Drug Policy

MRSA: Another Way Pot Prohibition Enhances Public Health


Here is another not so healthy consequence of drug prohibition: The Montreal Gazette reports that Marc "Prince of Pot" Emery, the Canadian cannabis activist who is serving a five-year sentence in a U.S. prison for selling marijuana seeds online from a business in Vancouver, has been infected by methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA):

Jodie Emery [his wife] 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….

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

"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 post-surgical complications involving an infection, Jodie said.

[Thanks to CK for the tip.]

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  1. Perhaps this 5 yr sentence was just enhanced to the death penalty.

  2. I’m too emotionally exhausted today to work up the proper snark. This sucks.

    1. I knew a guy who got a paper cut in prison.

  3. B…b…but somebody has to feed the funding train!!!!

    Without the drug crisis?, where will we get all the money for all the prisons, guards, kevlar, night vision systems and .50 caliber depleated Uranium ammunition that we need to keep society safe (for the children?)?

  4. I’m still confused as to how Marc wound up in an american jail. I understand the reasoning behind it (RESPEK MAI AUTHORITAI), but honestly don’t understand the mechanisms behind him getting extradited to the states.
    And now there is this.
    Dear Drug Warriors,
    Fuck off and die.

    1. I suck you, nipplemancer.

    2. He was extradited by the Canadian government after being arrested in BC on request of the DEA.

      1. something is seriously wrong when canadians will extradite/arrest a guy in their country for selling pot seeds in the mail but france fetes child rapist roman polanski living in their country

  5. Speaking of moronic prohibitionist laws and the morons enforcing them….

    I’m too lazy to link it now, but I have been waiting for a post on the former Cincinnati Bengals player shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy in Bakersfield.

    Why, you ask?

    Two deppitys were investigating reports of teenagers trying to get somebody to buy them beer. He came out of the convenience store accompanied by his son and one of his son’s friends (with beer, among other things), and apparently was insufficiently deferential. The pig murdered him in front of his teenage son.

    1. http://www.google.com/hostedne…..1f5c8c8dec

      Sheriff Donny Youngblood said department investigators were getting burning tapes from video cameras at the store to see if just in case the incident was recorded.

    2. “hit a police officer with a bag holding two cans of beer” is pretty insufficiently deferential

      1. You buy the pigs story? Also, if he asked if the was under arrest and then walked away and they restrained him then he should have every right to hit them with a beer can.

        1. His son also contradicts the cop’s story, he says his father slipped and fell, one of the beer bottles popped and then a cop opened fire.

        2. You must not have gotten to the part of the bar exam that mentions investigatory detentions. Just because you’re not under arrest doesn’t mean you can walk away.

          Oh, and it’s just as sloppy to automatically disbelieve whatever a cop says as it is to automatically believe it.

          1. no, it’s not.

          2. Maybe it’s because they have more opportunity to do so, but LEOs commit perjury many more times than non-LEOs.

            1. unsupported bigoted assertions. they are what’s for breakfast!


          3. yes. under terry v. ohio the standard is “reasonable suspicion”. cops can detain as long as the detention doesn’t amount to a constructive arrest (too long a detention, etc.) based on RS.

          4. I’m not talking about what the law is only what it should be.

            1. no, it shouldn’t be that. if cops required PC and NOT RS to briefly detain, that would be an injustice and ridiculous policy.

        3. you think you have a right to assault a police officer if they try to keep you from leaving the scene? good luck with that answer on the bar exam

          1. If you think a police officer should have the right to shoot you for wielding a beer can you have bigger problems than i thought.

            1. where did i say that a police officer has the right to shoot someone for “wielding” a beer can?

              and yes, i do have bigger problems than you thought

              1. anybody should have the right to use deadly force if a guy is swinging beer bottle(s) at their head, regardless of law enforcement status. is that what happened here? again, everything is so preliminary who the hell knows? better to get OUTRAGED without the facts

            2. What we had here, if the beer cans were swung, was a citizen being attacked by two armed thugs and the citizen attempted to defend himself.

          2. I believe I have a right to protect myself from assault whether its a police officer or not. Plus it would be battery not assault.

            1. depends on the state. my state (and some others) have NO SUCH CRIME as battery. it is ASSAULT and ASSAULT only. hth

              (get a little more schooling, student)

              1. Fortunately for me I need to know Texas law not wherever you are from.

    3. “”BAKERSFIELD, Calif. ? Life in Bakersfield after a brief NFL stint had not been kind to running back David Lee “Deacon” Turner.

      After at least two dozen run-ins with the law, Turner, 56, was shot and killed in front of a convenience store Sunday by a Kern County deputy after he allegedly hit an officer with a bag holding two cans of beer.”

      1. i’d love to know what some of those two dozen run-in consisted of

        1. lol. drugs, dui, driving on suspended liscenses, possess alcohol in a park w/o permit…there was an old misd assault and misd petty theft from about 10 years ago. He was currently facing misd charges of driving on suspended liscense; he was arraigned on 7/7/11. you can look it up on the kern county court website. BTW, I live in that county and the KCSO has killed 5 people in the last 2 months. One of the guys was terminal one-legged in a wheelchair wielding a knife (he called the cops on himself-suicidal). Im not kidding; google it.

  6. There you go again Sullum. Another one of your confusing messages to perpetuate the myth that marijuana is less dangerous than prison!

  7. According to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, a group of teenagers were outside of the Fastrip trying to get adults to buy alcohol for them. When deputies arrived, they approached 56-year-old David Lee Turner, who was leaving the store with his son.

    Turner’s son was too shaken to speak with Eyewitness News on Sunday, but he told his sister what he witnessed.

    “They asked my dad if he was the person buying alcohol for underage youth,” Jerrica Cor-Dova said.

    According to Turner’s son, his father denied the claims, but deputies continued to question him. Turner then asked officers if he was being arrested. The deputies said no, and Turner grabbed his stuff and began to walk away.

    “As he was walking away, the officers came up behind him and hit him in the back of the legs with a club, causing him to fall on his knees,” Cor-Dova said.

    Turner’s son said the bag his father was carrying fell to the ground and the beer in the bag exploded. The next thing he heard was two shots being fired.

    “My brother said he yelled my dad’s name, and my father was lying there still,” Cor-Dova relayed the story.

    But according to the sheriff’s department, the shots were fired because one of the officers was hit over the head with the items in the bag. His son said that never happened.


    1. Jesus Fucking Christ.

    2. WTF. There are no words…

    3. This should, of course, lead to a pair of first degree murder convictions.

      I predict, with some confidence, that there may be a couple of administrative leaves, quietly rescinded when the stink dies down.

      I would point out that if an officer was hit over the head with even one beer bottle, it would leave a mark that could be verified. But only if IA gets right on it. Gosh, I wonder if they will?

      1. This should, of course, lead to a pair of first degree murder convictions.

        Unless of course those tapes that have been seized turn out to be blank.

      2. And if the guy who was shot was hit in the back of the legs with a club that would leave a mark too.

        Oh wait. We don’t need to verify statements not made by cops, they’re automatically gospel.

        1. The point is, Tulpa, a man was shot by police. Their excuse for responding with deadly force was that an officer was assaulted by “beer bottles”. Whether or not something was thrown at police doesn’t matter. They gunned down a man who clearly posed no serious threat.

          1. When a man is armed, any assault could end in death. Suppose, for a moment, that the officer’s story is actually true, and that the suspect swung a bag with beer bottles at his head. Getting knocked on the head full force with a beer bottle can easily knock someone out. Now the suspect has the cop’s gun, and anything the cop had access to (including a cruiser, a shotgun, comm devices, and any personal information carried on the databanks on the computer inside the cruiser). Now, if the cop reached for pepper spray instead of his gun, things may have turned out different. But responding to force that could potentially kill or maim another person with deadly force is how cops are taught to respond.

            1. “Now, if the cop reached for pepper spray instead of his gun, things may have turned out different”

              If anything even REMOTELY close to this had happened, it would have been the first thing the police would say. Plus, what’s the point of issuing tazer’s?

          2. even assuming that what the police say is correct, they overreacted here (taser would have been a better response to getting bonked with a beer can), but let’s not pretend that this happened because a quiet, law-abiding citizen was “insufficiently deferential” as one commenter put it

            that west point guy who got shot in front of the wal mart is a much much worse story

            1. “but let’s not pretend that this happened because a quiet, law-abiding citizen was “insufficiently deferential” as one commenter put it”

              Why should I believe any different? The police chose to use the “ongoing investigation” bullshit to cover for not having a credible story and excuse.

      3. well of course. because everything turner’s son must be accepted as gospel truth w/o investigation, vetting, other witnesses or cross examination.

        1. actually there are other eye witnesses and they substantiate the son’s accounts

    4. So this is the son’s story filtered through the daughter. Apparently hearsay is making a comeback here at H&R.

      Seeing as how the reporter never talked to the son, it’s kind of dishonest for them to say “his son said that never happened.”

      The part about the beer bottles exploding sounds like the SWAT team slapstick excuses you guys rightly mock when the shoe’s on the other foot.

      1. Yeah, guy totally deserved it. Obviously, they lied and the guy deserved to die one way or another.

        1. again, another “results” analysis by another legal ignorati. this isn’t about what somebody “deserved” it’s about whether the force was lawful or not. and all we have to get your anti-cop bigotry inflamed is a newspaper reporting on what a daughter said her brother told her about what happened.

          obviously, the indicia of reliability is tremendously high at this point

          1. If the cops had a legitimate reason for using force, they would have made that pretty clear from the get go. Once again, Dunphy defers ALL judgement and innocence to a fellow LEO while hypocritically denouncing all non-believers.

            1. once again, you lie

              i’m not deferring judgment to anybody. i am saying there is nowhere near enough info to determine IF THE SHOOTING WAS JUSTIFIED OR NOT

              but yes, i am not going to take as my sole analysis a relative’s account of what another relative told them happened, as reported by another party

              get it?

              1. Yes, I get it. You’re fucking incapable of being honest with yourself.

                You squeel BIGOTRY!! at the top of the lung when anyone questions the “official report” and scream LIES!! whenever someone gives testimony contrary to the police’s story.

                In any event, once again, someone was shot by police. And dunphy sees absolutely no problem with the fact that there’s a wicked double standard for police and private citizens. If I shoot someone in public that was unarmed, I would go to jail. There would be no “was it justified?” bullshit. There would be Sy in prison for manslaughter at the very least.

                Dunphy, however, has no problem with assuming police did what was absolutely right, regardless of the incriminating evidence: A dead body with two bullets in him, surrounded by cops.

                1. amazing how you know what Dunphy is secretly thinking, when what he writes is completely different (“i am saying there is nowhere near enough info to determine IF THE SHOOTING WAS JUSTIFIED OR NOT”)

      2. Look, everyone. Tulpa’s coming off as a complete bootlickng douche here, but he’s got a point: the story needs to be verified, cross-checked, and thoroughly investigated. This is the kind of think Balko does well, but there’s only one Balko. Until we get some more people who can do real investigative journalism and get to the facts, it helps the cause against police brutality to spread the word on these things, but only if there are verifiable facts.

        I would suggest that speculation about facts not in evidence be kept to a minimum. Tulpa, I don’t know why you seem to think you’re so even handed here; your accusation of hearsay on the part of the victim’s family has no more weight than accusations of hearsay and fabrication on the part of the police. While I tend to be more sympathetic to individual victims of this kind of police action, shooting a man can be justified if he is attacking you. But we all should be wary of official sories in situations like this. Bottom line: more facts, please.

        1. Agreed. It’s a shame that is not a priority of the police.

        2. It’s hearsay by definition, no accusation necessary. A person who did not witness the incident is telling us what someone who did witness it said.

          Whether this story was fabricated, I don’t know, but it’s definitely hearsay, so to be reporting it as the witness’ story is dishonest.

          1. I know I am late to this party, but there is a (legal) hearsay exception referred to as an “excited utterance“. Now, whether Turner’s son’s statement would qualify all depends on when he spoke to his sister.

            Is it secondhand? Definitely. Hearsay? Good question.

      3. I live in this county. This in not an isolated incident. KCSO accounts for 25% of the homicides in the city of Bakersfield (2009 stats). They shot a vicious pitbull a few months back. Apparently it attacked a deputy..it was on a chain. They also killed a one-legged terminally ill man in a wheelchair wielding a knife. Im not kidding, google it. They killed three people in the month of May alone. None had firearms. They just happened to have killed the wrong guy this time.

    5. I don’t believe the cop acted in good faith (or competence), but I also don’t believe the kid’s story. Who knows what really happened?

      1. you don’t believe (iow agnostic) or you believe he did not act in good faith?

        those are two entirely different things

  8. Feature not bug

  9. Like him or not, Emery is a rare individual to give up his personal freedom in the name of exposing greater truths. This article should be saying “Too bad, MRSA is painful and no one deserves it” but it seems to say nothing in general… not even whether it was contracted in prison (as I suspect)

  10. Maybe if his immune system wasn’t compromised by his poor drug ingestion “choices” this wouldn’t have happened.

  11. This is why I call marijuana the devil’s drug, it is deceptively evil. we need to get drugs liek these off the streets and away from our children. they try this stuff then go onto harder drugs like meth and speedballs. then through in the numerous health defects you get from smoking pot, it dangerous. i am glad there are dedicated detectives everywhere trying to control these horrible drugs. If it were for our corageous police this nation would be one big cespool.

    1. Wait, aren’t you here to troll and mock the libertarians? WTF. You surely aren’t so stupid that you don’t know we are all against drug laws. You’re confusing me.

      Libertarians are against the drug war dumbass.

      1. I am for the drugwar you dummy. If you believe in family values, the right of free enterprise, and reducing the crime level then I say most SERIOUSLY you have to kill these druglords and break the backs of drug distributers here in the USA.

        this marajuana makes kids disrespectful and hurts the family setting and makes them resort to crime to get thier next fix.

        Drug companies can’t invest and make better medicines if wackos keep calling marajuana medicine and take that instead of tested and regulated real medicine.

        As for my third point, drug carttels have kille dlike 100k people in mexico and in the southern states. These guys are bad dudes and should be shot and killed like the vermin they are.

        So I hope to have made my point razor sharp and clear. And I think I make some good points and I don’t know why people are for making these drugs legal, seems liek the worst thing you could do

        1. It is indeed razor sharp and clear….that you’re too stupid to even spell, much less recognize, either courage or a cesspool and when your mother finds out that you’ve been embarassing the family playing with the computer again, you’re liable to get a spanking.

        2. you DO realize how the Mafia gained their power, dont you?

        3. my father went to rehab for three months to kick his vicodin addiction. Distributed legally by the “drug distributors” of the USA. You know “tested and regulated real medicine”.

        4. I haven’t been here for a while. Good to see Juanita (AKA trueblueben) is still entertaining the H&R readers.

  12. Is it just me or does dude look like Ted Nugent?

  13. This is even more ironic than you may think, because cannabis is being investigated as a way of fighting MRSA infections.


  14. There should be a clear law supporting Medicinal Cannabis patients and protecting them from violating the law. Through this Local Medical Marijuana Dispensaries can be freely accessed by them.

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