Kansas Republican Lawmaker Says Black People Can't Handle Marijuana Because Of 'Genetics'
A Kansas Republican lawmaker recently said that black people "responded the worst" to marijuana because of their "genetics" and "character makeup."
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State Representative Steve Alford said at a "Legislative Coffee" session this past Saturday that laws prohibiting the use of marijuana and other drugs were the result of a lower tolerance from black users.
"Basically any way you say it, marijuana is an entry drug into the higher drugs," Alford said according to the Garden City Telegram. "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."
"What was the reason why they did that?" he continued. "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."
Alford's comments were in response to Zach Worf, president of Finney County Democrats, who argued that legalizing marijuana could help out the state's economy.
Following the remarks, both Democrat and Republican lawmakers denounced Alford's comments.
"I think that is outrageous," Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau, a Democrat from Wichita, said according to the Capital-Journal. "For a sitting state representative to say that, I just can't believe it. You can't put everybody into one category. He should be more of a statesman and get facts."
On Monday, Alford issued an apology, saying: "I was wrong, I regret my comments and I sincerely apologize to anyone whom I have hurt." He has also reportedly stepped down from two leadership positions as a result of the comments, resigning from his posts as the chairman of the House Children and Seniors Committee and vice chairman of a legislative task force on child welfare.
Source: The Garden City Telegram