Pubdate: Sun, 10 Jul 2011
Source: Nanaimo Daily News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2011 Nanaimo Daily News
Author: Laura Kane, Postmedia News


Jailed marijuana activist Marc Emery is suffering from a "superbug"
infection called MRSA, leaving his wife seriously concerned for his
health as he serves at least three more years in a Mississippi prison.

Jodie Emery said he was diagnosed earlier this year after a boil above
his buttock tested positive for the infection

While his initial outbreak has been treated, methicillin-resistant
staphylococcus aureus is a staph bacterium that can cause infections
that are resistant to most antibiotics. MRSA is highly contagious and
has become a widespread problem in prisons and hospitals, according to
the U.S. Centers for Disease Control website.

Emery, known as Vancouver's "prince of pot," is serving five years for
conspiracy to manufacture marijuana through his mailorder cannabis
seed company. He was extradited to the United States last year and is
expecting an early release date of July 9, 2014.

While Emery is trying to stay safe by washing his hands frequently and
avoiding injuries, Jodie worries the MRSA could lead to fatal

"Marc suffering this sort of dangerous infection after being
extradited and imprisoned in the U.S. -- after harming nobody at all --
proves the insanity of war on marijuana," Jodie said.

"Peaceful, non-violent people like Marc are being put in harm's way
because of prohibition."

MRSA makes surgery risky and can create severe infections in open
wounds. One of Emery's former cellmates died of postsurgical
complications involving an infection, Jodie said. Emery has been
keeping busy in jail, learning bass guitar for a prison band called
Stuck. Another group of prisoners wrote a song about him called Prince
of Pot after seeing Tommy Chong wearing a Free Marc shirt on CNN.

"He's in really good spirits emotionally," Jodie said. "Trying to stay
positive is the hardest thing for both of us."

Emery was transferred from a private facility in Georgia to a jail
outside Jackson, Mississippi. in April. His request to be moved to a
Canadian prison was rejected. He will be eligible to apply again in
two years.

He began selling marijuana seeds in Vancouver in 1994, and was a
founding member of the Marijuana Party of Canada. He was arrested in
2005 by Canadian police acting on a request from the United States
Drug Enforcement Administration.

He has received thousands of letters of support from all over the
world, Jodie said.

"When medical marijuana was first legalized in California in 1996, he
sent seeds down to people who really needed them," she said. "We get
letters from people who say, 'Marc Emery saved my life.'"
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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.