firstname.lastname@example.org Tuesday, June 23, 2015
SIX HUNDRED CHURCHES CALL FOR END TO DRUG WAR
Conference Uses Christian Ideals to Argue for New System
MANCHESTER, NH – Last Saturday the New England Conference of United Methodist
Churches, a group representing 600 congregations in six Northeastern states, voted in
favor of Resolution 15-203, which uses Christian principles to call for an end to the War
on Drugs and endorse the work of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
The resolution begins:
“In the love of Christ, who came to save those who are lost and vulnerable, we urge the creation of
a genuinely new system for the care and restoration of victims, offenders, criminal justice
officials, and the community as a whole. Restorative justice grows out of biblical authority, which
emphasizes a right relationship with God, self and community. When such relationships are
violated or broken through crime, opportunities are created to make things right.”
It goes on to detail how the drug war has failed to achieve its intended goal of reducing
drug abuse and has resulted in numerous unintended consequences such as the creation of
violent and dangerous underground markets, countless lost lives from gang violence and
unregulated products, increased dangers posed to law enforcement, prison overcrowding,
the rapid spread of needle-borne illnesses due to a lack of sterile syringes, and the
disparate impact that these laws have had on poor communities of color.
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition Co-founder Lt. Jack Cole (Ret.), who, along
with the group Christians Against Prohibition, worked with the assembly to pass the
resolution, recounted his experience as one of warm support and appreciation,
particularly from families who have been directly affected by drug prohibition.
“When I came off the stage I was met by many assembly members telling me how
important the resolution was,” said Lt. Cole. “One said that…I had described his family.
His daughter died ten years ago of a drug overdose and he and his wife were left to raise
her two children. That gentleman was sure that if drugs had been legal his daughter
would not have died.”
“Jesus concerned himself with the plight of the poor and marginalized in his society. In
our society, the story of the poor and marginalized is one of mass incarceration, racial
injustice, and the breakdown of families caused by the War on Drugs,” said Major Neill
Franklin (Ret.), executive director of LEAP.
The statement ends with a declaration of support for LEAP and a commitment to work to
regulate drugs from a public health perspective:
“Be it Resolved: That the New England Annual Conference supports seeking means other than
prohibition to address the problem of substance abuse; and is further resolved to support the
mission of the international educational organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
(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
The resolution can be found here: http://www.leap.cc/united_methodist_res/
LEAP is committed to ending decades of failed policy that have wreaked havoc on public
safety, damaged community relations with police, fostered corruption and racism, and
largely ignored the public health crisis of addiction. The War on Drugs has cost more
than $1 trillion dollars, yielded no positive outcomes, and has ultimately diverted the
penal system’s attention away from more important crimes.