has reported that a group of local mothers rallied outside DA Bonnnie Dumanis’ downtown office today to galvanize the district attorney to support Prop 19, the marijuana legalization initiative on November’s ballot. The group, called Moms United to End the War on Drugs, believe that legalization of pot will bring a halt to the waste and violence of this so-called war on drugs.
Dumanis is known around the County to not be supportive of efforts to legalize the drug – even for medicinal reasons. She has cracked down on dispensaries and has generally taken a tough stand on the issue.
One of the chief organizers of the rally, Gretchen Burns Bergman – who is a co-Founder and executive director of A New PATH (Parents for Addiction Treatment and Healing) told the MSNBC:
“Prohibition has failed, and the war on drugs is really a war waged against individuals and their families, so mothers are leading the charge once again to end drug prohibition — marijuana prohibition — just as a group of mothers did in the 1930s to end alcohol prohibition, not because they loved drugs and alcohol but because we love our children.”
“Marijuana prohibition has utterly failed. Tens of thousands of Californians are arrested every year, too many of them young men of color, but marijuana remains widely available to young people.”
The article by Lindsay Hood stated that A New PATH believes that “regulating marijuana would mean that children would not have as much access to the drug and that police would be able to focus on other criminal matters.”
It was also reported that Reverend Canon Mary Moreno Richardson, who is with St. Paul’s Cathedral located on Banker’s Hill, also supports the New Path and was present at the rally. Hood reported that Reverend Richardson told her she “works with undocumented youth and they tell her they run from their villages because of all the corruption and power the drug cartels hold over their towns.”
“So much of this power is coming from the money they are making with guns and with marijuana. We cannot continue to stand by while increasingly violent criminal syndicates make huge profits off of illegal marijuana sales on this side of the border and wreak havoc in Mexico. Prop. 19 will help begin to take those profits away and undermine those cartels – before the violence spills over to San Diego.”
Group Plans Rally in Sacramento on October 13
The mothers’ group also plans to rally in Sacramento in the next week or so. The East County Magazine reported A New PATH, a Spring Valley nonprofit and lead organization in Moms United to End the War on Drugs, will lead a rally on the west steps of the State Capitol building in Sacramento on October 13 at 11 a.m.
Here is the rest of the East County Mag’s report from September 20th:
The rally is part of a statewide campaign that seeks to “stop violence, mass incarceration and overdose deaths” that participants believe are the result of current “punitive and discriminatory drug policies.” The vigil will acknowledge those who have lost their lives or liberty to the “failed War on Drugs.”
The group calls for the following steps as alternatives to imprisonment of drug users:
- Long-term mandatory rehabilitation in a structured therapeutic recovery environment for non-violent drug offenders
- If the nature of the crime does not allow for this alternative, sentencing should include immediate placement in a rehabilitation and recovery program within the prison system
- Upon release from prison or recovery homes, substance abuse offenders should be mandated to a transitional program in a sober-living environment to prepare them to re-enter society
A New PATH held a rally in San Diego in April and has since held rallies in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.
The Sacramento event is sponsored by A New PATH (Parents for Addiction Treatment & Healing) in partnership with others including Families ACT!, Broken No More, the Drug Policy Alliance, as well as individuals. The group hopes to persuade lawmakers to change policies of arrest and imprisonment to therapeutic strategies and regulation. Such policies could also save the state money on prisons and cut down on repeat offenses, advocates contend.
Participants are urged to bring signs and photos of loved ones whose lives have been damaged by the war on drugs. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 619-670-1184, or visit their website here.