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.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pot Laws Perplex Cities

The Denver Post

Inside CannaMart, a Greenwood Village "wellness counseling" center that connects medical- marijuana patients with the medicine they seek, there are the usual posters of marijuana leaves and pro-pot messages. But there is also something else: boxes in various states of packing.

CannaMart is moving, driven out by the difficulty of getting a business license in Greenwood Village. Because the sale of marijuana violates federal law — even though Colorado voters approved a medical-marijuana amendment to the state constitution in 2000 — Greenwood Village considers the business to be in violation of its public nuisance ordinance.

"I'm going to lose a lot of patients," Stan Zislis, CannaMart's owner, said of the upcoming move. (He won't say where he's moving to). "They're denying people's rights, basically."

In the months since the Obama administration said it would respect state medical-marijuana laws when it comes to federal drug enforcement, dispensaries have openly proliferated in the Colorado — now numbering perhaps as many as 100.

But with state officials saying they have no authority to regulate dispensaries, local governments across Colorado have been rushing to fill the regulatory vacuum, creating a wildly varying patchwork of rules for dispensaries.

On one end, for instance, Aurora has joined Greenwood Village in arguing that dispensaries are not allowed in the city.

"For now, absent any direction from the court, we will be following our long-standing business-licensing rules that require all businesses to be lawful," said Aurora spokeswoman Kim Stuart.

At the other end are cities like Boulder, which has no regulations for dispensaries and no plans to impose any.

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