Amendment 64, Colorado’s ballot measure that seeks the legalization of marijuana for adult use and regulation of the drug similar to that of alcohol, is picking up a new endorsement from the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
The Denver Post reports that at a Thursday morning conference, the NAACP’s Colorado-Wyoming-Montana local branch is expected to announce its support of Amendment 64, not because the group necessarily favors marijuana use, but because members say current marijuana laws lead to a disproportionately high number of people of color being incarcerated or otherwise negatively affected.
“Marijuana prohibition policy does more harm to our communities than good,” said Rosemary Harris Lytle in a statement, president of the NAACP-Colorado-Montana-Wyoming State Conference. “That is why we have endorsed Amendment 64 which presents a more effective and socially responsible approach to how Colorado addresses the adult use of marijuana.”
The NAACP provided this data in a press statement about marijuana arrests in Colorado:
African-Americans made up roughly 4% of the population in Colorado in 2010, but they accounted for about 9% of marijuana possession arrests and 22% of arrests for marijuana sales and cultivation. The numbers in Denver are particularly staggering. According to a report prepared by the Denver Police Department for the the city’s Marijuana Policy Review Panel, African-Americans accounted for more than 31.5% percent of arrests for private adult marijuana possession, despite making up less than 11% of the city’s population.
Colorado, Washington and Oregon all have marijuana legalization initiatives on the ballot this November and earlier this month, a local NAACP group already endorsed the Oregon measure, according to Oregon Live.
– Read the entire article at The Huffington Post.