Published: Thu, January 11, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

KS GOPer Apologizes For Saying Black People's Drug Use Related To 'Genetics'

KS GOPer Apologizes For Saying Black People's Drug Use Related To 'Genetics'

The Telegram pointed out that Alford's comments appeared to be based on the theories of Harry Anslinger, the founding commissioner of what was then called the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, which was behind the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. He suggested it and other drugs were originally outlawed in part because blacks were "basically users" and "responded worst" to the drugs because of their "character makeup - their genetics and that".

At the time, Anslinger claimed that "reefer makes darkies think they're as good as white men" and even a small amount of the substance would have a drastic effect on "degenerate Spanish-speaking residents". "That's what I should have said was drugs affect people differently instead of being more specific".

At a public meeting on Monday, Alford started to elaborate on why he thought marijuana was criminalized in the 1930s.

Rep. Valdenia Winn, a black Democrat from Kansas City, Kansas, said before Alford's statement that he should apologize to people of color in his district. Alford said during the event, which was caught on video by a Garden City Telegram reporter. On Tuesday, he resigned from two chairmanships, House Committee on Children and Seniors, and (vice-chair) of Child Welfare System Task Force.

"What was the reason they did that?" he asked an all white crowd. "And so basically, what we are trying to do is we're trying to do a complete reverse with people not remembering what has happened in the past".

"There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers".

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While some research suggests that marijuana precedes other drug use, the National Institute on Drug Abuse has found that a majority of marijuana users do move on to harder drugs.

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Darrell Pope, president of the NAACP chapter in Hutchinson, Kansas called Alford an "idiot", according to CBS News. It was only afterward that fellow Republicans said they disagreed with his remarks. To me, that's neutral. "I'm about as far from being a racist as I can get".

I don't necessarily believe he hated to say it, but perhaps Alford will grow to have hated he said it. "To me, I'm trying to look at what's really the best for Kansas".

"Basically, the question of marijuana was coming up, and basically, what I'm really saying is that I'm against marijuana because it's an entry drug into everything else", he said to the Capital-Journal.

Carl Brewer, a Democratic candidate for governor, said Alford's comments were inappropriate for a politician in 2018.

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