Randy Clarke from New Westminster, BC performed Johnny Cash’s song “Folsom Prison Blues” for me in the prison music room, using one of the three guitars they have there. However, it’s been adapted for this prison, and is now called “Folkston Prison Blues” – you can listen to it online! Read more »
February 19 to 28 - In this issue: Warden Booker leaves the prison; GEO Group Vice President of Regional, Mr. Zenk, takes over as Acting Warden (he spoke with Jodie Emery by phone on February 10); a disruption in Q Building on February 22 (9 inmates go to SHU, solitary confinement); and a confrontational visitation on the long weekend of February 19-21. Read more »
Sunday, February 12: The cruelties just pile up here at D. Ray James. Jodie just visited me and there’s a new rule: NO Holding Hands! Wow! After being able to hold hands during the entire visits at Sea-Tac FDC in Seattle, and during Jodie’s first five visits to DRJ, we could hold hands the entire visit. This new rule is very distressing and disappointing. Read more »
February 8-14: On January 6, Warden Booker told me I was to be reinstated to my job in the law/reading library. After three weeks of waiting and going to the library daily in any case, I saw on the call-out sheets (daily assignment sheet) in late January that I was assigned to pick up garbage on the compound in the afternoon and evening. Considering any inmate can do this job but only 4 or 5 English speakers in the entire population can do the paralegal/secretarial work I was doing on behalf of the 1,500+ Hispanic inmates here, this new assignment was clearly an attempt by someone here to thwart the warden and humiliate me. Read more »
I remember Irwin Cotler, Canada’s Justice Minister in the twilight of Paul Martin’s Liberal government, commenting that Canadians had developed a culture of tolerance for marijuana use in the nation. This was on the heels of the Senate Committee urging marijuana legalization, my 2003 Summer of Legalization Tour across all ten provinces of Canada, and our 6-3 Supreme Court loss attempting to find Canada’s marijuana prohibition laws unconstitutional. In mid-2004 Cotler coolly and confidently asserted that his government would have “to change these perceptions.” Read more »
January 24th-31st, 2011: In one of my previous blogs I wrote that the Chaplain was getting 25 guitars for a music program similar to other prisons where inmates have regular and easy access to instruments to play. This was the understanding of Randy, a Canadian here from New Westminster (near Vancouver) whose music business associations back home had his Canadian musician friends offer 25 Spanish guitars to DRJCI for inmate use, since hundreds of inmates here are musicians. The management here turned down this offer to have 25 guitars donated free to D. Ray James, no explanation offered. Read more »
PM Stephen Harper has an opportunity to appoint a "vocal critic" of needle exchange as Commissioner of the RCMP. Although hardly surprisingly from the party that challenged InSite's right to operate (a safe injection facility proven to save lives and improve access to addiction treatment), this is one more step in the opposite direction of having a more peaceful and free country.Read more »
Article by: Ian Mulgrew, Vancouver Sun
After two decades as Canada's Prince of Pot, Marc Emery will surrender himself today in B.C. Supreme Court and become the country's first Marijuana Martyr.
Emery will begin serving what could be as long as five years behind bars as Uncle Sam's prisoner for a crime that in Canada would have earned him at most a month in the local hoosegow.
It is a legal tragedy that in my opinion marks the capitulation of our sovereignty and underscores the hypocrisy around cannabis.
Emery hasn't even visited America but he was arrested in July 2005 at the request of a Republican administration that abhorred his politics.
He is being handed over to a foreign government for an activity we are loath to prosecute because we don't think selling seeds is a major problem.
There are at least a score of seed-sellers downtown and many, many more such retail outlets across the country. Read more »