The New England Conference of United Methodist Churches voted for a resolution calling for an end to the War on Drugs. The 600 churches involved argued that the drug war is against Christian principles in their resolution published by Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).
The release from LEAP was titled “United Methodist Resolution Regarding The War On Drugs.”
It begins, “Our United Methodist Book of Discipline charges us to seek restorative, not punitive, justice.” LEAP worked with the churches to pass the resolution, according to SF Gate.
The prohibition of narcotics and psychoactive substances has not eliminated or even reduced substance abuse, the release says. Another consequence of the war is a massive and violent criminal enterprise profiting off of the underground drug market.
Other reasons to end the war, the churches argue, include the lives lost due to violence of the criminal enterprise including innocent citizens and police officers and the lives lost to overdose because of the lack of potency regulations and the adulteration of the illicit drugs.
The court system has been severely degraded from the overload caused by prohibition cases, and many people now suffer from diseases contracted through intravenous drug use, the resolution says.
The resolution argues that the prisons are overcrowded with non-violent persons. To people of color, the war has been the single most devastating, dysfunctional social policy since slavery.
It goes on to argue that the failed drug policies in the United States have been too costly, and that other countries have had more success without resorting to prohibition.
They support “seeking means other than prohibition to address the problem of substance abuse,” the resolution says. They are resolved to work with LEAP “to reduce the multitude of unintended harmful consequences resulting from fighting the war on drugs and to lessen the incidence of death, disease, crime, and addiction by ending drug prohibition.”
LEAP is an organization of former and current police officers and government agents who oppose the War on Drugs. They believe that eliminating prohibitions on all drugs will save tax dollars, reduce drug overdose deaths, and end mass incarceration.
LEAP argues that in the 40 years since the start of the Drug War, with around 40 million arrests later, drug prohibition has cost tax payers billions annually. They say that drugs are now cheaper, more potent, and more widely used since the inception of the “futile crusade.”
Photo Credit: SF Gate