Michael Thompson was given a 60-year prison sentence for selling three pounds of pot. He is now presumed to have COVID-19

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Supporters are concerned the 69-year-old diabetic, who is not set to be eligible for parole until he reaches his late 80s, may not survive the ordeal

Although Michael Thompson has been in jail for more than 25 years for selling weed, he may be facing a death sentence.

Thompson is Michigan’s longest-serving non-violent offender. He was convicted of selling three pounds of cannabis to a police informant in 1994 and was incarcerated in 1996 after being sentenced to 42 to 60 years in prison.

He has now been hospitalized with presumptive COVID-19 along with a group of fellow prisoners from Michigan’s Muskegon Correctional, reportsBenzinga Cannabis. Supporters are concerned that the 69-year-old diabetic, who is not set to be eligible for parole until he reaches his late 80s, may not survive the ordeal.

Thompson previously expressed concerns about the spread of the coronavirus in prisons and how it may impact him, saying in June that if he contracted the virus, “it’s over with. I don’t want to die. I’ve done almost 25 years and then to die from something, some virus. When is someone going to finally hear the cries?”

Thompson was arrested due to his illicit weed sale, but his decades-long sentence is the result of cops finding firearms on his property, and the fact that he already had a record. However, Thomson was unarmed when he made the sale, and the ownership of guns — one which belonged to his wife, another which was an antique — is legal in the state. He has never been convicted of a violent crime.

“Explain that to me, how you can take another person’s life. Life and you get less time than I do. My sentence simply doesn’t fit the crime,” he says.

During his time at Muskegon, Thompson lost his parents and his only son. Meanwhile, the state of Michigan has since legalized adult-use cannabis rendering his sentence even more frustrating, especially considering that his record of behaviour while institutionalized has been nothing short of impeccable.

“You know after 25 years, you don’t feel nothing no more. You just feel numb,” he told The Intercept. “Please know, I am an honorable man.”

A website in support of Thompson has been launched, asking citizens to petition state Governor Whitmer and the parole board for his release.

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