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, November 21, 2008

Alderden: Can't Uphold Law By Keeping Pot Alive

NateTaylor @coloradoan.com

Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden says his office can't uphold the requirements of a state constitutional amendment regarding medical marijuana.

Amendment 20, passed by voters in November 2000, requires law enforcement agencies that seize medical marijuana plants to maintain their health while they are being held as evidence.

Alderden said in his "Bulls-eye" blog that maintaining the health of the plants is an impossible task.

"How in the world are we supposed to fertilize, water and grow thousands of plants?" Alderden said in his blog. "We don't have the personnel, space, resources or time to operate a full-blown greenhouse."

Alderden said there are currently no medical marijuana plants being held as evidence by the Sheriff's Office. He said large amounts of plants held as evidence in the future will not be maintained.

"Plants won't be maintained if it appears obvious to us they are in violation of the amendment," Alderden said Thursday in a phone interview.

The amendment allows patients who have the OK from doctors to use the drug, along with designated caregivers, to possess it and grow it. Alderden said the spirit of the amendment is often violated by the caregivers who use the amendment to sell marijuana and make "millions of dollars."

"I really don't have a problem if they have their six plants," Alderden said referring to medical marijuana patients. "But when you have people who are doing major-league drug dealing, you've got problems."

He also said there aren't enough resources at the county's disposal to maintain the health of seized plants. He said to maintain large amounts of the plants would require a warehouse-sized space, a sophisticated lighting and watering system, a staff to keep the plants healthy and security for the facility.

The Coloradoan