Dec. 23, 2020 UPDATE: After spending 25 years of his life behind bars, Michael Thompson's sentence has been commuted by the Governor of Michigan. While the exact timeline for Thompson's pending release has yet to be announced, this is fantastic news. With the support of groups like Last Prisoner Project, Thompson's case has become high-profile across the nation.
While nobody can replace the decades Thompson lost to prison time, hopefully his clemency will spark a new wave of cannabis-related expungements across the nation in 2021.
Once Thompson is released, he will face the challenge of re-entering society. Not easy. Hopefully, support of him and other cannabis prisoners continues in full force.
Michael Thompson sold three pounds of cannabis 26 years ago, and he’s still in jail.
Thompson, 69, is serving out his up to 60-year marijuana sentence at the Muskegon Correctional Facility in Michigan — a state that now recreationally sells the very same substance Thompson has given nearly half his life for — according to Leafly.
Currently, Thompson is the longest, non-violent offender in Michigan’s history, according to the Last Prisoner Project, a Denver based organization with a simple, yet powerful mission:
We will not rest and we will not stop until the last cannabis prisoner has been set free.”- Last Prisoner Project Mission
With Michigan's recent legalization and the pressing issue of COVID-19 in America's correctional facilities, Thompson's situation is more pressing, timely and gaining more attention than ever before. In addition to the Last Prisoner Project, an online effort to free Thompson at freemichaelthompson.com is working to push state officials to reconsider the case:
“The Michigan Department of Corrections is now facing unprecedented challenges to prisoner health and safety amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Michael as a  year-old with Type 2 diabetes is uniquely vulnerable to life-threatening complications of the virus.”- www.freemichaelthompson.com
Further impressing upon the public the dire state of Thompson's situation, freemichaelthompson.com adds:
“Now, more than ever, we need your help to set Michael free. Don't let a cannabis sentence become a death sentence for Michael. Make your voice heard and FREE MICHAEL THOMPSON NOW!”- www.freemichaelthmompson.com
The Last Prisoner Project adds:
“During the 25 years he has spent imprisoned, [Michael's] father, mother, and his only son have died. His mother’s final wish was that Thompson wouldn’t die in prison. He continues to fight for clemency from the Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.”- The Last Prisoner Project
Though prior clemency attempts have been futile, The Last Prisoner Project refuses to give up and encourages the public to continue pushing to free Michael Thompson.
Ways to help (via The Last Prisoner Project)
Call the Michigan Parole Board at (517) 373-0270
Call Governor Whitmer's office at (517) 373-3400
Are you still missing out on The Bluntness newsletter? Sign Up today to stay in the loop.