Diverse group of religious leaders support regulating marijuana like alcohol because Colorado's current policy of marijuana prohibition has been unjust, ineffective, and wasteful
DENVER, CO — A diverse group of more than two dozen clergy and faith leaders from across Colorado have endorsed Amendment 64, citing their belief that the current system of marijuana prohibition is causing far more harm than good.
“How we punish people and what we punish them for are central moral questions,” said Rev. Bill Kirton of Denver’s United Methodist Church. “If a punishment policy fails to meet its objectives and causes harms to humans, I believe we have a moral obligation to support change. Our laws punishing marijuana use have caused more harm than good to our society and that is why I am supporting replacing marijuana prohibition with a system of strict regulation with sensible safeguards.”
“As we seek to teach compassion and love, it seems inconsistent to support, in cases of private personal adult marijuana possession, the use of police, guns, and courts. The faith community, parents, peers, and educators are the appropriate institutions in society to address this kind of personal behavior,” concluded Rev. Kirton.
“I am supporting Amendment 64 because, as clergy, we have the responsibility to talk about what policies serve our community best. You do not have to use marijuana – or even approve of marijuana – to see that our current laws are not working,” said Rabbi Emeritus Steven Foster, of Temple Emmanuel in Denver.
Regulating marijuana like alcohol will strike a blow to the cartels and the violence that is currently afflicting our families and friends in Latin America. Law enforcement officials have estimated that illegal marijuana sales account for 65 to 70 percent of cartel profits, which subsidize their other criminal activities, including human trafficking, kidnapping, and extortion.
Colorado’s law enforcement resources should be used to address serious crimes, not to foster them.
Amendment 64 takes the production and sale of marijuana out of the hands of cartels and criminals in the underground market and puts them in the hands of legitimate businesses in a tightly regulated system.
Under Amendment 64, Colorado can stop propping up cartels and criminals and start propping up our state’s economy with new businesses and more jobs.
Colorado religious leaders who have endorsed Amendment 64:
Rabbi Benjamin Arnold, Congregation Beth Evergreen, Evergreen
Chaplain Gregg Anderson, Aspen Chapel United Methodist Church, Aspen
Rev. Rusty Butler, Arvada United Methodist Church, Arvada
Pastor Paul Carlson, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Denver
Rev. Dawn Duvall, Together Colorado/PICO, Denver
Rev. Lydia Ferrante-Rosemary, Boulder Vally Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Lafayette
Rabbi Emeritus Steven Foster, Temple Emmanuel, Denver
Pastor Bob Franz, Boulder South Broadway Church, Boulder
Rev. Marie Gasau, Basalt Community United Methodist Church, Basalt
Rev. Earl Hanna, University Park United Methodist Church, Denver
Pastor Chris Johnson, Presbyterian Community Church of the Rockies
Rev. Robert Kippley, Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Cañon City
Rev. Bill Kirton, United Methodist, Denver
Chaplain Anthony Martin, Colorado Department of Corrections, Denver
Dr. Ved Nanda, Board Member, Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, Denver
Rev. Ricardo Orellena, Hospice of St. John, Lakewood
Rev. Larry Paulson, St. Paul’s UMC, Denver
Bishop Phillip Porter, Church of God in Christ, Denver
Pastor Vern Rempelm, 1st Mennonite Church of Denver
Rev. David Ridge, Minister, Living Water Unity Spiritual Community, Arvada
Marcia Stackhouse, Our Merciful Savior, Denver
Pastor Jeni Umble, Boulder Mennonite Church, Boulder
Pastor Edwin Vrell, Sacramentarian Christian Assembly, Longmont
Rev. Seon Young Lee, Asbury Korean United Methodist Church, Centennial
Pastor Donald Zundel, Christ Lutheran, Highlands Ranch