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CNDP April Newsletter
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April Newsletter
A Note from Rev. Alexander E. Sharp, CNDP Project Director:
We are pleased to offer the first edition of what will be the monthly newsletter of Clergy for a New Drug Policy (CNDP).  Each issue will discuss our agenda from a faith perspective, and provide clear “Take Action” opportunities.  Here we focus on legislation that has just passed the Illinois House mandating civil rather than criminal sanctions for low level marijuana possession. Thank you for supporting CNDP and our efforts to end the failed drug war and promote new drug policies based on compassion and health.
Faithfully, Rev. Alexander E. Sharp
Needlessly Ruined Lives
Recent blog post by Rev. Alexander E. Sharp - Last spring, I travelled to Vermont to engage clergy in ending the War on Drugs. The Episcopal Bishop had generously agreed to convene a group of colleagues in his Burlington office. They listened politely and offered constructive responses as I outlined why treating drug use as a crime, rather than a health problem, is morally wrong.

When I mentioned that our current drug laws mean that individuals are “marked for life” – with barriers that keep them from ever getting jobs, housing, education and, if they are poor, public assistance and food stamps – the conversation jumped to a whole new level. “I didn’t know that,” the Bishop exclaimed. “We’ve got to educate people about this.”

He was hearing for the first time one of crueler dimensions of the War on Drugs. Not only has this so-called War failed to stop drug use, wasting billions of dollars in the process. It has needlessly ruined lives.
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Jewish 
Perspective

By Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff, Ph.D.

Jewish sources maintain that because God owns the entire universe, including our bodies, we have a fiduciary responsibility to God to take care of our bodies....The converse of this also applies – that is, that we have a duty to avoid danger and that duty supersedes all the rest of the prohibitions in the Torah (Babylonian Talmud, Hullin 10b).  Life, though, is filled with dangers, so which ones may we risk? 
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Take Action

Sign CNDP's Religious Declaration against the War on Drugs.
Sign to Support the Smarter Sentencing Act to reduce mandatory minimums.
Sign to Support the REDEEM Act to ensure successful reentry and give people a fair second chance.

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