Marijuana Policy Project
Curved Papers

Michael Thompson Released After Michigan Governor Commutes His Marijuana Sentence

Michael Thompson has spent 26 years in Michigan prisons for selling marijuana, which is now legal in Michigan.

After spending 23 years in jail on marijuana charges, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer commuted Michael Thompson's sentence on December 22. He was arrested and convicted in 1994 for selling three pounds to an informant and given a 42-year sentence. Thompson, 69, was released from Charles Egeler Reception and Guidance Center in Jackson on January 28..

Michigan Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich stated:

“It’s hard to stomach that a man who was booked on drug charges in the nineties could still be incarcerated in 2020, by a state that had since legalized the use of recreational marijuana... I, along with thousands of people who were shocked by Mr. Thompson’s absurdly long sentence, have petitioned the governor’s office on his behalf and we applaud her for doing the right thing by granting him clemency.”

Prior to the commutation announcement, Thompson's case had drawn the attention of celebrites. Sarah Silverman tweeted:

She followed up with this tweet: 

According to Can-Do: Justice Through Clemency:

"Michael “Meeko” Thompson has spent more than two decades locked in a state prison and is now in the Muskegon Correctional Facility. Michael was arrested for selling three pounds of cannabis to an undercover officer. He had prior drug offenses, but no history of violence. When his house was raided after his arrest, a few antique firearms and one usable firearm were recovered. Despite the fact that the antiques did not fire and the one that did was owned by Michael’s wife, he was convicted of felony possession of a firearm along with his cannabis charges. This was his fourth offense which labeled him a habitual offender, and he was sentenced to 40-60 years in prison. He could have been sentenced to as little as three to five years."

Montel Williams tweeted:

Podcaster Shaun King tweeted:

Dear @GovWhitmer,

It’s absolutely shameful that you refuse to grant clemency to Michael Thompson. The request is on your desk.

He is the longest serving non-violent person in Michigan’s prisons. He’s been there for nearly 30 years.

Now he has Covid-19https://t.co/9s5yqn55Bx

— Shaun King (@shaunking) August 1, 2020

 

Recent Cannabis Lifer Prison Releases

A Dozen Longtime Marijuana Prisoners Have Sentences Commuted - Jan. 20, 2021

• Andrew Cox - Jan. 6, 2021

Fate Winslow - Dec. 16, 2020

• Richard DeLisi - Dec. 8, 2020

• Anthony Bascaro - May 1, 2019

This article was originally posted on August 3. It has been updated several times.

 

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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.