CA NAACP Supports Marijuana Legalization Initiative


The NAACP isn’t recognized for its efforts to end the drug war because, well, that’s not really their thing. Actually, that wasn’t their thing, but now it is. Because of the devastating effects of the drug war on minorities, the the leadership of the California chapter of the NAACP announced on Monday that the organization officially supports the 2010 Tax and Regulate Cannabis voter initiative, says the LA Times.

The group cited statistics from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice showing that in 2009, 62% of the state’s marijuana arrests were of nonwhite suspects and that 42% were under 20.

That isn’t the half of it. To learn more about the racial dark side of the drug war, you need to watch American Drug War: The Last White Hope. You should buy the DVD to support the dudes behind this eye-opening and enlightening documentary, but if you’re a cheapskate, you could probably find it for free via torrent and video hosting sites. This fascinating article at the Drug Policy Alliance website is worth a read too, and let’s not forget about why marijuana was outlawed: racism. From the Drug War Rant:

In the early 1900s, the western states developed significant tensions regarding the influx of Mexican-Americans. The revolution in Mexico in 1910 spilled over the border, with General Pershing’s army clashing with bandit Pancho Villa. Later in that decade, bad feelings developed between the small farmer and the large farms that used cheaper Mexican labor. Then, the depression came and increased tensions, as jobs and welfare resources became scarce.

One of the “differences” seized upon during this time was the fact that many Mexicans smoked marijuana and had brought the plant with them, and it was through this that California apparently passed the first state marijuana law, outlawing “preparations of hemp, or loco weed” …

…In the eastern states, the “problem” was attributed to a combination of Latin Americans and black jazz musicians. Marijuana and jazz traveled from New Orleans to Chicago, and then to Harlem, where marijuana became an indispensable part of the music scene, even entering the language of the black hits of the time (Louis Armstrong’s “Muggles”, Cab Calloway’s “That Funny Reefer Man”, Fats Waller’s “Viper’s Drag”).

Again, racism was part of the charge against marijuana, as newspapers in 1934 editorialized: “Marihuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men’s shadows and look at a white woman twice.”

And because there was no Internet to fact-check and filter all the bullshit people threw at each other in the 1930’s, racist rumor-fabricating ass-holes had a tremendous effect on society.

Two other fear-tactic rumors started to spread: one, that Mexicans, Blacks and other foreigners were snaring white children with marijuana; and two, the story of the “assassins.” Early stories of Marco Polo had told of “hasheesh-eaters” or hashashin, from which derived the term “assassin.” In the original stories, these professional killers were given large doses of hashish and brought to the ruler’s garden (to give them a glimpse of the paradise that awaited them upon successful completion of their mission). Then, after the effects of the drug disappeared, the assassin would fulfill his ruler’s wishes with cool, calculating loyalty.

By the 1930s, the story had changed. Dr. A. E. Fossier wrote in the 1931 New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal: “Under the influence of hashish those fanatics would madly rush at their enemies, and ruthlessly massacre every one within their grasp.” Within a very short time, marijuana started being linked to violent behavior.

But the madness doesn’t end there! Marijuana had major foes in several major industries due to hemp’s tremendous ability to be adapted for a variety of uses including fuel, cloth-material, paper, rope, and more, and you can bet some large corporations were involved in the reefer madness.

One Response to “CA NAACP Supports Marijuana Legalization Initiative”
  1. writerpro25 says:

    The Great White Hope is a great movie and there are also a lot of really good documentary clips on Youtube of Freeway Ricky Ross. The Dark Alliance articles are also worth checking out.

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    Editor: Joseph Klare (The Pothead Pundit)
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