A diverse group of community organizations, policy reform advocates and faith leaders is calling for an end to marijuana prohibition in the nation’s capital which has resulted in gross racial disparities in the arrests of marijuana users. They are also emphasizing the need to repair the damage done to many African-American communities as a result of this policy.
The group of pastors and advocates emphasized that they do not take this decision lightly and “do not condone the use of marijuana.” But they are resolved that the current system of controlling drug use is ineffective and destructive of families and communities.
They are calling for that destruction to end, and for a reinvestment of resources from taxation and regulation of marijuana into the communities that have suffered the most from its criminalization.
“We believe that when we support a person’s self worth and dignity, the person can make more responsible choices and be accountable to the larger community,” the group said in a prepared statement.
The ACLU estimates that the District has spent as much as $43 million per year since 2010 on marijuana possession enforcement, more per capita than any state in the nation. “This money could otherwise be invested in our community to enhance public health and safety, extend drug treatment programs and to improve police-community relations,” the report concludes.
What: Press Conference
Where: Metropolitan AME Church, 1518 M Street, NW, Washington, DC
Date: Tuesday, Oct. 28th, 2014