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.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The 4/20 Experiment

The Boulder Weekly
At precisely 4:20 p.m. on Monday, about 10,000 people gathered on the Norlin Quad on the CU campus, smoked marijuana, and, mirabile dictu, the sky didn’t fall.

The occasion was the annual 4/20 celebration and protest, AKA International Cannabis Day.

(Why 4/20? Well, about 20 years ago a group of California teenagers used to get together at 4:20 p.m. and have a few tokes. Word of this reached High Times Magazine, which suggested that the 4:20 p.m. ritual should become the pot smokers’ equivalent of the after-work drink. Marijuana activists picked up on the idea and added the twist of making April 20 (4/20) a day to celebrate marijuana and protest its prohibition with civil disobedience. But we digress.)

Anyway, back to CU. There were no drug-related arrests. If there were any arrests for anything else, they weren’t reported. A similar event took place in Denver’s Civic Center and drew about 3,000 participants. There were no arrests there, either.

At both rallies, most everyone seems to have inhaled. This can be surmised by the fact that the press reported at 4:20 p.m., when everyone was invited to light up, a hazy cloud of smoke formed over each crowd and lingered for several minutes.

Other than that, nothing much seems to have happened. People started gathering early in the afternoon, threw Frisbees, played hackie sack and probably snuck in a few practice tokes. In other words, the only thing that happened is that people got high and had a good time. And, oh yes, broke several federal, state and local laws.

You might say the participants in these rallies were “experimenting” with marijuana. And, since there were no reported incidents of violence or larceny and everyone seems to have enjoyed themselves, you might say the “experiment” was a success.

Which raises an obvious question, which the press seems to have been too dazed and confused to have asked: What would have happened if 10,000 people had spent the afternoon on the Norlin Quad knocking back beers, wine or shooters?