Jodie Emery, wife of "prince of pot" Marc Emery, got back last night from visiting her husband at a Mississippi prison, where he's serving a five-year sentence in connection with the seed empire he ran from Vancouver, B.C. It's a shame she couldn't bring any pot with her, because, she says, it could be helpful to treat a "superbug" he contacted in prison.
That healed. But a month or so later, right after being transferred to a federally run facility in Yazoo City, Mississippi, he developed a boil on his backside that the prison's medical staff has attributed to MRSA, an infection that is resistant to many antibiotics and that plagues prisons, hospitals, and other locales where people are kept in close quarters. Jodie says she's now not sure whether the original hole was really the work of MRSA, or whether a spider bite made her husband more vulnerable to the infection.
In any case, he's still grappling with disease. When Jodie saw him over the weekend (see picture of Marc and Jodie from a prison visit), she says, he had a wound on his leg, which until recently had been seeping with pus and causing him pain. Marc himself chronicles the latest developments--in his health as well as in his newfound musical career, having joined a prison band called Stuck--on a blog he writes, posted online with the help of supporters. "Well, now my cellmate has contracted MRSA," he writes in a July 30 entry. The culprit, apparently, was the soap they shared.
Wouldn't you know it, "MRSA can actually be treated with cannabis," Jodie says. She says there's research to back this up, and in fact, a group of scientists from Italy and the United Kingdom published a study three years ago claiming that several cannabis compounds showed "exceptional activity against the MRSA strain."
Of course, there's no chance of Marc and his fellow inmates getting pot. In prison, Jodie says, "even getting basic medicine is a challenge." Indeed, Jodie now sounds as worked up about prison conditions as she is about changing marijuana laws. Is prison activism next on the agenda? "I'd really like to devote more time to that," Jodie says.