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, July 18, 2010

Marijuana advocates cheer DEA agent's exit from state - The Denver Post

Marijuana advocates cheer DEA agent's exit from state - The Denver Post

Marijuana-legalization advocates cheered the upcoming departure of federal agent Jeffrey D. Sweetin because, they said, they believe his views are not in line with the will of Colorado voters who legalized the drug for medicinal purposes.

The outspoken special agent in charge of Denver's Drug Enforcement Administration understands that he became the "face" of anti-legalization in Colorado, but says his exit doesn't mean the fight over marijuana is over.

"The person who takes my place is going to have the same mission I have," Sweetin said.

DEA agents are sworn to uphold the constitution, and marijuana remains illegal under federal law, he said.

A widely publicized clash

Sweetin was promoted to run the DEA training center in Quantico, Va., and will provide international support in places such as Afghanistan. The new assignment begins in September.

Sweetin was widely panned by medical-marijuana proponents during his eight-year tenure. The criticism heightened after Chris Bartkowicz, a Highlands Ranch resident who was growing medicinal-marijuana plants in his basement, was arrested after showing his operation in a television interview.

The DEA maintains that Bartkowicz was arrested because he was selling more plants than he had patients and his grow operation was within 1,000 feet of an elementary school.

Sweetin points out that the DEA is not raiding dispensaries that have boomed throughout the state. He believes marijuana proponents used the arrest as a way to build hysteria.

"It's a difficult societal issue that can't be broken down into soundbites," Sweetin said. "It's going to continue to be a challenge for Colorado."

Mason Tvert, campaign director of SAFER, a marijuana advocacy group, says he is glad Sweetin is leaving, but agrees that his moving on won't change the DEA's mission.

"One disingenuous anti-marijuana zealot is just the same as another, and I would expect that his replacement would be just as adamant about going after marijuana regardless if the substance is safer than alcohol," Tvert said.

As Sweetin became more outspoken about marijuana in Colorado, the personal attacks increased.

"Medical-marijuana proponents threatened my life and the lives of my family," he said. "We are not thin-skinned. It's OK to disagree with us, but I don't agree with personal attacks. That's cowardice. But people who legitimately stood up, I think that is fine."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

if federal agents are sworn to uphold the drug laws why arent they also sworn to uphold the illegal imigration laws on the books? djw