Kansas state lawmaker has stepped down from two leadership posts after making controversial comments about African-Americans and marijuana.
A Kansas state lawmaker Steve Alford has resigned from two committee leadership jobs. Alford said over the weekend that African-Americans respond “worse” to marijuana because of “their genetics” and “character makeup.” He has since resigned from his posts as the chairman of the House Children and Seniors Committee and vice chairman of a legislative task force on child welfare, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.
Alford made the comments at a “Legislative Coffee” session. He argued against a county Democratic official who spoke in favor of legalizing marijuana in the state.
In addition, Alford argued that the Jim Crow-era ban on drugs were put in place to protect citizens from Black Americans’ drug use. Also, he opposes legalizing any use of marijuana because doing so opens the door to harder drugs.
“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,” Alford said.
“What was the reason why they did that? One of the reasons why, I hate to say it, the African-Americans. They were basically users and they basically responded the worst to those drugs just because of their character makeup, their genetics and that.”
Alford later apologized for the comments in a statement, according to The Hutchinson News, after facing a major backlash from Republicans and Democrats.
“I was wrong, I regret my comments and I sincerely apologize to anyone whom I have hurt,” Alford said.
Here is his statement:
“Effective immediately, I hereby resign request that the Speaker replace me as chairman of the House Committee on Children and Seniors, and as vice-chairman of the Child Welfare System Task Force, and respectfully request that the Speaker appoint appropriate replacements.”
Here is the video from Saturday, Jan. 7th 2017: