April 12, 2015

Bill To Free Man Serving Life In Prison For Marijuana Moves Forward

April 12, 2015
jeff mizanskey marijuana billboard missouri

jeff mizanskey marijuana billboard missouriBy Aaron Malin

A bill to free Jeff Mizanskey who is serving life without parole for cannabis, moved forward this Wednesday, April 8. The House Select Committee on Judiciary unanimously voted HB 978 “do pass.” The full House of Representatives can now act on this bill, if they choose to do so. The committee did amend the bill before passing it, in response to concerns about the bill’s constitutionality.

HB 978 no longer sets Jeff free outright upon passage. Rather, it allows for a hearing by the Parole Board. Jeff is a model prisoner without disciplinary problems or violence, and he would very, very likely be paroled if the board got the chance to hear his case. While this amendment is less than ideal, it increases the bill’s chances of moving forward.

On Wednesday, HB 930 also received a hearing by the House Emerging Issues Committee. Like HB 800, HB 930 would allow Missourians access to medical cannabis. However, HB 930 is far less restrictive than HB 800 and allows many more patients access to cannabis and creates more cultivation centers and dispensaries. It also includes a patient home-grow provision. It’s not a perfect bill, but it is far closer to our ideal medical cannabis system than HB 800, which was heard last month [VIDEO].

The hearing went extremely well. While there are clearly a couple of representatives who still remain skeptical of medical cannabis, many others are coming around to our way of thinking. Because of its less restrictive nature, HB 930 is less likely to advance than HB 800. Nonetheless, legislators discussed including some parts of HB 930 in HB 800 by amending before it comes up for a vote. Video of the HB 930 hearing is available here.

When multiple cannabis-related bills have hearings on the same day (and often at the same time), our research team stays busy. Tracking and filming hearings on cannabis legislation requires resources. If these updates are beneficial to you, please consider supporting them with a $10 or $25 contribution.

Source: Show-Me Cannabis


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