The Detroit Chapter of the NAACP recently held a press conference, during which they announced their opposition to recreational marijuana legalization in Michigan; the reasoning they gave to back up their opposition was rather bizarre, to say the least (video below).
The first person you see in the video is Kamilia Landrum, deputy director of the Detroit branch of the NAACP. “Prop. 1 supports the very issues that are harming our neighborhoods and killing our families,” she said during the press conference.
Since Prop. 1 would enact marijuana legalization, she must be saying that marijuana is “harming” neighborhoods and “killing” families, right?
But she wasn’t done. “This ballot initiative adds another layer to the systematic racism that has held our communities of color – particularly African Americans – in bondage for hundreds of years,” Landrum said.
Marijuana laws have been used for decades to literally lock up minorities at a much higher rate than white people. That’s millions of African Americans taken from their home or off the street and locked up for possessing or selling or growing a plant. But legalization will add “another layer” to the systematic racism that black people face? How, by not putting so many in jail and saddling them with lifelong criminal records?
I had to double check this video to make sure it wasn’t a comedy skit. The notion that taking laws off the books that have been used to target the African American community since day 1 of marijuana prohibition will somehow do tremendous harm to the black community defies any semblance of logic.
She even had the nerve to claim that marijuana legalization will not create more jobs; instead, it will “take them away” and legalizing a plant that has helped an untold amount of people over thousands of years “does not lead to better healthcare”.
One has to wonder why a chapter of the NAACP would go out of their way to keep sending black people to jail. Why would they prefer that to those same people getting jobs in some facet of the marijuana industry?
It’s one thing to oppose marijuana legalization; millions still do. But why would you vocally support laws that clearly harm the very community you say you are trying to protect? Does the NAACP in Detroit think that sending young black people to jail is some sort of character-building exercise?