Officials Promote Drug Prevention at Scientology Forum
The Sacramento Church of Scientology hosted a community open house where Office of National Drug Control Policy representatives briefed community leaders and faith-based and community organizations on the current state of drug abuse.
At a drug prevention forum hosted by the Sacramento Church of Scientology, speakers from the Office of National Drug Control Policy briefed the community on California drug abuse issues and their effect on the rest of the nation.
The panel included Director of the National Marijuana Initiative Ed Shemelya; Deputy Director Dale Quigley; and National Emerging Threats Coordinator Erasmos Carrizosa. California Central Valley Director of HIDTA (High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) Mr. William Ruzzamenti moderated the panel discussion.
Among those attending were members of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), OMNI Family Services, neighborhood associations, the OK program, members of Seventh Day Adventists, Baptist and Slavic Churches, the Nation of Islam and local Scientology parishioners.
“Scientology parishioners are dedicated to educating others about drug abuse.”
Event organizer Bishop Ron Allen of the International Faith Based Coalition and the Greater Solomon Temple Community Church in Sacramento was key in bringing together community and faith leaders to address the drug abuse issue at the forum.
Mr. Ruzzamenti noted that community participation is vital.
Shemelya and Quigley covered little-known facts about marijuana:
- California is the nation’s largest producer and exporter of cannabis classified as “medical marijuana.”
- These drugs find their way to other states through the black market.
- The state is also the largest producer and exporter of all forms of marijuana nationwide.
- Today’s marijuana is very different from the drug of the 60s and 70s. THC concentrations are now as high as 95 percent, resulting in far greater adverse consequences.
- Twice as many people abuse marijuana than all other substances combined.
The speakers addressed problems arising in other states such as Colorado. There, the industry hires botanists and other scientists to produce marijuana with higher and higher THC concentrations, driving up profits and usage rates. “It’s all about the money,” said Quigley.
Mike Klagenberg, Sacramento Church of Scientology president, presented Truth About Drugs, the drug prevention initiative the Church supports. He said the program is a way anyone can take effective action against drug abuse. In The Truth About Drugs: Real People, Real Stories documentary, former addicts describe how they began their descent into addiction by abusing marijuana, debunking the myth that it is not a gateway drug.
The Church of Scientology and Scientologists support the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, making it possible to provide its fact-based educational materials free of charge. Nearly a thousand copies of Foundation materials were handed out at the event.
According to Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard, “Research demonstrates that the single most destructive element present in our current culture is drugs.”
“This is as true today as it was when was Mr. Hubbard wrote this,” said Klagenberg, “Scientology parishioners are dedicated to educating others about drug abuse.”
The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.
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