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East County News Service

May 11, 2017 (Spring Valley) -- Mothers across the country are telling their personal stories of drug war damage with stories, articles and interviews in honor of Mother’s Day. By sharing these powerful stories of losing loved ones to drug-prohibition-related violence, incarceration, overdose and addiction, they are bringing focus to what they believe is a need to reform our nation’s drug policies.  The effort is being led by Gretchen Burns Bergman of San Diego, whose two sons have struggled with addiction.

Many of the moms leading this campaign have been personally impacted by the war on drugs, including having children who suffer from addiction and have been repeatedly incarcerated, or died from preventable drug overdoses and other drug related problems.

“My two sons have addictive illness, so I have experienced not only the devastation of this life-threatening disease, but also the destruction of punitive policies and incarceration. It is past time to move from arrest and mass incarceration to therapeutic, health-oriented strategies. Mothers must speak out to end the drug war that is destroying the futures of our children,” said Bergman, lead organizer of the Moms United to End the War on Drugs Campaign. “I believe it is my job as a parent advocate to constantly and consistently promote peace and tolerance, particularly when times are tough and we fear that we no longer have a voice.”

Bergman see an “intersection of the drug war, racism, the war on poverty, guns and violence, the war on women, and the demonization of immigrants.”

In honor of Mother’s Day 2017, Moms United is encouraging people to share the group’s #momsresolutions video on social media on May 13 & 14: Formerly incarcerated rap artist Pierre Alexander wrote and performed the music in this video.

According to a press release, in response to the new administration in the United States, these mothers are organized and committed to defending humane, tolerant and life affirming policies, and to resisting all forms of hatred and bigotry.

The #momsresolutions include:

1.     Moms will increase efforts to DISMANTLE the War on Drugs

2.     Moms must RESIST all forms of prejudice and bigotry

3.     Moms will PROTECT the rights and dignity of all people

4.     Moms will peacefully PROTEST racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia and xenophobia

5.     Moms will steadfastly PROMOTE peace and tolerance in the face of hatred

6.     Moms will continue to FIGHT against mass incarceration

7.     Moms will be vigilant in DEFENDING our values and principles

People are encouraged to change their Facebook profile photo on May 13 & 14, 2017 to the  #momsresolutions photo to bring attention to our mission.

Mother’s Day was started in North America as a response to the carnage and deaths from the Civil War. Mothers protested the futility of their sons killing the sons of other mothers. Throughout history mothers have spoken out for policies that protect children and families.  In the 1930’s a group of mothers were instrumental in ending alcohol prohibition in the United States, because of the corruption, gangland violence and death that it caused. Today mothers are leading the charge to end the war on drugs and what the organization describes as “failed punitive prohibitionist policies that have wreaked such havoc on our families. Mothers are resisting hatred and promoting peace.”

Moms United to End the War on Drugs, is a project of A New PATH (Parents for Addiction Treatment & Healing) along with other organizations and individuals from across the nation. Together they are building an international movement to demand therapeutic, rather than punitive drug policies and an end to the stigmatization and criminalization of people who use drugs or who are addicted to drugs.

A New PATH is an 18-year old nonprofit organization that works to reduce the stigma associated with addictive illness through education and compassionate support, and to advocate for therapeutic rather than punitive drug policies.

Leaders of the campaign include: Lead Organizer Gretchen Burns Bergman (San Diego, CA), the mother of two sons who have both struggled with heroin addiction and repeated incarceration and founder of A New PATH; Denise Cullen (California), a social worker specializing in grief counseling, whose son died from an accidental overdose;  Diane Goldstein (California), a mom and retired Police Lieutenant; Julia Negron (Florida), a person in long-term recovery whose son has struggled with heroin addiction; Charmie Gholson (Michigan), a mom and drug policy reform activist; Yolande Cadore (New York), a drug policy reform advocate and a mom; Karen Garrison, the mother of two sons who were in federal prison on mandatory minimums for 15 and 19 years. There are Moms United representatives in 32 states and 6 countries.  For more info:

To share #momsresolutions video:

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