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, June 11, 2009

Mason Tvert: Marijuana Use Up In Colorado

Huffington Post

Last week, following the federal government's release of a state-by-state survey of drug use and perceptions of harms of various drugs, the news media in Colorado reported that marijuana use was up significantly in the state.

Let's just pause and think about that for a moment. The news media reported thatmarijuana use was up up significantly in the state.

Now, most of us have been bombarded by the message that marijuana is "bad" or "harmful" our entire lives, and we know what to expect when the traditional media reports on an increase in marijuana use. So you probably assume at this point that the tone of the coverage was one of alarm and dismay. If you think that, you haven't been in Colorado over the past four years.

What has happened in the Centennial State over the past four years, you might ask? Well, the populace, including the media itself, has been constantly bombarded with one simple message: Marijuana is safer than alcohol -- both to the user and to society -- and it therefore makes no sense to punish adults who make the rational choice to use the less harmful substance.

The organization I head, SAFER, which stands for Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation, has pushed this message through referendums on college campuses, two citywide ballot initiatives in Denver, a statewide ballot initiative campaign, and countless public demonstrations and press conferences. (You can get a sampling of the kind of media coverage we have generated by checking out our YouTube channel.)