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.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A plan for medical marijuana - The Denver Post

A plan for medical marijuana - The Denver Post
Marijuana. Most people see it as a recreational drug and are skeptical of its tangible, medical benefits for patients with chronic pain, including those whose use of prescribed narcotics often leaves them vulnerable to addiction.
Take, for instance, Janice Beecher. A Coloradan since 1968, she suffers from osteoarthritis and chronic back pain. Until recently, she had to take as much as four oxycodone just to make it through the day. Fortunately for her, a permit to use marijuana legally allows her to live without debilitating pain to go days without taking this highly addictive drug.
Janice explained that "the blessing comes with the knowledge that I can pick what works for me at the dispensary. I don't have to just take what I can get on the black market."
It is cases like Janice's that compel us to make common sense policy for medical marijuana usage. Colorado voters spoke clearly when they passed a constitutional amendment that permitted medical marijuana use, but the amendment left many oversight and regulatory questions unanswered. That is why we are acting in 2010 to honor the intent of the constitution and help patients.
We need a model that, on the one hand, destigmatizes and makes available medical marijuana for those who have a medical need, and on the other, keeps it out of the hands of recreational users and black market dealers. The amendment did not fully legalize marijuana. To that end, any legislation must address the needs of a number of interested parties.
Patients must have access to physicians in good standing who can make sound recommendations. They also need reasonable access to dispensaries, and some assurance that the marijuana is safe and legally grown.

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