Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Marijuana Activist's Angry Over Arrests

An increase in police on the street arresting for misdemeanor crimes and the racial disparity that makes up the arrest pattern once again rears it's ugly head. CCJRC member Mason Tvert from SAFER Colorado will hold a press conference today at noonn at the steps of City Hall.

Marijuana legalization advocates say they are furious with Denver police for arresting more people for misdemeanor possession after city residents voted to legalize the weed in 2005.

Mason Tvert, who led the charge to get marijuana legalized, said the group will hold a noon news conference today at the steps of City Hall to decry the findings.

Arrests for most minor crimes rose in Denver last year, and rose faster than marijuana arrests, following a change in policing philosophy.

But Tvert said nothing can justify an 11 percent spike in marijuana possession arrests last year.

"If there's one, it's too many," Tvert said. "They (police) have the discretion not to arrest."

Although 54 percent of Denver voters approved legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana by adults, it is still illegal under state law. Denver police have always said that they would continue to enforce state law.

Rocky Mountain News

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