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, January 17, 2010

Greene: No one's told drug-war soldier about peace breaking out - The Denver Post

Greene: No one's told drug-war soldier about peace breaking out - The Denver Post

The Obama administration has pledged to end federal interference in states that have legalized medical marijuana. But in Colorado, it has failed to call off one of its dogs.

A Coloradan who works for the president's drug-policy office is leading efforts to undermine the state's constitutional amendment allowing cannabis for medical use. On the federal dime, Tom Gorman, director of the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, is lobbying state lawmakers to gut the Colorado law.

Either Gorman didn't get the memo about changes in federal drug policy, or he's going rogue. Whichever the case, no one in D.C. seems to mind.

"I'm not about to stand back and let federal drug laws in this country continue to be violated," Gorman says.

Since President Barack Obama took office a year ago, the Justice Department has taken the stance that pot-smoking patients and sanctioned suppliers shouldn't be targeted for federal prosecution in states that allow medical marijuana.

Gorman has spent years lobbying against Amendment 20, which Coloradans approved in 2000. If Obama has shifted direction on medical marijuana, the 66-year-old veteran of three administrations' drug wars obviously hasn't followed. Pot smokers are gaming the system, he complains, and addiction, chaos and moral decay no doubt will ensue. He's trying to convince lawmakers that they'd be sanctioning drug trafficking by passing a bill that would set specific rules on growing and selling pot, even for medicinal use.

"If Colorado state leaders elect to legitimize and try to regulate dispensaries, that action would be in violation of Federal Law . . .," he threatened in a memo that's being passed around the state Capitol.

"Dispensaries aren't what Coloradans had in mind when they approved the amendment," adds Gorman, who, in addition to his expertise on drugs, apparently has his finger on the pulse of the electorate.

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