Alice Huffman, President of the California NAACP: Marijuana Law Reform Is a Civil Rights Issue
As leaders of the California NAACP, it is our mission to eradicate injustice and continue the fight for civil rights and social justice wherever and whenever we can. We are therefore compelled to speak out against another war, the so called “war on drugs.” To be clear, this is not a war on the drug lords and violent cartels, this is a war that disproportionately affects young men and women and the latest tool for imposing Jim Crow justice on poor African-Americans.
We reject the oft-repeated but deceptive argument that there are only two choices for addressing drugs — heavy handed law enforcement or total permissiveness. Substance abuse and addiction are American problems that affect every socioeconomic group, and meaningful public health and safety strategies are needed to address it. However, law enforcement strategies that target poor Blacks and Latinos and cause them to bear the burden and shame of arrest, prosecution and conviction for marijuana offenses must stop.
A nationwide coalition of 34,000 minority churches is condemning the California NAACP for supporting a state ballot initiative that would legalize recreational use of marijuana. […]
But the Rev. Anthony Evans, president of the National Black Church Initiative, says drugs have “ravaged” the black community with too much violence and death to consider legalization.
Evans says his church will no longer contribute to the NAACP because of its position on marijuana.
Once again, the church (or at least those represented here) has no interest in actually addressing the issues.