Canada’s “Prince of Pot” has contracted a serious bacterial infection while serving a five-year prison sentence in the U.S. for selling marijuana seeds.
Vancouver marijuana activist Marc Emery was diagnosed with MRSA, or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureu — a painful infection that often appears on the skin — after he was transferred from a private prison in Georgia to Mississippi in late spring.
According to Emery’s wife Jodie, the trouble first began when Emery was bitten by a brown recluse spider while serving time in Georgia and the bite took several months to heal. He was given antibiotics for the bite, but then developed a painful boil on his backside while transferring by bus to a Mississippi prison. Doctors tested the boil and discovered the skin infection, Jodie said.
“I was worried sick to hear it,” she said, adding that he was forced to fight the antibiotic-resistant infection without medication.
Jodie said the infection has since stabilized but the bug remains in his system. “I’m still very concerned. He has to be extra vigilant with any cuts or scrapes.”
Emery, the founder of the B.C. Marijuana Party, was sentenced to five years in prison in September 2010 after being extradited from Canada.
According to Jodie, the recent infection has been worrisome, but Emery’s keeping up his spirits with music.
“He joined a prison band,” Jodie said. “He’s spending all his spare time learning how to play the bass guitar … he already knows 14 or 15 songs.”