Tag Archives: marijana

Clemency to Jeff Mizanskey: Life without parole for marijuana


Clemency to Jeff Mizanskey: Life without parole for marijuana

This petition will be delivered to:  Missouri, Gov. Jeremiah Nixon

Petition by  Chris Mizanskey  Sedalia, MO

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.

Governor Jay Nixon is the only person who has the power to bring my dad home by granting clemency to Jeff and calling 20 years punishment enough. Please help us reach a just and reasonable end to his prison sentence by signing and sharing this petition.

To:
Gov. Jeremiah Nixon, Missouri

Jeff Mizanskey is a non-violent, marijuana-only offender who has spent the last 20 years in a Missouri prison. He has been sentenced to be there for the rest of his life, and he has no opportunity for parole. The only hope he has to ever to become a working member of society or to hold his grandchildren in his hands is for you to grant him clemency.

His sentence was imposed because of the Prior and Persistent Drug Offender sentencing structure which requires life in prison without parole for his three felony marijuana-only offenses.
Jeff Mizanskey has never committed violence and is most certainly a model prisoner. For 20 years he has sat behind bars, only to watch as rapists and murders come and go and sometimes come back again. Meanwhile the State of Missouri spends roughly $22,000 annually to house him – over $400,000 has been spent so far.

 
On February 3, 2011, Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice William Ray Price, Jr., delivered his final State of the Judiciary address to the Missouri General Assembly. In that speech, Chief Justice Price lambasted Missouri’s "three strikes" drug-sentencing laws as enormously costly and ineffective. "Punishment," Price said, "is a necessary part of our criminal justice system. But our real goal for nonviolent offenders is to teach them their lesson so they can become productive law-abiding members of our society. The goal is not to lock them into a life of crime, to make them permanent wards of the state."
Jeff Mizanskey has been punished for 20 years. He has learned his lesson and wants to become a productive, law-abiding member of our society. The goal Price mentions has been more than reached, and it is time to give Jeff back his life.

On July 6, 2012, you signed the Justice Reinvestment Act, which was intended to reduce our prison population, save the state money, and ensure that punishments are proportional to violations for non-violent offenders. While this has done a great deal of good for so many Missourians, Jeff’s status has remained unchanged.
In October 2013, Gallup released a poll showing 58% of Americans support marijuana legalization. 58% of Americans recognize the principle that imprisoning Jeff Mizanskey for the rest of his life has no net positive social benefit.

In the spirit of the Justice Reinvestment Act and in the spirit of justice itself, please grant clemency to Jeff Mizanskey today. Please pardon Jeff Mizanskey so that he does not die in prison just for marijuana.

PLEASE CONTINUE TO LINK TO SIGN PETITION!

Advertisements

The State vs. Joshua E.Mason (TN) (Please help this family in Tennessee)


 

PLEASE HELP OUR FAMILY
I am facing 15 years in prison away from my young daughter and family for growing cannabis in TN
. I am asking for HELP in defending myself in court against these charges.

To make a long and exhausting story short, I was growing cannabis and a friend betrayed me and turned me into law enforcement. I use cannabis as a medicine for a variety of ailments.

I also helped other people who were in need of quality cannabis medicines. When we were raided we had a small amount of flowering plants and cutting for other patients who

wanted to grow their own medicine.

Upon learning of my medical garden law enforcement stormed my home while our family slept. They violently stormed our home with assault rifles drawn and held me face down

in a puddle of dog urine after they literally scared the pee out of my dog. My child was present and was subject to watching the entire episode. It is an unnecessary military tactic

that was used to intimidate and scare our family that will stay with my daughter forever.

Law enforcement continued to search for “guns and bombs” but they found nothing more than a well-kept medical cannabis garden, which I showed them voluntarily after they stated they had a warrant to search the premises (I was never shown a warrant). They found nothing beyond cannabis in their search of the premises.

 
I was released on a $39,000 bond and informed I did not qualify for a public defender. I was told to return with counsel. I was able to put a $1,000 payment down on an attorney. Upon returning to court I was informed that a public defender was now willing to speak to me. A female public defender took me in a room and informed me that the DA was willing to offer me a $500 fine and probation. I was ecstatic and immediately informed them I would take the offer.

In a bizarre twist, upon learning I had retained other counsel, the public defender tore up the deal in front of me and stated, “Oh…I see you have a lawyer. This deal is no good.” I was crushed.
My attorney was able to get me a deal for $4,000 and if I cannot pay it the state will press forward with charges. To add insult to industry, I received a $54,000 fine from the TN department of revenue for unpaid taxes on the cannabis I grew.

 

I am asking for money to pay my fine and keep me with my family, so I can continue to look for work. I appreciate any and all help you can afford, to help me avoid prison for cannabis. I am a hard-working family man who looks forward to putting this past me and moving on to the next chapter of my life.

Thanks for your time and consideration.
Regards, Josh Mason and Family

ps.the deal was .donate $4000+ to the drug fund and get a misdemeanor and a $500 fine.don’t donate $4000+ and they will revoke my bond put me in jail and try me for the max 15 years

 

Humboldt: Sheriff’s office seizes nearly a ton of dried marijuana, cash and weapons; 17 arrested


 

The Times-Standardwillitsnews.com

Posted: 10/12/2012 12:57:19 PM PDT

marijuana

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office seized a total of 718 marijuana plants at an estimated value of $4,000,000 after serving a search warrant on the 2000 block of Sunset Ridge Road in Blocksburg Thursday morning. (The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office)

The following is a list provided by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office of those arrested and booked into the Humboldt County jail Thursday morning on suspicion of cultivation and possession for sale of marijuana, and conspiracy to commit a felony:

Elber Dejesus Ivonnet, male, 53, North Bergen, NJ, bailed

Geyler Melo-Pueyol, male, 22, Miami, FL, in custody, $75,000 bail

Richardo Mateos-Perez, male, 22,, from Homestead, FL, in custody, $75,000 bail

Fernando Olvera, male, 39, Santa Rosa, CA, bailed

Luis Manuel Sosa-Vega, male, 47, Santiago, Cuba, in custody, $75,000 bail

Jose Pulido, male, 42, Los Reva, Mexico, in custody, $75,000 bail, ICE hold

Hildegarde Safont-Arias, male, 42, Hialeah, FL, in custody, $75,000 bail

Disney Bolanos-Chacon, male, 41, Charlotte, N. C., in custody, $75,000 bail

Jonines Ibonnet, male, 42, Oakland, CA, bailed

Terrence Henderson, male, 43, Eureka, CA, in custody $75,000.00 bail

Pauline Ionie Barnes, female, 44, Green Island, Jamica, released on O.R.

Arlettis Rodriguez-Alverez, female, 22, Hileah, FL, released on O.R.

Dayana Isabel Padron, female, 19, Blocksburg, CA, released on O.R.

Elizabeth Enamorado De Padron, female, 40, Santiago, Cuba, released on O.R.

Hyacinth Hypatiae English, female, 48, Bridgeville, CA, released on O.R.

Idalmis Leyva Ivonnet, female, 62, Charlotte, N.C., released on O.R.

Michael Lewis Iverson Jr., 35, from Eureka, California was also arrested at the marijuana growing site, however he was only arrested on an outstanding probation violation warrant with a bail of $30,000.


posted 12:15 PM

Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On 10-11-2012, at approximately 9:30 a.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office assisted by the Eureka Police Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Humboldt County Drug Task Force served a Humboldt County Superior Court Search Warrant on the 2000 block of Sunset Ridge Road, Blocksburg.

Upon serving the search warrant, deputies located and detained 17 suspects. As deputies arrived and announced their presence one of the suspects, identified as Johines Ibonnet, attempted to jump out the back window of the residence and broke his ankle. He was transported to a local hospital and treated for his injury prior to being booked into jail.

Upon searching the 45-acre parcel deputies found a very large, sophisticated marijuana growing and processing operation. The operation consisted of marijuana plants being grown in two large greenhouses estimated to be between 60 feet by 100 feet, along with marijuana plants being grown out in the open and inside the residence.

The residence and greenhouses were powered by two commercial sized 25 KW generators. The growing marijuana plants ranged in size from 6 feet to 8 feet tall and were budding.

Deputies estimated the growing plants to have at least one to two pounds of marijuana bud being produced on each plant. There were a total of 718 growing marijuana plants located and seized on the property. Inside a large drying shed, estimated to be approximately 60 feet by 40 feet, deputies located and seized approximately 900 lbs. of drying marijuana bud. Inside the residence deputies located two commercial marijuana trimming machines being used to trim the dried marijuana bud from the plants.

Deputies also located approximately 132 pounds of dried marijuana bud along with numerous drying racks and 261 sealed bags of marijuana bud ready to sell, estimated to weigh approximately one pound or more each, along with packaging material, scales, a Norinco AK-47 assault rifle with several loaded high capacity magazines, a money counter and approximately $9,500.00 cash.

A total of approximately 1,293 pounds of dried marijuana bud was located. Dried marijuana bud is being sold for approximately $2,000 a pound. The estimated value of the dried marijuana bud seized is $2,586,000.00 whole sale.

If the live marijuana plants had been harvested they would had yielded conservatively an additional 718 pounds of dried marijuana bud estimated to be $1,436,000.00 wholesale. The value of the marijuana seized is estimated to be at least $4 million dollars in just marijuana bud, not including the leaves.

Several of the suspects admitted to investigating officers they were hired to work at the marijuana grow as laborers.

Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

CONTINUE READING….

Law Blog Fireside: The Lawyer Protecting Oakland’s Medical Pot


By Joe Palazzolo
iStock

Oakland, Calif., is trying to keep the federal government from seizing its biggest medical-marijuana dispensary.

On Wednesday, the city took a bold step: It sued the feds, arguing that the U.S. attorney for Northern California is barred from seizing the property by the five-year statute of limitations on civil forfeiture.

Sure, it’s illegal to sell medical marijuana under federal law, but President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have said publicly they wouldn’t pursue people who are in compliance with state law. A 2009 Justice Department memo gave the same guidance to U.S. attorneys.

California, of course, permits the sale of medical marijuana, and Oakland strictly regulates and taxes its dispensaries. Harborside Health Center, the property at issue here, has been open since 2006 and sells more than $20 million of pot annually, according to its owner.

The lawsuit argues that the Justice Department can’t snatch up Harborside Health Center, because of the doctrine of estoppel, which says, in essence, you can’t say one thing and do another. U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag has said Harborside has grown into a large-scale operation that isn’t legal even under California law.

Law Blog caught up with Cedric Chao, who is representing Oakland. When he’s not suing the federal government, Mr. Chao is co-chairman of Morrison & Foerster LLP’s international litigation and arbitration practice.

Law Blog: So this is the first case of its type?

Cedric Chao: We’re not aware of a city pushing back on a forfeiture action against a medical cannabis dispensary.

LB: We noticed you refer to medical marijuana as “cannabis” throughout the lawsuit. Any reason?

CC: No, but people refer to it both ways.

LB: You argue that DOJ can’t go after Harborside because it opened six years ago — exceeding the five-year statute of limitations. Isn’t there a good argument that, since Harborside continued to break federal law until this year, the clock shouldn’t start ticking until after the dispensary stopped selling medical cannabis?

CC: Well there’s actually a case out there in the Sixth Circuit that addresses this issue. In the context of a gambling operation, it held that the statute of limitations began on the first discovery of illegal conduct by the government and that the government was not allowed to claim that the statute of limitations was reset every single day.

LB: I guess the government can’t credibly argue it wasn’t aware of the Oakland dispensaries until now.

CC: They had websites, they had advertisements, they wanted the patient population to know they had safe access to medical cannabis.

LB: But the fact remains. Medical marijuana is illegal under federal law. How do you convince a federal judge that just because the attorney general tells his troops not to go after certain individuals that means it’s OK to break federal law?

CC: Seventeen states plus the District of Columbia have agreed that it is lawful to sell cannabis for medical purposes, so, clearly, there’s a division of thought. And clearly the top officials of our government also believed there were medical benefits to cannabis, otherwise they would not have said publicity that DOJ’s resources will not be used to prosecute where patients, caregivers and dispensaries are acting in conformity with state law. They well knew that people were hanging on their every word. So how is it, after their words and actions and people acting in reliance on those, can they reverse course and say, “Never mind?”

LB: So you’re doing this case pro bono?

CC: Yes.

LB: It’s a controversial issue. Do you worry about getting pegged as the cannabis lawyer?

CC: As a lawyer, you take an oath and you have a client and you do the best for your client. This issue has important public ramifications, and if I didn’t think it was important, I wouldn’t take it.

LB: Thanks, Cedric.

CONTINUE READING…

Indiana lawmaker to introduce marijuana decriminalization bill


Sep 22, 2012
Indiana Sen. Brent Steele said pot decriminalized in other states didn’t cause problems.
Written by
Associated Press

Indiana Sen. Brent Steele said pot decriminali-zation in other states didn't cause problems.INDIANAPOLIS — An influential Indiana lawmaker intends to sponsor a bill in the next session that would reduce penalties for people found in possession of small amounts of marijuana.

State Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford, said his legislation would make possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana an infraction rather than a criminal misdemeanor. Ten grams is about one-third of an ounce, roughly enough to make 20 to 30 marijuana cigarettes.

Steele, chairman of the Senate committee on Corrections, Criminal and Civil Matters, noted that many other states and college campuses already ticket offenders for possessing small amounts of pot instead of arresting them.

“Society didn’t melt down, and we didn’t turn into a drug-crazed culture as a result of it,” he told the Indianapolis Business Journal.

His support for decriminalization could be a turning point for Indiana, which only began considering the issue in 2011. Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Portage, pushed for a summer study group in 2011 and this year introduced a bill that would have decriminalized possession of a larger amount, 3 ounces. Tallian’s bill received a hearing in the Senate but was not brought to a vote.

Currently, possessing 30 grams or less of marijuana is a Class A misdemeanor on the first offense. Possession of more than 30 grams is a Class D felony, which is the lowest level of felony.

Steele said he’ll include the marijuana provision in a bill that revises the Indiana criminal code. The Criminal Code Evaluation Commission, which is in its fourth summer of work, is looking to align charges and sentencing in proportion to the offenses.

In addition to driving up costs in the judicial system, Steele said, a lack of “proportionality” in the criminal code is unfair to young offenders.

He said he knows a man who stole gas out of a farmer’s tank when he was 19 and ended up with a felony on his record.

“His family had a lesser standard of living for years as a result of the stupid decision he made when he was 19,” Steele said.

The long-term consequences of harsh sentencing laws are starting to gain attention in the business community, especially as cities like Indianapolis deal with the employment challenges of ex-offenders.

Indianapolis Democratic City-County Councilor Vop Osili is trying to establish a bipartisan study commission on ex-offender re-entry, and the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce is surveying its members on how they treat criminal records in the hiring process.

CONTINUE…