Ending the Drug War is a Jewish Moral Imperative

rforan8 Guest Pieces, Jewish Perspectives

Today’s guest blogger is Roy Kaufmann, a public relations professional. He and his wife Claire Grusin Kaufmann, a sales and marketing consultant to the cannabis industry, are the co-founders of Le’Or, a start-up Jewish nonprofit focused on engaging the Jewish community to help end the Drug War and repair our broken criminal-justice system. Follow them on Twitter at @highmindedJews and visit online at www.illuminating.us.

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Diversion: The Quiet Revolution

rforan8 Diversion

By Rev. Alexander E. Sharp

There is a quiet but growing revolution in how we respond to drug addiction in this country.And it is starting in some places – would you believe it – with elected law enforcement officials and the police.

Diversion” is the technical word. The idea is to keep people out of the criminal justice system whenever possible. It makes no sense to recycle low-level, non-violent drug users off the streets, into jail, and back to the streets again, at huge public cost. This is foolish. When the user has serious mental health issues, it is downright immoral.

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Marijuana Bill Passes in Illinois: Civil Sanctions Not Criminal Prosecution

rforan8 Decriminalization, IL, Press Release

On Thursday, May 21, the Illinois Senate approved a bill to remove criminal penalties for simple marijuana possession, replacing the threat of jail time, a criminal record, and a lifetime of collateral consequences with a $125 fine, similar to a ticket for a traffic offense.

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HB 218 Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Passes Illinois Senate

sarahbest IL, Press Release, Uncategorized

On Thursday, the Illinois Senate approved a bill to remove criminal penalties for simple marijuana possession, replacing the threat of jail time, a criminal record, and a lifetime of collateral consequences with a $125 fine, similar to a ticket for a traffic offense. The measure, which was approved by the House of Representatives in April, will now be sent to Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) for his signature.

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Civil Sanctions Not Arrests in Illinois

rforan8 Collateral Consequences, Decriminalization, IL, Opinion

By Rev. Alexander E. Sharp, Project Director of Clergy for a New Drug Policy
The following letter is being distributed to all Illinois State Senators on Tuesday, May 19 in anticipation of a vote on HB 218.  Please call and urge their support. 

The Illinois State Senate will most likely vote this week on a bill to substitute civil sanctions – a fine, much like a traffic ticket – rather than criminal penalties for possession of very low levels of cannabis.   Why should this bill (HB 218) pass? Because it reflects the truth that arrests and jail are the wrong way to respond to those who use drugs. Punishment is not the answer.

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