Friday, December 31, 2010

Letters from Marc Emery #7

Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010
10:45 a.m.

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 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 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,

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Loretta Nall on NewsTalk Fort Payne at 7 a.m.

I will be a guest on NewsTalk Fort Payne The Danny Lee Show at 7 a.m. this morning. Tune in at the "Listen Live" link on the website above if you can.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Letters from Marc Emery #6

Sunday Dec. 19, 2010
4:20 pm

Dear Jodie & Loretta,

You two just visited and it was wonderful! Having both of you here made it special as we were able to talk outside the usual range of subjects. So pleased to have you Loretta as an official part of the organization (Loretta's note: I am about to fill the position of ad sales manager for Cannabis Culture) That is going to be great for all 3 of us, I assure you!

I'm totally excited by the prospect of elected Representative for the British Columbia Legislature Guy Gentner coming to visit me at D. Ray James, who is nearby in Florida of all things, to investigate private prisons. Please forward an edited compilation of my letters that specifically reference D. Ray James & its treatment of inmates here. Enclosed is that chart I compiled about contrasting regimes for inmates. Also enclosed is an article "Strength to Love: A Challenge to the Private Prison Industry". Both should be copied and forwarded to Mr. Gentner with my edited letters.

As a contrast to the very bad recidivism rate of the US system, where 66% of released inmates re-offend: transfer Canadians moving from the US system to the Canadian system have a recidivism rate of about 3%. An astonishingly low figure! I mention this as Mr, Gentner may be interested in this figure (show him that article too) when you ask him to sign the letter to the Justice Dept. and Public Safety Minister. I hope Loretta is able to introduce him to Ralph whose work with private prisons we should find illuminating!

As I mentioned to you the mail room has been sending back any books and magazines when more than one is in a parcel, even when it comes from Amazon or the publisher. Dana sent me 4 books; A graphic novel"Return of Supreme, The Man who Wanted to Be King, about a fellow who was the basis of Kipling's story "The Man Who Would Be King", A biography of Kipling and a book on Genghis Khan. Jodie had two books returned from here that she sent from Amazon; "On Leadership" Thomas Jefferson and Nelson Mandela's new book "Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela". These were actually refused by the mail room and I wasn't even told about it.

When the mail room removes clippings or other 'contraband' ephemera from the letters I get they do not inform me. So even the mail room here does not adhere to BOP procedures that should be added to my chart. And my newspapers are not being delivered promptly due to mail room weirdness. Of course, I'll go to the mail room on Monday to see what they say. (Loretta's notes: Due to my posting of Marc's letters online the mail room weirdness stopped today. Please see this post for details.

Some reminders: I need a copy of the $100 fine receipt. Make sure you fax him the visitation form he has to fill out immediately and provide him with the fax number to fax it to D. Ray James.

Also, Jodie, be sure to contact the NY Times subscription/circulation dept. and change my address.

It was sure great to see Loretta in 27 months, I guess since Sept. 2008 (Loretta's Notes: It was actually April of 2008, but a very long time either way)

Loretta: I need you to contact the Atlanta field office of ICE and ask those questions about the stipulated deportation order. I'm curious to know if they can provide any information or insight on applications we have been sending in. (Time it takes to process, an FAQ on it, who is the Atlanta field agent, etc).

Also, a divorce kit or a kit with legal forms that includes divorce. Go over all the requests and queries I made and see if you can forward answers to me soon.

Monday, Dec. 20, 2010
Library 9:30 a.m.

Dr. Davis came and said she loved how the library looked and complimented us on a good job. I'm curious to know what the discussion with the mail room will be like at 1 pm. I'll tell you later in this letter how that goes. I'm going to try to talk to the warden about mail room procedure.

I'm having fun working the library. We (or, rather, I) got no new magazines last week so I know the mail room is interfering with those, too. We'll see. So, I'm anxious to get some new materials in here. Today's mail should tell a story.

3:00 p.m.

Well, the mail room told me to come back on Tuesday (tomorrow) to discuss mail matters.

Loretta: I need a kit with do-it-yourself divorce papers good for any state in the US. (Loretta's note: I'm working in that now)

I'd like to be put on this company's mailing list for their monthly catalog:

Edward R. Hamilton
PO Box 15
Falls Village CT 06031-0015

It's also Hamilton Books online. I should get them as soon as someone sends me some books from them.

So, I saw case manager Garret Rodgers and gave him my visitation list addition of MLA Guy Gentner. It says Member of the British Columbia Legislature, Parliament Buildings, as address. He said he would submit it \right away so he could visit me soon. I said it could be as early as Christmas Day or the day after Christmas just to get them to do it right away.

Then I met the Major and explained my books were being rejected when there were two or more in a package and that this was not BOP policy. He actually stopped me to tell me this though:

"I saw you had a visit on Saturday. I was watching you on the camera and the rules say you're supposed to have a brief kiss, not a movie kiss, and your kiss was too long."

I said, "BOP policy at FDC SEA-TAC was 30 seconds, which I believe it was (the kiss in question), and 30 seconds in a 61/2 hour visit is brief. But what do you consider brief, 10 seconds?"

He said, "I'll check on BOP policy, if it 30 seconds or 10 seconds...but 10 seconds sounds like brief to me."

Then I asked him about the strangeness in the mail room. Then I, rather joyfully, said, "A member of my Government, an elected member of the legislature is coming to visit me next, so the kiss won't be a factor there. He's in the Southeast US and he is visiting government officials and he'll be visiting me shortly."

That's when the Major, quite animatedly asked, "WHO ARE YOU?!" and looked carefully at my name tag.

That moment was so satisfying! So, I have no idea if that will change anything around here in regards to my mail or kissing Jodie. But I'm hoping my library resuscitation program can go ahead. Or if the Major or Warden Google my name they are going to get an earful! I'm sure they are doing that right now! I should show him the Angus Reid poll if he wants to know who I am, since the majority of Canadians want me home and a member of the Legislature is coming to see me.

I think I've got a fair bit of business for Kirk I think I'll have three or four Canadians here to retain him on transfer paperwork and procedure. I met a guy who just arrived from New Westminster today and Randy got 36 months for a lot of weed in Oregon. He has 3 daughters, 27, 29, 31 who will likely visit him in Jan. or Feb. But he is just getting here after 3 1/2 months in transit. It seems all the Canadians took no less than 3 months to get here to their designated prison. So my 4 weeks was a record short by comparison.

He was at a county jail for one month, the was at Sheridan FDC for a month, then 3 weeks at Nevada Southern (he hated it there the most he said), then 1 week at Oklahoma City, then here. He was able to get bail until he was sentenced on Sept. 10 (sound familiar?) and then he was supposed to be at Sheridan as his designated prison. At least that's what he hoped & what his lawyer asked the judge for. But, Canadians are not going to BOP prisons anymore. He ended up here. So, I introduced him to Brad and other Canadians. Our number is up to 9 now. Grant (Montreal), Carmen (Van), Peter (Alymer), Trevor (Van), Randy (New Westminster), me (Van), Toronto guy (whose name I forgot), that's 8...I've forgotten somebody.

I need a paperback book in German for Peter. There are places like Sophie's that might sell them and MCC Recenter its an office that works with citizenship's and passport. It's a Mennonite organization that works with providing books for Mennonites. Or you can order German fiction books on Amazon I bet.

They brought the mail. I got my subscription copy of MacLeans, the Dec. 27 issue, so that's great! Not one you sent but my actual subscription. I got two envelopes from you full of articles from Atlantic, my facebook page from Dec 1-6, about wikileaks,, Washington Post and a whole bunch or articles from the news on Dec. 10 & 12. I got 80 pages in 2 envelopes!

Then I got CIA & the Culture War book and the Chomsky reader from Jeremiah. Addie and mary Clemons wrote and sent me the novel "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe" by Fannie Flagg for the library. So, I'm getting those books and subscription copies but I suspect the mail room is doing something with my mail. Mike (Anidas) gets Wall Street Journal and it comes through ok. But, sometimes, his USA Today doesn't show up.

This is a forlorn place, Folkston, with a bizarre prison mail room. However, we shall see what happens tomorrow at 1:00 pm when I talk to the mail room woman.

I had a great visit with you both. Loretta, I hope you can make real functional with links to all my blogs, articles, interviews, in other words a great resource for anyone who wants to learn about my work, my career, my current situation, how they can help, where to send books, money, letters, how to organize Free Marc activism activities etc. And, when you're not doing that sell lots of ads!


Great News from Marc Emery

I just talked to Marc and he said these blog posts containing his letters have created quite a change among the staff at D. Ray James. He said everyone is calling him by name, being nice to him, working to fix the problems he has complained about etc. He said that someone from the BOP is there today and they are pissed like bears about the phone problem. Turns out the problem is with the computer system at the prison and not with the phone company PCS. The BOP inspectors are very upset that it has gone on for 6 days and is still going on.

He said today he got 51 books and loads of magazines from his supporters. Many thanks to all of you who participated in the Christmas book drive. Not only have you made Marc happy you have provided something for the other inmates to take their minds off their terrible situation of being in prison for simply being in the US without the proper paperwork. I still can't believe that Americans are willing to pay hundreds of millions of dollars for such bullshit! As he said in one of the letters I posted it would be better to let them work and pay taxes and support themselves instead of us being forced by the government to support them. Hell, they are obviously willing to work. That is why they came to the US in the first place. Non-violent people do not belong in prison. And it shouldn't be a crime to want a better life for your family.

He said to tell Dana Larsen that he got the book on Jailhouse Lawyer and Prison Legal News. He said to tell Catharine Leach that he got her books on Keith Richards. He said the policy about books has changed. I'm not sure what it was before (probably in a letter somewhere) but as of today he is allowed 5 books and three magazines a day. He said when he was called for his mail that it was one huge stack of boxes and envelopes.

He said for me to keep posting the letters he sends me because they are reading and it is having the desired effect.

I want to say a few words about my experience with the staff at D. Ray James thus far. The staff there is actually very nice. One counselor named Mr. Maynard has been an absolute gem to me and to Marc. He has helped with every question, returned all my phone calls and spoke with Marc over the weekend when he was having a very difficult time. He told me he understood the frustration about the phones and said he would be frustrated too...because it could easily be his son or daughter in there and he would want to be able to talk to them and know how they were doing.

On my visit a couple weeks ago my back began to hurt very badly after sitting in a chair that had no arm support for many hours. One of the guards noticed my discomfort (because I repeatedly got up and stretched and massaged my lower back) and he brought me over a better chair to sit in. I am not used to being treated like a human being in a prison setting and was very grateful for his kindness.

From what I have observed of the guards and employees there they all seem like good, salt of the earth type Southern country people (like me) who probably only took that job in order to be able to feed their families (who the hell wants to actually work in a prison right?). The area where the prison is located is severely economically depressed. There is no visible industry anywhere there. I don't think their not doing the things that Marc has complained of is deliberate (or at least most of it isn't). I think it probably has a great deal more to do with lack of proper training from GEO.

So, to the staff at D. Ray James, thank you for reading and responding with an effort to make things better for those incarcerated at your facility. A special thanks to Mr. Maynard and to the nameless guard who was kind enough to get me a better chair when he saw that I was in pain.

Letters from Marc Emery #5

Friday, Dec. 10, 2010 10:30 am to Noon

Dear Loretta,

I hope you are reading my letters to Jodie because then you know about my hell night when we got moved because our dorm heater was dysfunctional (as it had been for 3 weeks but no one cared to fix it until they were in violation of the law when the outside temps dropped below freezing.) Then we got terrorized by SWAT-style C.O's herding us around to a filthy, unready dorm; We got returned the next day, and now we think our existing dorm (Q-2) is like the Hilton. Changing perspective!

Among my 2 million requests our law library brain trust needs a directory or addresses for

*Presidential pardons
*Attorney Generals Office at Department of Justice
*Directory of Bureau of Prisons from director, transfer division
*ICE, including regional offices
*Addresses of all federal detention centers (there's about 30-50 in the USA)

This is so we can write on behalf of prisoners. Check to see if there is a book or something that is a guide/reference handbook to the Dept. of Justice regarding contacting various departments.

I need a reprint of an article that appeared in Forbes once with the pot leaf on the front page "Inside Dope" I think it was called, by Quentin hardy. From the net is fine. (Loretta's note: I have this printed and ready to send)

Any exposes you can find on GEO and any lawsuits against them. Any lawsuits by INS prisoners like us against BOP/GEO/CCA. Reprint those and send them. (Loretta's Note: This has not yet been done. If any of you reading this want to help fill Marc's requests this would be a great thing to research for him and send to him. Also finding the contact information listed above would be a wonderful thing to do. I try to fill as many of his requests as I can but fall behind due to traveling to see him, family duties, school and my work as executive director of ACC. Any and all help from his supporters to get this information to him will be greatly appreciated)

If any of your people want to send paperbacks or magazines in excellent condition, one per envelope, I'm sure Dana can work out a postage compensation fund.

As you can see I'm determined to change this place by sheer force of will and with my army of supporters. One paperback book or magazine foes a long way here. The quality of letter writing by my correspondents is getting very good. I read Jodie some very touching and inspiring letters from several people I received in just one day all saying I've changed their life in substantial and fundamental ways. Since Jodie's been fragile the past two weeks (she's feeling overwhelmed) I try to remind her she's making a huge impact and keeping my reputation higher than ever. The Knowledge Network (in Canada) ran "Prince of Pot" movie nationwide again Wednesday right after the Angus Reid headlines "Canada wants Prince of Pot Returned Home" showed up days earlier. "The Principle of Pot" 3 DVD's that's out now is selling well and I really like that movie, too.

This week I received 12 new or like new magazines from December so already the magazine library rack looks greatly improved. I got a nice atlas of the solar system in Spanish, Billy Gibbons "Rock-N-Roll Gear head" big coffee table book and a few other good books for the library, none of which have been stolen yet. (magazines only get taken by the staff it seems. The Chaplain walked off with the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine that I donated and said, "Back in an hour." 24 hours later no Rolling Stone magazine.

Hello! 8th Commandment "Thou shalt not steal"

(Loretta's notes: The magazine in question was eventually returned)

I am in good spirits and am pleased you will be escorting Jodie next weekend and visiting me on Sunday. She needs a lot to get done including a letter to the DOJ on my behalf by mid-Jan signed by elected officials in Canada and the US (hopefully) urging my transfer. The trip to see me is exhausting and its gloomy, rainy, dark at 4:00 pm in Vancouver and the Holiday season is particularly hard on her without me there.

And no doubt you have burdens yourself, but i hope your two children are not amongst your problems. (Loretta's note: My kids are no problem at all. They are spectacular and we are very, very close) I look forward to meeting them one day.

I watched an Auburn vs. Alabama State (Loretta's note: It was actually the SEC Championship game Marc watched...Auburn vs. South Carolina) last weekend because I know Auburn is your team and Alex's (my son) University. That quarterback Cam Newton is AMAZING! (Loretta's Note: Damn right!) 13-0 for the season;l that's a hell of a record. On the news this morning was some business about his father refusing to attend the Heisman trophy award ceremony (which Newton is sure to win). You'll have to explain what that is all about and why such a thing got on the news in a letter or when I see you in person. (Loretta's note: I did explain all about the NCAA investigation and why Cecil Newton did not attend the Heisman ceremony to Marc when I visited a few weeks ago)

I read in Time Magazine of some mean, bastard sheriff who arrested Willie Nelson for pot (Texas I think) that he hoped Willie would get sent to his jail where he would delight in making 73 year old Willie "cook and clean all day." What a piece of SHIT! Read that in the new Time magazine a supporter sent me to put in the library, but it was just a quote by the sheriff beside Willie's mugshot.

There is a full page ad in Wednesday's USA Today for CNBC's "Marijuana USA" special on Wednesday night. It's a full page image of a black & white suit with a big pot leaf on it. The same marijuana growers alas who contributed to sinking Prop. 19 no doubt.

Keep reading all my letters to Jodie and Dana and you, of course, I need you to know what's going on.

Love you,

P.S. Get a catalog or online website for this store in Miami

Revistas & Periodicos Inc.
Foreign books, newspapers, and magazines
7971 SW 40th St.
Suite 10
Miami, FL 33155
Phone 305-264-4516

This place handles Spanish language material I need to order for the library as well as giving specific information to supporters who want to help me replenish the library.
I have ordered a catalog but I can use a few and I want you to have one to advise supporters on Facebook

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Letters from Marc Emery #4

Tuesday 5 pm
Dec. 7, 2010

Dear Loretta,

Today was another interesting day; the guy from Laos who's in here because he's not a US citizen (speaks perfect English, engaged to marry a Chinese-American, trying to marry her in Jan., when she visits him here in prison) but is not deportable because the US doesn't have a transfer treaty with Laos (or the following countries: Cambodia, Vietnam, Cuba); well the Justice of the Peace agreed to come out to the prison to conduct the marriage ceremony. That's the biggest hurdle overcome. Now the Warden or Chaplain really have no excuse at all not to allow the wedding, but they are still trying to find one. But, the BOP regulations are pretty clear, as we keep reminding them.

Today, inspectors were here from the BOP asking about the quality of the food we get served. BOY THAT WAS GOOD! I told them the only 'fresh' fruit we ever get is a scrawny orange that Florida/Georgia would be ashamed of, once every two days. Never an apple or banana or God forbid, Georgia is the "Peach State", how bout some peaches? The BOP requires we get fresh fruit every day. That's violated for sure! Then I said, "We get too much of the same repetitive corn/corn products and ground beef/ground chicken stuff day in and day out."

Getting our commissary is a total clusterfuck! We had to wait one hour to 90 minutes outside to get our purchase items. At 1 pm there were 100 guys lined up to pick up their items. The dispensing window did 1 inmate every 3-4 minutes, but that meant an average wait of 45-60 minutes. That'll have to change.

I worked on several treaty transfers today, a number of 1/2 deportations, ordered some more magazines on the library tab, and tonight the library opens from 7-9 pm, so it will be packed. I'm working evenings also. The key is to become indispensable as well as on top of everything. New inmates arrived today, another 75 to 100, including two Canadians. I haven't met them because they are in solitary (they couldn't process them readily into dorm even though they are fully aware they are arriving), one Swede, one Lebanese. Both speak English well. I gave them the orientation of this place (here's what really goes on and we're here to help.") Meaning the library staff which has evolved to be a multi-national brain trust of cynics and jailhouse lawyers. And they indicated they were appalled at how the place runs.

Yet, progress is happening. A spectacular new photocopier was turned on today in the library. What we can use it for or how often and how much it will cost remains unknown. (Loretta's note: They have thus far been unable to use it at all.) Tonight or tomorrow we will be read the riot act on who & how it can be used. I hope any of the knowledgeable library aides (that's us who work there) can use it on behalf of inmates. We shall see.

The computer was activated yesterday. It's in constant use even though it's not hooked to a printer , but we are lobbying to get it hooked up!

So, I need you to find out the following:

What is the subscription price of "Hola!"

It's a magazine from Spain
Phone: 91-781-17-64 or email them at

Another magazine I need subscription info on is 'Muy Interesante'

Put it out there! Need to find out if there is a group in Canada that assists Honduran refugees (from Honduras of course!)
I need books in Spanish, French, Portuguese, popular fiction in those languages. Ask my Facebook supporters to send paperbacks or softcovers to me for the inmates who read these languages. There are no books here at all in French (inmates from France, Caribbean and Quebec) and Portuguese (for Brazilians).

If anyone has a copy of Jean M. Auel's "Plains of Passage" book #4 in the series (English) that would be a great Christmas gift for one inmate.

If you are able to get parole regulations for prisoners in the Bahamas I'd appreciate it. There are two Bahamian's who are applying for treaty transfers back to the Bahama's (illegal entry into US) and want to know how much of their US sentence they would have to serve in the Bahamas.

The library under some weird rule cannot have books about religion --- at least they won't order them-- so if anyone wants to send me a book about philosophy or religious ideas in Western culture that would be welcome by some inmates who have asked.

Here is a list of Spanish magazines that I am requesting a year subscription to for the library;

Spanish Magazines

Don Balon
GO (en espanol)
Mechanica Popular (en espanol)
Men's Health (en espanol)
National Geographic (en espanol)
My Interesante
People (en espanol)
TV y Novelas
Pre Seso
El Zeta
Readers Digest (en espanol) and English
American Curves (in English and Spanish)

A magazine that would be extremely popular (perhaps the most popular) would be a 'girlie' magazine called 'American Curves', which is allowed in prisons (Loretta's notes: I have purchased a years subscription to National Geographic and American Curves for Marc so no need to duplicate those.)

These can be sen to me at;

Marc Scott Emery # 40252-086
Unit Q Pod 2
D Ray James Correctional Facility
PO Box 2000
Folkston GA, 31537

Or they can be sent directly to the Librarian at;

Mr. Folk, Librarian
PO Box 2000
Folkston, GA 31537-9000

Any subscription arriving that way will appear to be a subscription ordered by the librarian or library aide (me) in the normal course of events.

Broadway News in Seattle sells single copies (the latest issue) of many magazines as well as subscriptions. They are at
Subscriptions are cheaper at
Single copies should be mailed to me.

Loretta, I need a divorce package from Arizona. can you call up the county clerk in AZ, specifically Besbee AZ and send me a divorce packet?

I bought these shower shoes that are so good! The ones I was using (standard prison issue) were terrible (albeit tolerable) but I jumped at the chance to buy a new pair of actual super high quality shower shoes. Ask Dana for this money. I said to him I'd be a money pit in here. Tell him I'm doing God's work battling the Anti-Christ, so I'm worth it. I'll send him a letter thanking him. I called him yesterday to thank him for keeping me comfortable here.

I have a cold but I'm so busy and excited about my work that it doesn't bother me. I really appreciate that you are teaming up with me to research this stuff.

Thanks for being my Wing-Man.

Doing God's work Behind Bars

Peace & Justice


Letters from Marc Emery #3

Sunday night 7 pm Dec. 5, 2010

Dear Loretta,

Jodie's visits were AWESOME! Only 5 inmates had visitors all day, most if not all inmates here are from Mexico, Colombia, Cuba or other Hispanic countries, living in the US (often with wives or family or children who are US citizens) for the past 2-30 years. They will be deported on release. It's all nutty! They could solve this problem by allowing any immigrant to work and pay taxes with no option to collect benefits for 10 years (until they've paid 10 years in taxes) and by legalizing drugs! The US taxpayer is paying a fortune for incarce3rating these people who normally work and support their families.

But visits are rare here, because all of them are from California or the Western, Southwestern States etc., None are from the Southeast.

Look forward to seeing you when you come with Jodie on Dec. 19.

You'll be needed to escort Jodie on Friday Dec. 17 to Sunday Dec. 19 (departing evening) Friday Dec. 31st to Sun. Jan. 2 (evening). These BHAM to Jacksonville flights should be booked ASAP for best prices. You may want to leave J'ville on Mondays but for the purposes of school of Monday you may need to leave on Sundays. Butu, then school is probably closed on Dec. 19 and Jan. 2 so perhaps hanging out with Jodie till Monday is a better idea. Talk to her about it.

By now you've probably put $100 on my commissary account somewhere between Dec. 12-16. Then I'm ok till Jan. 1 or so.

There are some other requests for current catalogs for magazine subscriptions, addresses of places, I'll get you to research it for me as nowhere in this place (unlike SeaTac) are we connected to email or the internet.

I've put out word to my supporters to send paperbacks, single copy magazines or magazine subscriptions to me or D Ray James C.F. Library. It's going to take a while but I'll get that library relevant yet! I already do legal forms for 1/2 time served deportation, appeals and other legal assistance in the library.

I also prepare job application paperwork for the Hispanic (700 out of 750 inmates here) inmates to get them jobs in the area they would prefer before they get assigned to the dreaded kitchen or dining hall at .12 cents an hour. Once you are assigned a job you can't quit for three months, or they threaten to send you to solitary. Kitchen work is 8 hours a day 5 days a week at .12 cents an hour! So, inmates come to me and I say, "Pick a job" (laundry, translating, orderly, clerking, medical aide etc.) and I'll write up a request application and direct it to the one guy who works here and can assign a job immediately. So far all of them have gotten the jobs they wanted. So, I like my library job. But, if they turn down my transfer application I've got numerous legal actions planned against this place based on the clear discrimination of deportable aliens (like me) vs. USA inmates. The BOP claims that they don't discriminate against foreign nationals incarcerated in US facilities but that is patently not true. This GEO group does/is allowed to deviate from BOP policy affecti8ng us as compared top USA inmates several areas.

My transfer paperwork is underway and is requi8red to be back in Washington, DC by Jan. 16. Then a decision on approval/rejection should be done by end of Feb. If approved it goes to Ottawa for their approval. If approved there I'd end up in Canada by July or August and out on parole by mid-November.


I hope to have the library ship shape by mid-Feb. At least if I'm stuck here I'll hopefully have a job I like and do good work on.

I'm busy now from 6 am when I get up; I eat, shower & shave, go to the library at 8 am, return to dorm at 10:30 am, write letter #1 til noon, lunch, begin letter #2, go to library at 1 pm, return to dorm at 3:45 pm, call Jodie for 5 minutes, finish letter #2, eat at 5:30 pm, return, write Jodie's daily letter, with additions after my mail arrives at 730 pm, finish Jodie's letter, do letter #3. By 10 pm I've looked at my mail, read most letters and glanced at the newspapers, which I take to the library next day, along with any magazines or paperbacks or hardcovers anyone has sent me to read or for the library. (Eventually my 12 subscriptions to magazines will start showing up too.)

So, that's my day from 6 am to 10:30 pm. When I'm exhausted I fall soundly asleep. That's each day Monday -Friday, no time to play cards or watch TV or movies or listen to radio. On weekends if I have a visit that is from 830 am to 330 pm. I'll write a letter or two (like this one now) to catch up. I do my laundry every 2 or 3 days (like today after Jodie's visit).

I pick up my commissary purchases on Tuesday morning. I commission the artists to make a special card for Jodie every 10 days or so, right now they are working on a special hand-done Christmas card for her from me. That costs me $4 in commissary goods. Any crafts or other services I require (any onion, green pepper, banana for example) costs .75 cents for an excellent banana, $1 for half an onion, $1 for half a green pepper, that gets paid out of my commissary. So, each week I have a few lists of items I have to get to pay debts.

I'm in no danger here. I get along fine with all the inmates and GEO staff. I'm polite and acknowledge that the C.O's are in charge. There's no privacy but it no longer bothers me. Our property is stored in two inconvenient bins I keep under my bunk but it will become more complicated when my property arrives from SeaTac. I'm looking forward to my book light, books, notes and photos of Jodie.

My money in the commissary accounts at SeaTac, Oklahoma City and Nevada Southern should begin arriving this week which is about $160 from OK City, $170 from SeaTac and $75 from Nevada Southern. That'll give Dana a break for a few weeks.

So, considering I've been here only 18 days my progress is good. Job I like at the incredible pay of $7.25 a week! Transfer paperwork underway. New shoes. Food for evenings ( I always have chicken, tuna, chocolate bars, potato chips, envelopes and stamps and whatever I need.) I'm super busy.

You are being super helpful with getting money on my commissary account Dana & Jodie's letters to me, escorting my wife. In fact, without you I'd be really screwed! You, after Jodie and Dana are the most important person in my life without question! THANKS!

And actually I would have been bored with the desert at Taft and I feel I have a purpose here, to help inmates , activate the library (we should have the photo copier operational this week, and a word processor is being put in, we use typewriters now to do paperwork for the inmates). I should get piles of mags for the library and books donated. I hardly have time to read anything myself anymore.

Love you, See you soon,

Loretta: need you to do these things.

I need magazine current subscription listing from

Broadway News
206-324-7323 (Ph)
206-324-2521 (fax)

I need current magazine subscription list from

Grant Publications

Need subscription rates to D Ray James Corr. facility for;

The Nassau Guardian Online (printed edition)
This is Nassau Bahamas

The Miami Herald - How much is a subscription of this paper to D Ray James CF?

(Loretta's Notes: I contacted both the newspapers and have yet to hear back from either of them)

Letters from Marc Emery #1

Dear Loretta, Monday, Nov. 29 7 pm

Checking on my commissary account I see you put $300 on the account Nov. 19. 14 days later would be Friday Dec. 3, 15 days would be Sat. Dec. 4. Try every day to put another $300 on my account. I have .02 cents in there right now and my phone minutes will run out on Thursday or Friday, although I don't call Jodie Friday (she's in the air)Saturday or Sunday (visiting me) or on Monday (in the air); but I am desperate so I hope Access Corrections takes that money soon.

Otherwise today was a good day. I got a job in the library Monday (8 - 10 am, 1-3 pm) to Friday. I'd prefer not to work at all. I'll have lots of newspapers, books and magazines to read. Today I got 56 letters alone, that will take me weeks to respond to, even more now. But its also a job I can help others at. We dispense legal paperwork for appeals. I want to get some magazines/books in there.

Side notes from letter:
As of Thursday I will have no money for phone or commissary. HELPLESS PLEASE HELP! If you can't put money on my account by Saturday then you'll have to get all my supporters to call the prison about me being starved for money by their insane policies. Have people call here and GEO headquarters. (Loretta's notes: This was rectified)

4:30 pm Tuesday, Nov. 30

Today was my first full day at the library and I got the entire book collection re-labeled, straightened out and looking as good as possible. However, it is a very sad library. They have no current magazine subscriptions. The most recent copy of Rolling Stone is August 2009, Michael Jackson's Death issue.When it converted from the State Prison the company that owned the State Prison (Cornell) canceled all the magazine subscriptions and GEO has not renewed any of them. So, I need you to ask people to send me a subscription of any good magazine, especially Spanish language ones for me to put in the library.

Same with any new or like new paperback books or magazines bought by anyone. Should be sent one per envelope. The library can't take books from the public weirdly, (everything about this place is all weird, odd, or contrary to BOP regulations ---- this whole set up is wrong. And it doesn't seem to have ordered any new books. They are all ancient library books, most very worn out. There are a few good books and the small collection of Spanish language books were bought new. But they have maybe 250 Spanish books total and they need about 2,000 - 5,000 books in Spanish alone. There are no more than 100 recent or like new books out of 2,500 English language books. Most of these are 10 to 40 years old and obsolete. The inmates are truly being ripped off here. Yet the prison employs probably 150 people, but they have nothing to do and know little; they just warehouse us. Inmate labor (at .12 to .20 cents an hour)does most of the work in the kitchen, maintenance. Yet the yard and volleyball court are already deteriorating because no professional grounds keeping (watering and fertilizing the yard for one) is being done.

GEO has run this place for 2 months now and progress in any area is not happening (putting money on inmate accounts; collect calls, getting inmate property from previous prison, getting inmate money from previous prison, visitation forms.) Its supposed to be low security but our movements are rigidly controlled. We're searched all the time. The 6 Canadians are isolated. Very challenging.

I have 20 stamps left so I am going to last on stamps if my phone time stops Thursday. Please keep calling the prison and beg them to change this strange restriction on inmate deposits. The BOP limit is $10,000 on any inmate account. Inmates can issue checks drawn on their inmate accounts to pay bills, order books and magazines, pay lawyers - let alone cover phone bills like my phone account. Its so cruel and completely punitive, as sop many of the rules about this place are, the way GEO runs this place.

The food is very repetitive too, with almost no fresh fruit, after 12 days here I can tell you I'm going to hate this place after 60 or 90 days.

Called Dana and told him to send you $500 to use on my account. I talked to Jodie and she's having a rough day. She cried the entire 15 minute phone call. She's exhausted and frazzled.

Kirk, my lawyer, is supposed to come in the next few weeks and this place is so badly run legal action ought to be taken. But once I get money so I can get phone time and essentials I will feel better. I was distressed at Jodie being so distraught. I'm going to call you up and urge you to call her and calm her a bit. Reassure her.

I'm very excited to get a visit from you. Excited to see Jodie Saturday and Sunday but she's worried about being turned away, being tired when she sees me, money in my account. I understand, I worry about those concerns and more, too.

I worry that they are not working on making the transfer paperwork happen, even though Sylvia Royce (US lawyer in Washington D.C. hired to make this happen) is supposed to call this week.

So, you can tell that though I am glad I got a library job I worry about all these things because this place is so bizarrely run and I feel I will be stranded helplessly in this place.

Like I say, I'll feel way better once I see you and Jodie in visits. Write me often and keep trying to put money in my account.

Please visit soon!

Thank you so much for everything!

Love you,
In Gratitude and Affection


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Letters from Marc Emery #2

Below are the letters Marc Emery has written me from prison and asked me to post online so that everyone knows what's happening to him. These may be somewhat out of chronological order, but that won't matter because the information is relevant no matter what order it is in.

If you are Canadian please use these letters by sending them to your elected officials, the Justice Minister and anyone else who will be instrumental in getting Marc transferred back to Canada.

Monday, Dec. 6, 2010,

Dear Loretta,

I sent you a letter yesterday asking you to do a number of things. This morning I saw you had put $150 on my account, so I am financially OK until Dec. 18 or so.

I am going to use you as a researcher/go-to person in a variety of requests. I already ask Jeremiah to do journalism and research on specific prison issues and Jodie gets swamped with my requests, but from you I'll often need you to find a phone number, fax number, address or send a request for catalogs (often books and magazines) or documents of a legal nature, BOP regulations etc.

My first request relates to work I do in the inmate library. In there I often fill out a cover letter and request for what amounts to a fast track deportation. Basically, as you can tell by (*stipulated deportation order and pursuant to A.R.S. 41-1604-14) letter, if an inmate meets the criteria set out in points 1-6 he can request to be deported after half of his sentence has been served.

We type in the inmates name, BOP number, address at DRJCF (although it's in top right corner too) on the cover letter (marked #1) and on the stipulated deportation order (marked #2). We type their name, BOP number & return address too. And they mail it completed to the addre3ss listed on the form letter (Atlanta ICE office). I've done about 15 of those in the last week. Here is what I would like you to find out for me by calling the Atlanta ICE office and asking the following questions.

1) What is the name of the field director in the Atlanta office that these letters go to?

2)What is the phone number?

3) What is the fax number?

4) Do they have an FAQ or information online or in reprint or policy paper about this ARS 41-1604-14 that you can get, make a copy of so that I can make additional copies?

5) What is the turn around time in processing these applications?

6) Does the field manager or staff there have any advice on making applications easier, more successful or clear for the purposes of getting the deportation to happen?

Another thing I need you to find is the definition of class 1,2,3,4,5,6, felonies. As you can see the eligibility for deportation at 1/2 time is to those with class 3 through 6 felonies.

I understand Class 1 is murder, arson, serious bad shit, but I'd like to know, if a list is available, what offense3s are in each class. Can you find that out and send me what you find?

I also need to know a place I can order Spanish language books/Spanish language magazines from. Retail is fine. We typically want to order only one copy of each. You might find stores online with outlets in Miami nearby. Print out their ordering info, list of titles. I especially need their phone, fax, email, terms and catalog.

I'm in charge of acquisitions so I need catalogs and online catalogs reprinted so I can order books, magazines and newspapers for the library.

Also enclosed is a print out called "Legal News" (I'll need this back). It's from the Winton, NC INS low security facility that just closed down its INS part at Rivers Correctional in Winton.

I want you to google that case: Case # 1:09-cv-00200 (RWR) Patel et al. US Bureau of Prisons et al.

The arguments made there are substantially the same arguments I made to Jeremiah in a 14 page letter I sent him Friday. Ask to get a copy of that letter faxed or emailed to you. It's meant to be a blog by me and it outlines my opinions on how GEO and the BOP discriminate against foreign nationals in this and probably other facilities contracted out.

One thing has changes, the limits on deposits. First deposit $300 made out Oct. 19. No further deposits were possible until Nov. 30 when $200 was put in. On Dec. 6, only 7 days later $150 was put in, exceeding the previous restricted limit of $300 in 10/11 days. As $350 has been put in a combined 7 days. The front office says the limit is now $300 per day in an inmates account. We won't test that threshold , but clearly $350 deposited in 7 days is a change from $300 max in 10 days.

So, progress is being made. I love my library job. I get to help inmates, get magazines, books, reference material for them. Today i helped an inmate arrange to get married here. The chaplain, warden and counselor are all giving him the run around but BOP policy is very clear on in-prison marriages. (Look up the policy at BOP) and they (the prison) require very little consent, it's just a few formalities, but the people here have never done one so they keep saying, "talk to the chaplain" who says, "I don't know anything about that, talk to the warden" who says, "the chaplain has to approve it." In fact, the chaplain has nothing to do with marriage approvals. If the inmate and his fiance legally qualify the warden MUST marry them at the earliest convenient opportunity with a justice of the peace present. The only stipulation is that it can't threaten the security of the prison (DUH!) and the inmate has to cover the cost of the Justice of the Peace and marriage license. So, I got out BOP policy, underlined and highlighted the clear policy for the warden to read and sent our would be groom to unit manager Carter with BOP policy and a polite summary of the run around so far and what is the correct prison procedure for in-prison marriages. Feels.....AWESOME!

So, I'll let you know when he is getting married. It's not complicated and there is almost nothing in the ordinary circumstances that can derail a prisoner who wants to marry a legally qualified woman. So far he's encountered a lot of, "I don't know how that's done, but there are many here in authority who seem unaware there is a BOP policy ON EVERYTHING and it's very clear.

So, I'll let you) and I'm hoping I get some magazines or paperbacks to add to the library shelves.

OK, more tomorrow. I know you are super busy already so I hope you'll forgive me getting you as my researcher - inmate rights liaison - helper - library assistant person. I hope you find helping me do good a fun thing.

I love you,

Messages from Marc Emery

Below is a chart that Marc Emery sent me and asked me to post online. These first three are (is?) a comparison chart between showing the differences in how Americans and foreigners in the federal prison system are treated. The images get much larger if you click them and then click them again once they come up.

The next are printed articles about private prisons.

About to post this on Facebook. Please share with everyone you know. I tried to upload these images to facebook but couldn't for some unknown reason.

I am about to finish typing all of the letters he has sent me and post them here and on facebook as well.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Raw Story is reporting that televangelist and general loony toon 700 Club host and founder of The Christian Coalition Pat Robertson said "Pot isn't the Devil's Harvest and that he thinks imprisoning people for possession of a couple of ounces is destroying the lives of young people and bankrupting our country.

No....I am not pulling your leg, yanking your chain, playing an early April Fool's joke or trying to get on over on you.

He really said that!

Now, I'm pretty sure that I have never agreed with anything Pat Robertson has said. EVER. But, a lot of people, especially those say in and around say Alabama, agree wholeheartedly with everything he says. And that could be a very positive thing for those of us who are trying to change the laws governing marijuana.

If you are a church going person please take this article with you on Sunday and show it to your preacher. Encourage them to consider giving a sermon on it and see where it goes.

Monday, December 20, 2010

What to say to Iraq and Afghan War Veterans

Please excuse my repeated use of the word FUCK in various forms throughout this post.

On my trip through Jacksonville Airport this weekend I witnessed some of the most heart wrenching reunions between soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and their families. I've thought about little else all weekend.

While I was waiting for Jodie to arrive it seemed like hundreds of soldiers dressed in their BDU's were coming through the airport. It was both heartbreaking and heart warming to see the wives/husbands coming back and their spouses and children waiting anxiously with signs to welcome them home. There were many tears and much joy. I cried every time a dad or mom walked by me in a uniform and their small children ran to them with open arms screaming DADDY or MOMMY and were picked up and swung around and smothered with kisses and love. How can any human with a heart not cry at such a thing?

What really got to me though were the soldiers coming back without their fucking arms, legs, half their heads etc...You'd have to be a real cold hearted mother fucker, regardless of how you feel about the war, to not be affected by seeing what, in reality, are nothing more than kids coming back from that HELL missing their limbs. If you are from the South and, Alabama in particular, then you know that Alabama sacrifices more sons and daughters to war than any other state. That is directly related to the poverty and lack of good educational opportunities that define this godforsaken hell hole. The majority of them join the military for college funds.

After I picked up Jodie she told me about something that happened on her plane ride from Chicago to Jacksonville. And it has prompted this post more so than anything else.

She said that in Chicago there was a woman with a couple of young kids, one a little boy about 5 or 6. In front of her was a soldier with his goddamn legs blown off. The little boy started talking to his mom about the soldier and pointing at him etc. His mom told him, "That man is a hero who has been fighting for our freedoms." The little kid asked if he could say hello and the mom gave him permission. Jodie said the little kid went up and started talking to the soldier with no legs, NO GODDAMN LEGS, telling him how he liked his uniform and all sorts of things of that nature. She said the soldier was quiet and just looked at the kid for a minute....that it was very hard to read the soldiers eyes and gauge what he might be thinking. Finally the soldier with NO GODDAMN LEGS asked the kid his name. The kid told him and the soldier said, "Nice to meet you." And that was all he said.

Shit like that makes me so fucking mad my head could literally explode. I am against the war....obviously. But I support the kids sucked into the fucking meat grinder with all my heart. How dare some faux patriot just ASSUME that the soldier feels like a hero. How dare they ASSUME that any soldier called to duty approves of and supports what they had to fucking do in war. How dare that ignorant bitch claim this war, this endless fucking war, has anything to do with American freedom. It has NOTHING to do with protecting American freedoms and everything to do with nation building and major oil pipelines. If it were truly being fought to protect American freedoms (which are disappearing rapidly) I would be completely behind it.

Today, when I went through security at Jacksonville airport I saw those TSA bastards molest an old crippled man who was unable to stand in their fucking porno machine. His wife protested loudly, bless her heart, to no avail. They practically held him up so that could grab his goddamn testicles...all because he couldn't stand on his own or raise his arms above his head. Then as we were going through the gate to get on the plane an 80 year old granny set off the alarm, that no one was even aware was there, with her pace maker and her steel rods in her back and she was sexually assaulted and her her belongings rummaged through in front of everyone. I was glad to see the people around me pissed off about that. Granny spoke her peace to those filthy government bastards who get off on sexually assaulting disabled and old defenseless people and asked them just what about her at her advanced age would cause that after she had already cleared TSA. I spoke up and said, "You know the terrorists (which is really the American government IMHO) have won when we allow them to treat us that way in our own country. I bet they are sitting over there saying, "and then they grab their balls and vagina' this...hehehe". Then I asked those in immediate hearing range if they reckoned that all of the soldiers around the airport had fought for THIS! There was a loud murmur of agreement with my sentiments.

See, there are no freedoms in the US any longer....not when shit like this happens. And I bet you that very few if any soldiers risked life and limb in Iraq and Afghanistan so that MeMaw and PePaw could be sexually molested trying to fly home for fucking Christmas.

So, here is my advice...for whatever it is worth. The next time you see a veteran returning home from or the other of the unnecessary meat grinder wars America is perpetuating across the globe...and just feel you just absolutely MUST MUST MUST say something to them then say ONLY the following.

"I'm glad you make it back alive." That's all you need to say.

Don't you dare fucking assume that just because they are in uniform that they agree with what they had to do or that they in any way feel like heroes or heroines or feel like you do. And, while you are at it, reexamine your support for these wars and your faux fucking patriotism and Nazi-ish nationalism that you have been taught since your first day in kindergarten when you were forced to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

That's where all this bullshit starts when you really think about it. What does any tiny child know about politics, government and war? They barely know how to NOT shit or wee wee in their pants. And what does any adult know about the horrors of war if they themselves have not experienced it firsthand? How dare they claim to know what someone who has experienced it thinks or feels?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Visiting Marc Emery

Today for the first time in nearly three years I got to see my mentor, close friend, and freedom fighter extraordinaire Marc Emery. The last time I saw Marc was when he flew me to Vancouver to relax and participate in the 420 festivities in 2008 where I was subsequently filmed by CBC throwing huge joints to the crowd. I remember spending 3 days on the top floor of the BCMP rolling up that 7 pounds of weed into joints with loads of other activists. It was a great time.

I met Marc in 2002 on the Cannabis Culture forums. I flew to Vancouver a few months later to meet him and learn about activism and brought what I had learned back to Alabama and went to work. He was with me every step of the way after my arrest, hired me to write occasionally for CC magazine, sent staff down to cover my trial, hired me to anchor POT TV News and sent me jet setting all over North and South America covering horrific drug war stories. In short the man made me what I am and is responsible for the fact that there is even a movement in Alabama to bring about rational, sane drug policies. I owe him a great deal in terms of making shit happen and making him proud of his investment in me over the years. And it has been huge investment is you ask this poor country girl. I love Marc more than words can ever adequately convey.

Throughout his arrest by the DEA and all of his trials and tribulations we have remained very close, talking via phone and email often. I promised him that on the offhand chance he wound up in the South to serve his time that I would be Jodie's escort and visit him every two weeks. I never thought they would send him here. But, in many ways it is a great thing (for him) that they did. Not so great for them....which they will soon realize. When they do they will have him on the first plane out of here and back to Canada. I will explain what I mean by that in a minute.

But, first, the visit.

We arrived at 8:30 which is when they begin allowing visitors in. And even though there are over 900 people imprisoned there there were only 6 visitors for three inmates today. It was extremely sad. The reason for that is because most of the people imprisoned there are simply being held in prison because they are in the US illegally and are waiting to be deported. I assume most of them are probably very poor and their families can't travel from Central and South America or even the West Coast of the US to visit.

We had to fill out a form swearing that we weren't carrying anything illegal into the prison and surrender our keys and ID's. As we were preparing to go through the metal detector a female guard told Jodie to stand back from the desk. Jodie stood back and the guard said, "I think your dress is too short" and she proceeds to call Captains and other higher ups on her radio. Hell I expected them to break out the damn ruler and measure. Jodie's dress was sitting right on top of her knee cap and seemed plenty long enough to me. She told them that the BOP handbook states that dresses and skirts cannot be more than 1 inch above the knee and that she was within the limit. They broke out the rule book and she pointed out that specific rule to them. Two black male guard came in and looked her over and decided we could visit after all. I told her if she hadn't been good looking we would have had to come back to the hotel and had her change. But, luckily, they were civilized enough to let us in.

We proceeded to the metal detector and although I had absolutely no metal on me anywhere I set the damn thing off. They said it was probably my shoes so I took them off and put them through the x-ray machine and went back through the metal detector and it was fine. Which is weird because the shoes were leather slip ons with no metal that I could see.

We were then led through a series of locked doors and concertina wire (which is very odd for a low security facility) and into the visitation room. A minute or so later Marc was led through another door and there was much hugging and kissing and a few tears...mostly from being so happy to finally see him with my own eyes, and lay my own hands on him and know that physically, at least, he is doing fine. He's a little skinny, but has been able to get out and get some sun here in South Georgia so he no longer looks starving, pale, and gaunt like he did at Sea-Tac.

Visitation last from 8:30 to 3:30 and between the three of us we kept up a constant conversation about what is being done to get him home, what needs to still be done to get him home, what life is like for him inside prison etc. Jodie held one of his hands and I held the other for nearly the entire visit. Physical contact is so important to the human soul and being deprived of it does terrible things to ones mind. It was just really great to touch him.

If you know Marc than you know he is willing and able to keep up a rapid machine gun fire of conversation. It's so funny when he calls me. When I see the number I grab a pen and paper and as soon as the call is connected He says "Hi Loretta" and then launches off into a 1 to 2 minute list of instructions of things he needs done. I rarely get to actually do much talking to him at all :) I was very pleased to see that prison has done absolutely nothing to dampen his enthusiasm for the love of gab. Nor has it cowed him in any way.

In fact, he has done just what I, and probably everyone who knows him at all, thought he would do....he's taken the damn place over, has a devoted following of other inmates who have come to depend on him for help with their paperwork, lodging complaints against the prison, getting the library on order, counseling people when they are down and standing up for the little guy. Just being Marc in other words.

I think they really fucked up when they decided to send him to a prison that was only recently taken over from the state by GEO group. They really don't have their shit together, ignore all the BOP rules, violate every policy and procedure, and are just plain unorganized. Marc hates disorganization and dirt. He is an organizer...perhaps the greatest organizer of our time (to me there is no question about that) and it is just his nature to make sure things are done right and according to established rules. Sending him to a place where that isn't the case has allowed him to focus his incredible energy and determination of all of the things that need doing, that are done wrong, or not at all, and he stays extremely busy. He knows more about how the place is supposed to be run than the people they have hired off the street, with absolutely no training whatsoever, know about it and will likely ever know about it. He said the warden told him he is 'tantalizing' which is an extremely odd word to use. All of this channeling of energy has kept sadness and depression at bay. He has something to focus his considerable will upon and that makes him extremely dangerous....only the authorities inside the prison haven't realized it yet. When they do you can bet they will figure out that transfer application process real quick and have his rabble rousing ass on the first flight back to Canada they can get him on. I can't wait til that happens. I'll have a good long laugh on that day.

He gets along well with all of the staff. they treat him with respect and he reciprocates in kind. All of the other prisoners look up to him. They've even started this chant when his huge stacks of mail come every day. They start chanting FREE MARC! FREE MARC! and he responds "THAT'S A GREAT IDEA". If he doesn't respond right away they get louder and louder until he either responds or one of them responds for him. It's quite hilarious!

And while all of this is really great to know it is still imperative that we all continue to do everything we can to get him sent back to his home country to serve his time. He has absolutely no business in South Georgia. So, please don't slack off just because he is coping well and doing all he can to make life behind bars tolerable for himself and the others who are suffering the same fate. Tomorrow or Tuesday when I have had a day to recover from this trip I will post a gargantuan list of all the things he needs done. I want all of you reading this to pick one thing...anything...and DO IT. Report your progress to me and I will keep him up to date on everything that is happening and who is doing what. In order to keep his spirits up we must let him know that we are all working on his behalf to rectify this terrible wrong that has been committed by our government in our goddamn name.

When our visiting time was over (and it seemed to fly by) we all embraced again and man I tell you it was difficult to walk away and leave him there. He saluted us and I told him to "Hang on Commander", which is what I always used to call him and then we were led back to the free world. I'm so happy conditions weren't deplorable and that there was no hint of violence. I am used to dealing with Alabama state prisons which are nothing but giant torture chambers and disease incubators and filled with extreme violence and danger. This prison leaves a great deal to be desired....but by God at least it ain't state prison and for that we can be thankful.

A couple of announcements before I close this out. Today Marc and Jodie asked me to be the new ad sales manager for the CC website, which I am happy to do because I can sell matches to the devil (I used to sell cars after all) and because I could really use the extra cash. Marc also asked me to take over the Free Marc website and keep it updated by posting the letters he writes me and organizing the information on how to help him all in one place. I won't be using the current website, because I am unfamiliar with the format. I will be transferring everything there to a blog format (like this one) because I am familiar with that and it is simple and easy to use.

So, be sure to check back in the coming days for the new website and for the huge list of things that need to be done to help Marc. There will be plenty to go around....and then some.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas book drive for Marc Emery

I get a letter and a phone call from Marc Emery nearly every day. He has been given the position of Librarian at D Ray James correctional facility in Folkston, GA. That is a perfect position for him seeing as how he has owned some sort of book store since the age of 16, is a genius despite not even possessing a GED and loves to read more than anyone I know.

Problem is that the library he is in charge of has almost no books and absolutely no magazines. What books they do have are years outdated. And there are no Spanish books or magazines anywhere in the prison, despite the fact that 700 of the 750 inmates are Spanish speaking.

So, Marc has asked me to organize a book and magazine drive for the prison. Here is what I need readers to do.

Buy a year subscription to any of the following magazines and have them sent to

Marc Emery #40252-086
Unit Q Pod 2,
CI D Ray James,
PO Box 2000,
Folkston GA, 31537

Here is a list of magazines he requested.

Spanish Magazines

Don Balon
GO (en espanol)
Mechanica Popular (en espanol)
Men's Health (en espanol)
National Geographic (en espanol)
My Interesante
People (en espanol)
TV y Novelas
Pre Seso
El Zeta
Readers Digest (en espanol) and English
American Curves (in English and Spanish)

Marc has also requested that books and magazine you may have just laying around the house be sent. One per envelope addressed to him or to the other librarian Mr. Folk, at the same address (sans the prisoner number if sending to Mr. Folk).

So please take a moment and order a years subscription to one of these magazines listed above, look around your house for books and magazines that you are no longer using, pack them up and send them off. This is important and a very small thing to do for someone who badly needs your help.

Subscriptions are cheaper at

Marc is hanging in there best he can. The conditions are deplorable, food gross and insubstantial and at least one employee is an absolute monster. From his letter the other day

"Today the inspectors were here from the BOP asking about the quality of the food we get served. Boy that was good! I told them the only "fresh" fruit we ever get is a scrawny orange that Florida/Georgia would be ashamed of, one every two days. Never an apple or a banana. God forbid Georgia is the Peach state, How bout some peaches?"

Good that he is keeping his sense of humor intact.

Please make his stay there more bearable by sending the magazine subscriptions listed above. Also send him a subscription of the Miami Herald (both Spanish and English) and a subscription to the Nassau Guardian.

Soft cover books and magazines may be sent through regular post. Hard cover books must be ordered and delivered from a bookstore such as Amazon.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Miraculous outcome in Michael Lapihuska Case

An amazing thing happened today due to the diligence, passion, and determination of the people who make up the ranks of Alabamians for Compassionate Care.

For those readers who may have missed the previous coverage of the Michael Lapihuska case you can read about it here and here. In short, Michael is a native Alabamian who moved to California in the 1990's so that he could legally use the only medication that works for his multiple conditions. Marijuana. He became a licensed patient.

On December 15, 2009 Michael had returned home to Anniston to visit his family. One night while walking down the road and minding his own business he was accosted by an Anniston police officer and accused of hitchhiking. The cop demanded that Michael consent to a search and being scared to death he did. The cop found his medicine in prescription bottle and Michael showed him his medical card from California...and was promptly arrested and jailed because Alabama does not yet have a medical marijuana law. He contacted me and asked for help and we at ACC came to his defense. With a fury!

We wrote numerous letters to the Anniston Star on his behalf. You can read those here. The Anniston Star also did a feature article on his situation.

Michael began attending ACC meetings and events all across Alabama and practically swamped the Oxford/Anniston area with handouts and flyers about his case and about the Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act. He was a tireless and energetic advocate for the only medication that works for him and for others who need/use it but are too afraid to speak out.

A couple of months ago ACC members from as far away as Cullman and Alexander City converged on Anniston to attend his first court hearing. Michael was not even aware that he had a court hearing that day. He had not been notified by the circuit clerks office nor by his then attorney. Thankfully I have friends in the legal community who are more than willing to look up a case for me. The same thing happened today.

Last week I spoke with Michael and asked him when his next court date was. He said he hadn't heard anything and that his lawyer wasn't returning his calls. So, once again I called up a friend in the legal community and found out that Michael had a pre-trial hearing today and that his trial date had been set for Jan. 24, 2011. I told Michael who knew nothing about it.

I picked him up this morning and took him to court. We sat in court for about an hour and when most of the cases had been called he asked me if he should go and ask the D.A. if he was on the docket for today...just like last time. And, just like last time she said he was. He told her that he had not been notified and had it not been for me he wouldn't have known to be there. She said he was lucky he showed up or else a Failure to Appear warrant would have been sworn out for him. She told him that his lawyer wasn't going to be there until 10:15 so we decided to step outside and call her.

He called her and she told him he was not on the docket for today...that she had just gotten off the phone with the judge and he confirmed that. Michael told her that he was in court 'right now' and had just talked to the prosecutor and saw his name on the list and was told that she (his lawyer) was on the docket for 10:15. She said she would be there in a few minutes.

When we got back in the courtroom she was already there and in front of the Judge discussing his case. We sat down to wait and a few minutes later she took us out to a private consultation room. She asked Michael if he would accept a plea deal. We asked what kind and told her anything that didn't include unsupervised probation was out of the question due to marijuana being his legal, doctor approved medication. She said she would ask for unsupervised probation.

Michael was very reluctant to take the deal. In reality he had done nothing wrong, should not have been stopped in the first place much less searched and didn't feel he should be being put through this whole charade to begin with.

I told him that he should take the deal because it was as close as we were ever likely to get to getting him off scot free. That a deal like this in Alabama is unheard of for someone with a record like his (multiple possession charges for marijuana before he was a legal patient). He said he thought a jury would not convict him. I asked him to please remember where he was....that he would not be able to raise a medical defense in Alabama because we do not have a medical necessity law. I told him that my case all those years ago was different....that I wasn't facing 10-20 years in a state prison running at 195% capacity....that he could do more on the outside to change the law than inside. To please take the deal.

He finally decided...and it was a very difficult compromise for him...I mean he really, really struggled with take the deal if she could get it. He said he felt like he had caved, that he hadn't stood true to his values. I told him that was nonsense...the court is what caved by offering that deal. I told him he had absolutely nothing to feel sad about...that he had won if they offered the deal we wanted.

The lawyer came back in with the paperwork and said that the prosecution had agreed to the deal...all he needed to do was sign. I looked over the agreements and saw that the deal we had discussed was not in there and asked her about it. She said the D.A. didn't want it in writing. I asked her if we got in there and the DA or the Judge didn't accept his plea to 2 misdemeanors could he withdraw it and continue on with the trial as originally planned. She assured me that he could. I also asked her if this deal would be dependent on him passing a drug test today. She said she would work that out, that they usually do, but since this is his medicine she would try and avoid it. I told her if she couldn't then the deal would be off.

She began reading Michael his rights. She told him that the Judge would ask him if he had anything to say and that he should just say no. He said he didn't know if he could do that because he had plenty that he wanted to say about how fucked up this whole situation is, how he is a LEGAL patient, about how the law is wrong etc. I told him to please try not to say anything (and trust me I know how HARD it is to bite your tongue when in that situation) and he said he would do his best.

So, finally he signed the plea agreements, albeit it unhappily, and we proceeded back into the courtroom. When the Judge asked him if he had anything to say...he paused...and God it was a very long pause and I thought he was about to unload on the Judge and then he said "No."

The Judge asked him if he planned to return to California and Michael said "Yes". Then he sentenced him to 365 days in county, suspended, and 2 years UNSUPERVISED Probation, $250 on each count, court costs and lawyer fees and told him he was free to go.

Before that though his lawyer said, "Don't talk to the media because it will make the prosecution look soft on drugs and that will make it hard for me to work deals in the future." I told her we would try not to celebrate too much. As soon as we were out of there I called the Anniston Star and told them of the outcome since her request was just a request and not part of the deal Michael had signed.

I also asked the AS to investigate the fact that Michael was never notified about today's hearing and that even his lawyer was unaware....that if I hadn't known to get him to court that he would have been arrested for FTA through no fault of his own. Personally I think they did that shit on purpose. I can see it happening once....but twice? And the second time his lawyer didn't even know. Yeah...something's definitely up.

The fact that the media coverage was mentioned at all tells me all I need to know. ACC did one hell of a job coming to Michael's defense and alerting the public to this total miscarriage of justice. I want to personally than everyone who wrote a letter to the Anniston Star on his behalf, made comments on the letters that were printed, came to court with him, took him back and forth to ACC meetings and helped him in other ways.

WE DID IT Y'ALL!!! We defeated the dragons in Calhoun County and none of it would have been possible had it not been for you brave souls who dared to stand up and stare down the Alabama Criminal INJUSTICE system.

Many thanks are also in order to the Anniston Star. They picked up this story and ran with it the whole way through and published nearly every letter we sent in for Michael. Had it not been for them and their willingness to cover this issue then we would have never made the court fear us and back down today. Many thanks Anniston Star.

I never again want to hear that political advocacy and things like letter writing and showing up with someone for court don't have an effect. We made them cry uncle today and you should all be very proud of the part you played in it. I am still in shock that it turned out this way. Extremely happy in a bitter sweet way....but absolutely shocked.


Monday, December 06, 2010

Only in Alabama...

Only in Alabama will you find an 8 point buck as part of the Nativity Scene. Gee, I don't remember that from the KJV. Saw this at the local Christmas Parade and just had to share.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Duck a la Orange Anyone?

Amazing game. Just effin amazing! Garcia took an absolute beating! National Championship here we come!!!!

Duck a la Orange anyone?