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, May 18, 2011

Medical marijuana in Colo. gets scant attention from federal prosecutors - The Denver Post

Medical marijuana in Colo. gets scant attention from federal prosecutors - The Denver Post

When Colorado U.S. Attorney John Walsh wrote to state officials last month about the state's medical-marijuana rules, the warning could not have been clearer.

"The department would consider civil actions and criminal prosecution regarding those who set up marijuana growing facilities and dispensaries," Walsh wrote.

If that happened, it would throw into disarray Colorado's medical-marijuana industry, which, after all, operates in obvious violation of federal law.

But a close examination of court cases in Colorado over the past three years reveals that federal prosecutors spend few resources pursuing marijuana crimes of any kind.

That was true both before Colorado's medical-marijuana boom began and since. In 2008, 2009 and 2010, officials pursued fewer than 10 marijuana-specific cases in each year, out of hundreds of criminal prosecutions.

When federal prosecutors have tackled marijuana issues — most frequently in civil cases seeking to seize assets — they often act only after local officials have first alleged violations of state law.

"Our approach in the prosecution of marijuana has not changed," said Jeff Dorschner, a spokesman for Walsh. "The U.S. attorney's office focuses on large-scale drug traffickers, large-scale marijuana growers. It is not the U.S. attorney's office's intent to prosecute an individual user or an individual caregiver providing for an individual user."

In October 2009, the Justice Department issued a memo urging federal prosecutors not to expend resources targeting individuals in clear compliance with state medical-marijuana law. That memo was seen by many in Colorado's medical-marijuana community as a green light to set up a state-legal industry.

No comments: