Michigan Man in Prison for Selling Cannabis in a Now Legal State

The Michigan Attorney General, Dana Nessel sent a letter to Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday stating that he strongly supports the commutation of Michael Thompson who has been serving decades in prison.

This is a rare move coming from the Attorney General. Nessel recommended that Thompson be released as he is currently being treated for Covid-19 at a Michigan Department of Corrections hospital. Thompson’s attorney revealed this.

Thompson, 69 was sentenced to 42 to 60 years imprisonment in 1996 for the sale of marijuana. His punishment was to last for decades because the law saw him as a “habitual offender”.

The sentence means he won’t be eligible for parole until the age of 87. A campaign for his release, which was tagged, “Free Michael Thompson” did get national attention even as advocates for criminal justice reform and advocates lament that his sentence is unnecessarily harsh.

Nessel has no authority to grant the Flint man a commutation. However, she tagged Thompson’s punishment as “egregiously disproportionate” to the offenses he committed while requesting that Governor Whitmer considers his commutation and release application “as expeditiously as possible”.

“While technically legal, the sentence imposed on Mr. Thompson is the product of a different time in Michigan legal history. And it is time that has passed”, Nessel said in the letter.

A commutation implies that a prisoner gets a reduction in his or her sentence. The process involves first that the Michigan Parole Board reviews the prisoner’s application. If the board sees the application as one that merits it, it will hold a public hearing on the case after which it makes a recommendation to the governor. The final decision is to be taken by the governor.

Thompson sold 3 pounds of marijuana to an undercover agent in Genesee County in 1994, and that led to his arrest. After the police searched his home, they recovered firearms, which many were antiques stored in a locked safe that were not in his possession during the time of arrest.

Asides the marijuana crime, Thompson was also got convicted for being a felon in possession of a firearm as well as possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony. Thompson had been a habitual offender. The habitual offender law in Michigan allowed for any term of imprisonment (up to life) for the felon-in-possession charge. But, according to Nessel, this usually takes a maximum of 5 years.

“Sentences of this length for selling marijuana are simply unheard of, even when accompanied by firearm offences.

“Given that recreational and medicinal marijuana is now legal in Michigan, allowing Mr. Thompson to continue serving the very draconian sentence, in this case, is even more distasteful”, Nessel wrote.

Kimberly Kendall Corral who is one of Thompson’s attorneys said Nessel’s request to Whitmer is “an indication of the severity of the injustice here”.

Corral said Thompson has an underlying medical team had requested in March that his application be expedited due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the parole board was yet to determine the merit of Thompson’s case since the application was submitted.

Thompson has been confined at Muskegon Correctional Facility, which is experiencing an outbreak of the viral infection. He tested positive to the COVID-19 and got hospitalized at MDOC’s Duane Waters Health Center in Jackson. According to his lawyers, he has complained of weakness and exhaustion.

Chris Gautz who is the Department of Corrections spokesman, commented on the issue and said the board is reviewing cases even though determination has not been made. He added that commutation hearings were postponed for a certain period because of COVID-19 and that the board gives priority to prisoner cases that are eligible for parole during the pandemic.


+ posts



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We are raffling off one NFL signed breast cancer football signed by former NFL player Ron Brooks! @Ronbrooks_33

$20 per submission. No limit on submissions.

All funds to be submitted to PayPal/CashApp at info@black-cannabis. Donations will be given to the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation located in New Jersey

-Follow us on @Black Cannabis on Facebook or @_blackcannabis on IG
-Like the post
-Tag 2 friends in the comments
Follow the above rules and 1 random participant will be chosen Saturday October 31st.
Per Instagram rules, this promotion is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. By entering entrants confirm that they are 18+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram's term of use.

#blackcannabis #breastcancermonth #ronbrooks33 #nfl #giveaway #breastcancersurvivors #breastcancerawareness

79 4

TUNE IN TO “THE GREAT CANNABIS DEBATE” WHERE WE EXPLORE THE PROS AND CONS OF NJ ADULT USE LEGALIZATION!!! With elections happening let’s continue to stay educated on how our votes will truly affect us. Some of the pioneers for cannabis activism in New Jersey @leo_bridgewater and @njweedman  have some very interesting points to raise. Don’t miss out on the debate of the month!

#njlegalization #BlackCannabis #njweedman #leobridgewater #ThegreatCannabisDebate #highpolitics #highpoliticians #njelections

101 8

SAY! (R)EWIND The Album now available on @applemusic @tidal from Black Hip(V)e @valonadenise. Available for pre- save on Spotify. Artwork by @beekenny_ . Tap in #blackcannabis #609 #blackhipve ...

59 0

SAY. Here’s the Tracklist and a preview of Black Hip(V)e, @valonadenise debut (R)EWIND coming soon. Stoners are you in tune? #blackcannabis #hipve ...

33 0

Tap in with Black Cannabis Creative @valonadenise #NP Smoke In the Air. (R)EWIND the album is on the way. SAY #BlackHipve #newmusic #cannabisculture #stonermusic ...

63 5

When the proof speaks for itself, there’s no need in convincing people! We thank Dr. Sanjay Gupta for his countless breakthroughs and contributions to the cannabis community! We have all the research, and resources to educate ourselves! We advise everyone to take the time to learn more about the benefits of Cannabis, so we can shift to a more canna-clusive environment and society! ...

123 6

“Approximately 77 million people, 1 in every 3 adults, have a criminal record. There are 48,000 barriers to housing, employment, occupational licensing, and educational opportunities for the millions of people with a criminal record in the U.S. Essentially, having a criminal record in the U.S. disenfranchises people from fully and successfully reentering their communities.”

Disproportionate arrest continue to plague our communities. Join in on National Expungement Week as cities across the country hold workshops and more.

To find out information on National Expungement Week please visit


80 1

Cannabis consumption in the sports world has ways been frowned upon, but what if it was the key to unlocking the players maximum potential?

As we learn more about all the medical benefits of CBD and THC and have more ways to test and asses the compounds, it seems naive to deny its ability to help in sports. From muscle relief to stress, Cannabis has the ability to elevate the game when used responsibly by adults.

What do you think about adult use of Cannabis being used for athletes?

#BlackCannabis #cliffrobinson #CannabisActivist #cannabisactivism #NBA #sportsmedicine

143 4


Black Cannabis is committed to connecting with all outlets that are ancillary and work directly with cannabis.

We would like to find more ways to support businesses and people in the field.

#blackcannabis #minoritydispensaryowner #minorityownedbusiness #minoritydispensaryowners #minorityheads #womenownedbusiness #womenofcannabiz #vetsincannabis #vetownedbusinesses #womenowneddispensary #headshoplife #cannabisdispensary #dispensarylife #minorityowned

247 75