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NAACP Endorses Marijuana Legalization Legislation In Pennsylvania

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NAACP marijuana legalizationBy Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director

The Pennsylvania Chapter of the NAACP endorsed Senate Bill 528, legislation that would regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol, during a press conference in Harrisburg. SB 528 was introduced earlier this year by State Senator Daylin Leach*.

Speaking at the press conference the current chair of the Legal Redress Committee for the Cheltenham Area Branch of the NAACP, David Scott, stated, “The war on drugs is a catastrophic failure.”

Sponsor Daylin Leach welcomed the group’s support. “This is decimating the minority community. This is a problem that is particularly acute,” said Senator Leach.

More coverage of this endorsement can be found herehere, and here.

Sponsors of Senate Bill 528 hope to bring it up for a committee hearing in the fall.

A recent report released by the ACLU, The War on Marijuana: In Black and White, revealed that Pennsylvania was one of the worst states when it came to racial disparities in marijuana arrests. According to their data, an African American in Pennsylvania is over five times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white Pennsylvanians, despite using at similar rates.

*Senator Leach is also running for the US House of Representatives and has received support from NORML PAC. You can learn more about Senator Leach’s campaign here or the NORML PAC here. You can learn more about the ACLU report here.

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  • wowFAD

    I CAN TALK IN ALL CAPS, TOO.
    And yes, let’s look at the Supreme Court — Five conservative judges.
    And yes, let’s look at the Senate — Democrat controlled, which is why the GOP has turned the Filibuster into something that was rare, into SOP.
    And yes, let’s look at the White House — sorry, yes, he’s black, get over it.
    BTW — where is your evidence that more Republicans are sympathetic to cannabis law reform, exactly? Because I have lots of evidence to the contrary. Specifically, the co-sponsors of every piece of federal legislation — the only Republican sponsor, one guy from CA — the other 12, all Democrats. Who started the drug war? Nixon. Who kept it going, and sold states on Three Strikes? Reagan, especially Nancy. The majority of the states that have decriminalized, legalized for medical use, or legalized for recreational use — deep, deep blue states.
    So by all means, prove me wrong. Pony up some evidence to back up your ALL CAPS claims. Until then, you can sit down and keep your fiat assertions to yourself.

  • dgand

    Recently our president visited “the beach” where it all happened. And he said a few words about “the moment”. I wish he would act on those words cause IMO he would stop this war and end all of this foolish business. He is in the “spot” to make a difference in this world i feel.

  • Keith

    First of all more democrats are against the legislation of smoke than Republicans and they supported the voting rights before the democratic plantation of minorities began, Get your facts straight, LOOK WHO IS IN CHARGE OF THE SUPREME COURT SENATE and WHITE HOUSE BEFORE, THE HEALTH CARE MANDATE WILL SCREW THE YOUNGER GENERATION, THEY ARE JUST TO CLOSE MINDED TO LOOK AT THE WHOLE PICTURE.

  • stellarvoyager

    Excellent post!

  • wowFAD

    Sorry, but the rightwing is on a stop-the-vote binge. Scalia and his troll pals on the SCOTUS gutted the Voting Rights Act, specifically to discourage minorities from voting. Recall Scalia’s remarks about the constitutionally protected right to vote, which is, in his opinion, racial entitlement. We’ve known since Nixon that the drug war was the most effective and least questioned method of suppressing the youth and minority vote — 48 states out of 50 restrict your right to vote with a felony conviction.

    I’m just shocked there isn’t more outrage over these statistics. Our incarceration rate is higher than every other nation, and if you’re a minority in America, you’re more likely to be arrested and put in jail HERE than in any other nation on the planet.

    Why? Because Republicans decided, back in the 1970s, to embrace something despicable called The Southern Strategy — the GOP actively decided that they would become the anti-minority party to bring every bigot racist disenfranchised by the Voting Rights Act under their tent. They don’t go by any accurate nomenclature (they dislike being called bigots) opting instead to be called “social conservatives.” That’s the big-tent name to include not only racists, but also misogynists, homophobes, prudes, zealots, and bigots — anyone who wants to hate an entire category of our citizenry for who they are, what they look like, how they were born, etc. The GOP – the party for “social conservatives” – because they all hate the same people.
    And now that the Voting Rights Act has been trounced, “social conservatives” around the country are going to do their absolute best to make it as difficult as possible for women, youths, and minorities to vote. And I’m sad to say that preventing the legalization of cannabis is a BIG part of it.
    Think I’m wrong? In one or two Southern States, despite all of their rhetoric about their fundamental right to the 2nd Amendment, you lose your 2nd Amendment rights if you have a cannabis possession charge on your record. You do not, repeat DO NOT lose your 2nd Amendment rights if you commit rape, murder, battery, armed robbery, or any other violent offense you can name. If you think that isn’t justice, you’re right, it isn’t. It’s an excuse to not only ensure no one gets their voting rights back, it’s also a quick way of turning young men (mostly minorities) into repeat business for private prisons.
    Looking at the racial discrimination in drug arrests (and most arrests, in general) President Obama and AG Holder, both black men, are in charge of the most racist department of the Federal Government — The Department of Justice.