SB7: Letter in Support

Rev. Alexander E. Sharp Marijuana Legalization

May 24, 2019

To the Illinois General Assembly: 

As clergy, we care deeply about social justice. The criminalization of cannabis, even for simple possession, has crippled the lives of people of color disproportionately for more than four decades. This is why we – the undersigned – believe it is time to move to a system of legal, regulated and taxed adult-use cannabis in Illinois. 

Current cannabis laws, fines, and arrests are carried out with staggering racial bias. The illicit market, which prohibition makes inevitable, continues to breed violence in our poorest communities all across Illinois. 

Regulation would make Illinois a safer state.  It would allow us to educate adults, informing them about what a product contains and enabling them to make informed decisions. Banning sales by law to those under 21 would help to limit access to our youth.  Under prohibition, these measures are not possible. 

Legislation being considered in Springfield would permit the expungement of cannabis arrests and convictions and allocate funds to communities ravaged by the War on Drugs. It would provide valuable business opportunities to minorities. 

We cannot wait any longer to make this the law of the land in Illinois. We urge you to vote yes on a regulatory system that works for all of Illinois.

Signed,  

Reverend Scott Aaseng

Reverend Lee Barker

Reverend Robert E. Biekman

Reverend Barbara Bolsen

Reverend Danielle J. Buhuro

Reverend Fanya Burford

Reverend Julian DeShazier

Reverend Randall Doubet-King

Reverend Dr. Russell Elleven

Reverend Emily Gage

Reverend Franklin Gamwell

Reverend Edward Goode

Reverend Joy Grainge

Reverend Larry L. Greenfield

Reverend David Gregg

Reverend Allen Harden

Reverend Alice Harper-Jones

Reverend James A. Hobart

Reverend Darrick Jackson

Reverend Sarah Jay

Reverend Dr. Matthew Johnson

Reverend Veronica M. Johnson

Reverend Jonathan Knight

Reverend Jesse Knox III

Reverend Mike Lesperance

Reverend Sarah Lusche

Reverend H. Scott Matheney

Reverend Lucie Macfarlane
Minister Darren Calhoun

Reverend Florence Caplow

Reverend Tom Capo

Reverend Jason Coulter

Reverend George W. Daniels

Reverend Roger Dart

Reverend Kevin J. McLemore

Rabbi Rachel S. Mikva

Reverend John Modschiedler

Reverend Richard Mosley Jr.

Reverend Karen Mooney

Reverend Dr. Marilyn Pagán-Banks

Reverend Christopher Powell

Reverend Mary Rawlinson

Reverend Thomas Rawlinson

Reverend Kathryn Ray

Rabbi Frederick Reeves

Reverend Saeed Richardson

Reverend Vilius Rudra Dundzila

Reverend Pamela Rumancik

Reverend Alexander Sharp

Reverend Robert Trask

Reverend Kathaleen Valek

Reverend Colleen Vahey

Reverend Amy Wharton

Reverend Gunnar Williams

Reverend Eileen Wiviott

Reverend Ronald Young