Candidate for Congress Demands Clemency for Jeff Mizanskey, Inmate Serving Life for Weed

Irvin for Congress Facebook Page
Nate Irvin is asking Governor Jay Nixon to grant clemency to a man in prison for life for marijuana.
The Democratic candidate challenging Vicky Hartzler for her seat in the U.S. Congress is calling on Governor Jay Nixon to grant clemency to Jeff Mizanskey, the man serving a life sentence for non-violent marijuana offenses.

Nate Irvin, 25, kicked off his support with a press conference Monday on the capitol lawn, where Mizanskey's brother Mike gave an emotional plea. Mizanskey, whose story is detailed in a Riverfront Times cover story, has been in jail for 21 years and has no possibility of parole.

After learning about Mizanskey's plight from Aaron Malin, the director of research for Show-Me Cannabis, Irvin said he wanted to use his race for Congress to shed light on Mizanskey's sentence, which he calls "excessive to the point of absurdity."

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Prison Work Crew Finds Million-Dollar Marijuana Stash On Side of Road

Did you or somebody you know accidentally leave more than 600 pounds of marijuana on the side of a road? Because if you did, we have some bad news: Cops got it.

The St. Joseph News-Press reports that a prison work crew cleaning up the side of a road near St. Joseph in northeast Missouri stumbled upon a substantial sativa stash.

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Lucky Break for Missouri Professor Who Made Bad Joke That Led to Arrest for Growing Pot

A Missouri communications professor who broke the first rule of modern-day communications -- don't joke on Facebook about killing people -- got busted for growing marijuana. But the loose-lipped, green-thumbed prof got a break when a judge quashed the search warrant that led to the discovery of the homegrown operation.

The story started in August of last year when Matthew Rouch, who teaches at Northwest Missouri State, decided he'd do a little comedy. According to the Associated Press, Rouch responded to a colleague's post that he's always optimistic at the beginning of the semester, but "By October, I'll be wanting to get up to the top of the bell tower with a high powered rifle with a good scope, and probably a gatling gun as well."

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Government-Funded Wash. U. Study Claims Twitter Could Make Kids Smoke Marijuana

If they tweet, will your kids smoke?
Washington University researchers spent eight months analyzing tweets about marijuana use and came to the conclusion that young people might be influenced by pictures of Spongebob Squarepants smoking weed.

In the study, which was paid for by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Dr. Patricia A. Cavazos-Rehg led a three-person research team that analyzed thousands of tweets from @stillblazingtho, a popular Twitter account that mostly posts humorous memes about getting high. The account was chosen because it has more than 1 million followers, including pop star Rihanna.

And like Rihanna, the Wash. U. researchers say that many of @stillblazingtho's followers are young, which means its pro-marijuana messages are being inhaled by impressionable minds.

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5 Reasons Why Getting Marijuana Delivered in the Mail is Awesome

US Postal Service
Weed's here!
Police in St. Ann claim that legalized marijuana in other states are causing a big influx of weed to come into the area. But even if that's true, is it really a bad thing?

Stories like this pop-up around the country every few weeks. And ever since marijuana laws have progressed more towards sanity in states like Colorado and Washington, the threat that more weed will come into places where it's not legal has been a common complaint for people opposed to legalization. But whether or not legal weed in Colorado is making its way to St. Louis through the mail, it's never really explained why this is worse than illegal weed getting here from other places.

In fact, despite that whole federal crime for mailing controlled substances over the postal service, it's probably better. Much better for these five reasons:

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St. Louis Entrepreneur Gets You High on Love with Weed-Friendly Dating Site, My420Mate

MattysFlicks on Flickr, edited
"Roses are red/weed is green/You're the prettiest stoner/I've ever seen."
Marijuana may not be legal in Missouri, but it can still help you find love.

The new dating website launched in April (on 4/20, naturally) to connect marijuana users looking for romance, but who don't want to have the awkward "Do you smoke?" conversation.

"Some people might think it's just a dating site for hippies or stoners," says Jay Lindberg, 30, the St. Louis-based entrepreneur who cofounded the site. "This website is for people from all walks of life, from the medical-marijuana patients to casual smokers to business professionals who may be in the cannabis lifestyle but they keep it out of their professional life.

"This is a way they can connect with a potential spouse that is also accepting of their lifestyle."

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U.S. Congress Votes to Stop DEA Raids on Medical Marijuana, No Thanks to Missouri Reps

wikimedia/shay showden
Activists protest DEA raids on medical marijuana facilities in California.
In what is being hailed as a historic step forward for marijuana law reform, the U.S. Congress has voted in favor of an amendment that could end Drug Enforcement Agency raids on medical marijuana facilities -- but don't give much credit to Missouri's representatives.

Twenty-one states have laws to allow marijuana for medicinal use, but the drug is still illegal under federal law and the DEA conducts regular raids on facilities that produce or sell it. However, California Republican Dana Rohrenbacher's amendment, which passed 219 to 189, prohibits the Department of Justice, including the DEA, from spending funds to obstruct states from implementing their own marijuana laws.

Of the 219 "yes" votes, 49 were Republican -- the highest vote count from the GOP for similar legislation (different versions of this bill have been proposed seven times since 2003, according to the Marijuana Policy Project).

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Springfield City Council Tried to Stop Marijuana Reform Vote, Now Has to Pay Up $225,000

A coalition of groups working toward marijuana reform has earned a six-figure settlement from the City of Springfield after council members there unconstitutionally quashed a petition to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. Now Springfield will have to pay $225,000 to those pro-reform groups.

It all started back in 2012 when Show-Me Cannabis and the American Victory Coalition introduced a citizen-funded ballot initiative slated for the November 2012 election.

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Missouri's New Marijuana Laws Are "Small Step" Forward

Pablo Flores/Wikimedia
Marijuana got a tiny green light in Missouri last month.
Missouri's marijuana laws made an inch of progress last month, but they are still among the strictest in the nation and yes, you can still get arrested for a joint. However, people with severe epilepsy will have better access to medicine and the severest marijuana penalty in the country has been somewhat taken off the books.

In the omnibus crime bill that passed both the House and Senate and is now awaiting Governor Jay Nixon's signature, the most progressive change is a law that will allow patients with severe epilepsy to use cannabis oil for treatment. The bill passed unanimously in the Senate (32-0) and overwhelmingly in the House (130 to 12). One reason for the easy passage could be that patients can only use it after a doctor has recommended three other medications that have proven not to work effectively.

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

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

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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