BY: Chronic Staff | Recent News | published July 22, 2021
Cannabis convict Robert Franklin was freed from prison after 12 years. He was sentenced to 22 years in state prison for possessing 1 pound of marijuana with the intent to distribute. He is not free after 12 years and thanks to Missouri Gov. Mike Parson who commuted the Columbia man’s sentence in May.
The Board of Probation and Parole office agreed Franklin should be set free and he was released last week. This is based on Gov. Parson’s recommendation. He was convicted after he tossed a package of the drug from a vehicle during a short pursuit in Saline County more than 14 years ago. Laws governing the possession of marijuana have since changed immensely. The statute that used to convict Franklin is no longer in the books which said that there is a mandatory 10 years in prison without the possibility of parole for multiple felony drug convictions. Others will stay locked up unless Gov. Parsons acts.
Franklin spent his first day out with his family and supporters. He held his daughter tight, ate at a local steak house, and enjoyed his freedom. He was feeling blessed and shared that it was great to be home.
In Oklahoma, there was a mass release initiative that Parsons is taking into consideration. In Oklahoma, more than 500 men and women had their felony sentences shortened in 2019. This was deemed the biggest single-day mass release of prisoners in US history as per the criminal justice reform advocates. Oklahoma had the country’s second-highest incarceration rate per capita when the state parole board approved the move.
Missouri became the 33rd state in the nation to approve medical marijuana in 2018. Yet, there are numbers of low-level drug offenders in the Missouri prisons. No one should be in prison for possession of a drug that is legalized.