Jeff Mizanskey has been in prison since 1993 for 3 nonviolent marijuana charges. Shamed Dogan, a Republican representative has released House Bill 978, allowing anyone who is serving a life sentence for a nonviolent pot charge to be released. In the state of Missouri, there is actually only one convict who fits this description.
The convict in question is Jeff Mizanskey, a 61-year-old man who has spent over 20 years behind bars. Although the bill doesn’t mention Mizanskey by name, Dogan made his intentions very clear when he called Mizanskey’s being behind bars “a miscarriage of justice”. Even Missouri’s governer, Jay Nixon, has appeared to have a change of heart. In a recent interview, Nixon told a Kansas City station that he would take a long hard look at the case.
A 2013 feature in The Riverfront Times detailed Mizanskey’s 1993 arrest and involvement in selling 7 pounds of marijuana. These two cases combined amounted to his third drug offense, which landed him in jail for life without parole. That law was actually appealed last year, with new ones put into place to help rehabilitate drug dealers and users instead of locking them up for life.
Dogan isn’t alone in his case to change the law on marijuana crimes. The Show-Me Cannabis group and The Sensible Missouri have both backed ballot petitions, which hope to have pot legalized by the year 2016.