. Allow offshore oil and gas exploration.

8. Require all B.C. educational facilities to encourage students to become proficient in Chinese languages.

9. Get the B.C. government out of education, ending the "monolithic union influence," and set up a voucher system so parents can send children to a school of their choice in a vibrant marketplace with multiple options for both parents and teachers.

10. Reduce the number of people sent to prison by ending drug prohibition and so-called computer crimes and by making greater use of house arrest. Put violent people in cottages in remote locations with electronic monitoring, a garden where they can grow food and a limited library.

Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/news/Marc+Emery+suggestions+from+prison+better/6537155/story.html#ixzz1tTq2RLrm

Marc Emery calls B.C.’s leaders ‘uninspiring’

Jailed activist is a fan of Ayn Rand and rational capitalism

By Jon Ferry, The Province April 29, 2012

APRIL 20, 2009 – Marc Emery lights up at the annual "4-20" pot rally held at the Vancouver Art Gallery and attended by thousands of marijuana advocates and aficinados.

Photograph by: Jack Simpson , For The Province

Jailed marijuana activist Marc Emery is all over the map politically. A founding member of the Marijuana Party of Canada, he’s moved his support between the B.C. and federal NDP, the federal and provincial Greens and federal Liberals over the years.

But Emery says that’s because so few of our leaders, including Premier Christy Clark, NDP Leader Adrian Dix or Green Party Leader Jane Sterk, are inspirational in any way.

"B.C. has got such an uninspiring lot of leaders who stand for nothing, are willing to stand for nothing," he told me from the Mississippi jail where he’s serving out his five-year term for selling marijuana seeds. All play the waiting game, he says, waiting for the other to collapse.

"I’m well plugged in, but I cannot think of anything bold or exciting about Adrian Dix. And where did Jane Sterk of the B.C. Greens go? If she can’t exploit the weakness in the B.C. Liberals and lack of enthusiasm for the NDP in these times, that’s a failed franchise opportunity for sure."

However, Emery absolutely loves libertarian U.S. Republican candidate Ron Paul, who also calls the so-called war on drugs a total failure.

"What a great man! I’ve known of him since 1980 when I read about him in Reason magazine a year after I read Ayn Rand and became a convert to rational capitalism," he noted. "But I’ve been promoting him for president since 2006."

Emery says he doesn’t tend to get into political discussions with his fellow inmates, most of who are from a completely different culture than that in British Columbia.

But he does tell them to have their families vote for Paul because part of his platform is to pardon all nonviolent drug offenders in federal prison.

"So that’s the only way many of these inmates will ever get out," Emery told me in a prison email. "That would even get me out a year earlier, but to the guys who have served 10, 15, 20 years of a life sentence, it would be far more important."

Emery adds that it’s weird that, while so many leading British Columbians are coming out in favour of marijuana decriminalization, Premier Christy Clark still seems to be wavering on the issue.

"When I was a guest on her show on CKNW, she said on the air, ‘I don’t really think anyone’s against marijuana decriminalization anymore, it’s not really an issue for most people nowadays.’ But with the B.C. Conservatives at 20 per cent, she’s running scared."

Besides, Emery says, women leaders generally don’t do well in Canadian politics: "I think of Grace McCarthy, Alexa McDonough, Audrey McLaughlin, Kim Campbell and now, I’m certain, Christy Clark may well be the face of the disappearance of the B.C. Liberals."

However, he noted that the B.C. Social Credit legacy keeps being reincarnated, under different banners. "Each transition gives the NDP a chance at power, which they manage to fail at," he notes.

When he returns to B.C., he says, he’s hoping wife Jodie can secure the Liberal Party of Canada nomination for Vancouver Centre in the fall of 2014.

But Jodie Emery says she has not joined the federal Liberals, and doesn’t think it’s realistic that she would win such a nomination when she hasn’t been a Liberal Party member or done the necessary backroom work.

Besides, she’s not sure how she feels about politics right now.

"I’m kind of enjoying not being beholden to any party and being able to speak in my mind," she said. "The problem with running any party is that you kind of need to be a cheerleader for that party’s policies. And I like being able to speak my mind."

[email protected]

Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/news/Marc+Emery+calls+leaders+uninspiring/6537153/story.html#ixzz1tTovajyW

Marc Emery calls B.C.’s leaders ‘uninspiring’

Jailed activist is a fan of Ayn Rand and rational capitalism

By Jon Ferry, The Province April 29, 2012

APRIL 20, 2009 – Marc Emery lights up at the annual "4-20" pot rally held at the Vancouver Art Gallery and attended by thousands of marijuana advocates and aficinados.

Photograph by: Jack Simpson , For The Province

Jailed marijuana activist Marc Emery is all over the map politically. A founding member of the Marijuana Party of Canada, he’s moved his support between the B.C. and federal NDP, the federal and provincial Greens and federal Liberals over the years.

But Emery says that’s because so few of our leaders, including Premier Christy Clark, NDP Leader Adrian Dix or Green Party Leader Jane Sterk, are inspirational in any way.

"B.C. has got such an uninspiring lot of leaders who stand for nothing, are willing to stand for nothing," he told me from the Mississippi jail where he’s serving out his five-year term for selling marijuana seeds. All play the waiting game, he says, waiting for the other to collapse.

"I’m well plugged in, but I cannot think of anything bold or exciting about Adrian Dix. And where did Jane Sterk of the B.C. Greens go? If she can’t exploit the weakness in the B.C. Liberals and lack of enthusiasm for the NDP in these times, that’s a failed franchise opportunity for sure."

However, Emery absolutely loves libertarian U.S. Republican candidate Ron Paul, who also calls the so-called war on drugs a total failure.

"What a great man! I’ve known of him since 1980 when I read about him in Reason magazine a year after I read Ayn Rand and became a convert to rational capitalism," he noted. "But I’ve been promoting him for president since 2006."

Emery says he doesn’t tend to get into political discussions with his fellow inmates, most of who are from a completely different culture than that in British Columbia.

But he does tell them to have their families vote for Paul because part of his platform is to pardon all nonviolent drug offenders in federal prison.

"So that’s the only way many of these inmates will ever get out," Emery told me in a prison email. "That would even get me out a year earlier, but to the guys who have served 10, 15, 20 years of a life sentence, it would be far more important."

Emery adds that it’s weird that, while so many leading British Columbians are coming out in favour of marijuana decriminalization, Premier Christy Clark still seems to be wavering on the issue.

"When I was a guest on her show on CKNW, she said on the air, ‘I don’t really think anyone’s against marijuana decriminalization anymore, it’s not really an issue for most people nowadays.’ But with the B.C. Conservatives at 20 per cent, she’s running scared."

Besides, Emery says, women leaders generally don’t do well in Canadian politics: "I think of Grace McCarthy, Alexa McDonough, Audrey McLaughlin, Kim Campbell and now, I’m certain, Christy Clark may well be the face of the disappearance of the B.C. Liberals."

However, he noted that the B.C. Social Credit legacy keeps being reincarnated, under different banners. "Each transition gives the NDP a chance at power, which they manage to fail at," he notes.

When he returns to B.C., he says, he’s hoping wife Jodie can secure the Liberal Party of Canada nomination for Vancouver Centre in the fall of 2014.

But Jodie Emery says she has not joined the federal Liberals, and doesn’t think it’s realistic that she would win such a nomination when she hasn’t been a Liberal Party member or done the necessary backroom work.

Besides, she’s not sure how she feels about politics right now.

"I’m kind of enjoying not being beholden to any party and being able to speak in my mind," she said. "The problem with running any party is that you kind of need to be a cheerleader for that party’s policies. And I like being able to speak my mind."

[email protected]

Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/news/Marc+Emery+calls+leaders+uninspiring/6537153/story.html#ixzz1tTovajyW

Marc Emery claims victory in drug war

Marc Emery and wife Jodie embrace in the visitors’ area of U.S. medium-security prison in Yazoo City, Mississippi.

Photograph by: Contributed , Cannabis Culture

YAZOO CITY PRISON, Mississippi — Vancouver cannabis crusader Marc Emery may be facing two more frustrating years behind bars in the Deep South of the United States. But he’s more confident than ever he’s winning the war on drug prohibition.

The Prince of Pot believes the drug legalization campaign he’s waged for more than 30 years is already over at the "intellectual" level. And it’s only a matter of time before marijuana and other recreational drugs are sold in stores in Canada and the U.S. – and taxed and regulated just like liquor and cigarettes.

"The end of prohibition is close, five years for marijuana or less," he told me from inside the U.S. federal correctional complex where he’s serving a five-year term for selling marijuana seeds. "And I can take a lot of credit for it."

Crisply dressed in khaki prison fatigues and black boots, Emery said he was heartened that John McKay, the former U.S. attorney who helped put Emery in jail, has had a Saul-on the-road-to-Damascus conversion and is now championing a Washington State initiative to legalize pot.

He’s also encouraged that a raft of Canadian VIPs, including four former B.C. attorneys-general, have jumped on the decriminalization bandwagon.

"I’m running out of people who disagree with me anymore," the pot entrepreneur quipped, as we sipped pop together inside the visitors’ area of the massive, razor-wire-clad jail northwest of the Mississippi state capital of Jackson.

The 54-year-old activist, who once raised the ire of Canadian and U.S. cops by publicly flaunting his marijuana-smoking habits, even admits he doesn’t miss the weed that he first smoked in 1980, when he was 22.

"It’s the most common question I’m asked in letters and even among inmates here, but I have never once thought of marijuana in the actual in two years," he said in a prison email. "Not missed smoking it. In fact, I’ve never thought about it once."

Emery explained that this might stem from the realization that he misses nothing except his devoted wife, Jodie, who runs what remains of his once-thriving pot empire – which, he says, grossed $15 million between 1995 and 2005.

The 27-year-old Jodie, now owner and operator of Cannabis Culture on West Hastings, flies down from Vancouver to visit him every two to four weeks.

"I think of her every hour of every day," Emery said, adding he spends much of his time practising bass guitar and honing his skills as leader of Yazoo, an interracial rock band named after the prison’s rural hometown, known for its blues musicians.

"I never believed I would emerge from prison an accomplished musician, a band leader, playing music I have loved my whole life, with other far more accomplished and talented musicians," he said in another email. "This is a miracle that I’m very grateful for."

My prison visit, which Emery says is the first by any journalist in the two years since he’s been locked up in the U.S., wasn’t easy to arrange. And I wasn’t allowed to bring in a pen, notepad, tape recorder or other reporting tools. Taking pictures on the property was also a no-no, and my rental car was searched. But what really surprised me was how tanned and fit Emery looked compared to how he appeared when I last saw him on TV in Vancouver.

I asked him whether this wasn’t due to the fact that prison had forced him to give up marijuana (and that being caught with pot could lead to a whole range of punishments, including up to three months in solitary).

Emery insisted this was not so. It was simply that he was much less stressed and had far fewer legal/ money worries than when, at the helm of the world’s largest marijuana seed-selling business, he was facing the sobering prospect of extradition to the United States.

Judging by what he says and how he appears, he’s fitting well into prison life as the only Canadian among 1,700 mostly black inmates, many of them serving what appear to be cruelly long sentences for crack cocaine and other drug offences.

Coming from outside with no "cultural baggage" obviously helps, as it does for former newspaper publisher Conrad Black, another Canadian celebrity who’s been doing hard time in the U.S. south.

But Emery says prison life is probably harder on Black because he’s older and used to luxury in his life. "I come from a more working class/ middle class background so it’s not so difficult for me," he said.

The Mississippi climate is also in his favour.

Indeed, Emery says he far prefers the fresh air and sunny climate in the Magnolia State to the "morose" Vancouver weather.

"And I have never had an unkind word spoken to me by any inmate in two years," he said.

"And I am frequently asked, probably every day, for some help or information, as they think of me as a useful, knowledgeable person."

What perhaps misses most are fresh vegetables. However, little niceties are generally only a postage stamp away.

Yes, in the absence of cash, the $1 postage stamp is the universal prison currency.

And he says you can buy services like getting your hair cut, your cell cleaned, your running shoes washed or your headphones fixed for one to five stamps.

Smoking is officially prohibited, but contraband cigs tend to get broken up into four or five small cigarettes and sold for, say, stamps apiece. That means a single street cigarette can fetch $25 . . . with a couple of batteries and a piece of toilet paper serving as a makeshift lighter.

So life is not overly harsh. Indeed, Emery, who shares a cell, thinks he has fewer grey hairs now than when he did when he was in Vancouver.

"I didn’t know your hair could reverse its direction like that regarding colour," he told me. "I was losing my hair from 2002 to 2004. When I look at my hair, its thicker than it was some 10 years ago."

But is the natural-born showman, known in Vancouver for his take-no-prisoners outbursts, really a changed individual? Can a leopard change his spots?

Well, he says he’s matured and learned to tone things down: "Confrontation will get you nowhere good in prison."

Violence in a medium-security prison, though, is always just around the corner. And Emery tells me that only a couple of weeks ago a Hispanic inmate suspected of being an informant was bludgeoned half to death by two others. He was apparently beaten over the head by a metal door-locker lock inside a sock.

Emery’s official release date is July 9, 2014. But he could be free as early as next year, if Ottawa allows him to be transferred back to Canada.

On his return to B.C., he plans to have a big welcome-back bash outside the Vancouver Art Gallery, followed by a world tour with Jodie, including stops in Jamaica and Italy.

As for his career future, he says he’ll finish the autobiography he’s writing and try to become a radio talk show host, a job he used to do back in his hometown of London, Ont.

"One of the problems of the so-called entertainment right-wing radio shows I hear on many AM and FM channels here is they don’t respect facts or balance.

"The discussion is all one-sided, and often just derision, insult and talking in a circular manner," he said.

"I believe I can provoke but still welcome all sides in a discussion."

Like it or not, in other words, you’ll be hearing a lot more from Emery whatever band — or bandwagon — he’s heading.

[email protected]

Read more: http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Marc+Emery+claims+victory+drug/6538092/story.html#ixzz1tTmf0274

Marc Emery claims victory in drug war

Marc Emery and wife Jodie embrace in the visitors’ area of U.S. medium-security prison in Yazoo City, Mississippi.

Photograph by: Contributed , Cannabis Culture

YAZOO CITY PRISON, Mississippi — Vancouver cannabis crusader Marc Emery may be facing two more frustrating years behind bars in the Deep South of the United States. But he’s more confident than ever he’s winning the war on drug prohibition.

The Prince of Pot believes the drug legalization campaign he’s waged for more than 30 years is already over at the "intellectual" level. And it’s only a matter of time before marijuana and other recreational drugs are sold in stores in Canada and the U.S. – and taxed and regulated just like liquor and cigarettes.

"The end of prohibition is close, five years for marijuana or less," he told me from inside the U.S. federal correctional complex where he’s serving a five-year term for selling marijuana seeds. "And I can take a lot of credit for it."

Crisply dressed in khaki prison fatigues and black boots, Emery said he was heartened that John McKay, the former U.S. attorney who helped put Emery in jail, has had a Saul-on the-road-to-Damascus conversion and is now championing a Washington State initiative to legalize pot.

He’s also encouraged that a raft of Canadian VIPs, including four former B.C. attorneys-general, have jumped on the decriminalization bandwagon.

"I’m running out of people who disagree with me anymore," the pot entrepreneur quipped, as we sipped pop together inside the visitors’ area of the massive, razor-wire-clad jail northwest of the Mississippi state capital of Jackson.

The 54-year-old activist, who once raised the ire of Canadian and U.S. cops by publicly flaunting his marijuana-smoking habits, even admits he doesn’t miss the weed that he first smoked in 1980, when he was 22.

"It’s the most common question I’m asked in letters and even among inmates here, but I have never once thought of marijuana in the actual in two years," he said in a prison email. "Not missed smoking it. In fact, I’ve never thought about it once."

Emery explained that this might stem from the realization that he misses nothing except his devoted wife, Jodie, who runs what remains of his once-thriving pot empire – which, he says, grossed $15 million between 1995 and 2005.

The 27-year-old Jodie, now owner and operator of Cannabis Culture on West Hastings, flies down from Vancouver to visit him every two to four weeks.

"I think of her every hour of every day," Emery said, adding he spends much of his time practising bass guitar and honing his skills as leader of Yazoo, an interracial rock band named after the prison’s rural hometown, known for its blues musicians.

"I never believed I would emerge from prison an accomplished musician, a band leader, playing music I have loved my whole life, with other far more accomplished and talented musicians," he said in another email. "This is a miracle that I’m very grateful for."

My prison visit, which Emery says is the first by any journalist in the two years since he’s been locked up in the U.S., wasn’t easy to arrange. And I wasn’t allowed to bring in a pen, notepad, tape recorder or other reporting tools. Taking pictures on the property was also a no-no, and my rental car was searched. But what really surprised me was how tanned and fit Emery looked compared to how he appeared when I last saw him on TV in Vancouver.

I asked him whether this wasn’t due to the fact that prison had forced him to give up marijuana (and that being caught with pot could lead to a whole range of punishments, including up to three months in solitary).

Emery insisted this was not so. It was simply that he was much less stressed and had far fewer legal/ money worries than when, at the helm of the world’s largest marijuana seed-selling business, he was facing the sobering prospect of extradition to the United States.

Judging by what he says and how he appears, he’s fitting well into prison life as the only Canadian among 1,700 mostly black inmates, many of them serving what appear to be cruelly long sentences for crack cocaine and other drug offences.

Coming from outside with no "cultural baggage" obviously helps, as it does for former newspaper publisher Conrad Black, another Canadian celebrity who’s been doing hard time in the U.S. south.

But Emery says prison life is probably harder on Black because he’s older and used to luxury in his life. "I come from a more working class/ middle class background so it’s not so difficult for me," he said.

The Mississippi climate is also in his favour.

Indeed, Emery says he far prefers the fresh air and sunny climate in the Magnolia State to the "morose" Vancouver weather.

"And I have never had an unkind word spoken to me by any inmate in two years," he said.

"And I am frequently asked, probably every day, for some help or information, as they think of me as a useful, knowledgeable person."

What perhaps misses most are fresh vegetables. However, little niceties are generally only a postage stamp away.

Yes, in the absence of cash, the $1 postage stamp is the universal prison currency.

And he says you can buy services like getting your hair cut, your cell cleaned, your running shoes washed or your headphones fixed for one to five stamps.

Smoking is officially prohibited, but contraband cigs tend to get broken up into four or five small cigarettes and sold for, say, stamps apiece. That means a single street cigarette can fetch $25 . . . with a couple of batteries and a piece of toilet paper serving as a makeshift lighter.

So life is not overly harsh. Indeed, Emery, who shares a cell, thinks he has fewer grey hairs now than when he did when he was in Vancouver.

"I didn’t know your hair could reverse its direction like that regarding colour," he told me. "I was losing my hair from 2002 to 2004. When I look at my hair, its thicker than it was some 10 years ago."

But is the natural-born showman, known in Vancouver for his take-no-prisoners outbursts, really a changed individual? Can a leopard change his spots?

Well, he says he’s matured and learned to tone things down: "Confrontation will get you nowhere good in prison."

Violence in a medium-security prison, though, is always just around the corner. And Emery tells me that only a couple of weeks ago a Hispanic inmate suspected of being an informant was bludgeoned half to death by two others. He was apparently beaten over the head by a metal door-locker lock inside a sock.

Emery’s official release date is July 9, 2014. But he could be free as early as next year, if Ottawa allows him to be transferred back to Canada.

On his return to B.C., he plans to have a big welcome-back bash outside the Vancouver Art Gallery, followed by a world tour with Jodie, including stops in Jamaica and Italy.

As for his career future, he says he’ll finish the autobiography he’s writing and try to become a radio talk show host, a job he used to do back in his hometown of London, Ont.

"One of the problems of the so-called entertainment right-wing radio shows I hear on many AM and FM channels here is they don’t respect facts or balance.

"The discussion is all one-sided, and often just derision, insult and talking in a circular manner," he said.

"I believe I can provoke but still welcome all sides in a discussion."

Like it or not, in other words, you’ll be hearing a lot more from Emery whatever band — or bandwagon — he’s heading.

[email protected]

Read more: http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Marc+Emery+claims+victory+drug/6538092/story.html#ixzz1tTmf0274

Advice from a patient!

Ed Bland

ALL NEED 2 KNOW THIS ! —————–>: ♥ ~My name is Ed Bland & live in Somers on Flathead lake. I use 2 have George’s marine service ( father ). I wrecked my motorcycle with no helmet on. Montana told me it was worst wreck 2 live through with no helmet on in Montana. I am not telling you this 4 sympathy, but 2 let you know the severity of it. I broke all ribs on right ( 6 in 3 places each), 7 ribs on left ( 4 in 2 places each). Split brisket, broke right caller bone, broke pelvic bone in 7 places having to be taken to Idaho specialist 2 bolt a brace on pelvic bone. Missoula life flight picked me up at wreck site at Sealy Lake. I died 3 times in that flight, was in a coma for 87 days & if memory serves me right was diagnosed as a 5.5 brain injury. When I woke I had 2 relearn everything. I could not speak but they told me 2 blind 2 for yes & 3 for no. I had 2 go through all 3 rehabs, then got 2 return home. I had next 2 no memory. I didn’t even know what house looked like, or what I had done 4 a living but could tell you how 2 use all tools & equipment in shop. I had a friend come visit me & asked me 2 get a medical card & try cannabis & did. I WAS AMAZED ! My memory not only started returning but stayed ! I have muscle paralisis on right of my body & it is so obvious of my muscles relaxing that all can see it in my walking & hear in my speech. Is hard 2 move tongue 2 speak. But 4 me the big part is how it slows my thought process down enough so can communicate !
I have been doing much research as 2 why it is helping me. I learned early in life that if you want 2 fix something then first you must understand the working of it. I only graduated high school & no more but did best could. The brain has a connection that converts info & passes it on. There lets say is like taking morris code & converting it into words. At that connection there is a goo that covers it. That is what I believe the THC helps make this in the brain. ~ ♥

The 4th Reich in America: How Obama’s “Rich” Replaced Hitler’s “Jews”

The 4th Reich in America: How Obama’s “Rich” Replaced Hitler’s “Jews”

by National Nullification of Unconstitutional Federal Actions on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 3:51pm ·

The parallels between Hitler’s NAZI Germany and the fall of the Wiemar Republic and Barack Hussein Obama’s Fundamental Change of America are too eerie to ignore. The economics and politics of then and now are scary. Oh the players are different (sort of) but the Rhetoric and the economics are pretty much the same. The plan to collapse the American economy by increasing energy prices; decreasing employment; explode an already out-of-control tax spending congress with distribution of wealth schemes disguised as “stimulus” both domestically and abroad; oppressive regulations and legislation lead by Obamacare as the crown jewel of a totalitarian infrastructure created to replace a Constitutional structure. The Obama totalitarian czars replaced the constitutional process of checks and balances with these 50 or so strange and radical behind the scenes individuals writing burdensome and oppressive regulations designed to suffocate the economy. All under being done under the umbrella of “Fundamentally Changing America!” Does not something need to be removed or destroyed before it can be replaced with another thing?

The Obama administration are the point men for ending America as we know it. Though George Soros is a key financier for orchestrating the collapse of the American economic system, even he is but the tip of the iceberg. The true irony is the American Taxpayer is funding the overthrow of our Constitutional system of government. The money Soros and all the other so-called tax exempt entities are siphoning tax dollars into this radical coup d’état. When a majority of the world’s population are Communists, Socialists and other forms of Totalitarianism, why do so many in this country deny they are here in America and very much in control of local, state and federal governments?

I live in East Texas and the local government here is as liberal and socialist as it gets. Texas of all places! Texas has a super majority of RINO Republicans who have passed radical left wing agendas where even the courts has to step in with the illegal gerrymandering of political districts. Anyway, the taxpayers are funding George Soros, Union thugs and literally thousands of tax-free organizations backing the radical left spearheaded by the Obama administration. Is any listening to this madman? He’s dividing America by spinning class warfare against the Rich and political warfare against the TEA Party Patriots. The Unions are being armed for violence against American citizens who align themselves with the TEA Party movement for which they will be blamed for. The NAZI playbook suits the democrats nicely for just as Hitler blamed the Jews living in the Wiemar Republic of Germany so goes the Obama regime’s attacks against the wealthy and the TEA Party movement. While the collapse of Germany was not orchestrated, the collapse of America is. I know these are words that are hard to hear, but an HONEST examination of the facts can only come to one conclusion, America is Under Siege by radical left wing socialists and communists!

The willing players of the fundamental transformation of America will spin their way into oblivion proclaiming every mindless excuse imaginable (and even those unimaginable) to hide their reality from those suffering from the Titanic Effect. The Titanic Effect goes like this: the greater the enormity of the disaster, the less likely people will be to acknowledge its reality. It manifests with some being more concerned with arranging the lounge chairs on the promenade deck while denying the ship is sinking. (Sigh) Let the Band Play On.

Hitler’s Jews are Obama’s Rich; The Hitler Storm Troopers are now the Obama Union Thugs; The NAZI propaganda machine of Yosef Goebbels is nothing compared to the media machine willing and eager to see the greatness of America slip into oblivion. Even Fox Cable and Fox Business can no longer be trusted to carry the mantel for truth and investigative reporting. This cause for restoration, truth and American values lost a great champion and Patriot when Andrew Breitbart died last month. He will not easily be replaced and is already sorely missed.

The transformational surge began in earnest with the emergence of the Perfect Storm in 2008: A statist-progressive led filibuster-proof Senate; a super-majority of extreme leftists in the House of Representatives; with an angry, anti-American, Statist-Progressive President set the stage for the checkmate of America. It began with transforming an economic recession into a global catastrophe that began the devaluation of the dollar by flooding foreign and some US capital markets with trillions (yes, trillions) of dollars. A level 3 crisis morphed into a global level 10 economic meltdown overnight. This happening during the lame-duck Bush Presidency was no mishap … who better to blame?

Congress worked at a feverish pace to enact a surge of laws and regulations for a new communist style infrastructure guaranteed to prolong our economic woe. After all, there’s still George Bush to blame. What Congress put in place during the first term of Obama is the death knell of America. The poison is now flowing through he veins. Even if the Supreme Court decides the healthcare mandate to be unconstitutional, my greatest fear is it will dampen the urgency and mandate to repeal healthcare and all other Obama laws and regulations passed. That is the structure that will rise from the ashes created when the constitutional structure collapses under its own weight. The enormity of the damage to this nation during that first term is unconscionable!

It must all come down unless you are quite comfortable with totalitarian rule emerging from the ashes of what was one the Greatness of America. The evil of cap-n-trade, the tyrannical anti-gun laws, porous borders, the murdering of our future via abortion, and the rest are all critical pieces of the emergence of the new order. We now sit upon the precipice of disaster … and yet half this nation still supports Barack Hussein Obama for a second term?

Will this nation go placidly into destruction like the Jews of NAZI Germany did?

Not on my watch! Its time to rise again fellow patriots. We will not silently walk into the darkness nor shall we go placidly into the midst of destruction. Rise Up! … Speak Up! … and cast your Ballot this November. The very survival of our Nation depends upon you.