NAACP Makes Legalization Of Marijuana A Race Issue In California

Alexis Bowen Contributor
Font Size:

This past week, the California National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) supported the effort in California to legalize marijuana under the presumption that this movement will advance civil rights.

600,000 signatures have been garnered in the past few months enabling the legalization of marijuana initiative to be put on the November ballot.

The California NAACP claims that they are supporting the initiative because they wish to promote the legalization of marijuana as a civil rights issue.

The organization argues that minority communities suffer a disproportionate share of drug crimes and arrests. The NAACP reported that although African Americans only make up 12 percent of drug users in the US, they compromise 32 percent of those arrested for drug possession.

They also mentioned that African Americans spend around 58.7 months in prison when caught for drugs, close to the 61.7 months white men and women spend in prison when incarcerated for a violent offense.

The initiative would currently allow people ages 21 and up to legally smoke marijuana. It would also allow those 21 and up to grow up to six pot plants and travel with and use one ounce of recreational marijuana, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The marijuana would also be subject to a 15 percent excise tax.

It is believed by supporters of the initiative that this legalization would make it easier for police to locate illicit sales and it would make it harder for people below the age of 21 to obtain marijuana.

Legalization of marijuana initiative has also garnered support form the California Medical Association and the California Democratic Party, according to ABC News.