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Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy

Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index

Reason, Compassion, and the Drug War:
A Statement by Religious Men and Women.

Religious Coalition for a Moral Drug Policy. (1990).
Washington: Religious Coalition for a Moral Drug Policy.

ISBN: None

Description: First edition paperback pamphlet, stapled in wrappers, 54 pages.

Contents: Essay, bibliography, information about RCMDP.

Note: RCMDP: 3421 M Street, NW, Suite 351, Washington, DC 20007

Excerpt(s): We are calling for an end to a war. Not a war on drugs as some would have us believe, but a war on people. We could not do otherwise and still consider ourselves authentic moral leaders. (inside front cover)

The Coalition for a Moral Drug Policy was founded in 1990 to provide a support base for the hundreds of clergy nationwide who oppose the War on Drugs. Founded through the generosity of Dennis, the Coalition boasts representatives of most major American religious groups. The coalition is committed to broadening the public debate on national drug policies with an eye toward alternative solutions. (page 2)

Another type of crime is the deadly violence brought by drug traffikers in to turf wars or contractual disputes. In this way, tens of thousands of lives have been lost. In New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, 1,991 were killed in drug markets in 1988. More recently, in cities like Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C., it is not uncommon that one to three people a day are shot in the streets. Those of us who are pastors have shared these tragedies with family members who have experienced these losses in a personal way. All this is of course reminiscent of the gang warfare during prohibition.

Ostrowski has calculated the annual deaths per year caused by drug prohibition at 8,250, including drug-related AIDS death, those who die of poisons, and those who die on the streets. We believe that this represents 8,250 lives which could be saved each year in absence of drug prohibition. This poses an important moral obligation on all who reverence life. (page 29)

For those Who Have Final Doubts/ If there are still those who doubt that our call for an end to the drug war is headed in the right direction, and that our current system is bound to cause more social problems, consider this. Drug use and drug markets are rampant in our prisons, even those of the highest security. "These's been a real explosion in drug use in prison," says Dr. Harry Wexler of Narcotics and Drug Research, Inc. "The explanation is simple: There's been a real explosion of drug users going to prison."

What this suggests is that even if a police officer were stationed at every corner of every block in America, or even in every house, we could not end drug abuse. It would only make the problem worse.

This is the ultimate question to ask policy officials: "if the government can't keep drugs out of prisons, how can it succeed in keeping them off our streets?" (pages 49-50)

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