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, November 12, 2009

Colorado medical-pot backers form trade group - The Denver Post

Colorado medical-pot backers form trade group - The Denver Post

A group of medical-marijuana advocates — striving for legitimacy for their still-nascent industry — announced the formation of a new trade group Wednesday.

The Colorado Wellness Association, its founders said, will formulate regulations for the state's booming medical- marijuana dispensary business, develop quality-control guidelines to protect patients, produce a regular magazine and perhaps even start an online medical-marijuana commodities market for dispensary owners to purchase their product.

"This industry is growing up," said medical-marijuana attorney Rob Corry, the new group's chairman.

The founding of the association is another step by members of Colorado's broad medical-cannabis community in recent months to cast a mainstream light on what had for years been an in-the-shadows business. A group of medical-marijuana patients and dispensary owners in Boulder County have formed a similar group. Advocates have begun to lobby state lawmakers for regulations to better define and protect the industry.

Wednesday's announcement came at the offices of Full Spectrum Laboratories, a recently opened Denver company that tests samples of medical-marijuana products and quantifies their potency. The lab not only provides quality-control assurances but also helps patients determine their needed dosage of the drug, lab founder Bob Winnicki said.

"We're just bringing stuff that is already being done in other industries and focusing it on this industry," said Winnicki, who dropped out during his third year of medical school to start the lab.

The lab will charge dispensaries about $60 per test and will provide the dispensary with a certification that can be shown to patients. Understanding the potency of an item of medical marijuana — which can vary widely based on the plant strain, growing technique and how the drug is consumed — is another step toward mainstreaming the industry, Winnicki said.

"Doctors are not going to write prescriptions for things that are not a given dosage," he said. "No doctor is ever going to say, 'Take two hits off a joint and call it good.' "

The new association also is working with former state Sen. Bob Hagedorn, a one-time head of the Senate's health committee, to craft policy proposals for the upcoming legislative session.

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