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, April 18, 2011

Medical pot's potency difficult to pin down for Colorado dispensaries - The Denver Post

Medical pot's potency difficult to pin down for Colorado dispensaries - The Denver Post

When the results came back from the lab, Ean Seeb, an owner of the medical-marijuana dispensary Denver Relief, had every reason to be thrilled.

One of the store's most prized marijuana strains had tested at 29 percent THC — the psychoactive component of marijuana — a result that seemed to confirm the strain's formidable punch.

But, for Seeb, the number also seemed to confirm another hunch: There's something screwy with medical-marijuana potency testing in Colorado.

"We have one of the highest tests ever that was performed at one of these labs," Seeb said, "and we don't believe it."

That's because, a year earlier, the same lab had tested a sample of the strain — from a different plant but grown using the same methods — at a more pedestrian 15 percent THC. And tests of the strain at other medical-marijuana testing labs in the state produced results across the map.

In dispensaries around Colorado, questions have emerged about the value of the measurements the labs produce — measurements that have been hailed as key to bringing scientific precision to medical marijuana.

No one — including Seeb — is abandoning the goal of a system that provides detailed analysis of a strain's potency and chemical makeup, which medical-marijuana advocates say will help patients make better-informed decisions. But dispensary owners and patients have begun to note that the current system is less than perfect.

"We're not using the same standards from lab to lab," said Frank Quattrone, the owner of Pure Medical Dispensary in Denver and a supporter of testing.

Different techniques among the state's four labs account for only part of the variations, said Buckie Minor of Full Spectrum Labs, the state's first cannabis-testing lab. Potency can vary within marijuana crops, individual plants and even between subsections of the buds.

What shouldn't change, Minor said, is the ratio of the different chemicals in the plant, which Minor said is most important for patients picking strains.

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