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.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Pot, the Mayor, and the City Council

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper and four City Council members have admitted using pot in the past, a newspaper reported today.

Others, such as council members Carol Boigon and Chris Nevitt, were more coy.

"I'm going to go on record saying I've never smoked pot. I've also never parked illegally and never sped," Nevitt jokingly told the Denver Daily News.

"I'm 60 years old. I went to school at the University of Michigan. Do a little research," Boigon said, according to the newspaper.

The report comes in advance of a vote tonight on whether or not to refer to voters an initiative that would make adult possession of less than an ounce of marijuana the "lowest priority" for police.

Hickenlooper told the paper he made "personal choices" when he was younger that he neither supports nor condones now.

Council members Rick Garcia, Marcia Johnson, Carla Madison and Jeanne Robb also told the paper they've "smoked or ingested" pot.

"I had a brownie once. There may have even been a bowl going with it ..." Johnson said, according to the report. "I got a good taste and even a case of the giggles."

Council President Michael Hancock and council members Jeanne Faatz and Paul Lopez said they've never smoked weed.

Charlie Brown, Peggy Lehmann, Doug Linkhart and Judy Montero declined to say whether or not they've ever used pot.

Rocky Mountain News

This snippet is from the Denver Daily News who ran the entire article...

Gateway to what?

Tvert pointed to the fact that at least four on Council and the mayor all smoked marijuana, but never became addicted to drugs.

“Councilman Hancock claims marijuana is a ‘gateway drug,’ but our mayor and council members never went on to use harder drugs, with the exception of alcohol, of course,” Tvert said.

Councilman Charlie Brown, who led the opposition effort in 2005 to Initiative 100, refused to comment on whether he ever used marijuana, stating that he’s “sick” of the issue and that the proponents never admit to using marijuana themselves.

Tvert said he has smoked pot: “I’ve certainly used marijuana, and I think it’s unfortunate that the only drug I can use legally in Denver — alcohol — is far more harmful,” he said.

Symbolic, unenforceable

For most elected officials, however, the issue is with supporting an initiative that is symbolic and unenforceable. Officials argue that marijuana is illegal statewide and by federal law and therefore police officers are sworn to uphold those laws, despite the will of local voters.