Last week the National Black Police Association endorsed Proposition 19, the marijuana legalization initiative that will face California voters in November. The group's explanation was similar to the rationale give by the California NAACP when it endorsed the measure in late June:
Ron Hampton, the police association's executive director, said he decided the group should get behind the measure because it would eliminate laws that have a negative impact on the black community.
"It means that we will be locking up less African American men and women and children who are using drugs," said Hampton, a retired Washington, D.C., police officer with 25 years experience. "We've got more people in prison. We've got more young people in prison. Blacks go to jail more than whites for doing the same thing."
A recent Drug Policy Alliance study (PDF) documents the disproportionate racial impact of marijuana prohibition.