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Incarcerating Non-violent Drug Offenders

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“Non-violent drug offenses are still a large part of why people go to prison in Colorado.”

On Monday July 13th, President Obama announced clemency for almost 50 non violent drug offenders serving long prison sentences. The announcement was welcomed by activists who have been working for reform in this area. Art Way, the Colorado Director of the Drug Policy Alliance says non-violent drug offenders are still being incarcerated in Colorado despite efforts going back a decade to revise sentencing guidelines. Way says that incarceration for marijuana offenses have reduced by 80% since the passage of Amendment 64. Way says though that are still a lot of racial disparities when it comes to arrests for marijuana offenses, particularly for public consumption of pot.

Art Way says that this is particularly prevalent in college towns like Boulder, Fort Collins and Greeley “that’s where we see the most racial disparities in our college towns.”