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1 US MO: 77-Year-Old Sentenced To 10 Years For Growing MarijuanaFri, 22 Sep 2017
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Bologna, Giacomo Area:Missouri Lines:159 Added:09/26/2017

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Two plainclothes detectives were driving a white unmarked pickup truck through a heavily forested road in Polk County on an overcast day in March 2012.

A woman had called the sheriff's office in December. Her identity had been stolen, she said, and new credit cards were being sent to an address in Polk County.

The detectives couldn't find the home in the rural area 45 miles north of Springfield, so instead they stopped at the next closest address -- the home of Charles Frederick White.

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2 US MO: Jackson, St. Louis Counties Team Up To Track PrescriptionTue, 24 Jan 2017
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Hendricks, Mike Area:Missouri Lines:71 Added:01/26/2017

Jackson County announced Tuesday that it will join St. Louis County in a prescription drug monitoring program as a way to fight abuse of painkillers.

Missouri is the only state in the nation without a system to track the sales of prescription drugs.

Despite repeated attempts over the past decade and wide support from health advocates, law enforcement and others, the General Assembly has been unable to pass legislation that would set up a statewide program. A small number of opponents have blocked those bills, citing privacy concerns.

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3 US MO: Mandatory Drug Testing At Missouri Technical College IsWed, 04 Jan 2017
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Williams, Mara Rose Area:Missouri Lines:40 Added:01/04/2017

Mandatory drug testing of students at a two-year technical college in Linn, Mo., has been banned by a federal appeals court.

The court has reinstated the ban on mandatory drug testing for most students at the State Technical College of Missouri. The decision was the latest ruling in a 5-year-old lawsuit.

The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Associated Press reported that by a 9-2 vote, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit overturned an earlier decision by a three-judge panel of the court.

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4 US MO: Column: Debate Over Marijuana in Missouri More ThanWed, 24 Aug 2016
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Helling, Dave Area:Missouri Lines:79 Added:08/26/2016

Last week a group of Missouri prosecutors announced it had taken legal steps to block voter consideration of a medical marijuana proposition on the November ballot.

In a news release, the group said it opposes the measure because pot is illegal under federal law. "Missouri law cannot usurp federal law," the prosecutors claim.

That doesn't seem to have been a problem in Colorado, where recreational marijuana is sold, but let's leave that aside for the moment. Instead, let's focus on the prosecutors' central argument: state law, they say, must give way to federal law whenever there's a conflict.

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5 US MO: 3 More Groups Submit Missouri Ballot PetitionsMon, 09 May 2016
Source:Southeast Missourian (MO)          Area:Missouri Lines:98 Added:05/09/2016

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Proponents of initiatives aimed at sales taxes, cigarette taxes and medical marijuana submitted petitions Sunday in hopes of getting their proposals on the November ballot in Missouri.

The petitions submitted Sunday involved two proposed constitutional amendments, one that would prohibit state and local governments from charging sales tax on any services that weren't taxed as of 2015, and another that would allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes. A third ballot initiative would phase in a 23-cent-per-pack increase in the cigarette tax from 2017 to 2021.

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6 US MO: Medical Marijuana Bill Fails In Missouri HouseSat, 23 Apr 2016
Source:Columbia Daily Tribune (MO)          Area:Missouri Lines:27 Added:04/23/2016

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) -- The Missouri House has rejected a proposal to legalize medical marijuana.

The legislation failed on a 66-87 vote Thursday after lawmakers scaled it back to only permit cancer patients in hospice to use the drug.

The pro-legalization National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws said of the 23 states to permit medical cannabis, only Florida's laws were comparably narrow.

Some supporters of expanding access to marijuana said they could not support such a limited measure. Other opponents said permitting any form of legalized marijuana would lead to higher use among teenagers and, potentially, even looser drugs laws in the future.

[end]

7 US MO: Violence In St. Louis Traced To Cheap Mexican HeroinSun, 03 Apr 2016
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Williams, Timothy Area:Missouri Lines:168 Added:04/03/2016

ST. LOUIS - Clara Walker, a mother of nine and grandmother of eight, was peering out the window of her home three years ago after hearing what she initially thought were gunshots from a television crime show.

But at that moment, Anthony Jordan, who the authorities say was a gang enforcer known as "Godfather," was spraying gunfire on the street outside, and two bullets struck Ms. Walker, killing her.

"St. Louis is a dangerous place right now," Johnny Barnes, Ms. Walker's longtime boyfriend, said during a recent interview. "It's all around us."

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8 US MO: Column: A Scary Truth: When Businesses See Profit inSat, 19 Mar 2016
Source:Kansas City Star (MO) Author:Sanchez, Mary Area:Missouri Lines:104 Added:03/23/2016

Prison Reform Measures Have Helped Lower Rates of Incarceration

Half of the Nation's Prison Population Has Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorders

For-Profit Companies Are Maneuvering for Contracts With Cash-Strapped States

Nancy Reagan's recent death was a reminder of the shallow moralizing of the Just Say No anti-drug campaign she once championed.

Thankfully, attitudes have changed. We're more attuned to the fact that untreated mental health issues are often a precursor to drug use. Nancy's slogan to fight peer pressure won't help much there.

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9 US MO: PUB LTE: Missouri Should Legalize And Regulate MarijuanaSat, 21 Nov 2015
Source:St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO) Author:Kirk, Larry Area:Missouri Lines:47 Added:11/22/2015

Regarding the editorial "Pot or not?" (Nov. 16):

As a sitting chief of police in Missouri, I've seen the rift that our failed marijuana policy continues to create between peace officers and the citizens we serve. Young people aren't prevented from getting marijuana now, because drug dealers don't have to ask for an ID. Families are torn apart, parents lose their children, and racial minorities are arrested and incarcerated for marijuana far more often than whites.

Continuing to arrest nonviolent, responsible, adult marijuana users is generating public distrust of their police. This makes it very difficult to do our job of protecting communities and solving crimes.

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10 US MO: Local Petition Seeks to Decriminalize Growing Up to SixSun, 04 Oct 2015
Source:Columbia Missourian (MO) Author:Iftekhar, Anadil Area:Missouri Lines:62 Added:10/05/2015

COLUMBIA - Initiative petitions have begun circulating that would revive a proposal for the decriminalization of growing up to six marijuana plants in Columbia.

The petition would limit cultivation to a person's home in locked area indoors inaccessible to children. It would make cultivation a municipal offense with a fine of $250 or community service or counseling. The petition also states that medical marijuana may be obtained, possessed and cultivated by seriously ill patients.

Under the proposal, cultivation and/or possession of up to six or fewer plants would not result in arrest, loss of driver's license, detention, incarceration or require the posting of a bond. Punishment would be limited to a city summons and a fine of up to $250. In 2004, 62 percent of Columbia voters approved an ordinance that made posession of up to 35 grams of marijuana a municipal offense with a fine of no more than $250.

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11US MO: Man Serving Life Is FreedWed, 02 Sep 2015
Source:Denver Post (CO) Author:Ballentine, Summer Area:Missouri Lines:Excerpt Added:09/02/2015

Kin, Lawmakers Argued Sentence Too Stiff As Attitudes Have Changed

Jefferson City, Mo. (AP) - A man sentenced to life without parole on a marijuana-related charge was freed Tuesday from a Missouri prison after being behind bars for two decades - a period in which the nation's attitudes toward pot steadily softened.

"I spent a third of my life in prison," said Jeff Mizanskey, 62, who was greeted by his infant great-granddaughter. "It's a shame."

His release followed years of lobbying by relatives, lawmakers and others who argued that the sentence was too stiff and that marijuana should not be forbidden.

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12 US MO: Mizanskey Free After 21 Years In PrisonTue, 01 Sep 2015
Source:Sedalia Democrat (MO) Author:Cooke, Nicole Area:Missouri Lines:113 Added:09/02/2015

JEFFERSON CITY - After 21 years behind bars for marijuana-related offenses, Jeff Mizanskey is now a free man.

Mizanskey, 62, of Sedalia, was released from the Jefferson City Correctional Center early Tuesday morning with a crowd of family, friends and members of the media ready to greet him. His supporters wore black shirts with the Show-Me Cannabis logo and white lettering that said #WeFreedJeffMizanskey 09-01-2015. Mizanskey wore a similar shirt that said "I'm Jeff and I'm Free."

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13 US MO: Life Sentence For Pot Is DroppedWed, 02 Sep 2015
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA)          Area:Missouri Lines:25 Added:09/02/2015

(AP) - A man sentenced to life without parole on a marijuana-related charge was freed from a Missouri prison after being behind bars for more than two decades - a period in which the nation's attitudes toward pot steadily softened.

Family, friends, supporters and reporters flocked to meet Jeff Mizanskey, 62, as he stepped out of the Jefferson City Correctional Center into a sunny morning, wearing a new pair of white tennis shoes and a shirt that read, "I'm Jeff & I'm free."

His release followed years of lobbying by relatives, lawmakers and others who argued that the sentence was too stiff and that marijuana should not be forbidden.

[end]

14 US MO: Man Who Got Life Term on Marijuana Charge Is FreedWed, 02 Sep 2015
Source:Seattle Times (WA) Author:Ballentine, Summer Area:Missouri Lines:34 Added:09/02/2015

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A man sentenced to life without parole on a marijuana-related charge was freed Tuesday from a Missouri prison after being behind bars for more than two decades - a period in which the nation's attitudes toward pot steadily softened.

Family, friends, supporters and reporters flocked to meet Jeff Mizanskey as he stepped out of the Jefferson City Correctional Center, wearing a new pair of white tennis shoes and a shirt that read "I'm Jeff & I'm free."

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15 US MO: PUB LTE: War On Some Drugs Is A Policy FailureSun, 02 Aug 2015
Source:St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO) Author:Sharpe, Robert Area:Missouri Lines:39 Added:08/05/2015

Thank you for making the case for drug decriminalization in the editorial "Descriminalizacao" (July 26).

There is a misguided effort underway nationwide to replace the punitive drug war with drug courts. This effort is effectively a war on non-corporate drugs funded by taxpayers and carried out with the heavy hand of a bloated criminal justice system. Drug courts use drug tests and the threat of jail to force illicit drug users to switch to legal alcohol or prescription pharmaceuticals, both of which are arguably more harmful than marijuana, the most popular illicit drug.

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16 US MO: PUB LTE: American People Have Created the Demand forTue, 28 Jul 2015
Source:St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO) Author:Kohorst, Fred Area:Missouri Lines:40 Added:07/29/2015

The Sunday editorial "Descriminalizacao" on the war against drugs seems to confirm what I've been carrying on about for some time now. The war on drugs is an entirely misguided effort. We keep blaming the Mexican and Colombian cartels for the sale and use of drugs in this country. The fact of the matter is that the American people must take most of the blame for what is happening.

Readers of my letter who don't want to deal with this reality will write me off as being unpatriotic, but the real truth is that the American people have created the demand for drugs. Americans want drugs. We want cocaine, marijuana, meth and anything we can get our hands on. Drug cartels are simply supplying a product to a marketplace we have created.

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17US MO: Editorial: Sentencing Reform Is Fine. DecriminalizingSun, 26 Jul 2015
Source:St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)          Area:Missouri Lines:Excerpt Added:07/29/2015

It's been a busy couple of weeks in America's futile War on Drugs. It's a war that can't be won, a war that makes billionaires of some of the world's most vicious criminals, a war that began 44 years ago and has cost more than $1 trillion.

It's time to think about what we as a nation are doing wrong. It's time to honestly face the facts.

Yes, we can and should let nonviolent drug offenders out of prison, as President Obama has advocated and some conservative states already have done, and as bipartisan legislation pending in Congress would do.

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18US MO: As Heroin Use Spikes, Missouri Lacks Key To PreventionSun, 12 Jul 2015
Source:Springfield News-Leader (MO) Author:Swedien, Jon Area:Missouri Lines:Excerpt Added:07/16/2015

As heroin use jumps in Springfield and throughout Missouri, the Show Me State stands alone in not having a prescription drug monitoring program - a key to curbing the drug's proliferation, according to federal experts.

Nationally, heroin use has been on the rise. It has become more prevalent among women and the middle class, and many of its users came to the narcotic after having first become addicted to prescription drugs, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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19 US MO: LTE: Losing The Second Battle Of War On DrugsThu, 25 Jun 2015
Source:Springfield News-Leader (MO) Author:Robertson, Farris Area:Missouri Lines:73 Added:06/28/2015

We have lost the War on Drugs and are now losing the battle for an emotionally stable society. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 52 million Americans have used prescription drugs for nonmedical purposes, that 54 percent of such drugs are obtained free from friends and relatives, and that 62 percent of teens that abused prescription drugs did so because they are legal, cheap, easy to get and provide plausible deniability when caught. Americans consume 75 percent of the world's prescription drugs even though we only represent 5 percent of the world's population. We also have the world's largest percentage of population incarcerated for illegal drugs.

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20 US MO: How A Missouri ''Pothead' Became Poster Boy For CompassionSat, 23 May 2015
Source:Christian Science Monitor (US) Author:Jonhsson, Patrik Area:Missouri Lines:144 Added:05/24/2015

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has commuted Jeff Mizanskey's life sentence for marijuana offenses, allowing him a parole hearing - an indication of the public and political shift on draconian drug laws.

ATLANTA - Back in the day, Jeff Mizanskey was a bit of a pothead, at least that's how the police in Sedalia, Mo., knew him. The third time Mr. Mizanskey got busted for weed - during a 1993 sting at a Super 8 motel - he lost his case at trial and received a mind-boggling punishment: Life in prison, with no chance of getting out.

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