Apr 162014
 April 16, 2014

religious leaders church drug warA broad coalition of Christian leaders have taken the occasion of the holiest day on the Christian calendar to release a statement calling for the end of the war on drugs and mass incarceration.

“The cross that faith leaders are imploring others to take up is this unjust, and immoral war on drugs and mass incarceration of the poor. In particular, poor black and brown young adults whose futures are being ruined at the most critical point in their lives,” said Reverend John E. Jackson of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference.

“We are guided by our religious principles to serve those in need and give voice to those who have been marginalized and stigmatized by unjust policies. We cannot sit silently while a misguided war is waged on entire communities, ostensibly under the guise of combating the very real harms of drug abuse. The war on drugs has become a costly, ineffective and unjust failure,” says Reverend Edwin Sanders, who is a Board Member of the Drug Policy Alliance and the Senior Servant for the Metropolitan Interdenominational Church in Nashville, Tennessee.

The statement makes the following recommendations:

  1. Repeal laws that criminalize drug possession and replace them with policies that expand access to effective health approaches to drug use, including evidence-based drug treatment.
  2. Eliminate policies that result in racially disproportionate arrest and incarceration rates.
  3. End policies that unjustly exclude people with a record of arrest or conviction from key rights and opportunities.

These Christian leaders have chosen Easter season to release their statement because of the spirit of the Resurrection, which Easter commemorates and celebrates.

“We are called upon to follow Jesus’s example in opposing the war on drugs, which has resulted in the United States becoming the world’s biggest jailer, with about 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prisoners,” added Sanders.

“Resurrection reality commissions and commands us to change these policies, laws and systems that rob whole communities of their most precious resource, their young. These are the ones Jesus faced betrayal, denial and desertion for. These are the ones Jesus gave up everything for. These are the issues Jesus was raised from a 3 day grave to speak truth to power to through our voices, through our crying loud and sparing not and through our organized efforts,” added Jackson.

Religious leaders will hold a teleconference to discuss their statement and campaign against the drug war and mass incarceration.

What: Press Teleconference

When: Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Time: 2 p.m.  EST

Location:Please call Tony Newman 646-335-5384 for call-in instructions

Who:

  • Moderator: Rev Edwin Sanders, Senior Servant, Metropolitan Interdenominational Church, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Pastor Kenneth Glasgow, Founder and Executive Director of The Ordinary Peoples Society,  Dothan, Alabama
  • Rev Michael McBride, Director of Urban Strategies, Lifelines to Healing, Berkeley, California
  • Bill Mefford, director of Civil and Human Rights, The United Methodist Church
  • Rev. Dr. Madeline Mc Clenney -Sadler, Exodus Foundation, Huntersville, North Carolina
  • Rev. Robina Winbush, Churches United In Christ, Louisville, Kentucky
  • Rev. John E. Jackson, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Chicago, Illinois

Source: Drug Policy Alliancemake a donation

About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • Kevin Cross

    IT’S INHUMAIN IN A LOT OF RESPECTS TO LOCK SOMEONE AWAY OR YEARS BECAUSE OF DRUGS!!

  • pkr8ch

    The total cost of the “War on drugs” won’t be known until it’s completely disbanded. Some of the parts of the drug war people don’t really think about are the billions we spend in eradication of drugs in OTHER countries, the amount of legal costs, jail time… those are just some of the monetary costs. When you talk about all of the social costs imagine a happy sleeping family being awakened by masked men carrying machine guns (No knock search warrants). Or how about the UCSD student who was detained by DEA because he was in a friend’s house for a 420 party. His charges were dropped, they Forgot about him in his cell for 5 days with no food or water. It’s a really sad story he ended up having to drink his own urine to survive. He was awarded 19 million in damages. How many lives does the ‘War on Drugs’ have to F-up before they finally admit failure and try something new!?…Like legalization.

  • ME

    Im quite shocked to be honest.

  • http://revgypsyqueen.blogspot.com Ginamarie Pezzi

    And the choir sings Alleluia

  • moses

    When you look at the people, destroyed, don’t forget the millions that have died from having to use pharmaceutical medication, instead of safer alternative canabis, people who could not get cured from pharmaceutical medications and lived miserable torchered existences. This country has an epidemic, of pain, pain inflicted on others and from sickness, and suffering. I pray for all of us.

  • Foxeh Chandonnet

    Easter is on 420….who knew. If the Pope actually called for an end to the drug war and it happened…i would more than likely convert

  • BrotherRog