As the number of states legalizing medical and even recreational marijuana continues to rapidly rise [Click HERE and HERE for the latest status reports], taxpayers should consider insisting that our judicial system save some money by releasing the many prisoners incarcertated for non-violent crimes related to marijuana/cannibus/weed. No matter what one thinks of the ancient herb-medicine-illegal substance, the cost to the taxpayers for keeping pot prisoners incacerated is ridiculous. Immediately releasing these prisoners should be an obvious way to cut State and Federal spending, for both Republicans and Democrats. According to this TV summary, over 3,200 people are serving life sentences without parole for non-violent crimes, mostly regarding marijuana.
I happened to notice this man's story on YouTube [Click HERE], and felt compelled to post his story as presented by his son:
"My father Jeff Mizanskey has been in prison for 20 years and has no possibility of parole. For non-violent, marijuana-only offenses, my father has been sentenced to die in prison because of a "three strikes" mandatory sentencing policy in the State of Missouri.
Dad's first offense was in 1984 when he sold an ounce to an undercover informant, and then was found to possess a half pound of marijuana when police raided his house the next day. His next offense occurred in 1991, when he was caught in possession of a couple of ounces. But for my father's final strike in 1993, he became an easy fall guy in a conspiracy to distribute marijuana. My dad was driving a friend to a deal that turned out to be a sting operation. All of the other convicted men involved were set free years ago, but my dad was given a virtual death sentence.
My dad is, and always has been, a good man. He taught my brother and I all about construction and a good work ethic. He has never been violent and he is a model prisoner. And over the 20 years he has been in that little cell, he has watched as violent criminals, rapists, and murderers have "paid their debts" and left - sometimes just to return a few months later.
My father is 61 years old, and has been in prison since he was 41. His parents - my grandparents - have since passed. While my dad has been trapped behind bars, generations of kids and grandkids have been born into our family who have never even met the man. The State of Missouri spends roughly $22,000/year to keep him locked up. Meanwhile all my dad wants to do is be a productive part of society, work and pay taxes, be with his family. And I want my dad back."