LPCO: Release Non-Violent Drug Users

The Colorado Freedom Report:  A libertarian journal of politics and culture.

The Colorado Freedom Report--www.freecolorado.com

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NEWS FROM THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF COLORADO
1660 South Albion Street
Denver, CO 80222
World Wide Web:
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For release: August 7, 2003
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For additional information:
Desiree Hickson, Media Director
Phone: (303) 380-5810
E-Mail: MediaDirector@lpcolorado.org
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Colorado Leaders Ignore Simple Solution To Fiscal Crises

Denver, CO--Prison populations are growing all over the country. Colorado now has the dubious distinction of being one of the top three states, in the U.S., tied with Connecticut and Minnesota, with prison growth of about 7.9 percent.

This state is in financial crisis and the continued growth of jails and prisons continue to put a fiscal bind on the residents of Colorado.

While all citizens of Colorado are relieved that violent criminals are locked up and off the streets, recent data from the Colorado Department of Corrections show that half of the male prisoners and three-quarters of female inmates in the state are serving time for non-violent offenses.

"Libertarians find it quite ironic that the state of Colorado simultaneously struggles with a major fiscal shortfall, but, the General Assembly and Governor Owens authorizes $103 million for a new prison, which will cost $34 million a year to operate and almost $14 million in annual bond payments, and yet, refuses to change its policy of imprisoning non-violent drug (and other non-violent criminal) offenders," commented Norm Olsen, Colorado Libertarian Party Chair.

Olsen continued, "Libertarians do not endorse, promote, or encourage drug use. But we totally reject the idea of imprisoning those non-violent individuals who choose to do so."

Colorado has been notable in the past few years for being one of the top states in physical fitness.

The Libertarian Party of Colorado calls on the Governor and other state legislators to reverse the current trend in prison growth and make Colorado "fiscally fit" by changing its policy of imprisoning non-violent criminals, changing current state sentencing guidelines, and slowing the growth of jail and prison populations across the state.

----------------------------------------------------------------------- The Libertarian Party of Colorado meets on the 2nd Tuesday of every month: 3rd Floor Conference Room, LPCO Headquarters-1660 South Albion Street in Denver. These meetings are open and the public is welcome to attend.

The Colorado Freedom Report--www.freecolorado.com