Missouri Governor Signs Cannabis Expungement Bill

budGovernor Jay Nixon (D) has signed into law a bill that allows for the expungement of most cannabis convictions, both misdemeanors and felonies.

Senate Bill 588 would allow those convicted of cannabis misdemeanors to expunge (remove) it from their record after a three year period; this would mean that the charge would not appear on a criminal background check. Those convicted of felony possession would also be allowed to have the charge expunged, though they would need to wait seven years rather than three. In either instance, fines will need to be paid in full for an expungement to occur.

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Missouri House Votes to Legalize Hemp

hemp1Missouri’s House of Representatives has passed a measure that would legalize the cultivation and production of industrial hemp. The vote was 123 to 29, according to the Associated Press.

Under the proposed law – which now heads to the Senate for consideration – the cultivation and production of hemp would be legal, as long as farmers maintain a THC level of no higher than 0.3%. Farmers will also need to be licensed by the state’s Agriculture Department.

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Jeff Mizanskey is Free

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Jeff Mizanksey (right), a free man for the first time in 21 years, with his attorney Dan Viets.

After 21 years in prison serving a life sentence without parole for cannabis, Jeff Mizanskey, 61, is now officially a free man.

In 1993, Jeff was charged with thirs third cannabis-related charge, and was sentenced to life without parole as part of the state’s “prior and persistent drug offender”, law which has since been repealed (though the repeal doesn’t take effect until 2017).

In May, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon commuted Jeff sentence after a massive public education campaign by activists, including a petition being submitted to him with over 400,000 signatures – including over 100 lawmakers – asking for Jeff’s freedom.

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Missouri Man Serving Life in Prison for Cannabis Granted Parole

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Jeff Mizanskey, who’s been in prison for over 20 years serving a life sentence for cannabis, will finally be set free.

Jeff Mizanskey, a 61-year old Missouri man who has been in prison for over 20 years without parole over a cannabis-related charge, has been granted parole, and will be released from prison within a matter of days.

In May, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon commuted Mizanskey’s sentence, giving him the possibility of parole. This led to a parole hearing on August 6th. Although officials stated that a decision would take six to eight weeks, it only took four days.

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Missouri Governor Commutes Sentence of Man Serving Life in Prison for Cannabis

Jeff Mizanskey.
After over 20 years, Jeff Mizanskey has had his sentence commuted by Governor Jay Nixon.

Just days after saying he would consider doing so this summer, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has commuted the sentence of Jeff Mizanskey, a 61-year old man who has been in prison for over 20 years without parole over a cannabis-related charge. This will make him immediately eligible for parole.

“It’s amazing,” says Chris Mizanskey, Jeff’s son. “To be able to talk to him, to be able to sit here and have a conversation with him. To have my son sit on his lap, for him to be a part of his grandkid’s life, our lives, my whole family. I mean really words can’t even describe it.”

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Missouri Governor to Consider Freeing Man Serving Life in Prison for Cannabis This Summer

Jeff Mizanskey.
Jeff Mizanskey.

Jeff Mizanskey, a 61-year old Missouri man who has been in prison for over 20 years without parole over a cannabis-related charge, could be freed as soon as “relatively early summer”, according to Missouri Governor Jay Nixon.

Jeff was arrested in 1993 on his third nonviolent, cannabis-related charge. As part of the state’s controversial three-strike law, Jeff was sentenced to life in prison, without parole, despite having no history of violence and no criminal record other than the three cannabis charges.

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Missouri Proposal That Decriminalizes Cannabis Becomes Law Without Governor’s Signature

Senate Bill 491, a proposal that greatly alters Missouri’s criminal code – including decriminalizing the possession of up to 10 grams of cannabismissouri – has become law without Governor Jay Nixon’s signature. The state’s legislature approved the measure with an 169 to 17.

Under current Missouri law, the possession of any amount of cannabis can net someone a prison sentence of up to a year. Under Senate Bill 491, the charge for possessing up to 10 grams of cannabis would be reduced to a simple fine, rather than an arrestable misdemeanor. Charges involving cannabis cultivation and distribution would also be reduced.

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