Drug Policy Changes Urged

Drug Policy Changes Urged
Posted by CN Staff on July 05, 2002 at 14:15:58 PT
By Terri Durdaller, Missourian Staff 
Source: Columbia Missourian 
A religion with more than 1,000 congregations across the country is calling for a change in U.S. drug policy. During their annual General Assembly meeting last month in Quebec City the Unitarian Universalist Association, a creedless religion with Judeo-Christian roots, adopted a policy to explore alternatives to the war on drugs, calling for the legalization of marijuana and treating drug use as a health issue rather than a crime.
“The so called war on drugs is creating violence, endangering children, clogging the criminal justice system, eroding civil liberties and disproportionately punishing people of color,” the Rev. William Sinkford, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, said in a press release. “It’s time for a cease-fire.”The General Assembly that passed the resolution consists of 1,700 delegates representing member congregations, but members remain free to express other viewpoints.The Rev. Bill Haney of Unitarian Universalist Church in Columbia said he thinks the statement is too detailed.“It spells out too many steps in detail rather then opening up a dialogue for conversation,” Haney said. “Many people will assent to the statement in principle but maybe not in detail.”Charles Thomas, executive director of the Unitarian Universalists for Drug Policy Reform near Washington D.C., said a small number of delegates made unsuccessful attempts at changing the language of the policy to stop short of calling for the legalization of marijuana as well as the decriminalization and medicalization of other drugs.Jim Davis, former president of the Unitarian Church in Jefferson City said putting someone in jail for possession of marijuana is “pointless.”“Treating drug abuse as a law enforcement problem is not solving the problem because the problem continues to grow and get worse,” Davis said.Davis said while he isn’t advocating drug use, he believes it should be seen as a medical and socioeconomic problem.Thomas said that Unitarian Universalists for Drug Policy Reform encourages other denominations to follow suit.“The drug war has many negative ramifications,” he said. “Other religions were not giving a thorough assessment of the U.S government policy, occasionally taking positions on a few of the negative consequences of the drug war. They were pruning the tree instead of going for the full trunk of prohibition.”Columbia Missourian (MO)Author: Terri Durdaller, Missourian Staff Published: July 5, 2002Copyright: 2002 Columbia Missourian Contact: editor Website: Articles & Web Site:Unitarian Universalist Association Say All Drug Use Should Be Legal Calling for Alternative To Drug War a Stand on Public Policy Issues 
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Comment #2 posted by p4me on July 05, 2002 at 15:04:14 PT
forgot something about RC on 7/5
The thing that I wanted to say most about RC's commentary for today in comment 1 regarded an article in the London Times saying the Class C announcement will come on Wednesday.1,2
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Comment #1 posted by p4me on July 05, 2002 at 14:59:08 PT
Richard Cowan on Colin Davies-7/5'02
The great and honorable journalist, Richard Cowan used his words at to blast the media blackout of the recent situation regarding Coin Davies arrest and imprisonment: is a a quirk that really could cost the taxpayers some big money when Colin sues for first being beaten in the Courtroom on Friday and then being illegally arrested and imprisoned. In Great Britain the police cannot charge you with another crime unless new evidence is found. In his first arrest Colin was charged with possession and when he made bail they arrested him again charging him with intent to supply even though they had no new evidence. 1,2
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