With all the headway the country has made in the last few decades, it’s hard to imagine someone being in marijuana since the 70’s for a weed charge. Over the past year, many people have learnt the story about Jeff Mizanskey who is serving a life sentence because he had three strikes against him for marijuana possession. He is currently serving time without parole. Another example of our upside-down justice system is Antonio Bascaro.
He has been in jail since Ronald Reagan was president. This has given him the title of the nation’s longest serving pot prisoner. He is in prison because he was a part of a marijuana smuggling operation in the 1970’s bringing marijuana from Columbia to Florida.
This was his first and only offense.
Even though he has the record for the longest time served for a pot related crime, the story hasn’t really been publicized since the 80’s. The sad fact is that even many of those who lobby for the release of pot offenders haven’t heard about Bascaro and the details regarding his case. He really is a forgotten man in the world of marijuana.
Bascaro is now in his 80’s, having lost lost his life to harsh penalties and three children also lost their father. His daughter was only 12 years old when he was handed his sentence for his only crime and has seen his family only in visitations.
Bascaro, now a grandfather, spends his time in a wheelchair reading newspapers. He is scheduled for his release in the year 2019 but his daughter is worried that he might pass away before that.
You can find the petition for his release here. The petition needs to gather nearly 90,000 more signatures in less than a month before it is formally submitted to the Obama Administration.