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.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

More than 2,000 apply for various pot licenses - The Denver Post

More than 2,000 apply for various pot licenses - The Denver Post

More than 700 medical-marijuana dispensaries have applied for state licenses, providing for the first time a preliminary count of the businesses in the state.

When the Colorado Department of Revenue's new medical-marijuana division closed its doors at 11 p.m. Sunday — the last day to apply for a state dispensary license — 717 people had submitted applications. Another 271 had filed applications for a marijuana-products business, and 1,071 applications were filed for marijuana-growing facilities.

The 2,059 total applications brought in more than $7 million in fees.

The numbers are preliminary because they do not include applications that were postmarked by Sunday but are still arriving at state offices.

As those applications trickled in Monday, marijuana activists and regulators met in an emergency hearing to debate a key way in which those applications will be evaluated. The new law passed earlier this year creating the licensing process requires people wanting to open a dispensary to have been residents of the state since Dec. 15 — or for two years if they moved here after that.

Monday's hearing was to define what it means to be a Colorado resident. But at the hearing, Matt Cook, the department's senior director of enforcement, made clear that he reads the two-year residency requirement as applying to everyone who works at a dispensary, both owners and employees.

"The one thing I can't do with this process," Cook said of the rulemaking process that will add clarity to the new law, "I can't change the law."

Dispensary owners, however, said such an interpretation is unfair and prevents them from recruiting the best, most trustworthy employees. Evan Anderson, who owns 14er Holistics in Boulder, said the rule forced him to fire a talented grower from California he had hired in January.

"He moved out here with the last couple hundred bucks he had," Anderson said. The man now works as a landscaper.

"We should be seeking out those who are most skilled in their field," Anderson said.

Renie Roth said she began helping out remotely with clerical work for her brother's dispensary — Colorado Care in Boulder — a year ago when she was still living in Florida. She moved to Colorado in January to take a more active role, and now she said she'll have to quit if the rule remains unchanged.

"This rule violates my constitutional rights," Roth said.

A number of attorneys during the hearing said the residency requirement could be a lawsuit target, but Cook suggested an alternate path.

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