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, September 18, 2007

American's Compromise On Pot

I'm just glad that the conversation is happening.

Take one swift glance at a U.S. map coded to reflect the widely varying marijuana laws in each state, and drug policy seems to range from irrational to incoherent.

But dig into the details of public opinion, user behavior and police enforcement, and a more lucid picture of American attitudes comes into focus: People have learned to live with pot, up to a fine point.

As Denver ponders yet another ballot measure on marijuana Nov. 6 - to make pursuit of small amounts of pot the "lowest law-enforcement priority" - many communities may already have reached a complicated compromise that reflects the wisdom of research and the consistency of survey results.

In a growing number of states and large cities, possessing and smoking a little pot is either a minor offense or no crime at all, while growing or distributing the drug still gets you in big trouble.

Growing or using pot for medicinal purposes is widely accepted, while police and defense attorneys argue the details of what constitutes therapeutic amounts.

Almost no one wants kids to have free access to marijuana, while the stigma of adult use drops to the level of a speeding ticket.

Most voters want police to stop arresting the casual pot smoker, but they also don't yet want the state to sanction a legalized marijuana industry, in the manner of alcohol or tobacco.

In the more progressive states, such as Colorado, voters need to ask themselves "why the current state law is insufficient," said Rosalie Pacula, co-director of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center in California, whose work is respected by both sides of the marijuana debate.

"Making it a low priority is already being done. So who is this about?"

It's about forcing the police and public officials to heed previous public votes decriminalizing pot and making the community acknowledge that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, argues SAFER, the group behind the current ballot initiative.

"Some laws are just not feasible anymore," said Mason Tvert, SAFER's leader. "Marijuana-possession laws are at the top of that list."

Defending the status quo

Others counter that there's a reason for the status quo. A majority of people "want it to be illegal, but they want it to be a low law-enforcement priority," and it already is, said Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, who opposes the Denver ballot measure.

And from a far different office, a similar pronouncement: "Americans are making a very clear and logical distinction," said Allen St. Pierre, director of NORML, the nation's most prominent advocate of liberalizing marijuana laws. "Possession

(Click to enlarge)
is OK, but as soon as you introduce the idea of individuals growing" or the government regulating legal distribution, "you lose support in all of our polling."

Denver voters will decide in November whether to instruct police to largely ignore possession of small amounts of marijuana. SAFER and Tvert also led the successful vote removing all penalties for petty marijuana possession in Denver in 2005, and the failed statewide vote in 2006 to erase the remaining Colorado penalties for possession.

As it stands now, Denver's possession penalties were wiped off the books, but city police say they must - and want to - enforce the state law, which makes possession of up to an ounce a Class 2 misdemeanor with a $100 fine. Thus it remains a criminal offense that can interfere with jobs, student loans and other pursuits.

"I think the voters of this country still advocate enforcement of marijuana laws," said Denver police Sgt. Ernie Martinez, who also is state president of the Colorado Drug Investigators Association. Though Tvert, St. Pierre and other liberalization advocates question how Martinez can draw that conclusion after Denver's 2005 vote, Martinez maintains the city's position is that "marijuana is still a dangerous drug."

Martinez doesn't buy SAFER's comparison of pot with alcohol. "Examples of failed drug policy can already be found in alcohol, or cigarettes for that matter, so why make it worse by failing to enforce marijuana policy? It simply doesn't make public-policy sense."

The Denver Post


Anonymous said...

SGT Martinez draws his pay from the taxpayers of Denver. If he doesnt do his job according to the majority, the voters, Fire him. He is working for Denver not the STATE.

Anonymous said...

秋天賞楓何處去酒店經紀,安排韓國旅遊有獨到心得的寶馬旅行社表示 酒店打工,秋遊韓國的重點就是美食、溫泉、還有雪嶽山美麗秋景。位於江原道 酒店兼差束草、襄陽、麟蹄一帶的雪嶽山,是韓國最早楓葉轉紅的地方,也由於雪嶽山一年四季都有奇岩絕璧 酒店兼職
、溪谷瀑布等美景,吸引了許多觀光客前來旅遊。一到 酒店工作秋天,以雪嶽山的最高峰~大青峰(1,708公尺)為首,雪嶽山各主要登山路線沿途的楓葉把山染 酒店上班成一片紅色的圖畫,美不勝收。

標榜「全程無自費」,相當受旅客歡 寒假打工迎,而且價格相當平易近人,只要14500元即可成行。另外還有全程五星酒店、海陸空版的「戀戀秋濟^海陸空濟州4日」 暑假打工,同樣獨家全程無自費!緊張刺激360度噴射快艇(價值韓幣25000元)、飛天熱氣球(價值韓幣25000元) 酒店PT、海水溫泉汗蒸幕(價值韓幣8000元) 禮服酒店等,海、陸、空讓您玩的盡興也只要13900元!現在就去體驗韓國秋天的美景吧~

驚險摩托車秀HAPPY TOWN 兼差價值韓幣12000元):表演者以機車為主,靈活的玩弄, 打工全世界只有兩組特技人員能做的高難度表演,在一個小時的演出中還有空中飛人﹑民俗雜技和大車輪 台北酒店經紀等表演,保證讓您大呼過隱,不虛此行喝花酒 特技令人嘖嘖稱奇。而享譽全球的國寶級亂打秀(價值韓幣45000元),是韓國人獨創的敲擊樂表演,故事的場景是發生在廚房中,因此所謂的樂器就是就地以鍋碗等廚房交際應酬 用具敲 打出澎湃的節奏。在沒有冷場的過程裡,不需要語言您就可以清楚知道劇情粉味的發展,台上演員還會與台下觀眾互動演出,整場歡笑不斷。

去過的旅客都津津樂道的酒店喝酒韓文化生活體驗營」,讓您親手體驗泡菜製作,穿著傳統韓服更能體驗韓國婦女的優雅!另外,精緻好吃的韓國美食當然也不能 酒店不嚐:鮑魚太極人蔘雞、長壽麵、、黑毛豬烤肉、還有獨家特色餐「?花魚定食+五花肉+鐵板馬肉+?料」「生猛海鮮大餐」等等讓人食指大動。酒店經紀酒店經紀酒店兼差酒店打工酒店上班酒店經紀酒店小姐酒店打工酒店兼差 酒店工作> 彩妝指甲彩繪口紅彩妝馬甲美白