Back in October 2015, I went to a presentation by Jeff Mizanskey, a man who had served 21 years and 9 months in prison for three nonviolent cannabis-related offenses - and it was supposed to have been life. When I saw him speak, he had only been released for 51 days. I listened with growing horror as Jeff told us about his time in a maximum security prison (yes, maximum security for a nonviolent offense). The first night he was there, he shared a room with a man who had murdered someone, chopped them up into pieces, and thrown them in the trash. He spoke of “baby-rapers and murderers” who had much shorter sentences than he, and he watched violent offenders leave and return time and time again.Read More
The night of Tuesday October 22, 2015, I got to hear Jeff Mizanskey speak in person. Jeff went to prison for 21 years and 9 months for three nonviolent cannabis-related felony charges brought against him. His story made me see cannabis reform from a whole other perspective that I hadn’t considered before...
Towards the end of the presentation, Jeff reminded us that legalization is a lot of effort and a lot of money; it costs money to get votes, and we’re up against a lot of big and wealthy businesses and corporations who aren’t going to go down without a fight. He suggested that every time you smoke a joint, you put 50 cents in a jar and at the end of the month, send in the money from that jar to help support the cause for legalization in Missouri. He told us that if everyone who smoked did that, we could absolutely raise enough money to make a difference. I thought it was a great idea. Cannabis is about building a community. We need to remember that it all starts with acceptance, and legalization is key to getting it off the black market and receiving the respect it deserves.Read More