By Aaron Malin, Show-Me Cannabis Director of Research
An online crowd-funding campaign to release Jeff Mizanskey, a man currently serving life in prison without parole in Jefferson City for a nonviolent cannabis offense, has captured international attention and received contributions from across the globe.
Jeff Mizanskey was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 1994 based on Missouri's prior and persistent drug offender law. Mizanskey has asked Governor Nixon to grant him clemency, as he has exhausted all other options for appealing his sentence. His request for clemency is based on the nature of his previous offenses, and the fact he has already served nearly 21 years in prison for his crime. None of Mizanskey's convictions involve weapons, children, or violence; all three were for nonviolent cannabis-only offenses. Mizanskey is the only person in Missouri known to be serving life without parole for only nonviolent marijuana offenses.
Since the campaign's beginning just over two weeks ago, it has raised funds from several countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Finland, Germany, and Australia. The campaign has received international media attention, including stories from Business Insider Australia, Business Insider India, and the BBC. In fact, over the weekend, I was interviewed live on BBC radio.
Thus far, over 120 donors have contributed to a campaign aimed at convincing Governor Nixon to grant clemency and release Jeff from prison. An online fundraiser through Indiegogo can be accessed at www.freejeff.net and so far the page has been viewed by thousands of visitors from dozens of countries. A social media campaign using the hash tag #FreeJeff has also continued to grab global attention. We encourage you to consider contributing at www.freejeff.net.