#FreeJeff! #FreeJeff! #FreeJeff!

Jeff Mizanskey was horrifically sentenced to die in a Missouri prison for marijuana offenses. Tragically, Jeff, a nonviolent man and a a model prisoner, has already spent more than two decades behind bars for a plant; a plant that is legal for medicinal use in more than 20 states and is legal to possess by adults in four states and our nation’s capitol. Legalizing marijuana is supported by a majority of Americans and even those that don’t support legalization consider the repeal of cannabis prohibition, like alcohol before it, inevitable.

Thankfully, Mizanskey has a chance to be released from prison as his first parole hearing is scheduled for August 6th. Mr. Mizanskey’s case for release will be argued by my very first marijuana activist mentor, attorney Dan Viets, a long-time leader of Missouri NORML and current Chair of Show-Me Cannabis. Mizanksey’s case has inspired me to be a better advocate and has galvanized advocates and ordinary citizens across the nation, if not around the globe and now, we are uniting on social media and in spirit for his release in the #FreeJeff movement.

From my good friend and longtime cannabis law reform activist colleague, Amber Langston of Show-Me Cannabis, please make a donation to SMC and help these great Midwest advocates:

Please join Show-Me Cannabis, Change.org and the entire movement to #FreeJeff from Missouri prison in a unified action of support today! To show the parole board that hundreds of thousands support Jeff’s release, we are asking friends to change their profile pictures to this one on Facebook, and to post to Twitter and Instagram a picture of a lit candle.

If you can’t light your own candle, please just share this post from the FreeJeff Facebook page.

If you do choose to light your own candle, please remember to be safe and don’t leave it unattended!

We’ll let you know as soon as possible the results of the hearing!

The Washington Times has more:

Many believe his life sentence is an injustice, and his son launched an online petition that gathered nearly 400,000 supporters.

Rather than a pardon or commutation to time served, Mr. Nixon, a Democrat, decided in May to make Mr. Mizanskey eligible for parole, which his original sentence did not allow, U.S. News reported.

Mr. Mizanskey is set to go before the state parole board on Thursday.

“It’s not a sure thing, but I’m optimistic and I think everyone who’s familiar with the system is optimistic,” said attorney Dan Viets, who will represent Mr. Mizanskey at the hearing, U.S. News reported.

Dan Viets has been a passionate activist for more than 30 years and he’s one of the most underrated giants in the cannabis movement. I wouldn’t have been able to become an activist in Missouri more than a decade ago without Dan Viets and I wouldn’t have gotten my first lawyer gig in Oregon, (with another cannabis law reform giant Leland Berger) without the recommendation from Mr. Viets. I know that Dan will do a great job and I’m optimistic for Jeff’s release. However, I am very nervous and I feel for Jeff’s family and supporters, even though I have never met the man. By all accounts, Jeff and his family have weathered this ordeal with strength and grace. Please join me in supporting his release and joining the #FreeJeff movement.

UPDATE from Show-Me Cannabis’ Dan Viets: Hearing has been held and you can send letters of support to:

Missouri Board of Probation and Parole at 3400 Knipp Drive, Jefferson City, Missouri 65109. Jeff’s prisoner number is 00521900. You may also email Parole and Probation Chairman Ellis McSwain at ellis.mcswain@doc.mo.gov



Anthony, a longtime cannabis law reform advocate, was Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Oregon's cannabis legalization effort. He served as director of both the New Approach Oregon and Vote Yes on 91 PACs, the political action committees responsible for the state's legalization campaign. As director of New Approach Oregon, Anthony continues to work towards effectively implementing the cannabis legalization system while protecting small business owners and the rights of patients. He sits on the Oregon Marijuana Rules Advisory Committee and fights for sensible rules at the legislature as well as city councils and county commissions across the state. Anthony helps cannabis business comply with Oregon's laws and advises advocates across the country. He also serves as content director of both the International Cannabis Business Conference and the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference, helping share the vision of moving the cannabis industry forward in a way that maintains the focus on keeping people out of prison and protecting patients. He was a member of the Oregon Health Authority Rules Advisory Committee, assisting the drafting of the administrative rules governing Oregon’s state-licensed medical marijuana facilities. He first co-authored and helped pass successful marijuana law reform measures while a law student at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. He passed the Oregon Bar in 2005 and practiced criminal defense for two years before transitioning to working full-time in the political advocacy realm. His blogs on Marijuana Politics are personal in nature and don't speak for or reflect the opinions of any group or organization.