A Kansas state lawmaker still seems confused by and old Jim Crow myth that African Americans are genetically predisposed to be unable to handle marijuana.
State Rep. Steve Alford (R) told an all-white crowd that marijuana was criminalized during the prohibition era in the 1930’s primarily because of black marijuana use when asked a question by a member of the local Democratic party about potential economic boons from cannabis legalization, reported Raw Story.
“What you really need to do is go back in the ’30s, when they outlawed all types of drugs in Kansas (and) across the United States,” Alford said. “What was the reason why they did that? One of the reasons why, I hate to say it, was that the African Americans, they were basically users and they basically responded the worst off to those drugs just because of their character makeup, their genetics and that.”
Later, when defending his comments, Alford referenced nonsense suggested by marijuana prohibitionist Harry Anslinger, the founding commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics.
Under Anslinger’s leadership, the FBN came to be considered responsible for the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, regulating cannabis and further taxing it to the ultimate detriment of the hemp industry that was booming at the time, reported Raw Story.
Anslinger didn’t like the fact that any other race would consider themselves to be equal to white people.
“Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men,” Anslinger once said when explaining why marijuana supposedly caused crime and violence. The commissioner also fought for the prohibition of cannabis due to “its effect on the degenerate races.”
Watch Rep. Alford’s comments below: