Anyone that was alive thirty or even twenty years ago can certainly testify that the world today is not the world that it was back then. Technology has gone from a distance dream to something that dictates many peoples’ lives, and laws have come and gone. For some people, the changes that have taken place over the last twenty years have literally defined a lifetime of transformations.
Marijuana laws were most certainly written from a different letter of the law twenty or thirty years ago. In Missouri twenty years ago, Jeff Mizanskey was busy learning about the way marijuana was viewed back then, and he was learning it the hard way. On December 18, 1993, Mizanskey rolled the dice against the marijuana laws and for the third time, and for law officials, that was the last straw. Like other states with similar laws, Missouri was entertaining a three-strikes law at the time, and this 1993 violation whereby a few pounds of pot were found in the possession of Mizanskey and his then-friends was enough to land him behind bars with a sentence of life without parole.
When Mizanskey went to prison, he left behind a son that has spent the last twenty years on the outside watching marijuana laws change and lighten with the times. As states have started to loosen up on their laws, and others have started to legalize cannabis all together, some people have found themselves in the in-between when it comes to progressive movements. Mizanskey’s son is now working with his dad to ask the state of Missouri’s Governor Jay Nixon for clemency. After all, with legalization rolling out across the country, it seems only relevant that the decision makers that put pot violators behind bars long ago start asking, “How long is long enough?”