After spending five years in six different prisons across six different states, Canada’s Marc Emery has been scheduled for release and is due back in Canada between August 10th and the 25th.
He recently gave his first interview to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) since earning that release, and if authorities in either country thought he may just silently go about his business after being caged up with thieves and killers for a half a decade, they have sorely underestimated the self-proclaimed “Prince of Pot”.
From the SeaTac Detention Center in Seattle, to a holdover facility in Nevada, to “The Hub” in Oklahoma, to an immigrant prison in Georgia, to Yazoo City Federal Prison in Mississippi, to where he sits now in a private deportation center in Louisiana, somehow Emery keeps a keen sense of positivity.
“You can adapt to anything,” Emery told CBC’s Ian Hanomansing in a phone interview from Louisiana, “You have to make the best of whatever you’ve got. Becoming miserable is not an option.”
He says that he got nothing but respect from both prison staff and inmates alike. He even helped to form a band with some fellow inmates. “I learned to play bass guitar. I was in a very wonderful band and played wonderful, wonderful music for three years, and I’d never picked up an instrument in my life prior to being in prison, so I bring home something extra.”
A 2005 investigation performed by both the DEA and Canadian drug enforcement officials led to Emery being sentenced in 2010 for his role in exporting cannabis seeds from Canada to the US. He feels that his own country hung him out to dry by letting the DEA come across the border and take him back to the US with them.
Understandably eager for his own release, and irritated by the continuing delays, Emery is already lashing out at the system that locked him up, saying “I’ve been DNA tested, and fingerprinted, and chained and shackled every inch of the way throughout the United States prison system. So, the Canadian government knows who I am, they have my passport. So is all this rigmarole necessary to get me back to Canada?”
Emery is certainly excited to see how much progress has been made in the cannabis movement, both in the US and in Canada, since he has been in prison, noting that his hometown of Vancouver has as many as 35 dispensaries in operation today.
He plans to return to the seed business that landed him on a whirlwind tour of foreign prisons for five years, since he knows that the landscape has changed dramatically since he got put away. He is also not too bashful to claim a rightful chunk of credit for the progressive path that pot is currently on. He says he gave away over $5,000,000 in the 10 years of seed selling to instrumentally promote marijuana legalization campaigns across America in the early 2000’s.
After what he has been through, Emery has every right to be raging mad at fairweather politicians and government officials like the hypocrite John McKay – the US prosecutor who literally wrote the marijuana legalization law in the state of Washington after doing his best to shame Marc Emery for endorsing such reform not so many years ago.
Instead, Emery takes the high road, telling CBC Radio, “I’m the one that’s triumphant. They’re the ones that changed the way in their mind to come to where I’m standing, and that’s all you want when you’re a person like me, that’s all that matters.”
Put that in your pipe and smoke it, McKay.