While Colorado's governor and many legislators have been cool to the idea of changing the state's laws, other western Republicans, such as New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, have endorsed the reform movement. Even conservative Idaho recently modified its drug laws to encourage treatment, but Donner is not optimistic that Owens will allow similar changes in Colorado.
"We have a governor who is an opponent of drug-policy reform," she says, adding that she believes the issue may have to be settled at the ballot box.
Christie Donner believes the public is tired of jailing drug addicts.
State senator Ken Gordon hopes to ease Colorado's drug penalties with new legislation.