This prison blog is in response to the recent media coverage of Liberal Party of Canada leader Justin Trudeau and his comments about smoking pot with Marc Emery. The following is Marc's clarification about what really happened.
Note: Justin Trudeau denied ever having smoked marijuana with Marc Emery.
Back in summer 2009 I was going across Canada on a "Farewell Tour," meeting fans and supporters at speaking engagements in over 30 cities, where I would speak for one to three hours about marijuana, prohibition, and more. There's a video -- and from what I'm told, it's a good one, mostly -- of me speaking at Toronto's Vapor Central during that tour.
I didn't commission it. I haven't seen it. It was posted on YouTube after I was sent off to exile here in the U.S. penal system, and we don't have internet here, so I don't recall the specifics of what I may have said.
Here's the link to the Trudeau comment portion, as it has now been made notorious by a remark I made that is under-explained.
Apparently in this 2009 speech I am seen saying the following, after the recently elected Member of Parliament Justin Trudeau voted "yes" to the Conservative Party's mandatory minimum for pot cultivation legislation introduced in the 2009 Parliamentary session:
"(Pierre Trudeau's) son has smoked with me four or five times, so it really pisses me off when I see Justin Trudeau, who took big gaggers with me, is in Parliament actually voting for Bill C-15. What a fucking hypocrite."
But I have only smoked pot on one occasion with Justin Trudeau. The "four or five times" is four or five times that evening. It was on the patio of a second floor restaurant on West Broadway Avenue in Vancouver, in August 2003, during a small dinner party with mutual friends Jaymie, an aficionado like me, and Lara -- who, while delightful company, did not smoke any pot with us that evening. We had all spoken at Ideacity in Toronto the previous June (where I was smoking pot beside Justin Trudeau at the evening parties, but in the presence of numerous cameras, so I did not even offer him any joints that I was firing up), and this August occasion was an evening dinner between the four Ideacity alumni before that evening's fireworks were being presented, in what was then called Symphony of Fire (and is now the Celebration of Light).
So in my frustration during that Farewell Tour speech recorded on video, I said "four or five times," but I meant in one occasion -- not on four or five separate occasions, which would be brazenly false on the face of it.
If I was out there in the world, and had seen this video, or was aware of my exact wording that was being shown, I would certainly try to clarify this statement, or have it edited, or something. I would have done anything to clear up what is clearly now a false inference. I said "gaggers" in that speech because, well, that is a fun name for big joints (and I'm sure they were decent-sized joints as I rolled them).
Now, it is really embarrassing that this video has me saying "four or five times" without further clarification, and it's been out there for years; no wonder the honourable leader of the Liberal Party is pissed and says I'm "flat-out lying." That he has smoked pot with me on four or five separate occasions, yes, that is completely false, and I take responsibility for saying four or five times without the whole story.
But I didn't lie; I meant to reference that Justin Trudeau has smoked pot. I witnessed it in 2003 (he enjoyed it) and then six years later as an MP he went to Parliament and voted for bad legislation that sought to put pot people put in prison for mandatory minimum prison terms (it was defeated that time by a delay in the Senate).
However, that was then, and this is now. Today, as Liberal Party leader he is doing a terrific job on the issue of marijuana and its legal status. He is advocating the clearest, most rational policy -- legalization -- that I can imagine a Canadian leader putting forth.
I can completely understand why he'd be incensed by remarks I made that imply he's smoked pot with me on four or five separate occasions. It was 10 years ago this month that we smoked a joint together and I'm not sure he remembers that much about it. I remember the one evening pretty clearly.
But that's it. No other times do I have any first-hand knowledge about Justin Trudeau and pot consumption. I had employees and friends who lived in Whistler and knew Justin Trudeau and Ross Rebagliatti. Pot use is extremely common in most of B.C., but especially in Whistler and Vancouver.
Canadians, and myself especially, have long been waiting for the promises made by prime ministers Pierre Trudeau (the LeDain Commission in 1970) and Jean Chretien (the $100 fine proposal in 2003) to be recognized as a legal and normal choice of behaviour.
Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party are doing a terrific job on this issue, which is sure to send millions of young Canadians to the polls in October 2015 to support their efforts to legalize marijuana. I'm deeply embarrassed to cause such a problem for Canada's future prime minister, and deeply regret my too-vague and unexplained remarks.
I hope I've set the record straight. But in closing I want to say that it doesn't really matter how many times Trudeau smoked with me, or if he never did it at all -- the important story here is that the future prime minister of Canada wants to legalize marijuana because he knows that prohibition is an expensive, failed policy that is enriching gangs and destroying people's lives.
The majority of Canadians support legalization, and they do not have any problems with a politician admitting to consuming a substance that's much less harmful than alcohol. Hopefully Trudeau will continue to campaign for pot law reform.
Marc Emery #40252-086
Yazoo City federal prison, Mississippi
*This article originally appeared in CannabisCulture.com.
President Barack Obama has admitted to smoking marijuana and using cocaine <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/09/us/politics/09obama.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0">during his high school and college days</a>. "When I was a kid, I inhaled often," <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/24/world/americas/24iht-dems.3272493.html">he once told magazine editors, according to The New York Times</a>. "That was the point."
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' use of LSD in his younger days is well-documented. He once called the experience <a href="http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2011/10/24/Steve-Jobs-10-Revealing-Quotes-from-His-Biography.aspx#zqEbfO6jmqxtvYKB.99">"one of the most important things in my life."</a> His use of the drug was even noted in an <a href="http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-02/10/steve-jobs-fbi">FBI background check</a>, according to Wired.
President Bill Clinton famously admitted to trying marijuana while completing his Rhodes scholarship at Oxford. "When I was in England I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn’t like it," <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/1992/03/30/us/the-1992-campaign-new-york-clinton-admits-experiment-with-marijuana-in-1960-s.html?gwh=B1648339901F9BBAADA0D9EC8C030343">The New York Times reported in 1992</a>. "I didn’t inhale it, and never tried it again.”
Virgin Group chairman and founder <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/06/opinion/branson-end-war-on-drugs">Richard Branson is an outspoken advocate of marijuana legilization</a>, once writing an op-ed for CNN that called for an end to the war on drugs. He reportedly asked <a href="http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0312/74111.html">President Obama during a White House visit if he could "have a spliff"</a> in 2012. "They didn't have any," he added.
New York City Mayor and Bloomberg L.P. founder Michael Bloomberg found himself in hot water when he admitted to smoking marijuana back in 2002, The New York Times reports. When asked by a reporter if he had ever tried pot, he responded: <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/10/nyregion/bloomberg-says-he-regrets-marijuana-remarks.html">"You bet I did. And I enjoyed it."</a>
Playboy founder Hugh Hefner credits his use of marijuana later in life with changing his perspective on sex. "I didn't know what making love was all about for all those years," Hefner <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2010/11/23/hugh-hefner-talks-monogomy-miley-cyrus-marijuana/">who supports legalization</a> is quoted as saying in <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/High-In-America-Politics-Marijuana/dp/0670119903">High In America: The True Story Behind NORML</a></em>. <a href="http://www.druglibrary.org/special/anderson/highinamerica8.htm">"Smoking helped put me in touch with the realm of the senses."</a>
Billionaire investor George Soros is a known supporter of marijuana legalization and even wrote a 2010 Wall Street Journal op-ed rather straight-forwardly entitled <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303467004575574450703567656.html">"Why I Support Legal Marijuana."</a> His <a href="http://www.aim.org/special-report/the-hidden-soros-agenda-drugs-money-the-media-and-political-power/">use of the drug may be far less proflific</a>, however. He told Reuters in 1997 that while he had "enjoyed" trying marijuana, <a href="http://www.mpp.org/outreach/top-50-marijuana-users-list.html">"it did not become a habit and I have not tasted it in many years."</a>
Jimmy Cayne, former CEO of Bear Stearns, kept an<a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/wall-street-cocaine-stories-2012-7?op=1"> antacid bottle full of cocaine</a> in his desk, according to the book <a href="http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Sellout.html?id=Jq030Cp_SjQC">The Sellout</a>.
The former vice presidential candidate and reality TV star told Anchorage Daily News back in 2006 that she couldn't <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/08/29/politics/politico/thecrypt/main4397109.shtml">"claim a Bill Clinton and say that I never inhaled,”</a> CBS News reports.
Bill Gates, chairman and co-founder of Microsoft, hinted at once using LSD and marijuana in a <a href="http://ei.cs.vt.edu/~history/Bill.Gates.html">1994 interview with Playboy</a>. Likewise, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Gates-Microsofts-Reinvented-Industry-Himself/dp/0671880748">biographer Stephen Manes</a> wrote that "<a href="http://www.mpp.org/outreach/top-50-marijuana-users-list.html">Gates was certainly not unusual there</a> [around drugs]. Marijuana was the pharmaceutical of choice…”
Former Ronald Reagan economic adviser and current CNBC host Larry Kudlow is reported to have both smoked marijuana and <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2000/nov/29/workandcareers.madeleinebunting">used cocaine frequently</a> at periods in his life. After being fired from Bear Sterns in the mid-1990s, <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=bOQCAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA38&dq=kudlow+cocaine&ei=VCR0S9XdEpG2NJDq0bsE&cd=1#v=twopage&q&f=true">Kudlow entered a rehabilitation program to deal with his cocaine addiction</a>, according to New York Magazine.
Super model Naomi Campbell <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/id/7018893/site/todayshow/ns/today-entertainment/t/naomi-campbell-say-she-nearly-self-destructed-because-cocaine/#.USU_XVo6VOg">admitted in 2005 to abusing cocaine during her career</a>. "I have admitted using illegal drugs and some years ago I recognised that I had a problem" <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-99840/Naomi-confesses-drug-abuse.html#ixzz2LTfhOeI6">she was quoted as saying in The Daily Mail.</a> "I knew that it was wrong and had damaged me and I decided to try and sort myself out."
Peter Lewis, former CEO of Progressive Insurance, has both <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2012/04/20/high-roller-how-billionaire-peter-lewis-is-bankrolling-marijuana-legalization/">smoked marijuana and lobbied heavily for its legalization</a>. After smoking weed recreationally in his youth, he started using it medicinally after his leg was amputated. “<a href="http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2012/07/16/medical-marijuana-question-thank-78-year-billionaire-insurance-executive/">I was very glad I had marijuana,"</a> he told Boston Magazine. "It didn’t exactly eliminate the pain, but it made the pain tolerable — and it let me avoid those heavy-duty narcotic pain relievers that leave you incapacitated.”
Former California Governor and all around legend Arnold Schwarzenegger can be seen smoking marijuana in the 1977 documentary "Pumping Iron." He later said that he <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-207_162-529462.html">"did smoke a joint and I did inhale,"</a> CBS News reports.
In a 2009 lawsuit, it was alleged that Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff frequently sent messengers to buy cocaine for <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1221984/Fraudster-Bernie-Madoff-cocaine-office-dubbed-North-Pole.html">"himself and the company."</a> Actually, before Madoff's $60 billion Ponzi scheme fell apart, his office was known as <a href="http://articles.cnn.com/2009-10-22/justice/madoff.lawsuit_1_bernie-madoff-kpmg-jp-morgan-chase?_s=PM:CRIME">"the North Pole"</a> because of the allegedly excessive cocaine use during work hours, according to CNN.
Essayist and author Aldous Huxley is said to have experimented with hallucinogenics, even writing an account of his use of mescaline in <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/20/10-celebrity-lsd-users_n_1440786.html">"The Doors Of Perception."</a>
Former Vice President and climate change activist Al Gore is rumored to have smoked marijuana often in college. However, Gore characterized his marijuana use as <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2000/feb/07/uselections2000.usa">"infrequent and rare,"</a> according to The Guardian.
Best-selling author Maya Angelou reportedly <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=uVEK3f8ojJUC&pg=PA16&lpg=PA16&dq=maya+angelou+marijuana+use&source=bl&ots=iiUM7k5Uqw&sig=BlWCUSUqUIHOokcdjr3kA2GVrjg&hl=en&sa=X&ei=BHouUbW_FYm-9QSPooHABw&ved=0CFAQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=maya%20angelou%20marijuana%20use&f=false">"settled into a job as a waitress and began smoking marijuana with abandon"</a> early in her life, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Angelou-Blooms-BioCritiques-Cindy-Dyson/dp/0791061779">according to a biography by Harold Bloom and Cindy Dyson</a>.
CNN founder and Atlanta Braves owner <a href="http://coedmagazine.com/2009/02/06/the-10-most-successful-potheads-on-the-planet-cool-enough-to-admit-it/">Ted Turner is rumored</a> to have grown pot in his college dorm room, according to COED Magazine (he's reportedly also a major donor to the Kentucky Hemp Museum). After banning cigarette smoking at CNN in the early '90s, a memo emerged that claimed it <a href="http://tobaccodocuments.org/pm/2024271877.html">"was common knowledge that Turner sits in his office and smokes marijuana."</a>
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas smoked marijuana <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/1991/07/11/us/thomas-smoked-marijuana-but-retains-bush-support.html">"several times"</a> in college, White House spokesman Judy Smith said back in 1991.
Nobel Prize-winning chemist <a href="http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2006/01/70015?currentPage=all">Kary Mullis credited much of his success to his use of LSD</a>, according to Wired.
"I have done just about every drug possible: cocaine, ecstasy, LSD and, my favorite, heroin." [The Mirror, 1996]
"I didn't live my life in the right way for politics, you know. I fucked too many chicks and did too many drugs, and that's the truth. That's gonna be my campaign slogan: 'I drank the bong water.'" [Newsweek, 2011]
<em>On smoking a joint to calm herself before winning her 1991 Oscar for "Ghost":</em> "Smoking cigarettes and pot every now and then are my habits. And so I thought, 'I've got to relax.' So I smoked this wonderful joint that was the last of my homegrown. And honey, when [Denzel Washington] said my name and I popped up, I thought, 'Oh, fuck.'"
"I mean, I still love a waterfall or the odd hallucinogenic drug. I liked mushrooms, which were legal until a year or so ago. If I had a drug of choice, it would be magic mushrooms." [The Guardian, 2007]
"I’ve done drugs, and that’s how I know I don’t like them. Cocaine is back with a vengeance. Everyone in every club is doing drugs. A lot of people are on prescription drugs. Celebrities aren’t trying to hide it, except where people have camera phones. ... I wanted to try several things and make an informed decision, but I didn’t enjoy anything other than marijuana. I don’t even think of it as a drug -- it should be legalized. I know about five people who aren’t on drugs today, and I’m one of them." [Maxim, 2007]
“Without cigarettes, I would be doing heroin, probably, on a daily basis.” [Blender, 2007]
<em>On doing cocaine with her boyfriend in the '70s while working as an anchorwoman in Nashville:</em> "I did your drug. This is probably one of the hardest things I have ever said. ... I had a perfect, round, little Afro, I went to church on Sunday and I went to Wednesday prayer meetings when I could ... and I did drugs." ["The Oprah Winfrey Show," 1995]
"I spent most of my life looking for the quick fix and the deep kick. I shot drugs under freeway off-ramps with Mexican gangbangers and in thousand-dollar-a-day hotel suites. Now I sip vitamin-infused water and seek out wild, as opposed to farm-raised, salmon." ["Scar Tissue," published 2005]
"When I was 10 ½, I was sitting in a room with a group of young adults who were smoking pot. I wanted to try some, and they said, 'Sure. Isn't it cute, a little girl getting stoned?' Eventually that got boring, and my addict mind told me, 'Well, if smoking pot is cute, it'll also be cute to get the heavier stuff like cocaine.' It was gradual. What I did kept getting worse and worse, and I didn't care what anybody else thought." [People, 1989]
"I kind of took matters into my own hands and was creating drama in a very dangerous way. I think I was just bored, and I had seen everything. Especially when you're young, you just want more. ... At 18 I had just been doing a lot of cocaine." [People, 2007]
"[Marijuana] keeps me sane and happy. I could write without it if I was sane and happy. ... This is the only kind of drug I ever thought worth taking." [ITV's "South Bank Show," 2008]
"Never give up the ganja." [The Guardian, 2003]
"I've never been a major smoker, but I think America's view on weed is ridiculous. I mean, are you kidding me? If everyone smoked weed, the world would be a better place." [The Daily Mail, 2007]
"I was consumed by cocaine, booze and who knows what else. I apparently never got the memo that the Me generation had ended." ["Love Is the Cure: On Life, Loss and the End of AIDS," published 2012]
“I’m a recreational pot-smoker. ... There has never been enough of a distinction between marijuana and other drugs. In the classic, weird hygiene movies from high school, everything led to depravity -- marijuana, sex, coffee! There was no distinction made between the effects of one thing. So it’s always been lumped in with drugs in general. It’s a human rights issue, a censorship issue and a choice issue." [High Times, 2003]
“Cocaine was even in the budgets of movies, thinly disguised. It was petty cash, you know? It was supplied, basically, on movie sets because everyone was doing it. People would make deals. Instead of having a cocktail, you’d have a line." [Newsweek, 2011]
"I had a bag of mushrooms in my refrigerator. My cat used to sneak into the refrigerator and eat them. ... He ate them voraciously; it was like catnip to him. So I thought, 'What the heck, I better do it with him.' I remember lying on my bed for hours and Lewis was on the desk across my bed for hours, and we just stared at each other -- not moving, just staring at each other, and I had no doubt that he was my brother. But having said that, I don't do that anymore. And you know what? Later in life, when I was completely not doing any of that, I know he said 'Hi' to me." ["Late Show With David Letterman," 2010]
"I don't trust anyone who hasn't been self-destructive in some way. Who hasn't gone through some sort of bout of self-loathing. You've got to bang yourself around a bit to know yourself." [GQ, 2011]
"hi guys, i smoke pot. ok guys, bye." [Twitter, 2013]
“I got into a scene. I started going out and taking ecstasy. From ecstasy, it went to crystal meth. With any drugs, everything is great at the beginning, and then slowly your life starts to spiral down. [I was] 90 pounds at one point.” ["Oprah's Next Chapter," 2012]