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, January 31, 2011

Denver council wrangles over medical-pot growing facilities - The Denver Post

Denver council wrangles over medical-pot growing facilities - The Denver Post

Denver City Council members are locked in a battle over whether to allow medical-marijuana grow facilities to continue to operate in areas where the zoning has changed.

Some councilors say grow facilities must be phased out because they ruin any prospect of future development.

Others say the operations that were legally established should remain unless they cause problems — even though they may be nonconforming under the new zoning rules.

"This is going to be hand-to-hand combat," said Councilman Charlie Brown, who chairs the special issues committee that meets today to hammer out a decision.

A year ago the council unanimously approved a broad set of regulations for the city's booming medical-marijuana industry.

State legislators last year passed a law tightening rules around medical marijuana, requiring counties and cities to come up with regulations by July 1 and demanding that dispensaries grow at least 70 percent of their product.

That created a real estate grab for warehouses in Denver as an estimated 1 million square feet for grow operations were snapped up.

Around the same time, the city changed its zoning, leaving some warehouses in areas where grow facilities are now not allowed.

The council is to decide today whether to grandfather in those warehouses under the new zoning or force them out.

Council President Chris Nevitt, whose district has a number of grow facilities, is offering an amendment to the Denver Medical Marijuana Code to require grow facility operators to appear in front of the excise and licensing department within two to four years to renew their licenses.

Nevitt's amendment would allow neighbors to air their opinions about the facilities that would be judged on four criteria:

• Whether they have negatively impacted the neighborhood.

• Whether crime rate has increased.

• Whether they have a negative impact on the health and welfare of the area.

• Whether there is any evidence that the licensed premises could be used for something else.

Read more: Denver council wrangles over medical-pot growing facilities - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_17245965#ixzz1CgM5GxMn
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