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June 29, 2010

Fascinating racial justice debate on California pot legalization proposition

This AP article, which is headlined "Calif NAACP to back pot legalization initiative," provides an interesting example of how California's November ballot proposition that would decriminalize marijuana is already dividing some usual bedfellows:

The NAACP's California chapter pledged its support on Tuesday for a marijuana legalization ballot measure, saying current laws are unfairly used to target minorities. The group highlighted findings it says show the arrest rate among blacks for low-level marijuana crimes far exceed those of whites in the state's largest counties....

The NAACP's announcement outraged a Sacramento preacher who is leading opposition to the measure. International Faith-Based Coalition president Ron Allen said African-American leaders are distressed that one of the country's most respected civil rights organizations would disregard the harm caused by illicit drugs among blacks. "The NAACP does not represent the African-American community when it comes to legalizing marijuana," Allen said.

Drug legalization advocates hailed the endorsement as a major step forward in broadening the coalition of groups who support the reform of marijuana laws. Opponents of current drug prohibitions frequently point to the issue of race and drug arrests as evidence of a flawed national policy.

"There have not been high profile organizations or elected officials within African-American communities to say enough is enough, we have to end marijuana prohibition. This is really a first," said Stephen Gutwillig, California director of the Drug Policy Alliance.

Some related posts on pot policy and politics:

June 29, 2010 at 07:41 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Legalize highly addictive substances, and each year, kill 500,000 middle aged people at the height of their skills and responsibilities, by slow, agonizing, humiliating deaths taking months of torment more painful than torture, more painful than even Kagan's idiotic testimony.

Now, prohibit a mildly addictive substance that kills what, a dozen people mostly by car accidents. What special education class should this lawyer be sent to for remediation? What special ed program could ever help such a cult indoctrinated mental cripple?

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jun 29, 2010 10:56:42 PM

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