Tag Archives: colorado

ACLU of Colorado sues Boulder over camping and tent bans

The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado on Thursday sued Boulder, challenging the city’s bans on camping and tents in public spaces.

Specifically, the lawsuit is asking Boulder to stop enforcing these ordinances under certain circumstances, including when a person cannot access indoor shelter. The suit also seeks to recoup “nominal damages” for the individual, unhoused plaintiffs named in the suit.

“What I’m hoping is that this is a nudge to the city to rethink some of the decisions that it’s made over the past few years,” ACLU attorney and Equal Justice Works fellow Annie Kurtz said.

Boulder acknowledged receipt of the lawsuit but otherwise did not provide a comment on the ongoing litigation.


Is Legal Weed Hurting the Restaurant Industry?

Colorado’s restaurants are feeling the pinch

Legal Weed Is Hurting Beer Sales

It would appear that citizens of states with legal marijuana are switching out their beers for joints: A study from research firm Cowen & Company into the beer industries of Washington, Oregon, and Colorado asserts that those states’ beer industries are “underperforming.”

Craft beer industry news site BrewBound has some of the report’s details. “Domestic brewers” (that is, Big Beer) have seen the largest drops, with so-called premium brews (Coors Light, Bud Light) going down 4.4 percent in terms of the volume being sold. Economy brews (the regular, “non-fancy” forms of mainstream beers such as Budweiser or Coors) fell 2.4 percent.

Craft beer isn’t totally immune. The report suggests craft beer continues to grow in these three states (all of which are known for their robust microbrewing scenes), but those smaller breweries aren’t doing as well as their peers in other parts of the nation. However, the U.S. craft brewing scene was already slowing down, so that’s not entirely the fault of cannabis.

The epicenter of this trading-beer-for-weed phenomenon has been Denver, where beer volumes dropped by 6.4 percent Strangely, the report notes that import beers are relatively unaffected, indicating that lighting up a joint and drinking a Corona may be a more popular pastime.

Since only three states were studied this perhaps isn’t the most definitive look into the trend — but as marijuana goes on sale in several more states in the near future, there will be plenty of opportunities to see what legal weed might do to the beer industry.

sourced from – http://www.eater.com/2016/12/5/13847656/legal-pot-beer-sales-down

Civil rights activist group says the Air Force Academy favors Christianity over other religions

Using new billboard, ad campaign to spread message

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A civil rights activist group is taking aim at the Air Force Academy accusing it of favoring Christianity over other religions.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation said the problem has been going on for years and the group has now launched a new campaign to try to get President Barack Obama’s attention.

The private group has put up a billboard on I-25, south near Garden of the Gods, and plans to have a banner flown by a plane that says “Why is Jesus the Commander in Chief at USAFA?”

It also launched a TV advertisement that says, “Welcome Mr. President to our Airforce Academy. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation asks the questions: why is Jesus Commander in Chief here?”

“At the Airforce Academy today it’s a freaking train wreck when it comes to the separation of church and state,” said Mikey Weinstein, Founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

Weinstein said cadets are often treated differently, if they’re not fundamentalist Christians.

“We’ve had cadets bullied and pressured, members of the staff pressured to attend the national pray events that occur there,” he said.

Weinstein said they hope President Obama will take notice of their campaign, and address the issue when he speaks at the Academy’s graduation on Thursday.

“This destroys unit cohesion, good order, morale and disciple,” he further explained.

Denver7 reached out to the Air Force Academy about the group’s concern, but was told the academy had no comment.

For Weinstein, he said they’re fighting for the rights of cadets of all faiths.

“We would like to see people who are violating the oath to the U.S. Constitution aggressively investigated and visibly punished at the Air Force Academy,” he said.

Sourced From     – http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/colorado-springs-area/civil-rights-activist-group-says-the-air-force-academy-favors-christianity-over-other-religons

Teen Sexting Prompts Efforts to Update Child-Porn Laws


DENVER — Mar 17, 2016, 2:20 PM ET

Rampant teen sexting has left politicians and law enforcement authorities around the country struggling to find some kind of legal middle ground between prosecuting students for child porn and letting them off the hook.

Most states consider sexually explicit images of minors to be child pornography, meaning even teenagers who share nude selfies among themselves can, in theory at least, be hit with felony charges that can carry heavy prison sentences and require lifetime registration as a sex offender.

Many authorities consider that overkill, however, and at least 20 states have adopted sexting laws with less-serious penalties, mostly within the past five years. Eleven states have made sexting between teens a misdemeanor; in some of those places, prosecutors can require youngsters to take courses on the dangers of social media instead of charging them with a crime.

Hawaii passed a 2012 law saying youths can escape conviction if they take steps to delete explicit photos. Arkansas adopted a 2013 law sentencing first-time youth sexters to eight hours of community service. New Mexico last month removed criminal penalties altogether in such cases.

At least 12 other states are considering sexting laws this year, many to create new a category of crime that would apply to young people.

But one such proposal in Colorado has revealed deep divisions about how to treat the phenomenon. Though prosecutors and researchers agree that felony sex crimes shouldn’t apply to a pair of 16-year-olds sending each other selfies, they disagree about whether sexting should be a crime at all.

Colorado lawmakers this week delayed a vote on creating a new misdemeanor crime of “misuse of electronic images” by teens.

Colorado’s bill was prompted by a scandal last year at a Canon City high school where more than 100 students were found with explicit images of other teens. The news sent shockwaves through the city of 16,000. Dozens of students were suspended, and the football team forfeited the final game of the season.

Fremont County prosecutors ultimately decided against filing any criminal charges, saying Colorado law doesn’t properly distinguish between adult sexual predators and misbehaving teenagers.

In a similar case last year out Fayetteville, North Carolina, two dating teens who exchanged nude selfies at age 16 were charged as adults with a felony — sexual exploitation of a minor. After an uproar, the charges were reduced to misdemeanors.

Colorado currently classifies sexting as felony child exploitation, punishable by up to 12 years in prison and lifetime registration as a sex offender.

“What we want to do is get away from the life-altering and devastating effect of a felony charge … by having lower-level crimes,” said Republican Rep. Yeulin Willett of Grand Junction, who sponsored the new bill.

But the legislation sparked a fiery backlash from teens and researchers who told lawmakers that sexting is so prevalent that even a misdemeanor, punishable by a year in jail, is too harsh.

“All different types of youth do it,” said Samantha Dehart, a 19-year-old college student who testified against the bill. “I can count on one hand the number of teens I know that have not practiced sexting.”

Amy Hasinoff, a communications professor at the University of Colorado-Denver who wrote a book on sexting last year, called the practice the modern version of a love letter or sexy Polaroid picture.

“Sexting is often portrayed as something that’s harmful, but we’re not seeing a lot of evidence of that,” she told lawmakers. She pointed out that it’s legal for two 17-year-olds to have sex, but not to consensually take pictures of themselves doing it.

Several prosecutors who argued in favor of the bill countered that minors aren’t capable of consensual sexting.

“Juveniles, left to their own devices … will do things that potentially hurt themselves,” said Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler. “We don’t let them own guns. We don’t let them rent cars. We don’t even let them vote, because we don’t trust their judgment.”

A Colorado House committee put off a decision on the bill Tuesday. Willett said he would amend his proposal to make teen sexting a petty crime, punishable by up to six months.

Hasinoff warned lawmakers that they will need to address the question soon: “Sexting is very common, and it’s not going away.”

Sourced From – http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/teen-sexting-prompts-move-update-child-porn-laws-37726083