On October 4, 2015, under the banner of UNITE TO FACE ADDICTION, over thousands individuals from around the world gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D. C. to shine a light on the addiction crisis in this country. The rallying cry was: “Addiction is preventable and treatable. Far too many of those affected have been incarcerated. People can and do get well. For too long, a great majority of people connected to addiction have remained silent. The time is now to end that silence.” CLERGY FOR A NEW DRUG POLICY (CNDP) joined over more than 450 organizations as participating partners. We look forward to supporting the agenda of Facing Addiction, the rally’s parent organization. Our goal must be adequate funding for treatment rather than stigmatizing and incarcerating those struggling with drug use.
Today’s guest blogger is Jonathan Holmes, Policy Specialist at Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. People with criminal records face significant barriers in society. A charge or conviction can impact one’s ability to find housing, employment, and stability. The War on Drugs and mass incarceration policies have had a detrimental impact on the lives of many who are seeking to turn their lives around, but because of past records, are unable to provide for their families and be assets to their communities.
Increasingly, Protestants denominations are responding to the War on Drugs, which over the past 44 years has failed to reduce drug use, damaged countless lives, and contributed to the mass incarceration that shames our country. On June 20, 2015 the New England Conference of United Methodists, comprised of over 600 congregations, passed Resolution 15-203: TO END THE WAR ON DRUGS. It is expected that the resolution will be reviewed in June 2016 by the Methodist General Conference, which meets every four years to consider changes in the Methodist Book of Discipline. We are grateful to Rev. Eric Dupee, Pastor of Crawford Memorial Church in Winchester, MA, for describing the steps he took in introducing the resolution. We applaud his leadership.
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.
Today’s guest blogger is Bill Fried, Director of Programs and Financial Administration for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition [LEAP]. At LEAP, Bill creates and oversees such programs as Cops and Clergy; he also has extensive experience in the non-profit field and his opinion pieces have appeared in the Boston Globe and on National Public Radio.