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  • ShereeKrider 7:09 pm on February 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Jeff Mizanskey, marijana, missouri, , prisoner, three strike law   

    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!

     
  • ShereeKrider 2:10 am on October 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , lawsuit, marijana, oakland,   

    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…

     
  • ShereeKrider 5:17 pm on July 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , hydrocodone, marijana, , oxycodone, steve elliott   

    Why Do Clinics Deny Painkillers To Medical Marijuana Patients? 


    By Steve Elliott ~alapoet~

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    Should health care facilities have the power to make lifestyle decisions for you — and punish you when your choices don’t measure up to their ideals? More and more hospitals are making exactly those kinds of decisions when it comes to people who choose to use marijuana — even legal patients in medical marijuana states. Apparently, these places don’t mind looking exactly as if they have more loyalty to their Big Pharma benefactors than they do to their own patients.

    A new policy at one Alaska clinic — requiring patients taking painkilling medications to be marijuana free — serves to highlight the hypocrisy and cruelty of such rules, which are used at more and more health care facilities, particularly the big corporate chains (the clinic in question is a member of the Banner Health chain).

    Tanana Valley Clinic, in Fairbanks, started handing out prepared statements to all chronic pain patients on Monday, said Corinne Leistikow, assistant medical director for family practice at TVC, reports Dorothy Chomicz at the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.


    "We will no longer prescribe controlled substances, such as opiates and benzodiazepines, to patients who are using marijuana (THC)," the statement reads in part. "These drugs are psychoactive substances and it is not safe for you to take them together." (This statement is patently false; marijuana has no known dangerous reactions with any other drugs, and in fact, since marijuana relieves chronic pain, it often makes it possible for pain patients to take smaller, safer doses of opiates and other drugs.)

    LIAR, LIAR: Corinne Leistikow, M.D. says "patients who use opiates and marijuana together are at much higher risk of death." We’d love to see the study you’re talking about, Corinne.

    "Your urine will be tested for marijuana," patients are sternly warned. "If you test positive you will have two months to get it out of your system. You will be retested in two months. If you still have THC in your urine, we will no longer prescribe controlled substances for you."

    TVC patient Scott Ide, who takes methadone to control chronic back pain, also uses medical marijuana to ease the nausea and vomiting caused by gastroparesis. He believes TVC decided to change its policy after an Anchorage-based medical marijuana authorization clinic spend three days in Fairbanks in June, helping patients get the necessary documentation to get a state medical marijuana card.

    "I’m a victim of circumstance because of what occurred," Ide said. "I was already a patient with her — I was already on this regimen. We already knew what we were doing to get me better and work things out for me. I think it’s wrong."

    Ide, a former Alaska State Trooper, said he was addicted to painkillers, but medical marijuana helped him wean himself off all medications except methadone.

    Leistikow admitted that the new policy may force some patients to drive all the way to Anchorage, because there are only a few chronic pain specialists in Fairbanks. Still, she claimed the strict new policy was "necessary."

    The assistant medical director is so eager to defend the clinic’s new policy that she took a significant departure from the facts in so doing.

    "What we have decided as a clinic — we’re setting policy for which patients we can take care of and which ones we can’t — patients who use opiates and marijuana together are at much higher risk of death, abuse and misuse of medications, of having side effects from their medications, and recommendations are generally that patients on those should be followed by a pain specialist," Leistikow lied.

    Patients who use opiates and marijuana together are NOT in fact at higher risk of death, abuse, misuse and side effects; I invite Ms. Leistikow to produce any studies which indicate they are. As mentioned earlier, pain patients who also use marijuana are usually able to use smaller, safer doses of painkillers than would be the case without cannabis supplementation.

    CONTINUE READING HERE…

     
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