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.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

krextv.com - Marijuana Dispensary Calls It Quits over New Regulations

krextv.com - Marijuana Dispensary Calls It Quits over New Regulations
Only one day after sweeping new medical marijuana regulations were signed into law, one Mesa County dispensary owner is having to call it quits.

Medical marijuana dispensary owner Travis Chambers isn’t proud of his past. The reformed ex-con who ran with a motorcycle gang in the 1970s and has multiple drug convictions is now being told he will not be allowed to operate his two shops in Mesa County.

“They say we only get punished one time when we go to prison,” Chambers said. “Now, it’s double jeopardy. We’re getting our businesses taken away.”

Under tough new state regulations signed into law Monday, no owner, employee, or shareholder of a dispensary is allowed to have a felony drug conviction. Dispensaries are required to file applications to the state by August 1, 2010, detailing operations, including employee/shareholder information as well as the origin of their marijuana. Chambers, anticipating Governor Bill Ritter’s signature to the controversial House Bill 1284 and Senate Bill 109, sold both his medical marijuana dispensaries. Chambers was the owner of God’s Gift in Clifton and Blue Mesa Medicinal in Grand Junction.

“If I had waited around until the background checks came, I would be out the door and I couldn’t pass my license to someone else,” Chambers said.

Under the state’s new guidelines, Chambers is not someone of “good moral character,” and is effectively barred from having any role in the medical marijuana industry.

In protest, Chambers is making a run for governor. Chambers’ aim is not to win the election, but to show how a drug conviction doesn’t disqualify someone from holding elected office. “I can’t sell you a joint, but I can be your governor,” Chambers said outside his dispensary God’s Gift, where campaign posters are displayed in the windows. “It’s just ridiculous.”

Chambers will relinquish his ownership on June 17. Chambers hopes after all the legal battles take their course in Colorado over the constitutionality of the new laws, he will once again be allowed back into the medical marijuana industry.

“I imagine one of these days we will own another dispensary, and I hope we do for the patients’ sake,” Chambers said.

Up until that time, Chambers says he will act as a consultant to the two new business owners and will be a private caregiver for five patients.

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