ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A pro-marijuana legalization group, Show Me Cannabis, is calling on Missouri’s governor to pardon a man who is serving life in prison without parole for a string of non- violent pot offenses.

“There are another of people that are serving long sentences for marijuana offenses across the country, but Jeff’s is really pretty extreme,” says Show Me Cannabis President John Payne. “There are very few people serving life without parole for Cannabis only offenses.”

Jeff Mizanskey was sentenced 20 years ago to life in prison for his third marijuana related offense. His last offense was driving a friend to go pick up seven pounds of pot, presumably to sell it.

Missouri’s “prior and persistent drug offender statute,” makes him ineligible for parole.

Governor Jay Nixon has the power to pardon Mizanskey. President Barak Obama has begun the process of pardoning some people across the country for such offenses.

“President Obama, which was a member of Governor Nixon’s same party, had started to do that at the federal level and I applaud him for doing that,” says Payne. “He’s started to look at some of these cases where there are people that have life or near life sentences for minor drug offenses.”

Payne says Nixon should do the same. His group has filed petitions to change marijuana laws in Missouri.  There’s a national campaign on to help people like Mizanskey and others get out of jail. The petition has reached more than 350 thousand signatures.

Show Me Cannabis has also filed several petitions to change laws on what punishments are available to prosecutors of pot offenses.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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