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Kansas official supports cannabis prohibition with racist views

Annureet Kaur

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Kansas state representative Steve Alford had a lot to say about cannabis prohibition in a town hall meeting on Saturday, one of them being that he believes cannabis should be prohibited because of black people.

“Basically any way you say it, marijuana is an entry drug into the higher drugs,” Alford said in response to a suggestion that legalization could raise money for the state of Kansas. “What you really need to do is go back in the ’30s, when they outlawed all types of drugs in Kansas [and] across the United States.”

“What was the reason why they did that?” he said. “One of the reasons why, I hate to say it, was that the African Americans, they were basically users and they basically responded the worst off to those drugs just because of their character makeup, their genetics and that.”

Alford told a room full of people in a town hall meeting in Kansas that basically cannabis should be prohibited because black people can’t handle its affects. Alford backs up his claims by talking about the outlawing of cannabis in the ’30s.

Things were different in the 20th century. Officials in the southwest began outlawing cannabis after they began seeing Hispanic men enjoying cannabis, 0r mota as they liked to call it, after a long hard day’s of work. Which called for the ‘Marihuana’ Act of 1937 to be put into place.

Harry Anslinger used ‘marijuana’ as a negative connotation during his campaign to instill fear about race mixing and cannabis to ultimately put prohibition into place. The fear has carried on for several decades now and the term is still being used to put barriers between humans in the name of a ‘drug’–marijuana. To this day, marijuana laws are used selectively against people of color, especially, which is why black people are four times more likely to be pulled over and arrested for marijuana possession than white people.

And that’s why we prefer ‘cannabis’ and not ‘marijuana.’

Once Alford’s words reached the press, he apologized. But, a little too late Steve Alford, too little too late.

“I was wrong, I regret my comments and I sincerely apologize to anyone whom I have hurt,” Alford said in a statement

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