The Chronic Goes Mainstream: California NAACP Backs Legalization of Marijuana

Branch resident says that weed arrests are a "civil rights issue."

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The California branch of the NAACP is backing California's Proposition 19, a ballot initiative that would lead to the legalization of marijuana. Branch president Alice Huffman calls it "A civil rights issue that has consistently stifled the upward mobility of young folks of color." She added, "This is not a war on the drug lords. This is a war against young men and women of color." In each of the 25 largest counties in California, blacks are arrested for marijuana possession at double, triple and sometimes quadruple the rates of whites. In Los Angeles County, the arrest rate for blacks is 332 percent higher than the rate for whites, though Black people constitute less than 10 percent of the state population. To add insult to injury, federal government studies show that black youths use marijuana at lower rates than whites. The battle continues over the legalization of the sticky icky in California. And yet another example of why California is known as the wild, wild, West.