Citing the disproportionate toll marijuana arrests take on African-Americans, the group said it supports the November ballot issue aimed at legalizing marijuana in California. As our Los Angeles medical marijuana attorneys recently reported, the California initiative to legalize marijuana had a slim margin of support in a recent poll of voters.
The NAACP said the Center on Juvenile Crime and Criminal Justice showed that non-whites accounted for 62 percent of California arrests involving marijuana charges in 2009. In 42 percent of those cases, the nonwhite suspects were under the age of 20. The organization said that, despite the fact that blacks use marijuana at lower rates than whites, they were up to four-times more likely to be charged in California’s 25 largest counties.
“We are joining a growing number of medical professionals, labor organizations, law enforcement authorities, local municipalities and approximately 56% of the public in saying that it is time to decriminalize the use of marijuana,” California NAACP President Alice Huffman said in a statement.
If approved in November, the measure would allow people over the age of 21 to possess up to an ounce of marijuana. And marijuana sales would be taxed, potentially raising billions of dollars for cash-starved governments.
Opponents contend that legalization would increase crime and drug dependency.
The CANNABIS LAW GROUP represents medical marijuana patients, collectives and growers and has built a reputation for high-powered, aggressive legal representation of the medical marijuana industry in Southern California. Call 949-375-4734 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.