War on Drugs

GOP State Rep. Steve Alford of Kansas Says Marijuana Was Outlawed Because 'the African Americans…Responded the Worst…Just Because of their Character Makeup, Their Genetics'


Interestingly appalling views on the racist roots of pot prohibition, from Kansas state GOP Rep. Steve Alford (R–District 124).

The video below originally posted by a local paper, the Garden City Telegram. The comments were made Saturday during a Legislative Coffee session at St. Catherine Hospital.

After saying the smell of pot in the air "takes away his freedom," Alford speculates on, you know, the real reasons we outlawed pot.

Here's the lesson in pharmacology and history Rep. Alford presented to some of his constituents: "Any way you say it, marijuana is an entry drug into the higher drugs," Alford said. "What you really need to do is go back in the '30s, when they outlawed all types of drugs…What was the reason why they did that?"

Gee, Rep. Alford, I guess we just don't know!

"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. And so basically what we're trying to do is we're trying to do a complete reverse with people not remembering what has happened in the past."

I don't necessarily believe he hated to say it, but perhaps Alford will grow to have hated he said it.

Here's the video:

Some more nuanced background from Jacob Sullum at Reason on the racist roots and practice of drug prohibition.

According to the Garden City Telegram, no one in the room when Alford said this was African-American.