A group of 600 United Methodist churches in New England is calling for an end to the War on Drugs. The New England Conference of United Methodist Churches is a group that represents 600 congregations in six Northeastern states and voted in favor of Resolution 15-203, which uses Christian principles to call for an end to the War on Drugs.
The resolution says “the public policy of prohibition of certain narcotics and psychoactive substances … has failed to achieve the goal of eliminating, or even reducing, substance abuse.”
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.
A statement from the group declares support for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (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 prohibition.”