Anita Thompson, widow of American journalist and author Hunter S Thompson, has announced that she planned to clone her late husband's personal stash of marijuana and sell it in all the US states where the drug has been legalised.
Although he became famous thanks to his distinctive literary style and his creation of an experimental 'gonzo' style of journalism, Hunter S Thompson also had a notorious lifestyle. He became known for his sustained use of alcohol and illegal drugs, including cannabis.
Two years after marrying Anita, he committed suicide in 2005 at Owl Farm, his property in Woody Creek, Colorado, where he often spent time writing.
Last June, Anita bought Owl Farm back from the Gonzo Trust — a legal entity overseen by Thompson's appointed attorneys and trustees.
Her plan is to turn it into a writer's retreat and a private museum by 2017, and a cornerstone of that plan is to sell her husband's cannabis at recreational marijuana dispensaries across the US.
Currently, 26 states and the District of Columbia have legalised marijuana in some form, whether solely for medical purposes or also for recreation. Three other states are soon join them as they have recently passed measures allowing the use of medical marijuana.
In an interview with the Aspen Times, she said she had previously been wary of going into the cannabis business because she wanted first and foremost to preserve her husband's literary legacy. However, she recognises that his fame as a writer is now well established and she can move on to discuss his lifestyle, The profits from the cannabis sales would go towards renovating Owl Fram.
On a Facebook post, she expanded a little more on how she hoped to clone and distribute the drug: "I have found a legal method to extract the DNA from Hunter's personal marijuana and hashish that I saved for 12 to 15 years. I am in the process of making the strains available to those who would like to enjoy the authentic 'gonzo' strains in legal states".
It is not clear though what DNA extraction method she is referring to, and what the legal framework would be. There are various ways to clone a plant, whether it is by taking a cutting and planting the stem or obtaining new plants from tissue culture.
While Anita Thompson says she is far from having the personality of a "drug lord", she hopes the public would soon be able to enjoy all of her husband's legacy beyond his literary talent.
What is gonzo journalism?
Gonzo journalism is a style that rejects claims of objectivity and includes the journalists in the story they are writing. It is written in first person-narrative and involves spending a lot of time in the community that the article deals with, as if becoming part of it. The word 'gonzo' was first used around 1970 to describe the style of an article written by Hunter S Thompson, who went on to popularise it.