From Prison to Pot Activism: The Journey of Jeff Mizanskey

Politics
From Prison to Pot Activism: The Journey of Jeff Mizanskey

(Photo: riverfronttimes.com)

Many of you know the story of Jeff Mizanskey. Jeff spent over 20 years in prison in Missouri for non-violent marijuana charges until his story went viral and activists brought it to the attention of the legislature and governor in the state. This led to a commutation of Jeff’s sentence and his release from prison.

Jeff is now using his free time to catch up on a lot of the things he missed in the over two decades he was locked up, including using some of it to fight for the rights of people to choose a safer form of medication. Former pot prisoner Jeff Mizanskey is a full-blown cannabis activist.

Jeff has been out on the streets gathering signatures for the medical cannabis petition backed by the group New Approach Missouri, a petition that was approved for signature-gathering back in January.  To make the ballot the group needs almost 160,000 valid signatures. The deadline for turning in the signatures just passed, so we should know if they were successful or not very soon. Recent reports put the group’s total at about 235,000 signatures gathered.

Since a good portion of those signatures are likely to be thrown out as not valid (which is normal for petition signature drives), whether or not Missouri voters get to decide on medical marijuana this fall could be a close call.

Jeff says he contacted New Approach Missouri the day he was released from prison because he was eager to start changing the laws that took more than 20 years of his life from him.

Few people have the perspective on cannabis laws that Jeff Mizanskey does. Let’s hope he has some more campaigning to do this fall and let’s hope he can help bring medical marijuana protections to patients in his home state this year.