The New England Conference of United Methodist Churches, a group of 600 churches spanning six states, voted in favor of a resolution Saturday which calls for an end to the war on drugs because it is the Christian thing to do.
"In the love of Christ, who came to save those who are lost and vulnerable, we urge the creation of a genuinely new system for the care and restoration of victims, offenders, criminal justice officials, and the community as a whole," said the resolution, in part, according to a release from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
"Restorative justice grows out of biblical authority, which emphasizes a right relationship with God, self and community. When such relationships are violated or broken through crime, opportunities are created to make things right," it continued.
In the resolution, the group highlights a long list of concerns and reasons to end prohibition, including public health, violent trafficking as well as the loss of countless innocent lives in overcrowded prisons — many of them black and Latino.
"To people of color, the 'war on drugs' has arguably been the single most devastating, dysfunctional social policy since slavery," the resolution asserts.
According to an NBC News report, Methodists now join other Christian denominations, such as the Unitarian Universal Association, that have come out against the war on drugs because they believe the policy disproportionately affects minorities.
"It's a justice issue," Eric Dupee, pastor of Crawford Memorial United Methodist Church in Winchester, Massachusetts, who wrote the resolution, told NBC News. "Basically, what I wanted to do is put forth the idea that our drug war is creating more harm, more problems than it's solving, and I wanted people to be aware of that."
"Jesus concerned Himself with the plight of the poor and marginalized in His society. In our society, the story of the poor and marginalized is one of mass incarceration, racial injustice, and the breakdown of families caused by the war on drugs," added Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director of LEAP, which worked alongside the group to help pass the resolution.