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.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Masters Win Marijuana Case - Ft. Collins

My favorite part of this story is that since the Master's won, they get all of their stuff back. Which means that if the cops didn't keep their confiscated plants healthy, then they are to recieve monetary compensation.

Standing outside the Larimer County Justice Center on June 1, James Masters smiles publicly for the first time in months. Since being arrested last August for growing 39 pot plants inside their home, James and his wife Lisa have faced jail time and losing custody of their two daughters. Now, the county district attorney’s office has dropped its case against the medical marijuana providers, just three days before a scheduled jury trial that the Masters’ lawyers called a “test case” for Colorado’s medical marijuana law.

The prosecution began falling apart last month when Chief Judge James A. Hiatt ruled that a police search of the Masters’ home was illegal. (Read “Stoned — again — in court,” from the May 17 issue, online at rmchronicle.com). A follow-up defense motion claimed evidence in the case was gathered during that illegal entry. Deputy D.A. Michael Pierson gave in to that argument, resulting in no admissible evidence and a case dismissal.

“I think the grassroots campaign and the media campaign we mounted really had an effect on them,” says Brian Vicente, one of the Masters’ two lawyers and the executive director for the pro-cannabis organization, Sensible Colorado.

“This case was dismissed because of issues with the search warrant, not because of the merits,” responds Linda Jensen, spokesperson for the D.A.’s office. The outcome will not influence how the county prosecutes future, similar cases, she adds.

By law, police are required to return all confiscated property. The judge gave the D.A.’s office five days to comply. If law enforcement hasn’t kept or maintained the Masters’ plants, the couple could receive monetary compensation, which Vicente roughly calculates at a minimum of $78,000 in marijuana and grow-room equipment.

Rocky Mountain Chronicle