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"Free Jeff Mizanskey" Efforts Continue with Billboards and 360,000 Signatures

mizanskey_billboard_KC.JPG
Show-Me Cannabis
The billboard is on I-70 in Saline County.
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."

A photo of the billboard, which is on I-70 in Saline County, not far from where Mizanskey was arrested in Sedalia, can be seen above.

John Payne, executive director of Show-Me Cannabis, says this will be the first of several billboards the pro-legalization group will put up regarding the state's marijuana laws. In addition to Mizanskey, the group is planning to feature other victims of current marijuana laws, including people who need to use medicinal marijuana.

See also: VIDEO: Meet Jeff Mizanskey, Missouri's Only Inmate Sentenced to Death in Prison for Pot

But billboards aren't the only way Mizanskey, who is nearing 21 years in prison for racking up three marijuana felonies (the biggest being only six pounds of pot), is getting attention for his plight.

According to Tony Nenninger, an attorney who has helped garner attention for Mizanskey's clemency efforts, a press conference will be held this month in Jefferson City to deliver a Change.org petition to Governor Jay Nixon asking for Mizanskey's release.

"There are over 360,000 online signatures that will be reduced to paper and carried up the steps to the governor's office," Nenninger tells us.

The press conference will be held at 1 p.m. on April 28 near the capitol rotunda.

See also: 20 Years for $40 of Crack, 10 Years for 2 Oz. of Pot? It Happens in St. Louis, Not Just Out West

Jeff Mizanskey was convicted under Missouri's "Prior and Persistent Drug Offender" statute, the only drug-specific three-strike law in the country. Each of his felonies were for marijuana, the largest being approximately six pounds, which he didn't even have on him. To read the details of Mizanskey's story, go to:

- How a Missouri Man Could Die in Prison for Weed

Follow Ray Downs on Twitter:

E-mail him at Ray.Downs@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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11 comments
jdo5002
jdo5002

This is modern day slavery - imprisoning people for minor drug offenses that help public and private prisons. This man has 21 years of his life stripped away and its counting, all for smoking a plant that grows in the ground. If he was distributing than it still doesn't matter - life in prison does not fit the crime.

In 50 years, people will look back at this time and say, "What were those dummies thinking?"

JSmith56
JSmith56

The author claims that the billboard reads "Life without parole for a non-violent pot crime? It's time we fix our unjust cannabis laws.". Non-violent pot crime? The sign clearly reads "Cannabis" in lieu of the completely fabricated phrase above. Way to spin it!

Richard Head
Richard Head

its not going to feed the inmates im sure that is 1 dollar a day with grade e for edible food..

Richard Head
Richard Head

you mean Missouri's political agenda that takes money from the inept and does nothing for the past 15 years that Ive followed them closely...Not to mention how the law enforcement backing scares real supporters...We all know St louis is not that big and its not like when you make a name for yourself you wont go to jail it is Political Bullying... And even with a majority law makers make excuses..We need jobs and results if you cant get it done get out of the way..

Doug Tull
Doug Tull

What's that costing Missouri taxpayers?

Jim Williams
Jim Williams

And they wonder why we have prison over crowding?

drake
drake

@JSmith56  I'm not sure that you know Cannabis, Marijuana, and Pot are synonyms...

tbreen17
tbreen17

@JSmith56  I could rape an underage student (if I was a teacher) and still get a lighter sentence...... this seems right to you?  30 days for a rapist as opposed to life without parole for marijuana? a safer substance than alcohol?

not_impressed
not_impressed

You appear to be a complete arsehole.

A man has served 21 years for a really minor crime. In the UK manslaughter (murder in the second/third degree) will rarely get you that. Even murder will allow for life on parole eventually.

Some weird argument about how the author rephrased the wording on the sign is just a stupid distraction.

kalawiki5
kalawiki5

@JSmith56  regardless of the verbiage, the fact that a man is in jail for marijuana/cannabis/pot "crime" is ludacris. People spend less time for much more serious charges... It's time to end this madness. 

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