Marc Emery: U.S. federal prison blog #22

(Marc Emery's U.S. federal prison blog #22 originally ran here on the Cannabis Culture website on January 2, 2011.)

Dear Jeremiah, Jodie, & Dana,

This morning as I reported to work at 8 a.m., I was informed by Mr. Folk (who is in his last week) that he had to let me go. I said, "Why?" and he said, "Your mail room issues."

Of course, this is about my trying to get books and magazines into the library. As I have told you the GEO group that runs this concentration camp for Canadians, Mexicans and others not officially US citizens get the worst possible treatment or services or education or library, if we get them at all. You have my extensive comparative chart (see below) about this GEO group prison DRCJF is to a Canadian compared to how a US citizen is treated in a 'low security' US federal prison. GEO does not want any inmate to have use of a proper library, law library, exercise equipment, email, photo copiers...ANYTHING!

Essentially I was fired from my .12 cent an hour job because I was donating books, magazines, and newspapers. Because in the 3 months the library has been open they haven't received a current magazine (in any language) or bought a book in English for the library. I had contributed 46 books and magazines as of today in the 23 days I worked in the library, including 2 hard cover Spanish-English dictionaries, 2 paralegal texts, coffee table books (Billy Gibbons Rock-N-Roll Gear Head) over-sized illustrated soft covers like "Remembering John Lennon" and "Time's Year in Review". So I was dismissed for adding books and magazines and newspapers to the library while GEO has every intention of stopping or obstructing books/mags/newspapers getting into the library. The library has no relevant Spanish/English reference books even though 850 inmates are Spanish speakers.

While I was writing the last paragraph the excruciating fire alarm went off (for the 18th time it has gone off since I've been here...but over 65 times since Oct. 4 according to staff.) And for the first time they told us to go to the Emergency Exits, which is supposed to be standard operating procedure, but then the Emergency exits won't open (the controllers didn't open them), but when the fire alarm stopped they insisted we go out the fire exit and stay outside for 20 minutes, so they can prove to a fire inspector that we went outside according to fire regulations.

Everything in every Dept. is INSANE here. The staff constantly comment on it, too. The management is utterly NUTS though, so the staff like us, can criticize as much as they want, but absolutely nothing changes. It's totally important that Canadians know their Canadian government sent me, FOR SELLING SEEDS, (which would appear to be a widespread activity in Colorado, California, and all of Canada and generally legal and widespread in all of Europe..Netherlands, UK, Spain, Germany etc..) and sent me to the most insanely run concentration camp/federal prison in the United States.

Jeremiah, I've decided to investigate taking a correspondence course, but through a Canadian institution. Can you send me course booklets outlining courses for the incarcerated? I'm not sure what to take, but it will allow me to study and read during the day rather than end up in the kitchen where they will surely try to send me as punishment. It's only a matter of time before this place sends me to solitary to try to stop me from observing how badly this place is mismanaged.

Yesterday an Bureau of Prisons liaison from the DOJ was here, he often is, to observe, he says. Well I spent 30 minutes telling him how dysfunctional, illegal and wrongly this place is run. I had to straighten the mail room Nazi out as I had the actual rules and procedure, whereas they were using entirely made-up incorrect premises. I got all my books as I'm entitled, but every manager here is intimidated by me as all of them deviate from the set out in their own D Ray James policy and procedure book, and the BOP policies & procedures, which we can access on Lexus/Nexus.

I will try to get reinstated to my library job. Mr. Folk says although he's "required to dismiss me" I am welcome to use the library any time, all the time and that I'm a real gentleman.

But, I think I will ask you to put the library resuscitation program on hold and simply focus on books I can read personally .

So, please let City Lights, Chris Goodwin and all others know that the noble project is on hold because this place doesn't want inmates to learn (there are still no skill trades or actual education here unlike the dozens of classes, skills, vocations for US citizens in federal prison). They don't want us to gain knowledge or read or learn about the world. They want to remain indifferent to us as human beings, spend as little money as possible on warehousing us.

I really enjoyed two comic books that were sent to me by a person who sent me 20 comic books. But I was only allowed to keep 3 of them, so I kept parts one and two of 'Enemy Ace" by Russ Heath (artist). They were excellent! More Enemy Ace Comics please! After I finish the #1 Ladies Detective Series (got 20 pages to go) I'm going to read a graphic novel "Kill Shakespeare."

By the way, in Psalms 46 of the bible the 46th word from the beginning is "Shake" and the 46th word from the end is "Spear". I believe that's the Bard's thumbprint of his authorship of the King James version of the Bible, at least Psalms anyway. The King James version of the Bible was translated & written during Shakespeare's peak years under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth and King James. Are there any books that ascribe to this theory that Shakespeare has a hand in the King James Bible?

Here are some books from Nov. 12 catalog that I would like.
* denotes that I would especially like them.

7474849 The Grand Inquisitors Manual
2437163 The Years of Extermination
* 1793047 Encyclopedia of Monograms
2448777 The Story of English
2434202 The Vale of Kashmir
* 1727664 The Ten Cent Plague
* 7154992 Showcase Presents Enemy Ace

Previous Requests;

* 738842x Humbug
1740733 Blue Shoes and Happiness
* Stoned, Drunk and Dead A $40 retrospective of National Lampoon just published (Available at Amazon)

I believe it will be important to have political actions in place for if/when this place seeks to punish me. Many of the people who work here are fans and supporters of mine. I have had 4 conversations today and yesterday with supporters/admirers/members of the culture who work here. I am well respected by most employees here, because they are ordinary people from the ordinary world, the kind of people I have represented and spoken out on behalf of. But, management, the senior GEO lackeys they will get more confused, nervous and uncertain what to do with me, especially since their junior staff are sympathetic to me, though this does not result in any preferential treatment. But Chris Goodwin, Dana, Jeremiah, Loretta, Jodie, Kirk et. al.and others need to discuss what can be done if I get punished with solitary, or having my mail blocked or being put in the kitchen 8 hours a day. All these actions will be to suppress my awareness and letters about this place. The time is coming shortly, when, like at SeaTac, they simply won't know what to do with me. And that will likely result in them doing the wrong things, punishing me as a consequence.

So I hope that I can find some interesting correspondence courses and read lots of books to use up my time.

Right after I was dismissed from the library the remaining 6 library aides had a big fight and now there's animosity, so the library broke down right away. There is a new librarian there in 10 days so it will be interesting to see what happens then.

Given the Major's questioning me on the length of my kiss with Jodie last Saturday's visit was extraordinarily bizarre. And that he would spy on me kissing Jodie and deciding a kiss is too long, somewhere between 10 seconds and 30 seconds and reprimanding me days later. It's so weird!

My transfer paperwork is required to be in Washington D.C. no Jan. 19th, less than a month away. I really need my supporters to have their letters of support and the recommendation of their congressman and senators done soon. Canadian elected officials should also write to the DOJ or Jodie should have her letter from Canadian elected officials DONE IMMEDIATELY! Don't forget to add Guy Gentner, MLA, to it.

Hope you got my chart comparing the treatment of US Citizens vs Canadian citizens in a US Federal 'low security' prison. Push that, it ought to offend Canadians. Americans in a Canadian federal prison are treated identically to Canadians.

More Soon,

Comparison betwen the conditions for US citizens in a US federal prison and a Canadian housed in a US federal prison for foreign nationals.

The US Bureau of Prisons has a policy statement to the effect that there is no discrimination between US and foreigners in the custody of the US federal prison system. My comparison shows this is not true.

Low and Medium Security Facilities for US InmatesD. Ray James "Low" Security Facility for foreign inmates
• Single fence security for "Low"• Multiple fences, razor wire on every structure and fence
• Unlimited Corrlinks e-mail access ($3 an hour)• No Corrlinks, no e-mail
• Gymnasium, exercise equipment• No gym or exercise equipment
• Musical instruments available to play• No instruments available
• Money can be placed in an inmate's account by Western Union, money orders, US based credit card• Canadians cannot use Western Union, money orders or Canadian based credit card
• US inmates are regularly in 2-man cells• Canadians are placed in 64-man dormitories
• US inmates have doors or curtains on showers and toilets• No doors or curtains on showers or toilets. Canadian inmates have no privacy at any time
• US inmates are placed within 800 miles of family• I am 4,000 miles from my spouse at the most remote facility available for Canadians US
• Inmates have up to four televisions in common areas and often in separate rooms• Inmates have two televisions - one sports, one Spanish language
• Comprehensive current library
Includes hundreds of magazines, current & back issues.
• Pathetic library with books all 10-40 years old in very bad condition. For 800+ hispanic inmates, there are less than 200 books in Spanish. 50 magazines, all outdated, several months old. No money has been spent on a single new book or magazine in 10 weeks since DRJCF opened October 4
• Comprehensive law library including Federal Prisoner Handbook, many other publications, Prison Legal News• Lexus/Nexus only, on disc
• Computers with word processing capability and printers• No access to computers or printers. Inmates must use one of 3 1980s typewriters
• Photocopiers• No photocopiers
• Photographs taken of inmate and family on federal holidays• No photos taken
• Commissary purchases straight-forward and easy, often delivered to the housing unit.• Must wait outside in the rain, cold, or heat for 30-90 minutes each week for commissary
• Inmates allowed "open" movement within federal correctional facility (Low security)• Inmates rigidly controlled in their movement at all times
• Inmates have up to 50 different technical, trade vocational opportunities including electrical, computer, dentistry, business, welding, landscaping, carpentry, etc.• Nothing in trades or skilles of any kind
• Inmates can get married with ease under clearly stated BOP procedural policy• Inmates who want to marry are stalled and obstructed
• Inmates receive fresh fruit with breakfast and lunch• Inmates receive one scrawny orange every two days
• Inmates receive a variety of foods in meal menu• Inmates receive virtually the same food everyday; ground chicken (that looks like ground beef), corn, shredded lettuce, rice, beans, and tortilla. This is every lunch and dinner, with almost no other variable!
• Inmate can make collect calls to family in the US• Canadians cannot make collect calls to family in Canada. (Prepaid collect calls to one number only cost $8.50 for 10 minutes)
• Inmates have metal upright lockers to house property• Inmates must store all belongings in two boxes under bunk
• Thanksgiving meal for inmates is the best meal of the year inside the prison• Thanksgiving meal consists of two baloney sandwiches on white bread, a bottle of Sprite and a scrawny orange
• Inmates have a superior selection of commissary items at lower prices• Inmates must select commissary items with fewer choices at higher prices, from a Bush family-owned company called Keefe Commissary Network. Inmate funds must be deposited exclusively through Keefe company
• Inmates receive RDAP program; drug rehabilitation program that reduces sentence by 9 months when competed• No program available
• Early release program mandates release at 65% of sentence for inmates over 45 years old• Reduced sentence not available
• Second Chance Act (approved by Congress on 2009) allows inmates 12 months of their sentence at a halfway house, followed by 6 months of home confinement• Program not available
• Correctional officers maintain a discreet presence• Correctional officers every 20 feet, searching and frisking hundreds of inmates daily
• Toilets are porcelain with a wooden or plastic seat• Toilets are metal with no seat
• Inmates can work for BOP's Unicor company , earning 29 cents an hour to $1.40 an hour• Inmates must work 40 hours a week for 12 cents an hour (for kitchen labor) to a maximum of 40 cents an hour
• Staff are trained and knowledgeable• Staff are completely untrained
• Most inmates speak English• 95% of Inmates speak Spanish, staff speaks exclusively English




Jan 3, 2011 at 2:12pm

Good for him. Getting his just desserts.


Jan 3, 2011 at 3:27pm

Have read his other blogs. This Gentleman is a class 1 whiner. For crying out loud he is in prison , whether you agree with the charges or not that is where he is, but he expects country club and personalized treatment. Some revolutonary, he is a bad as Kate Goslin, the generic martyr


Jan 3, 2011 at 5:32pm

From pothead to indignation junkie.

You're in prison, Mr. Emery. Not the Wickanninish Inn. As far as innocent little seeds go, would you also try to wriggle out of a paternity suit by reducing the act of ejaculation to the inconsequential dissemination of seeds?

Second Nation

Jan 3, 2011 at 9:17pm


T c

Jan 3, 2011 at 11:38pm

Beth I hope you end up in prison for obesity.

Hastings Street Office Worker

Jan 4, 2011 at 2:16am

Throw the key away and dont let him back into Cdn prison. This guy makes money from the "poor" and my neighbourhood is turned into a drug dent with his joints.


Jan 4, 2011 at 8:26am

Beth, that is the dumbest analogy in the history of the internet. Congrats.


Jan 4, 2011 at 12:19pm

marc whines non stop . the furious and indignant missus has taken up the slack whenever hubby lightens up ..,,,,thus is some of the best theatre you will find any where...for the topper wait till the lad gets sent back back to solitary.{ any day now}.....

O. B. Server

Jan 4, 2011 at 2:05pm

Marc is an example to us all - real courage and he put his money where his mouth was for years. Contrast that with some prohibition-cheerleading cop who starts out at 50k with full govt bennies and is up to 100k or so in a few years - a few years of busting potheads. Nice police-state pork-barrel make-work, but far from anything resembling justice or productivity. More like the biggest gangsters on the block, the police - especially ones who support prohibition.