Colo. Sentencing Reform Bill Has Bipartisan Support

A bill that would cut sentences for drug offenses and put more money into addiction treatment programs has support from both sides of the aisle in the Colorado statehouse.

The Colorado Springs Gazette reported Feb. 23 that the bill from Rep. Mark Waller would make most drug-possession and drug-use crimes either misdemeanors or minor felonies. Some of the money saved due to less incarceration of drug offenders would be used to fund addiction-treatment programs. The legislation was the result of a series of sentencing-reform discussions sponsored by the state's Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice.

Waller, a Republican and former prosecutor, has won support for HB-1352 from Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, most GOP lawmakers, and some influential Democratic leaders. “This isn't something the Democrats can do alone because they don't want to appear soft on crime,” Waller said.

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