The California State Conference of the NAACP's president, Alice Huffman, has aroused the ire of some African-American religious and community leaders for endorsing a statewide marijuana-legalization ballot item, the Los Angeles Times reported July 8.
Huffman drew fire after the California NAACP chapter came out in favor of Proposition 19, which would legalize marijuana in the state.
Bishop Ron Allen, speaking for the International Faith-Based Coalition, asserted that the NAACP shouldn't “advocate for blacks to stay high,” that crime would go up, and that there would be “more drug babies” if Prop 19 was approved by voters.
Huffman refused to step down or retract the organization's endorsement.
“Prop. 19 is about eliminating enforcement practices that are targeting and creating a permanent underclass of citizens, of African-Americans,” she said. Huffman cited a Drug Policy Alliance report that showed that African-Americans make up less than seven percent of the population but account for 22 percent of marijuana arrests.