July 28: The “Citizen Marc” movie; Marc’s MRSA infection spreads; and more…

Dearest Miss: Well, now my cellmate has contracted MRSA. He has an infection on his wrist that will not heal for over 30 days now. It is irritated because threads used in surgery on his wrist last year when he was on the outside to repair tendons in his wrist have come a bit undone, and now irritate an area near the surface of his skin. Wally and I both used the same soap, which the BOP statement of April 2011 on MRSA (that you mailed to me) indicates is a leading source of spread of staph bacteria. When I was diagnosed with MRSA, or even when Wally was, the nurse did not give any advice about not sharing soap, which I always assumed was safe.

Marc in Yazoo Prison, May 2011Marc in Yazoo Prison, May 2011So Wally is understandably depressed about this compromise on his health. And they are not offering to send him to a hospital to correct this loose surgery thread that is the source of the refusal to heal. I’ve been getting sores from the MRSA too; currently there is a large pus-filled red mark on my left leg, which is thankfully starting to heal after a few weeks. I’m concerned about a small lump growing bigger on my neck, so I will make a cop-out request to see medical about that soon. It could just be an ingrown hair. But you and I are both concerned about my health so I’ll do what I can.

Currently, the 7′ x 12′ cell we are in houses just Wally and me, but there are rumors that by December each cell will be retrofitted to house 3 inmates per cell, a very close and disturbing prospect. The population here of 1,500 inmates has the place full already, but the insatiable US prison-punishment gulag wants more inmates in here and crowding us 3 to a cell is coming soon, so it seems. This will create tension, danger and a further erosion of morale here. As I have 35 months to go before my release date of July 9, 2014, it’s something I am not looking forward to.

I continue to stay busy with bass guitar practice 3-4 hours a day, I read my magazines that people have been good enough to subscribe me to, I read one book a week, and have started writing letters to correspondents each day again. I get the New York Times 5 to 20 days after its release date, but the Times is still a pretty good read even that late. In Seattle I would get the Times the same day it was released, and at D. Ray James in Georgia I got it 3 to 5 days later; here it’s usually 10-15 days later, though a few issues have arrived after 5 days.

Yazoo City is truly the middle of nowhere. I was told by one correspondent it was the poorest city in America, and no doubt this is the future of America, an apocalyptic one at any rate, whereby no local economy exists at all other than dollar stores, McDonald’s, and a giant prison complex with inmates crammed in to accommodate this cannibalizing war on drugs America wages against itself. As you have told me, there isn’t even a taxi service in Yazoo city, and the downtown is completely abandoned. There is nothing but desolation here.

I enjoyed thinking often about my love for you and our 5th wedding anniversary that passed on Saturday, July 23. I hope you enjoyed the 5 red roses I had sent, and the hand-made card that I thought was extremely delicate and beautiful (see it in this “Jodie Emery Show” video), and the custom-made leather purse I had sent for you with “Marc (heart) Jodie”, “5 Years – 7/23/11” on it, with a matching billfold and inside were 10 photographs, really exceptional ones, of you and I from your last visit here on July 4th.

I write this note with some degree of sadness though, because although I passed the under-3-years-to-go mark on July 9, it still seems like an eternity away, especially with my health constantly in jeopardy in the US penal system, and the triple bunking that is expected to occur soon.

As of today, I have 1,080 days to go to my release. Every day I wake up, I know how many days remain. On August 8, for example I will be at 5/12ths (25 months, with good time credit) of my 60-month sentence, with 7/12ths to go (35 months). I have the various mathematics in my head and though I was told it’s too early to be counting the days, I have been doing so since I was imprisoned. I know when my sentence remaining hits three digits (999 days to go on October 19th), and I know when it is halfway done (the downhill slide, as it’s called, when you pass the halfway mark), on January 9, 2012.

Yesterday, I received a notice from the Associate Warden informing me that my copy of the August National Geographic was being withheld for review to determine if the alleged nudity and sexually explicit material in this issue will prevent me from receiving it. BOP policy specifically exempts National Geographic from being banned for nudity, so I have politely forwarded this information to the Warden. You emailed me the table of contents, and I wonder if it’s the article about our Neanderthal heritage in fossils, and there are drawings of an unclothed primitive man or woman.

I recall when I was at D Ray James in Folkston, Georgia, the privately-run prison for foreigners, that the librarian there refused to subscribe to National Geographic because it was “way too sexually explicit”. When one of my correspondents had a subscription mailed to the prison library address, the librarian made a point of putting the issue in the garbage container as it arrived, right in front of my eyes, while saying to me, “That’s what happens to National Geographic when I get it. Understand, Mr. Emery?” In that gesture, everything that’s wrong with America and its current predicament with ignorance, economic decline, end of empire, and colossal betrayal of the values of the founding fathers is clearly epitomized.

At least though, at D Ray James, my personal subscription copy was never interfered with. I hope the Warden here sees clear to release the August issue of National Geographic to me and other inmates with subscription copies. It is perhaps the most esteemed magazine in the world, as copies are in all public schools, high schools, and libraries everywhere on Earth.

In a bit of irony, what forbids the facility from distributing the magazine to inmates is something called the “Ensign Amendment”, Section 7, which states that no federal money may be spent on the procurement and distribution of material which contains nudity and sexually explicit material. Now, I don’t see how any federal money is being spent on my subscription to National Geographic, it was mailed to me with your funds, not US federal government funds, but what’s ironic is that Senator John Ensign, who the amendment is named after, had to resign from Congress last year for sexual misdeeds done while in office!

I also find unfathomable that a total lunatic like Michelle Bachmann supersedes Ron Paul in popularity for the Republican Party nomination, with an equally stupid and inept Sarah Palin breathing down her neck waiting to launch her Presidential vanity campaign. Ron Paul should really be the GOP candidate against Obama next year. He can explain everything that’s wrong with the United States and how Obama has failed the American people in so many ways.

Citizen Marc: Prepare to Meet his HIGHnessCitizen Marc: Prepare to Meet his HIGHnessRoger Larry, the film director who is currently putting together a documentary feature film about me called Citizen Marc, is in my hometown of London, Ontario to interview my first two great loves Judith (from 1976-1980) and Sandra (1981-1988), a teacher of mine who went on the school trip to the middle east with me and 40 other students from March 2nd to 18th, 1975 (a pivotal trip, appearing online shortly as an excerpt from my forthcoming autobiography), and perhaps others.

I also advised him while he was in London to speak to the mother of Chris Doty, the author (along with Jason Rip) of the great play about my years in London at City Lights Bookshop – also called Citizen Marc. The play is particularly prescient in that the narrator of the play, in many ways an homage to Citizen Kane, is speaking as though I am in a US federal prison at the time, even though the play was written and performed in 2006. The play, except for the narrator who speaks to the audience in the present tense, takes place in a series of flashbacks 20 to 35 years earlier in my politically formative years as the ‘enfant terrible’ rebel bookseller of London, Ontario. Citizen Marc won four Brickenden awards that year, including for Best Actor and Best Direction.

At the premiere in January 2006, Chris Doty escorted you and me back to the hotel after I watched what I regarded as an outstanding play, and asked me, “What did you think, Marc?” I said, “It’s perfect Chris. I like everything about it. Even the Bernard Herrmann score that was sampled and played at key times. It needs no improvement at all.” (Bernard Herrmann wrote the score for Citizen Kane and the Twilight Zones.)

Chris responded, “That’s great, Marc. If I died today, I could die knowing that you were happy with this play. That means a lot to me.” Five nights later, Chris hanged himself in his mother’s home. The only tip-off to a state of mind was at the dinner he had with us, hours before the play’s premiere, when he spoke up close to me when we were alone, “No one cares about the values of history, of morality, of the old traditions, like you and I, Marc. I do my documentaries and plays and television programs about the past, but no one cares anymore. The people have no sense of history any more. They don’t know what’s valuable. I am frightened they will give you up to the Americans. I worry about you, Marc.”

That night he also asked me if I had any suggestions. I said, “Yes, get professional cameras and film it. It will be important one day. You can use a video to show theatre companies in other cities how it should look, how it should be done.” He said that was an excellent idea. And then on the final performance, when Chris had arranged for Citizen Marc to be filmed, he didn’t show up. Jason Rip went to Chris’ mother’s house and found him dead. It was said he was despondent about Wednesday and Thursday night not being sold out, and this seemed to substantiate his cynicism that people just didn’t care, but he also lost his girlfriend to someone else, and who knows what other demons he struggled with. The play was filmed only hours after the macabre discovery of Chris’ taking his own life, under considerable emotional difficulty for all the actors and crew, and then performed live – to a sold out audience – that evening.

Chris Doty got his first full time job in television after submitting his first documentary, “Marc Emery: Messing Up the System” (Click here to watch) to the Rogers Cable system network in 1993, and ended his career with the play Citizen Marc. Among the documentaries Chris had made in the years previous was “Famous hangings of London” and “Famous Ghosts of London”. His play “The Donnelly Massacre” was a big critical and commercial success, and the money he received from that play he sank into the production of Citizen Marc.

Chris’ mom has held on to that videotape of the final performance, and I urged Roger to ask if she would release it for inclusion in the DVD release of the upcoming documentary film of the same name, Citizen Marc. The doc and the play will make outstanding companion pieces. And the play might constitute the ultimate interview with someone who had known me since he was 12 years old and would come into my City Lights Bookshop to listen to me speak about the world and what it all meant, until his very untimely and tragic suicide during the run of the play he left as his penultimate tribute to me.

I also recommended Roger interview John McKay, the District Attorney for Western Washington who was my original prosecutor, who now speaks publicly against the drug war and believes marijuana should be legalized. McKay, in fact, has had a hand in writing the text of legislation for the Washington State Assembly to consider this fall, that legalizes marijuana at the state level. McKay believes prohibition creates violence and harms for all of society, so I urged Roger to interview McKay and see how he reflects on his putting away the leader of a peaceful movement whose goal was to achieve what McKay now seeks to achieve.

The famous and brilliant critic of the US federal government Noam Chomsky has agreed to give an interview for inclusion in Citizen Marc on my imprisonment, and I am very, very honored to have a man I admire more than perhaps anyone else in the world participate in a documentary about me. Citizen Marc is slated to be released in late 2012 in cinemas, and on television and DVD in early 2013.

Thank you, my dear wife, for coming to visit me and take care of me through this very challenging time. I so look forward to spending every day with you when I get home. Let people know how much I appreciate their letters, and I hope I can write back to them all eventually.

Your prince,

Send mail to Marc! Guidelines at www.FreeMarc.ca

MARC EMERY #40252-086
P.O. BOX 5888

Marc Emery
Marc Emery

Marc Emery is a Canadian cannabis activist, entrepreneur, and politician. Known to his fans as the Prince of Pot, Emery has been a notable advocate of international cannabis policy reform for decades. Marc is the founding publisher of Cannabis Culture and Pot TV.



  1. Anonymous on

    If they begin to triple bunk, the inmates need to file grievances and go through the grievance process and then contact the local federal defender’s office to get the issue into court. Worked in other places.

  2. DiamondInDaRuff on

    Thank God for giving you a voice. The courage. For the love of people. Empathy.
    MRSA..what I’ve witnessed. Bogus= its acne, its a spider bite, its not contagious.
    Eradication of a highly contagious and deadly germ that can and will inflict anyone anywhere with it viral point of view. Unborn babies are not safe from this either. Take note.
    Internal bleeding from MRSA on internal organs is fact and goes misdiagnosed if diagnosed at all.
    MRSA oozes. Anything that MRSA liquid gets on, will spread the germ to another person or animal. Your cat or dog can get the ooze onits fur accidentally and therefore spread to anyone who rubs your Fido.
    Supplies to rage war on MRSA.
    *Bleaching solution to wipe down all and every surface(seats,light switches, trays, etc)
    *HebiClens for external skin cleansing and to prevent reinfection..any broken/cracked or normal skin can be invaded by this MRSA
    *Mupirocin ointment for the actual external infection itself, use with bandaids to confine spread
    *CEPHALEXIN 500MG the RX you could ask for..some others have worked equally as well, just didn’t write down their names. I think this one I saw had the quickest most effect. MRSA will start drying up within 36 hours if its the right RX.
    *Don’t lose your mind. Never commit suicide. Keep everything clean and germ free. Don’t worry. Be happy.
    Marc took a chance with his internet knowledge, his entrepreneurial(i kno speelin is not right, oh well)skills, and he’s in jail…first time offender…but he’s no osama bin laden thats for sure. Political activist i would say yes.
    **RonPaul vs Bachman(whatever sp. is wrong or Palin)=Ron Paul why?because gay people cannot be cured and to think that is a correct way to rule..omg…Nor do I believe that my 16 year old daughter should have a baby..birth control shot works the best..no excuses..If anyone needs to see the reality of a normal young 16 year old beautiful young lady/ies living and taking care of a baby..let me know….it aint that pretty at all….no makeup, no media, no glamour..
    *Obama…working WITH him..we can achieve anything across all party lines…he does get the job done…do you want him to be lazy…tweaking will be the answer…not elimination altogether…
    We are coming out of a major war…that cost us alot of money and people…rebuilding America’s strength and still securing one of the World’s greatest nations on Godly Earth.
    **the prison system is not supposed to be a spa day…thats where we put people who kill other people for no reason..who rape women for no reason…who steal children away from their mothers, fathers, families
    **Marc is not one of them peoples…he just smokes weed, goes to work, and loves his wife, and his own country..like we all do in our own atmospheres respectively.

  3. Dude on

    If you feel that Marc is incarcerated by the evil United States for the purpose of Oppression, then I encourage you to do something about it. Throughout history, oppressive regimes have existed and kept people in prison for inhumane purposes, or worse; Marc is no different. He is a political prisoner of an Evil Regime that answers to a czar. He is in prison becuase he was very successful in politically challenging the prohibition of Marijuana.

    What, besides excuses, is stopping anyone from going and fighting to get him back? By force if necessary!! He’s YOUR citizen, not America’s. For bad or worse, he is Canadian I can’t believe Canada gave up their citizen so willingly.

    Believe me, if you don’t go do something about it, they will come for YOU next. They are on their way ‘now’.

  4. Anonymous on

    Seriously Jodie, have you been tested for this disease? You hug Marc who has the disease and spend regular stretches of time in the US prison system. You know it spreads easily if his cellmate got it from sharing soap..so before you bring it back to Vansterdam and inadvertently share this disease with the entire cannabis community . please please please get tested and continue to be retested.stay clean and keep getting tested regularily for the rest of your life. Marc will carry this disease for the rest of his life.As our leaders, you must show some willingness to not spread this dangerous plague
    Joints, bongs, vapes is how this dangerous bacterisa can spread nd as we all; share, the risks of contracting Marcs disease is super duper high
    Look what
    its doing to marc in isolation, pleaae please please start acting responsibly and don’t cross contaminate everybody else on the outside. That would be a terrible legacy for the Prince of Pot and yourself- as the documented source of an serious infectious disease epidemic

  5. RG on



    Treatments and drugs
    By Mayo Clinic staff

    Antibiotics are used to treat Lyme disease.


    Antibacterial Cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: A Structure?Activity Study



    Oral antibiotics
    Oral antibiotics are the standard treatment for early-stage Lyme disease. These usually include doxycycline for adults and children older than 8, or amoxicillin or cefuroxime for adults, younger children, and pregnant or breast-feeding women. These drugs often clear the infection and prevent complications. A 14- to 21-day course of antibiotics is usually recommended, but some studies suggest that courses lasting 10 to 14 days are equally effective.

    Intravenous antibiotics
    If the disease has progressed, your doctor may recommend treatment with an intravenous antibiotic for 14 to 28 days. This is effective in eliminating infection, although it may take some time to recover symptomatically. Intravenous antibiotics can cause various side effects, including a lower white blood cell count, mild to severe diarrhea, or colonization or infection with other antibiotic resistant organisms unrelated to Lyme.

    After treatment, a small number of people still experience some symptoms, such as muscle aches and fatigue. The cause of these continuing symptoms is unknown, but extended antibiotic treatment doesn’t make them go away. Some experts believe that certain people who get Lyme disease are predisposed to develop an autoimmune response that contributes to their symptoms. More research is needed.

  6. Robin on

    I just reread Marc’s blog and realized that he ALREADY contracted MRSA. That is a shame. SHAME ON THE PRISON SYSTEM FOR ALLOWING THAT TO HAPPEN!

  7. Robin on

    MRSA was initially caused by bacteria that mutated as it got used to antibiotics that were given to patients in nursing homes and hospitals. Take care not to touch his affected body part and wash your hands regularly. Your major concern is getting the bacteria on your hands and touching an open wound on your body. Be sure to wash your hands and under your nails before you eat and if you get a cut or open wound tell the staff immediately. I work in a hospital and before I can enter the room of a patient with MRSA I have to dress in an isolation gown and gloves. Ask the nursing staff if you can AT LEAST have gloves to protect yourself. Good luck!

  8. Catharine on

    I wish there was a way for his lawyers to demand he be returned to Canada due to the inadequate medical treatment he is receiving in the US Prison. Marc needs to go to a Canadian Hospital as soon as possible and get that infection treated properly. He will not receive good medical care in a US Prison. There is not enough outrage at Marc’s situation. Light the fire under your local Canadian politicians’ asses to get Marc home – BEFORE 2014.

    I will keep doing everything in my power here in the States to make sure that Marc’s plight is not forgotten/ignored.

    OBAMA: you must pardon Marc Emery and all Political Prisoners of the Drug War.

  9. guitarod on

    After reading many of your blogs, it is easy to see why americans are despised & hated worldwide. a bunch of corrupt holy rollers. the great punisher’s of the world. John Ensign is a prime example. People like him have no conscience, condemning people for lesser offenses than they practice on a daily basis. it is their politics that most of the world despises.
    banning a publication like National Geographic from prisons shows just how ignorant they really are. they certainly have no value for education unless it is about the usa. no wonder that most prisoners have learned nothing while incarcerated other than to become better criminals.
    the world will know all about american corruption once Marc is released & writes a bestseller about his stay in american gulag’s.

  10. RG on

    OMG — the feelings of someone else attempting to expand their self consciousness to understand the necessary conditions to have their seed flower is amazing to say the least. I do question hummanitys ability to have any true self respect as displayed by thought in words or pictures.

    Is a little work to understand the circumstance to much to ask — hopefully not?

    I am recommending some serious get on it now before it becomes more difficult to access remedy.

  11. Dave on

    I just read an article that says medical cannabis cures MSRA. I wish that the prison system would allow medical marijuana. I am sorry to hear that Marc’s prison conditions have deteriorated. I admire him for keeping himself strong during this drug war imprisonment. Check out this article about marijuana as a medicine…


  12. Bud Grinder on

    Say, pal, you might want to lay off the shrooms for a while. Stick to the weed.

  13. Chris R on

    What in hells name are you rambling about. Lyme disease is spread by ticks. Marijuana is awesome and awesome medicine but you are jumping way to many steps steps in thought for anyone to understand you. Please fill in the gaps next time.

  14. RG on


    The people in the present authority who deny your god given right to cure have to be prosecuted by the citizens of the world.

    Jesse Ventura brings to consciousness for everyone the truth of the biological war creating a living holocaust on North America. Under Our Skin the Lyme disease awareness movie brings the devastating consequences of the biological weapon to the audiences of the world.

    Marijuana prohibition is what made the Lyme weapon so very powerful. The womb of the mother must be defended by every living citizen that cares about having any chance to be reborn healthy.