In Mississippi, the barbaric nature of Cannabis prohibition has never been more obviously apparent.
A Black Mississippi man will continue to serve a life sentence for a pot bust after a court upheld the draconian term, reports the New York Post.
A state appears court on Tuesday upheld Allen Russell’s 2019 life sentence. The court said that was due to his “habitual offender” status from past run-ins with the law.
Russell, 38, got a life sentence in Forrest County in 2019. A jury found him guilty of possessing 30 grams of Cannabis.
State law allows for a life sentence without parole if a person has spent a year in prison on two felonies. One must be a violent offense, according to the Associated Press/Report for America.
Police seized five bags of weed from Russell when he was arrested in 2017. They confirmed that two of the bags contained 1.5 ounces of marijuana.
Under Mississippi law, possession of between 1.05 and 8.8 ounces of marijuana carries a sentence of up to three years. It can also carry a $3,000 fine, or both, the AP said.
Russell did more than eight years in prison on two home burglary charges. Burglary wasn’t considered a “violent” crime in in 2014. But a 2017 Mississippi law changed all that. A “justice reform” bill signed last year by Gov. Tate doesn’t help those who are supposedly “habitual offenders.”
He spent another two years in the clink after a conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm, according to the Mississippi Court of Appeals ruling.