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

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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.

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Cannabis Oil Bill: Step Forward for Medical Marijuana or Just a Way to Stall Progress?

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Chmee2/Wikimedia
Half step forward, one step sideways?
Missouri Republicans might pass a bill that would allow cannabidiol oil - a form of medical marijuana - for people with severe epilepsy, but the restrictions on it are so tight that marijuana reform advocates are not exactly thrilled.

The bill, which was introduced by Rep. Caleb Jones (R-Columbia), would allow people with severe epilepsy to use cannabidiol (CBD) oil, a cannabis extract. The oil has been growing in popularity among epileptics, many of whom are children, who experience multiple seizures per day. The medicine has been known to lessen the frequency and intensity of these seizures and does not contain any psychoactive properties.

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"We Support Ron Paul!" How Brother and Sister Pot Growers Got Really Long Prison Sentences

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Cannabis Training University
Just a few plants can get you a lot of years.
When brother and sister David and Natalie DePriest got busted last October for growing 17 marijuana plants in their Farmington home, they told police that there was no reason they should be arrested. After all, weed will soon be legal everywhere. Also, they supported Ron Paul.

But that argument didn't fly with the police, so they were arrested. And after a trial in which the DePriests were found guilty on charges of marijuana cultivation and trafficking, their statements to police were brought up again and Judge Kenneth Pratte took them into consideration. These were people who clearly believed they did nothing wrong and had no respect for Missouri law.

David DePriest,34, who also had an illegal gun, was sentenced to 22 years. His sister Natalie, 36, was given 15 years. David's only prior crime was in 1999, when he got a misdemeanor drug charge while serving in the military, for which he was dishonorably discharged. Natalie's only prior crime was writing a bad check.

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Missouri "Medical Marijuana Refugee" Explains Why She Had to Leave the Show-Me State

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via Youtube
Jacqueline Patterson
When Jacqueline Patterson took her first toke of marijuana at the age of fourteen, she experienced what it was like to be without pain for the first time in her life. It's also why she eventually had to leave Missouri.

Patterson was born with cerebral palsy. The muscles on the right side of her body are significantly weaker and less developed than her left, and she speaks with a severe stutter, or as she prefers to call it, a "speech spasm." Medical marijuana, Patterson says, has helped her deal with the pain her medical condition causes every day of her life, and it also helps with her speech. When she smokes, her brain doesn't feel as rushed, and she's able to get the words out easier, she says.

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McCaskill: Not Sure If Rape Victims and War Vets with PTSD Should Get Medical Marijuana

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mccaskill.senate.gov
Like any politician these days, Senator Claire McCaskill wants to talk about jobs, the economy, and how she can create more jobs and a better economy. But during her town-hall meetings across Missouri this week, McCaskill was bombarded with questions about marijuana legalization -- and she's really surprised about that.

Fortunately, that didn't stop people from asking McCaskill about marijuana reform, including whether rape survivors and war veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder should be allowed to medicate with marijuana instead of powerful pharmaceutical painkillers.

During a town hall in Kansas City on Wednesday, the Democratic senator expressed her amazement over how many questions she was asked about marijuana-law reform:

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Sen. McCaskill: If Pot is Legal "Kids Will Get Handed Joints Like They Get Handed Beers"

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Claire McCaskill/Facebook
Sen. Claire McCaskill "won't give you the answer you want to hear."
Senator Claire McCaskill might be Missourians' "liberal" voice in Washington D.C., but when it comes to reforming marijuana laws, the Democrat lawmaker is quite the conservative.

On Monday, McCaskill attended a town hall in Columbia where she fielded questions on a wide array of issues, including jobs, the economy, Ukraine, and of course there was some guy asking about Benghazi.

But among the main concerns of McCaskill's constituents was the cannabis question.

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Dog-Walkers to Client: "We Don't Walk Dogs for People Who Want Marijuana Legalized"

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Noël Zia Lee/Wikimedia
Will somebody please walk me? Please?
When news of a Girl Scout selling cookies outside a Colorado marijuana dispensary went viral last month, it had far-reaching consequences for a St. Louis family: They were "fired" from the dog-walking service they had been a customer of for years.

It all started when Tricia Moyer, a mother of two and a Girl Scout troop leader, thought the idea of a thirteen-year-old with the business sense to sell delicious Thin Mints outside of a marijuana dispensary was funny. So she did what tens of thousands of other Americans did and shared a photo on Facebook.

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Gov. Nixon Says "Maybe" to Medical Marijuana; Is He Evolving Like He Did on Gay Marriage?

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photo via
Gov. Nixon: Leading in the polls or according to polls?
In what could possibly be a shift in the way Governor Jay Nixon will approach reforming Missouri's draconian marijuana laws, he gave an ever-so tepid "maybe" to the question of legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes when asked about it on CNN's State of the Union Sunday.

On a panel with three other governors - Rick Perry from Texas, Mike Pence from Indiana, and Dan Malloy from Connecticut - host Candy Crowley asked Nixon his thoughts on legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Well, sort of.

Crowley asked Nixon by stating: "I can't imagine that legalizing marijuana for recreational use sells in Missouri."

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Legalized Marijuana in Missouri Unlikely for 2014, But There's Still Some Hope

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wikimedia/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Missourians will have to wait a bit longer to grow this plant without fear of prison time.
The effort to legalize marijuana in Missouri has suffered a setback as the state's leading legalization group, Show Me Cannabis, has decided to postpone its ballot-initiative efforts until the 2016 elections instead of going for it this year.

The decision comes after weeks of phone polling indicated that 51 percent of likely Missouri voters in 2014 opposed legalization, compared to 45 percent who approved. Those numbers are far below the 60 percent that John Payne, the executive director of Show Me Cannabis, has said would be necessary for the group to put the money and organizing effort into what what would be a monumental victory for this mostly conservative Midwestern state.

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State Rep. Stanley Cox Says Missouri's Marijuana Laws Are Just Fine the Way They Are

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stancox.net
Rep. Stan Cox is hard on drugs.
State Rep. Stanley Cox says he wants to improve Missouri's criminal code, as long as those improvements don't include more lenient marijuana laws.

And if there's anybody who knows how harsh Missouri's drug laws are, it's Cox -- he was one of the attorneys involved in the case of Jeff Mizanskey, Missouri's only inmate serving life without parole for marijuana charges.

The Republican from Sedalia is upset that within a 1,000-page bill is a little piece of legislation that would reduce the penalty for possessing less than 35 grams of marijuana for nonviolent, first-time offenders. Under the proposed legislation, the maximum penalty one would receive is a $500 fine. Under current law, offenders face one year in prison.

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