The National Black Police Association’s announcement that it will support California’s marijuana legalization initiative is a high-profile boost to backers of Proposition 19, the L.A. Times reports.
About 30 other police officers and law enforcement officials have also supported the measure.
Our Los Angeles medical marijuana defense lawyers continue to monitor the legalization issue even as or marijuana dispensary attorney fight for the rights of collectives and dispensaries throughout the L.A. area.
We reported earlier this month when the California NAACP endorsed the measure, saying marijuana laws disproportionately targeted African Americans. The police association’s executive director made a similar argument to the Times.
“It means that we will be locking up less African American men and women and children who are using drugs,” said Ron 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.”
He said money spent on the war on drugs could be better spent on job creation, housing and education.
Both the state NAACP and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, will seek to broaden support for Proposition 19. The measure will allow those over the age of 21 to grow small amounts of marijuana and to possess marijuana in quantities up to an ounce.
The Drug Policy alliance contends that African Americans account for 22 percent of all marijuana arrests even tough they comprise only 7 percent of the population.