LEGALIZE ILLINOIS APPLAUDS CLERGY GROUP FOR BOLD STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF CANNABIS LEGALIZATION

LEGALIZE ILLINOIS APPLAUDS CLERGY GROUP FOR BOLD STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF CANNABIS LEGALIZATION

Nearly 60 clergymen and women endorse legislation; cite expungement, community investment and social justice

CHICAGO (May 29, 2019)  Legalize Illinois praised Clergy for a New Drug Policy today for a letter it issued calling on the Illinois General Assembly immediately to legalize recreational cannabis for adult use. The letter, signed by 58 members of the clergy, cites the social justice and public safety aspects of the bill currently under consideration as the most urgent to support it.

“As clergy, we care deeply about social justice. The criminalization of cannabis, even for simple possession, has crippled the lives of people of color disproportionately for more than four decades. This is why we – the undersigned – believe it is time to move to a system of legal, regulated and taxed adult-use cannabis in Illinois,” the letter states.

“Current cannabis laws, fines, and arrests are carried out with staggering racial bias. The illicit market, which prohibition makes inevitable, continues to breed violence in our poorest communities all across Illinois,” the clergy members wrote.

The letter also notes that “regulation would make Illinois a safer state. It would allow us to educate adults, informing them about what a product contains and enabling them to make informed decisions. Banning sales by law to those under 21 would help to limit access to our youth. Under prohibition, these measures are not possible.”

Clergy for a New Drug Policy, led by Executive Director Rev. Alexander Sharp, also cited the bill’s provisions that would provide expungement of past low-level cannabis arrests and convictions while allocating “funds to communities ravaged by the War on Drugs.”

“We cannot wait any longer to make this the law of the land in Illinois. We urge you to vote yes on a regulatory system that works for all of Illinois,” the letter concludes.

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