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Reverend Eddy does Xmas in the joint

Pot politician will miss Igloolik’s Christmas cheer



The man who ran as Nunavut’s Marijuana Party candidate during the last federal election will spend Christmas inside a maximum-security prison.

Ed deVries is presently serving a six-month prison sentence for trafficking marijuana and laundering the proceeds of crime at the Central East Detention Centre in Lindsay, Ontario.

The Ontario prison holds convicts serving sentences of less than two years, such as deVries, as well as inmates detained before trial who are considered to be a flight risk, or too dangerous to be at large. The jail can hold 1,200 inmates.

It’s unclear why deVries was transferred from the Baffin Correctional Centre in Iqaluit.

But in a letter that deVries wrote from prison to this newspaper last month, he said he’s angry he’s been transferred south. He also said he’s upset he “missed the mark” for early release over the holidays by nine days, so he won’t see his family at Christmas.

“I want to publicly state my disappointment in the Nunavut Justice department and the people charged with applying the law there,” he wrote.

In December 2003, RCMP intercepted a filing cabinet filled with marijuana that had been mailed from Ontario to Iqaluit, addressed to a company owned by deVries.

Business appeared to have been brisk. DeVries told Nunatsiaq News during an interview this summer that when Revenue Canada audited his “natural pain relief” business – by which he meant marijuana sales – for the 2002 to 2004 fiscal years, they found him to be $240,000 in arrears.

In his November letter, DeVries maintains he hurt nobody and that his sentence is unjust. He spends more than 16 hours a day in a cell nine feet by 12 feet wide, he wrote.

DeVries signed his letter “Reverend Brother D. Ed. deVries” – a reference to what he describes as his ordination as a minister of the Church of the Universe in March this year.

The Church of the Universe promotes smoking marijuana, as well as nudism – a practice that deVries distances himself from.

The church was founded in 1969 at a water-filled former quarry in Puslinch, Ontario, between Hamilton and Guelph. The site became known for biker parties, and the unexplained appearance of a corpse in 1975.

During the federal election last winter, Nunavut’s Marijuana Party received 7.8 per cent of the vote, more than the Green Party.

DeVries’ release date is Jan. 24.

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