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CNDP May Newsletter
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May Newsletter
A Note from Rev. Alexander E. Sharp, CNDP Project Director:
The month of May has been busy for CNDP.  Our efforts organizing clergy in Illinois helped to pass a bill (HB 218) to decriminalize marijuana. This newsletter also highlights efforts by police to divert drug users from the criminal justice system. Thank you for your support!
Diversion:
The Quiet Revolution
Recent blog post by Rev. Alexander E. Sharp - There is a quiet but growing revolution in how we respond to drug addiction in this country. And it is starting in some places – would you believe it – with elected law enforcement officials and the police.

“Diversion” is the technical word. The idea is to keep people out of the criminal justice system whenever possible. It makes no sense to recycle low-level, non-violent drug users off the streets, into jail, and back to the streets again, at huge public cost. This is foolish. When the user has serious mental health issues, it is downright immoral.

Exciting examples of diversion are becoming more visible every day. The Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program in Seattle has just been formally evaluated by scholars at the University of Washington. Under LEAD, police can refer low level recidivists, usually drug users and prostitutes, directly to case managers who offer housing, job training, counseling, and other services. The program has reduced recidivism by 60%.

In LEAD and comparable programs, police – yes, the police – are becoming the revolutionaries. 
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HB-218
Update

Marijuana Bill Passes in Illinois: Civil Sanctions Not Criminal Prosecution

On Thursday, May 21st, the Illinois Senate approved a bill to remove criminal penalties for simple marijuana possession, replacing the threat of jail time, a criminal record, and a lifetime of collateral consequences with a $125 fine, similar to a ticket for a traffic offense.
Read More
Take Action
Sign CNDP's Religious Declaration to end the War on Drugs.
- Sign to Support the Veterans Equal Access Act to help veterans access medical marijuana. 
- Sign to End the Ban on Syringe Exchange to demand federal funds be allocated for harm reduction programs.
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