While moving last week to send more people to prison for more time for meth manufacturing in homes where children are present, the Colorado legislature is also considering a measure that would eliminate prison sentences for some nonviolent offenses (gambling, check fraud, and failure to register as a sex offender) and eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for some drug offenses.

State budget analyst Mark Valentine last week told the legislative budget committee the state could save nearly $30 million by eliminating prison sentences for the listed offenses and an additional $2 million by axing mandatory minimum drug sentences.

The legislative budgeters expressed interest, according to the Rocky Mountain News. "I think it's worth a try," said Sen. Dave Owen (R-Greeley), chairman of the budget committee.

"Eliminating the mandatory minimums for drug cases, that is probably worth discussing," added Rep. Brad Young (R-Lamar), the committee's vice chair.

Now if someone would only clue in the governor.

-- END --
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Issue #278, 3/14/03 Federal Judge Refuses to Block Potential Federal Arrests of California Medical Marijuana Patients | No Comment: Antonio Maria Costa, Director-General of UN Office on Drugs and Crime Addresses Swedes on Marijuana | Funding Crunch Hits Drug Reform Movement | DRCNet Interview: Adam Jones, Teachers Against Prohibition | DRCNet Book Review: "Down by the River: Drugs, Money, Murder, and Family," Charles Bowden (2002, Simon & Schuster, $27.00 HB) | Alert: HEA Reform Legislation Re-filed, Needs Your Support | Newsbrief: Mexican Anti-Drug Choppers Shot Down, Five Dead | Newsbrief: Colorado Kiddie Meth Bill Passes, Awaits Governor's Signature | Newsbrief: Colorado Legislators Ponder Plan to Cut Nonviolent Offender, Drug Sentences | Newsbrief: Illinois DA Makes Woman Meth Poster Child | Newsbrief: House Panel Goes After Federal Judge for Being Too Lenient on Drug Offenders | Newsbrief: Who Wants Drug Testing? Not Pennsylvania Cops, Not Colorado Teachers | Newsbrief: New Zealand Moves to Heighten Methamphetamine Penalties -- Life Sentences for Some Offenses | The Reformer's Calendar
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