Legalization of Marijuana a Civil Rights Issue?

July 8, 2010 /EIN Presswire/ — Some say the legalization of marijuana in the U.S. would help curb the horrific drug-cartel violence just over the border in Mexico. Others say legalizing marijuana is a way to raise much needed tax revenue, especially in currently economically challenged California. The head of the California NAACP, however, says marijuana should be made legal in order to stop civil rights violations and discriminatory law enforcement practices.
CA NAACP President Alice Huffman recently threw her organization’s weight behind California Proposition 19, the Control and Tax Cannabis Initiative to legalize marijuana, because marijuana laws are disproportionately applied to African-Americans.
A recently released study by the Drug Policy Alliance, “Targeting Blacks for Marijuana: Possession Arrests of African Americans in California, 2004-08,” says that in California’s largest counties, “blacks are arrested for marijuana possession at higher rates than whites, typically at double, triple or even quadruple the rate of whites.” This despite the fact, the study says, that “U.S. government studies consistently find that young blacks use marijuana at lower rates than young whites.”