A Minute on Drugs
A minute on drugs has been approved by 29 other Meetings within Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and Philadelphia Quarter. The Meeting enthusiastically approved it with one person stressing the importance of recognizing that there was no magic pill for drug addiction, but that it was a struggle that could last a lifetime. November 21, 1999.
Minute on Drug Concerns
Friends for over 300 years have sought to live "in the virtue of that life and power that takes away the occasion of all war." Today our country is engaged in a "war on drugs" which bears all the hallmarks of war: displaced populations, disrupted economies, terrorization of minorities, abandonment of hope by those the war is supposedly being fought to help, the use of military force, the curtailment of civil liberties, and the demonizing of the "enemies." Friends have been slow to respond with concern to find ways to redirect our country’s energies toward peace, reconciliation, and healing.
In addition, drugs continue to do terrible harm to people in our country and throughout the world, particularly to the young. Our government needs to put much greater emphasis on strategies that act to remove the causes of drug addiction and provide for education, treatment, and research into the causes of addiction.
We call upon Friends to work toward exploring ways in which the vast sums now being used in this war can be diverted toward treatment, research, and education on the dangers of excessive use of legal and illegal recreational drugs. We also call upon Friends to be mindful of the ways in which our behavior and our speech support this war and the misuse of drugs.
Some Friends, presently under the weight of this concern, are working toward the development of political alliances to change government policy. Other Friends are working to develop ways to reach out to those suffering from addiction and to help them call on the Holy Spirit for aid in freeing themselves from this terrible burden. We ask Friends to support those who carry this concern and pray that others will join them in finding paths that lead us toward peace, reconciliation, and healing.