Former Marijuana Lifer Inmate Campaigns for Missouri Pot Reform
October 20, 2015

AP) – A 62-year-old man recently freed from a Missouri prison where he was serving a life sentence on a marijuana-related charge wants supporters to help change marijuana laws.
The Jefferson City News-Tribune reports ( ) that Jeff Mizanskey told a chapter meeting of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws on Monday that Missouri’s laws need changing.
Mizanskey was handed a life sentence in 1994 because he had been convicted on drug-related charges three times. Under Missouri’s “three strikes” law, he was judged to be a “prior and persistent offender.”
But Gov. Jay Nixon commuted Mizanskey’s sentence to life with the possibility of parole in May. His release followed years of lobbying by supporters who argued the sentence was too tough. Lawmakers have eliminated the “three strikes” law as part of the new Criminal Code that goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2017.
Secretary of State Jason Kander’s office has approved two petitions that propose changes to marijuana laws. A third proposal to permit marijuana for medical use is currently being considered.
Spencer Pearson, Vice President of the Mid-Missouri chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said the hardest part of getting a proposal to the ballot will be getting people to sign petitions.

Kansas Pot Reform Dies on the Vine
May 26, 2015

(AP) – A bill that would ease many of Kansas’ marijuana laws has stalled in the Senate and likely won’t be considered again this year.

Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce said Tuesday the bill needs time for careful consideration and the chamber is currently attempting to wind down the session and focus on taxes.

The bill would decrease penalties for marijuana possession, order a state study of industrial hemp and allow limited production and sale of hemp oil to treat seizures. It passed the House in a surprise vote earlier this month and represents the most serious push in decades to liberalize Kansas’ marijuana policies.

Bruce says the Senate will seek to separate the different portions of the bill next year and discuss them individually.