facebook

A Kansas lawmaker blamed marijuana use by black people on “genetics” 

Rarely is racism by a politician so explicit.

Asked about marijuana legalization over the weekend at a legislative coffee event, a Kansas lawmaker, Republican state Rep. Steve Alford, gave a shocking response: “What you really need to do is go back in the ’30s and when they outlawed all types of drugs in Kansas [and] across the United States. What was the reason why they did that? One of the reasons why — I hate to say it — it’s the African Americans, they were basically users and they basically responded the worst off those drugs just because their character makeup, their genetics, and that.”

Alford later apologized for the remarks after facing criticism, saying, “I was wrong, I regret my comments, and I sincerely apologize to anyone whom I have hurt.” But he also insisted, before his apology, that he’s not racist.

I have been covering drug policy since I was a student journalist in 2010. This is easily the most overtly racist comment I have seen a contemporary politician make on drug policy. It’s a politician saying, outright, that black people are genetically predisposed to an act that he considers negative. (Needless to say, it is absolutely untrue: Black and white people use marijuana and drugs in general at similar rates, and black and white people report similar rates of substance use disorder, according to federal surveys.)

Although this comment and its explicit racism are more obvious to us today, this kind of racism was in fact one of the ways that American policymakers and elites justified the war on drugs in the early 20th century.

As the New York Times explained, the federal prohibition of marijuana came during a period of national hysteria about the effect of the drug on Mexican immigrants and black communities. Concerns about a new, exotic drug, coupled with feelings of xenophobia and racism that were all too common in the 1930s, drove law enforcement, the broader public, and eventually legislators to demand the drug’s prohibition. “Police in Texas border towns demonized the plant in racial terms as the drug of ‘immoral’ populations who were promptly labeled ‘fiends,’” Brent Staples wrote for the Times.

These beliefs extended to practically all forms of drug prohibition. According to historian Peter Knight at the University of Manchester in the UK, opium largely came over to America with Chinese immigrants on the West Coast. Americans, already skeptical of the drug, quickly latched onto xenophobic beliefs that opium somehow made Chinese immigrants dangerous. “Stories of Chinese immigrants who lured white females into prostitution, along with the media depictions of the Chinese as depraved and unclean, bolstered the enactment of anti-opium laws in eleven states between 1877 and 1900,” Knight wrote.

Cocaine was similarly attached in fear to black communities, neuroscientist Carl Hart wrote for the Nation.

The belief was so widespread that the New York Times even felt comfortable writing headlines in 1914 that claimed “Negro cocaine ‘fiends’ are a new southern menace.” The author of the Times piece — a physician — wrote, “[The cocaine user] imagines that he hears people taunting and abusing him, and this often incites homicidal attacks upon innocent and unsuspecting victims.” He later added, “Many of the wholesale killings in the South may be cited as indicating that accuracy in shooting is not interfered with — is, indeed, probably improved — by cocaine. … I believe the record of the ‘cocaine n—-r’ near Asheville who dropped five men dead in their tracks using only one cartridge for each, offers evidence that is sufficiently convincing.”

These prejudices help explain the skewed outcomes we see in America’s war on drugs today. Although black and white people use and sell drugs at similar rates, black people are much more likely to be arrested for drug possession.


drug use and arrests

Joe Posner/Vox

This is not to say in any shape or form that everyone who supports the prohibition of drugs is racist. There are sensible arguments for legally prohibiting drugs, given how dangerous these substances can be. But these policies have deeply racist roots — and Alford’s remarks offer a reminder of that history.


Source link

Buds2Go

Buds2Go

This is the Buds2Go Staff Account. We work really hard to provide information and news about marijuana legalization, product information and promotional events going on across Canada. We are fanatics and experts on strains and utilizing medical cannabis for the treatment of common ailments.
Buds2Go
Buds2Go.ca is not responsible for, nor do we always share the opinions of the content posted on our website through our partners or independent authors.

Leave a Reply


What is a Sativa?

Sativa strains of medicinal marijuana are usually uplifting and stimulating. If you’ve ever smoked or ingested cannabis that makes everything funny and puts you in a great mood, it was probably from a Sativa strain. It creates a feeling of comfort, non-drowsy, and usually introspective highs. The effects of smoking or ingesting a Sativa makes them particularly popular among artists and creatives. The most popular medicinal benefits range from treating mental and behavioral problems, to treating depression, stress and ADHD.

What is an Indica?

The major difference between Sativa’s and Indica’s is while a Sativa can make you feel alert, active, and aware, an Indica will have a relaxing feel on the body. The physical effects of an Indica strain commonly include a drowsy and mellow mood with stress and pain relief. Indica’s are one of the more suggested strains when using it for medicinal purposes as it effectively treats sleeping disorders such as insomnia, fibromyalgia, body aches and pains. Indica’s are also commonly used for treating Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Fibromyalgia and Lupus

Why Choose Hybrid?

The benefits to smoking or ingesting a Hybrid strain are simply as follows. Hybrid’s offer the best of both worlds combining several qualities of each containing strain. Some Hybrid’s are Indica dominant, which will offer pain relief and / or mellow mood, however may contain up to 50% Sativa so it will not make you too drowsy. Other’s may offer a Sativa dominant strain, which will encompass several calming benefits and pain relief, but also give a mellow, yet energetic high.

Why use Buds2Go?

We offer a guaranteed, reliable medicinal marijuana buying and shipping experience for our members. There are still thousands of people who don’t live in areas that are served by local dispensaries such as Vancouver and Victoria BC. We offer a Canada-Wide shipping service that is both fast and discreet and always include tracking numbers. We verify our members age using a photo ID verification system that usually takes less than 2 hours to complete, after which that data is destroyed and our new member is assigned a Verified membership number.