Religious Leaders, Elected Officials, and Advocates Speak Out on Drug Policy, Treatment, and Prevention

Press Release April 12, 2005
Media Contact

Tony Newman at (212) 613-8026 or Anthony Marsh at (310)384-0807

Los Angeles, CA –On Sunday April 17th, religious leaders, elected officials and advocates will join together for a conference entitled “Westside Story: A Conversation about Drug Policy, Prevention, and Addiction Treatment” at Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, 8844 Burton Way. Topics to be addressed include young people and drugs–how to keep teens safe, treatment instead of incarceration, and understanding the ways diverse communities are affected by drug abuse and addiction.

“Drugs don’t discriminate, but our drug policies do,” said Rev. Peter Laarman, Executive Director of Progressive Christians Uniting “As people of faith, we are coming together across socio-economic, racial, religious, and political differences to heal our communities and work towards more just and compassionate drug policies.”

Progressive Christians Uniting, Progressive Jewish Alliance, and the Drug Policy Alliance are sponsoring the event at Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills. Among the event speakers and presenters are:

Over 50 different lead agencies and organizations are endorsing the event, including: All Saints Episcopal Church Beverly Hills, Archdiocese of Los Angeles Office of Restorative Justice, Board of Rabbis of Southern California, California Council of Churches, Church IMPACT, Claremont School of Theology, Clearview Treatment Center, Community Coalition, Families to Amend California’s Three Strikes, Hebrew Union College, Jewish Community Relations Committee, Los Angeles Council of Churches, Sober Living Network, South Coast Interfaith Council, Southern California Ecumenical Council, Temple Kol Tikvah, Pacific Southwest Council of the Union of Reform Judaism, University of Southern California Center for Religion and Civic Culture, University of Southern California School of Social Work, and many more.

About the Sponsoring Organizations:

Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is the nation’s leading organization working to end the war on drugs. DPA envisions new drug policies based on science, compassion, health and human rights and a just society in which the fears, prejudices and punitive prohibitions of today are no more.

Progressive Christians Uniting (PCU) is a southern California ecumenical organization of progressive Christians who are committed to building an inclusive church, calling for economic justice, and working for human dignity for all.

Progressive Jewish Alliance (PJA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to Jewish traditions of pursuing peace, promoting equality and diversity, and working for social and economic justice.

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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