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Marking Mother's Day With Calls for Reform [FEATURE]

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #734)
Consequences of Prohibition

On this Mother's Day, more than 100,000 women are behind bars in American prisons, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and many of them are doing time for drug offenses. That's too many, said members of a new coalition, Moms United to End the War on Drugs, as they held events last week in the days running up to Mother's Day.

Gretchen Burns Bergman at the National Press Club (Moms United)
"The war on drugs is really a war on families," said Mom's United's Gretchen Burns Bergman. "It is time to end the stigmatization and criminalization of people who use drugs and move from arrest and mass incarceration to therapeutic, health-oriented strategies. Moms were the driving force in repealing alcohol prohibition and now moms will play a similar role in ending the war on drugs."

Bergman, from San Diego, is the mother of two sons who have struggled with substance abuse and incarceration and is a founder of A New PATH (Parents for Addiction Treatment & Healing). A New PATH has joined forces with other groups, including Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), the NORML Women's Alliance, Families to Amend California's Three Strikes, and Students for Sensible Drug Policy to form Moms United to agitate for an end to the drug war and a turn toward sensible, evidence-based drug policies.

The week leading up to Mother's Day was a week of action under the rubric of Cops and Moms Working Together to End Prohibition. The week saw events and press conferences in Atlanta, Boston, New York City, and Washington, DC, in the East and Los Angeles, San Diego, Oakland on the West Coast.

"Mother's Day was derived out of an intensely political effort to organize women on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line against the Civil War," said Sabrina Fendrick, coordinator for the NORML Women's Alliance. "The reason mothers were made the vehicle was because they were the ones whose children were dying in that war. Women were also largely responsible for ending alcohol prohibition. This is more than just a ‘greeting-card holiday,’ this is the beginning of an institutional change in our society. The government's war on drugs is unacceptable. For our children's sake, the concerned mothers of the world are being called on to demand the implementation of a rational, responsible, reality-based drug and marijuana policy."

Last Wednesday, at a San Diego press conference, the umbrella group unveiled the Moms United to End the War on Drugs Bill of Rights, a 12-point motherhood and drug reform manifesto which calls for "the right to nurture our offspring, and to advocate for their care and safety" and "the parental right to policies and practices that recognize addiction as a disease in need of treatment, rather than a willful behavior to be criminalized," as well as the right to have harm reduction and overdose prevention practices implemented, the right to be free from heavy-handed, constitution-threatening drug war policing, and the right to be free from drug war violence.

Moms United in Los Angeles (Moms United)
"If we stop arresting and incarcerating drug users, think of the number of children who would have the chance to look upon their parents as positive role models instead of having parents who are absent because they are incarcerated," the group said. "We have a moral and ethical obligation to give these children a better chance in life by allowing parents to take care of their families. These parents should have the opportunity to become the productive members of society and role models to their children that they want to be and that their children need and deserve."

The Bill of Rights has been endorsed by a number of religious, reform, and civil rights groups, and individuals can sign onto it, too. To sign on, go to the online petition.

"We are building a movement to stop the stigmatization and criminalization of people who use drugs or are addicted to drugs," the group said. "We urgently call for health-oriented strategies and widespread drug policy reform in order to stop the irresponsible waste of dollars and resources, and the devastating loss of lives and liberty."

It's not just Moms United who is using Mother's Day to strike a blow for drug reform. In Colorado, where Amendment 64 to legalize and regulate marijuana is on the ballot, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is running a television ad featuring a young woman writing an email to her mother in which she explains that she has found her marijuana use to be safer and healthier than the drinking she did in college.

The ad is aimed at a demographic that is both critical to and difficult for the campaign: women in their 30s and 40s, many of whom are mothers. The ad appeared Friday and again on Mother's Day.

"Our goal with the ad is to start a conversation -- and encourage others to start their own conversations -- about marijuana," Betty Aldworth, the advocacy director for the campaign.

And it's not just the United States, either. In mother-honoring Mexico, which marked Mother's Day on Thursday, hundreds of women and other family members traveled to Mexico City on the National March for Dignity to demand that the government locate their loved ones gone missing in the drug wars, according to the Frontera NorteSur news service.

"They took them alive, and alive we want them," the marchers chanted.

While the drug wars in Mexico have claimed at least 50,000 lives, including 49 people whose dismembered bodies were found on a highway outside Monterrey Sunday morning, thousands more have gone missing, either simply vanished or last seen in the hands of armed, uniformed men.

The Mexican government doesn't report on how many have gone missing in its campaign against the cartels, but the Inter-American Human Rights Commission counts more than 5,000 missing persons complaints filed with police -- and this in a country where many people so mistrust the police they don't bother to file official reports.

"For some it has been years, for others months or days, of walking alone, of clamoring in the desert of the hallways of indolent and irresponsible authorities, many of them directly responsible for disappearances or complicit with those who took our loved ones away," the mothers' group said.

On Mother's Day, many mothers in Mexico have "nothing to celebrate," said Norma Ledezma, cofounder of Justice for Our Daughters in Chihuahua City. "As families, we want to take this occasion to tell society not to forget that in Mexico there is home with a plate and a seat empty."

"We have walked alone in the middle of stares and stigmatizing commentaries, and we have been treated like lepers, marginalized and condemned to the worst pain a human being could live: not knowing the whereabouts of our sons and daughters," the new mother's movement declared. "But now we are not alone. We have found hundreds of mothers and we unite our clamor and our love to recover our loved ones and bring them home."

On Mother's Day, the agony of the drug war transcends borders. And the call from mothers for a more sane and human alternative continues to grow, from Chihuahua to Chicago and from Oaxaca to Washington.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Henry Massingale (not verified)


George Soros, had this idea also,


The only way is to decriminalize all  drugs and tax  the transaction, but there is a factor not seen that I have not shared.

between Canada and the USA, 1.2 million people died from Oxy Heroin. June 30, 2011, C-Span-3 on TV, the Capital Hill, Director Senator Sheldon, Senate Judiciary Sub Committee for Crime and Terrorism. Announcement Oxy. Heroin, this Heroin Health Care Concept, in 2007 that 27,000 Americans died, from this Opioid.So if this Oxy Herion is so good for the economy, where is the money ?

 In Afghan The United States Military was ordered to protect the Poppy Plaints. 3 Americans were killed in a battle for control....

 These narcotics, are linked to Cancers and in Men Colon Cancer.

 Doctors gave this narcotic heroin based drug to children who wold not pay attention in school, and a large number of children were reported to have mental break downs. So did you know that Federal approved heroin was given to Mom and Dad's child ?

 Reports that came out of Afghan from the United States Military, that after the USA helped Bin Laden beat the USSR, american companies backed with USA Tax Dollars Investments these Tax Dollars in these Big Pharm Companies, then made a drug deal with Bin laden and his drug lords to bring Oxy Heroin into the USA  under a Health Care Concept.

 This has also been linked to the two different attacks on the Twin Towers for betraying a drug deal. What took place for this Health care Oxy heroin is a shame and according to your Constitutional Laws this Oxy Heroin is in conflict with the Prime Directive in and for The Safe Keep Of the People.

 Now because of the betraying of Bin Laden the Cartel has placed things into motion.....a total of 250,000 foot solders on the border, and in America.

 George Soros invested deeply into this Oxy heroin, it is a cold hard fact that its not the money anymore they want, it is to gain control of the United States of America through Civil War..

 As it was shared to me today of a concept that I knew, that I held back on, is a Law that may or may not be a ongoing truth that in a event that a major happening takes place in the United Stated that President in charge at that time or how ever he is to be replaced will take charge and can not be voted out.....

 Do you now see....

 According to the tribal Elders Of Afghan it is forbidden to take of the forbidden plant by the word of God. It is also stated that the Building block of the New World Order, is within this narcotic based concept, and these people of no faith of God seeks only to be as one with their master.

Our Constitutional Laws built within the faith of men because of God is what these people wish to destroy. They seem to hate the concept that God helped men to write the Constitution.

 But sir, this is only,  "The Word Of The Streets That Hold Credit"

 The street children call them self the,  " Children Of The Damned" .....lost and addicted from birth from US Federal Approved Narcotics.

 A final note for you my friend,its the Data base of the USA and our Social Security its in there and no matter what you do you are in The Matrix Of their Net...



Now 14 year old punks in school give little girls this heroin based health care concept to turn them into sex slaves.....

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