Cannabis prisoner Michael Thompson, who is serving 40-60 years in a Michigan prison for selling cannabis, has been reportedly hospitalized with the coronavirus. Cannabis and prison reform advocates called for his release earlier this year when the virus first started spreading through the U.S. prison system but Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who could have ordered his early release from prison, failed to take action.
Now, Thompson — a 69-year-old and diabetic nonviolent cannabis offender — is face-to-face with the frequently fatal virus.
.@jimananich @dsleyton .@mayorneeley Our worst fears have been realized. Michael Thompson has contracted COVID-19 and is currently hospitalized. As a 69 year old diabetic dealing with malnourishment at the hospital, we are terrified that Michael will not make it.
— The Last Prisoner Project (@lastprisonerprj) August 2, 2020
Thompson has already served 25 years of his 40 to 60-year sentence, which was handed down in 1994 after he sold cannabis to an undercover police officer. During his incarceration, Thompson’s immediate family — including his mother, father, and only son — have all passed away; his mother’s last wish was that her son would not die in prison.
While it is widely accepted that nobody deserves to die over an herb, the coronavirus has made that a very real possibility for Michael Thompson (and the thousands of other prisoners who are locked up on nonviolent drug charges). We are calling on our followers and anyone who supports responsible criminal justice reform to contact Gov. Whitmer and the Michigan Parole Board to demand Michael Thompson’s early release if he survives this bout with COVID-19.
Contact officials via phone:
Michigan Parole Board – (517) 373-0270
Governor Whitmer’s office – (517) 373-3400
Contact the Michigan Parole Board via email:
Michael Thompson’s Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) number is 176309.