Marc Scott Emery (born February 13, 1958) is a Canadian cannabis policy reform advocate, as well as a former cannabis seed seller. He is currently serving a five year sentence in a United States federal prison for selling cannabis seeds.[1]

Biographical Summary[]

US Government officials have described Emery as a drug dealer[2][3][4][5] for his efforts to sell marijuana seeds nationally and abroad. He is the publisher of Cannabis Culture magazine, a founding member of the Freedom Party of Ontario, the Marijuana Party of Canada and the BC Marijuana Party, founder of the Iboga Therapy House and founder of Pot TV. He ran for mayor of the city of Vancouver in 1996, 2002 and 2008.

He is formerly a retailer of cannabis seeds for cultivation, having started Marc Emery Direct Marijuana Seeds in 1995, which he ran until it was closed by a raid by Vancouver police acting on the request of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on July 29, 2005, despite the fact that the sale of cannabis seeds is legal in Canada.

Emery was taken into custody on September 28, 2009,[6][7] and held at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Port Coquitlam, BC, to await extradition to the USA. On November 18, 2009, Emery was released on bail, pending the Canadian Minister of Justice signing the extradition order;[8] and on May 10, 2010, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson signed the order and ordered Emery to surrender to authorities, which he did that same day.[9]

On May 10, Justice Minister Nicholson ruled Emery be extradited to the United States. He faces 5 years in the US penal system. The possibility exists Emery may be allowed to serve all or part of his sentence in Canada. US authorities have not rejected this option, should Canada make such a formal request.[10]

On May 20, 2010, Emery was extradited to the United States. On May 24, he appeared in a Seattle courtroom and pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana.

On June 3, officials at the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac, Washington gave Emery an official citation for allowing his wife, BC Green Party Director-at-Large Jodie Emery, to record a message from him over the phone, claiming it broke the prison's rule forbidding third-party calls. Emery was locked in a Segregated Housing Unit (SHU) for three weeks.[11]

On September 10, 2010 in a Seattle court room, Marc Emery was sentenced to 5 years in prison.[12] US district court judge Ricardo Martinez sentenced Emery, stating there was no question his actions were criminal and that Emery ensured others broke the law by selling them the seeds. The court noted Emery claimed on his website to have made some $3 million a year from selling seeds from his Vancouver headquarters.[13] Emery donated almost all of the money generated from his seed sales to marijuana policy reform efforts. Emery's claims that his arrest was political were disputed by the prosecution.[14][15] On November 19, 2010 Marc Emery was transferred to the D. Ray James Correctional Facility in Folkston, GA. He has since been transferred to FCI Correctional Institution in Yazoo City, MS to serve the rest of his sentence.

Marijuana Seed Business[]

Emery moved to Vancouver, British Columbia in March 1994, and founded a store called Hemp BC on July 7. His store played a major part in expanding Canada's then very small and underground industry in cannabis-related paraphernalia.[16] Bongs and pipes are illegal in Canada under section 462.2 of the Criminal Code,[17] and were not readily available in Canada at the time. Emery imported and wholesaled a variety of bongs, pipes and other cannabis-related items, and encouraged other people to open their own "Hemp Stores" across Canada.[18][19]

In late 1994, a court challenge sponsored by Emery convinced an Ontario judge to overturn the Canadian prohibition on marijuana and drug-related literature, making it legal for High Times Magazine and marijuana grow books to be sold in Canada once more.[20][21]

Emery began selling marijuana seeds in late 1994, after attending the High Times Cannabis Cup and being inspired by a Dutch seed store named Sensi Seeds.[22] In early 1995 he launched Cannabis Canada Magazine, which was renamed Cannabis Culture Magazine in 1998.

In December 1995, Emery and his seed business were featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal,[23] leading to a deluge of media attention.[24] One month later, in January 1996, Hemp BC was raided by Vancouver police who seized Emery's bongs and seeds and charged him with selling marijuana seeds and "promoting vaporizers." He was later convicted and given a $2200 fine, $500 for each of four counts of selling marijuana seeds and $200 for vaporizer promotion.[25]

Emery re-opened his store the next day, and continued to sell paraphernalia and marijuana seeds. By 1997 he had expanded his store to include a Grow Shop, a Legal Assistance Centre, and the Cannabis Cafe, which featured a custom-built vaporizer built into every table.[18][26]

On October 12, 1997, Marc Emery was featured on CNN Impact in an episode called "Canada Cannabis."[27] The announcer referred to Emery as the "Prince of Pot" and the label stuck.[28] This drew major international media attention to Emery and his Hemp BC store once more.

The Vancouver police returned on December 16, 1997, once again emptying his store of seeds and paraphernalia, as well as taking the vaporizers out of the Cannabis Cafe. Police claimed to have seized about $1.6 million worth of marijuana-related merchandise, plus tens of thousands of marijuana seeds.[29]

Emery was jailed but not charged with any seed or paraphernalia offenses[30] but he was charged and convicted of "assaulting a police officer" because he spat on a police officer while they were forcibly removing protesters from in front of the store. In a later interview, Emery stated "I was found guilty and fined two hundred dollars. My defense was that it was justifiable as they were assaulting my employees. We have video tape of them kicking, shoving objects at, using a truncheon, and pulling on the hair of David Malmo-Levine and Ian Roberts. I wanted to show my disgust in a non-violent way, and to draw the police toward me and away from my employees."[31]

Emery was also banned from returning to the 300 block of West Hastings, where his businesses were located.[32]

Emery re-opened Hemp BC the next day[33] but then sold the store to his manager shortly thereafter, who suffered repeated raids during 1998[34] and then had her business license revoked by the city.[35][36][37]

Emery's seed business was raided again at its office location on April 30, 1998, and Emery was charged with selling marijuana seeds. Another raid on September 2, 1998, saw Emery jailed overnight again and his seeds confiscated, but no charges were laid. He was convicted from the April raid in 1999, and given a $2000 fine.[25]

In August 1998, Vancouver Mayor Philip Owen had told the New York Times that Hemp BC was "going to be toast by September."[38]

Court documents showed that four American navy undercover agents attempted to buy marijuana and smoke it at the Cannabis Cafe. The documents showed the Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents worked in a joint operation with Vancouver police in April 1998.[39]

Emery was convicted on charges of selling marijuana seeds in 1998, and received a $2000 fine.[40] He switched his walk-in marijuana seed business to mail-order only, and continued to publish Cannabis Culture magazine. In early 2000 he was expanding again, with the establishment of Pot-TV, a marijuana-related video channel.[41][42]

In 2001, Emery was a featured presenter at Idea City,[43] an annual gathering of notable Canadians organized by Moses Znaimer.

In November 2002, then US "Drug Czar" John P. Walters visited Vancouver to give a speech at a luncheon sponsored by the Vancouver Board of Trade. Emery bought a table for himself and other local cannabis activists, and heckled Walters as he spoke about the need for Canada to embrace the "War on Drugs."[44][45]

From 1998 until his arrest in 2005, Emery paid provincial and federal taxes as a "marijuana seed vendor" totaling nearly $600,000.[40]

Emery has described himself as a "major financial backer of almost every pro-pot effort in North America and many more around the world." He claims that he spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in election campaigning for the Canadian Marijuana Party, BC Marijuana Party and the Vancouver Marijuana Party. He also claims to have funded numerous marijuana activist groups, paid for several major legal challenges to aspects of Canada's cannabis laws, and made large donations to various pro-pot ballot initiatives in US states such as California, Nevada, Alaska and Arizona, plus financially backed pro-cannabis activities in New Zealand, Australia, Russia and elsewhere around the world.[46]

Personal Life[]

On July 23, 2006, Marc Emery married Jodie Joanna Giesz-Ramsay (now Jodie Emery). Jodie Emery works as an editor on Cannabis Culture magazine. She works with her husband as a political activist seeking the end of marijuana prohibition and also seeks the repatriation of her husband back to Canada.[47] She ran as a candidate for the Green Party of British Columbia in the British Columbia general election, 2009,[48] coming in third, losing to British Columbia Liberal Party member Kash Heed.[49] She is the BC Green Party's Policing and Crime Critic, and was elected as a Director-At-Large at the 2010 BC Green Party Annual General Meeting.[50]


  1. 'Prince of Pot' Marc Emery Sentenced To Five Years in US Prison
  2. "A Drug Dealer's Toll on Americans". Washington Post. 2006-03-29. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/28/AR2006032801619_pf.html. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  3. "Canada's 'Prince of Pot' faces extradition". Melbourne: The Age. 2005-08-31. http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/canadas-prince-of-pot-faces-extradition/2005/08/30/1125302570332.html. Retrieved 2005-08-31. 
  4. "The Prince of Pot". CBS News. 2006-03-05. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/03/02/60minutes/main1363340.shtml?CMP=ILC-SearchStories. Retrieved 2006-03-05. 
  5. "U.S. seeks extradition of Canadian pot crusader". CBC News. 2005-07-29. Archived from the original on 2007-02-17. http://web.archive.org/web/20070217080635/http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2005/07/29/pot-raid050729.html. Retrieved 2005-07-29. 
  6. Marc Emery to be Taken Into Custody | Cannabis Culture Magazine. Cannabisculture.com. Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  7. CN BC: Emery's Tearful Goodbye. Mapinc.org (2009-09-29). Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  8. CN BC: Emery Out on Bail Till Extradition. Mapinc.org (2009-11-18). Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  9. Canada (2010-05-10). "‘Prince of Pot’ will be extradited". Toronto: The Globe and Mail. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/prince-of-pot-will-be-extradited/article1563251/. Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  10. Marc Emery Turns Himself In. News 1130 All News Radio
  11. http://www.cannabisculture.com/v2/content/2010/06/09/Marc-Emery-Put-Solitary-Confinement-US-Prison-Recording-Podcast
  12. Prince Of Pot Marc Emery Sentenced To 5 Years In Prison By US Judge. Damian Inwood. The Province. Retrieved Sept 10, 2010.
  13. Pot Prince Gets 5 Years. Canadian Press. Retrieved Sept 10, 2010
  14. http://www.seattlepi.com/local/426360_Emery08.html
  15. http://www.opposingviews.com/i/marc-emery-s-former-prosecutor-denounces-pot-prohibition
  16. HempBC | Cannabis Culture Magazine. .cannabisculture.com (2000-02-08). Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  17. Drug Lingo and Drug Paraphernalia. National Anti-Drug Strategy (2009-07-21). Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  18. 18.0 18.1 HempBC | Cannabis Culture Magazine. Cannabisculture.com (2000-02-08). Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  19. Opening a Hempstore. Cannabisculture.com. Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  20. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ReferenceA
  21. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named greentide.ca
  22. Marc Emery, Canada's Prince of Pot | Cannabis Culture Magazine. Cannabisculture.com. Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  23. Drug war, American style: the ... - Google Books. Books.google.ca. 2001. ISBN 9780815334057. http://books.google.ca/books?id=yyjnqwvaC0wC&pg=PA131. Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  24. Marc Emery Puts Pot Industry on the Business Map | Cannabis Culture Magazine. Cannabisculture.com (2003-10-20). Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Marc Emery's Sentence Reeks of Injustice and Mocks our Sovereignty | Cannabis Culture Magazine. Cannabisculture.com. Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  26. Celebrating a decade of cannabis activism | Cannabis Culture Magazine. Cannabisculture.com. Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  27. “”. The Prince of Pot - Marc Emery and BC Bud on CNN Impact (1997) - Part 1. YouTube. Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  28. Transcript: CNN IMPACT: Canada Cannabis. Mapinc.org (1997-10-12). Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  29. Canada: BC: Raid Fails to Get Tokers Off the Pot. Mapinc.org (1997-12-18). Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  30. Canada: BC: Cops Pull Pot Pals Off to the Slammer. Mapinc.org (1997-12-17). Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  31. Marc Emery spits on cops | Cannabis Culture Magazine. Cannabisculture.com (2000-04-23). Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  32. https://circle.ubc.ca/bitstream/handle/2429/9355/ubc_1999-0176.pdf;jsessionid=6CF4C1BB3593924D9A3BC5C1CCB29AC5?sequence=1
  33. Canada: BC: Raid Fails to Get Tokers Off the Pot. Mapinc.org (1997-12-18). Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  34. Canada: Cafe Raid Sparks Backlash. Mapinc.org (1998-10-11). Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  35. Hemp BC's show-cause showdown | Cannabis Culture Magazine. Cannabisculture.com (1999-04-30). Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  36. Show Cause (Cannabis) Minutes - March 8/99. Vancouver.ca. Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  37. The E-Carillon: declassified. Carillon.uregina.ca (1999-03-12). Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  38. Canada BC: In Vancouver, Tolerance Of Drugs Draws Addicts. Mapinc.org (1998-08-21). Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  39. Canada: Judge Orders Cannabis Cafe Closed. Mapinc.org (1999-06-10). Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  40. 40.0 40.1 Mulgrew, Ian 2009-09-27}. Marc Emery's sentence reeks of injustice and mocks our sovereignty. Vancouversun.com. Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  41. www.pot.tv
  42. http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n1678/a04.html Drug news
  43. Marc Emery | Moses Znaimer's ideaCity10: Ideas Change the World. Ideacityonline.com. Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  44. “”. The Prince of Pot - The John Walters Project - Part 1. YouTube. Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  45. Youtube
  46. cannabisculture.com
  47. Post by Jodie Emery
  48. Broadcast Yourself. YouTube. Retrieved on 2010-08-01.
  49. [1]
  50. http://jodieformla.ca/

External links[]

Related video[]

This page uses some content from Wikipedia. See this Wikipedia article: Marc Emery. The list of authors there can be seen in the page history there. As with the Cannabis Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.