SB177 and SB178 An Open Letter to the Committee

To the Honorable Committee Members,


I’m willing to give Sen Newell and Sen. Kerr the benefit of the doubt. It is possible that they sponsor SB 177 and SB 178 not for pharmaceutical companies' interests, or they may not be shilling for people who are beholden to them. They may believe that from their perspective that they promote safety with these laws. They probably listen to prosecutors who make their living sending disproportionate numbers of minorities and poor people to prison. I say to them, you are wrong.

America is the land of the free, or least we used to be. Prohibition has turned inner cities in to shooting galleries on a regular basis. So much so that more people are murdered in the USA on an annual basis than Mexico. Those are not safe environments for kids. The USA incarcerates more per capita than any other nation. This includes Russia, China, and Cuba.

I believe that they can produce better bills than what the current language in the bills dictates. Making felons out of causal marijuana use, and sending kids into the child welfare system will only continue generations of ruined lives. Frankly, I believe parents that become intoxicated on alcohol in front of their children do more harm and endanger their children more severely than individuals that would casually smoke marijuana, or make edible brownies.

Ending prohibition stops sending profits to cartels that are responsible for thousands of murders per year. It provides taxes that could be used for schools,infrastructure, and or rehabilitation.

I know that Sen. Kerr and Sen. Newell have sponsored bills in the past that demonstrate that they have compassion. Sen. Newell has a bill moving now that addresses the need for suicide prevention. That is a very good bill. I support that effort.

In summation, I would ask them to reconsider their position and I strongly urge that the Colorado Senate tables SB177 and SB178, or at least amend them to exclude cannabis.

Raymond C. Springfield

One Community Comment, Facebook Comments

  1. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    Well said, Ray.  Just like we need an immigration bill that is worthy of a country of immigrants, we also need a comprehensive overhaul of the criminal code worthy of a country buckling under the weight of decades of failed drug policy, out-of-control incarceration rates fueled by both the pharmaceutical industry and the private prison complex – and the predominantly minority families that are the casualities of this debacle. 

    While removing cannabis would be a necessary first step, I'd prefer we not continue to piecemeal the code.  Let's table the bills, go back to the drawing board, open the debate up to a broader cross-section of participants – and lead the nation with a 21st century policy.  This is our opportunity.  Let's don't blow it.

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