Jesus would end the War On Drugs, according to some Christian pastors who are using Easter week as a platform for speaking on a hot political issue. They believe the high number of arrests of marijuana possession and usage have created a prison system burgeoning with a record number of prisoners and that there must be a better way than to simply jail everyone. But those demanding the laws be changed are also considering lowering the standards for high level drugs like heroin and cocaine.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, Jeff Mizanskey is a Missouri man spending life in prison due to marijuana possession. He’s been in jail for 20 years and, despite his lack of a history of violence, he’s watched as violent criminals, rapists, and murderers have served their sentences while he is stuck in jail over pot.
A recent report by the American Civil Liberties Union claims there are 110 nonviolent criminals serving life sentences across the country, but 79 percent of those in the report are drug offenders. It’s situations like Jeff’s that have Christian leaders claiming Jesus would object to the way the War On Drugs has been handled so far.
For example, Reverend Edwin Sanders, of the Metropolitan Interdenominational Church in Nashville, claims Jesus Christ would object to mass incarceration:
“We are called upon to follow Jesus’s example in opposing the war on drugs, which has resulted in the United States becoming the world’s biggest jailer, with about five percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of the world’s prisoners.”
Reverend Michael McBride, director of urban strategies at Lifelines to Healing in Berkeley, California, claims it’s a civil rights issue:
“We believe the greatest stimulus for the mass incarceration of our loved ones is the failed war on drugs that has spent billions and billions of dollars, and hundreds of thousands of lives, for primarily a public health issue. Mass incarceration is the civil rights movement of our generation, and the faith community is at the forefront.”
Reverend John E. Jackson, a member of Chicago’s Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference of progressive African-American faith leaders, claims the War On Drugs is also a racial issue:
“The policies of this failed war on drugs, which in reality is a war on people who happen to be poor, primarily black and brown, is a stain on the image of this society.”
It’s claimed that in 2010, about $3.6 billion was spent enforcing marijuana possession laws, and approximately 3.7 times as many African Americans are arrested over pot when compared to other races caught using marijuana with the same usage rates.
At question is the Smarter Sentencing Act, which the Obama administration claims would reduce mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders. Eric Holder already previously announced the federal government would not automatically impose charges that lead to mandatory sentences on low-level, nonviolent drug offenders. It’s estimate the law would affect 70 percent of drug trafficking and the federal prison population would be reduced by 6,550 inmates of five years.
Unfortunately, the push for ending the War On Drugs is not just limited to legal weed. The proposed bill would reduce sentences for heroin and cocaine drug dealers. For example, if a drug dealer was caught with 2.2 pounds of heroin the minimum jail sentence would be reduced by an average of one year.
Do you think Jesus would support legal weed and ending the War On Drugs?