As you read this article, it’s likely that a legal cannabis sale is occurring in Colorado. Also, someone in Colorado is likely working in their legal cannabis garden. These actions will not result in the sky falling. By all accounts, they are acts that don’t result in immanent harm or danger to society.
Is there any imaginable way that those acts should necessitate a life sentence in prison? I cannot fathom any scenario where cannabis warrants a life sentence in prison when it doesn’t involve violence. The penalty simply does not fit the act. However, sadly, that is the case for one man in Missouri.
Jeff Mizanskey has been serving a life sentence in Missouri for non-violent cannabis offenses. Jeff Mizanskey was convicted under Missouri’s “Prior and Persistent Drug Offender” statute. Each of his felonies were for cannabis only, the largest being for six pounds. This blatant injustice has resulted in a campaign by Show-Me Cannabis that has garnered a lot of attention. (Click here to contribute to this important campaign.) Per the Riverfront Times:
Efforts to release Jeff Mizanskey, the only man in Missouri serving a life-without-parole sentence for a nonviolent marijuana charge, are continuing this month with help from Show-Me Cannabis and Change.org.
Show-Me Cannabis has bought billboard space on I-70 near Kansas City (and near Sedalia, where Mizanskey was arrested). The billboard features a photo of Mizanskey and says: “Life without parole for cannabis? It’s time we fix our unjust marijuana laws.”
Cannabis prohibition has failed. Jeff Mizanskey is taking up a jail bed that should be reserved for a real criminal. The resources that are dedicated to keeping Mr. Mizanskey in a prison cell should be directed towards a much more worthwhile cause. It’s beyond time to free Jeff Mizanskey, and all others who are incarcerated for cannabis only offenses.
You can help the Free Jeff Mizanskey campaign and a ton of other great work that Show-Me Cannabis is doing in Missouri, including setting the stage for a legalization measure in 2016, by donating to their annual Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness Money Bomb going on from July 3rd to July 6th. Helping Show-Me Cannabis will help Mr. Mizanskey and change that occurs in Middle America will have a positive impact that will ripple across the nation, and ultimately the world.