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Clergy Speak Out Against War on Drugs

Submitted by Thinking CAP on Sun, May 24, 2009 - 3:17 am

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Video Title: 
Clergy Speak Out Against the War on Drugs
Summary: 

Many denominations are represented in this video. All of the people featured think major changes need to take place, not minor tweaks to the system. One man points out regarding the Drug War, “I'm not sure it’s broken for everybody. It’s broken in the communities where this War on Drugs is carried out.” The main people who don’t think it’s broken, are the ones who profit financially from it. Those who pay—being caught up in the system and with time in prison, as well as many tax payers who fund it—consider it broken.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

“Part of the problem is our [elected officials] do not want the laws changed… they are getting funds by counting those prisoners as [district] residents.”

“There’s money to be made. I think that ultimately that’s short-sighted for the well-being of our entire community and society.”

“With the ‘mandatory’ sentencing you really don't need a judge and a jury. All you need is a clerk to come and weigh the drugs and then mete out the sentence. I mean that’s it. What else do you need?”

“I see one of the issues that’s before us right now is that there has to be a complete revamping, a complete reconsideration, of what law enforcement represents in our community. I think of the term ‘peace officers.’”

“Let me tell ya’, I’m convinced, that it would be a totally different world if that tension, and if that kind of adversarial relationship, did not exist between law enforcement and the young people of this country. It would mean that there would be a greater likelihood that—you know—messages, that all young people need, as a part of what it takes: to guide and nurture and encourage and to shape and mold—could be heard from people like law enforcement, if indeed law enforcement was not thought of as being the enemy.”

“I think that the politicians are so afraid to speak out in any other way, because they don't want to appear like they're weak on crime.”

“Because of this drug war it’s put more armaments on our street.”

It needs to be repealed. It can’t be just reformed—it has—the whole system has to be, the whole drug policy has to be, and those laws have to be repealed.”

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From the video

These denominations support reforming various drug policies:

  • U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • National Council of Churches
  • United Methodist Church
  • All four black Baptist denominations
  • Union for Reform-Judaism
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
  • Presbyterian Church (USA)
  • Episcopal Church
  • Unitarian Universalist Association
  • United Church of Christ
  • and many more.