This racist statement has ruffled some feathers.
Rep. Steve Alford has made some egregious claims about marijuana and its affects on African Americans in a bid to prevent the drug from becoming legal in his state. Speaking with other government personnel during a legislative coffee session at a Kansas hospital, Alford provided a rebuttal to a local Democrat who told him that legalizing marijuana could be of financial benefit to the state. Here is Alford's response in full:
Alford expresses some overtly racist sentiments towards the legalization of pot, revealing how "what you really need to do is go back in the ‘30s, when they outlawed all types of drugs in Kansas (and) across the United States. 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."
Alford refers to Harry Anslinger's Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which was notoriously fuelled by a racist rhetoric. Anslinger infamously proclaimed that "Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men," while also revealing "there are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the U.S., and most are Negros, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others."