|Jodie Emery testifying before the Washington Legislature in March, just after meeting U.S. Attorney John McKay, who sent her husband to federal prison
John McKay, the U.S. Attorney who prosecuted “Prince of Pot” Marc Emery, ran into Marc’s wife Jodie in Olympia, Washington one day back in March. McKay is literally responsible for putting her husband in prison. But rather than the awkward scene it could have been, their encounter ended with Jodie thanking McKay.
“Mr. McKay? I’m Jodie Emery,” the attractive 26-year-old told the flustered former prosecutor. Jodie still runs a B.C. head shop and website called Cannabis Culture
This is one of the fascinating stories about the former federal prosecutor for Western Washington which you can read at Toke
‘s sister site, Seattle Weekly
, in “The Evolution of John McKay
,” an excellent, in-depth personality profile from reporter Nina Shapiro.
|Former U.S. Attorney John McKay, who put Marc Emery in prison, now supports the legalization of marijuana
McKay put Emery in federal prison for five years for running a seed business out of Vancouver, B.C., which did a booming business with ganja growers worldwide — including lots of them in the United States, which is where the Drug Enforcement Administration comes in.
The 55-year-old former prosecutor, normally charming, “was extremely flustered,” Jodie recalled.
“I’ve never met your husband,” McKay said quickly.
“I know you haven’t,” Jodie replied, “and I know there’s no personal thing here, so that’s why I don’t hold anything against you.”
That’s when Emery thanked McKay — not for putting her husband in prison, but for changing his mind and switching sides to the legalization team afterward. Like Emery, McKay was in Olympia to speak to the Legislature in favor of a bill to legalize marijuana.
“Marijuana prohibition has failed at the federal level,” McKay told lawmakers. “It’s failed at the state level. It’s failed at the local level.”
McKay went on to join a coalition, New Approach Washington, that has since started gathering signatures for a legalization initiative in the state. Joining the former prosecutor in NAW are luminaries including Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, travel host Rick Steves, state Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson (who sponsored the bill for which McKay testified in March), and ACLU drug policy director Alison Holcomb.
It’s not that McKay “likes” marijuana; in fact, he’s publicly described cannabis users as “idiots
.” It’s just that he has realized federal policies against pot simply don’t work.
The former federal prosecutor is likely the highest-ranking law-enforcement official, past or present, that has ever come out in favor of cannabis legalization, according to Tom Angell of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).
Jodie Emery compared McKay’s renunciation of the Drug War to that of “soldiers coming back from the war in Vietnam.”
McKay isn’t a stranger to controversy. In fact, he was one of nine U.S. Attorneys fired by the Bush Administration in a crass display of partisanship that turned into a nationwide scandal. Trust me, you don’t wanna miss all the juicy details over at Seattle Weekly.