Big Christian Church Group Says Legalize Drugs | Marijuana

Big Christian Church Group Says Legalize Drugs


A group representing more than 600 Christian church congregations across six Northeastern states has called the war on drugs a failure and endorsed legalization.

On Saturday, the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church passed a resolution arguing that “the public policy of prohibition of certain narcotics and psychoactive substances, sometimes called the ‘War on Drugs,’ has failed to achieve the goal of eliminating, or even reducing, substance abuse.”

The measure says that the group “supports seeking means other than prohibition to address the problem of substance abuse.”

The resolution was championed by the drug policy reform organizations Christians Against Prohibition and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), the latter of which represents police officers, judges and prosecutors who oppose the war on drugs after having waged it.

“Jesus concerned himself with the plight of the poor and marginalized in his society,” Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director of LEAP, said in a press release. “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.”

Citing factors such as lives lost to overdoses due to the unregulated production of drugs in the illegal market, overcrowded prisons and clogged courts, the resolution says that “there have been a large number of unintentional negative consequences as a result of this failed public policy.”

It also draws attention to the racially disproportionate enforcement of drug laws.

“To people of color, the ‘War on Drugs’ has arguably been the single most devastating, dysfunctional social policy since slavery,” it reads.

Advocates will now campaign to get the worldwide General Conference of the United Methodist Church to adopt the resolution at its 2016 meeting.

Photo courtesy of Jeff Djevdet

About Author

Tom Angell covers policy and politics for Separately, he serves as chairman of the nonprofit organization Marijuana Majority, which works to ensure that elected officials and the media treat legalization as a serious, mainstream issue. Marijuana Majority led the effort to get the U.S. Conference of Mayors to pass a resolution telling the federal government to respect state marijuana laws, and orchestrated the first-ever endorsement for marijuana legalization by a U.S. Supreme Court justice (John Paul Stevens). Previously, Tom worked for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. (All organizations are listed for identification purposes only.)


  1. This is astonishing. Major religious voices are recognizing reality. Will the Pope also declare the Drug War immoral?

    • James DuMouchel on

      So far, not yet. But the man can read–thus he may evolve. Any person of good will toward truth is only a couple hours of investigation away from rejection of the counter-productive prohibitionist model.

  2. James DuMouchel on

    I am heartened by the number of groups who have seen the light regarding the ills that prohibitionists have foisted upon this propagandized society. It is crucial that we understand that not just cannabis, but even more dangerous drugs, hurt society much more when they are handed over to the Black Market instead of being part of a quality-controlled regulated market.

  3. This is an important development. The religious right can play a very important role in moving the ball forward. Einstein’s definition of insanity was: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. People from all walks of life are finally starting to come to their senses.

  4. Thank God the churches are beginning to see the injustice and the impotence of the drug war. A war on the American people by the DEA. End the war now!

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