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Michael Thompson is now a free man. The 69-year-old Flint native was released from prison this morning, after serving roughly half of his 42 to 62-year sentence for selling marijuana.

Thompson and three others were granted clemency by Governor Gretchen Whitmer on December 22.

Whitmer's action came at the urging of Attorney General Dana Nessel after she met with members of the Cannabis Caucus, a group that advocates for the commutation of sentences for those with marijuana-related charges. The group contends that Thompson's sentence was excessive, especially since the legalization of recreational marijuana in Michigan.

Thompson tells M-Live that he hopes to help others serving sentences for pot-related crimes.

“I just hope somebody who can hear that’s dealing with prison reform can hear me and let them know that a lot of things need to be done because -- those guys are human beings and the way they’re treating them is not good, and hopefully prison reform will help them,” he added.

After 25 years in prison, Thompson was greeted this morning in Jackson by his daughters who were 19 and 3-years old when he was convicted. He got to meet his 9-year-old granddaughter for the first time.

Also on hand were members of the Redemption Foundation. The non-profit helps individuals and families affected by cannabis convictions and helps raise money for former convicts exiting prison.

“I’m happy that I’m free, but there’s so much work to be done with prison reform,” Thompson said.

 

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