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.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Republican Moms For Marijuana

Colorado Daily

As a Republican mother committed to legalizing marijuana, political life can be lonely. But while many in my party whisper about the Drug War's insanity, we should shout it from the rooftop: the time to legalize is now.

Calling for a new approach doesn't make me a pothead. In fact, while I freely admit to having previously smoked marijuana -- as do more than 95 million other Americans, including our last three presidents -- I choose not to be an active marijuana user today.

While opponents may argue that legalization is all about a bunch of twentysomethings wanting to get high, the debate deserves a more respectful and truthful analysis.

Take medical marijuana. On July 20, Colorado's Health Board voted down a proposal that would have effectively shuttered the medical marijuana dispensaries serving as crucial sources of legal marijuana across the state. As a result, courageous patients, including AIDS survivor Damien LaGoy, will not have to take to dangerous streets to obtain marijuana.

Instead, the state's nearly 10,000 patients can continue their existing relationships with dispensaries, many of who deliver to the homebound and hold extensive knowledge about the benefits and side effects of specific strains.

To LaGoy, who weighs just 100 pounds, marijuana is the only medicine proven to effectively combat the nausea he faces from his pharmaceutical medications.

Even outside of medical uses, support for outright legalization is skyrocketing. An April ABC News-Washington Post poll concluded that national support stands at 46 percent.

Already, there is talk that Colorado may see a legalization bill in 2010. In 2006, voters were asked to legalize small amounts for adult consumption. Forty-four percent said yes -- more than the number supporting the GOP's gubernatorial candidate. With one more vote in every 10, Colorado could become the first state to lift prohibition entirely.

If history is any guide, the crucial female voting bloc, including many Republicans, will provide the political will essential to making this happen.

In 1929, it was the Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform successfully leading the charge to end America's decade-long experiment with alcohol prohibition. While many of these same activists fought just years earlier to forbid booze, they quickly witnessed prohibition's devastating consequences, including increased violence.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am a Democrat down south but want all to know this letter is so well written and all of us need to support legalizaiton no matter what "side" we are on.
thanks so much.