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Kansas Official Goes 100% Racist to Defend Cannabis Prohibition

January 8, 2018
Kansas State Rep. Stephen Alford. (Orlin Wagner/AP)
It’s fairly common knowledge that America’s cannabis prohibition laws were enacted on a foundation of fear, ignorance, and racism. In the early 20th century, local officials in the Southwest began outlawing cannabis when they observed Hispanic men enjoying their mota after a hard day’s work. Harry Anslinger, America’s first drug czar, famously used the fear of race mixing to ramp up reefer madness and pass the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, which formally codified federal prohibition. Over the past 50 years, marijuana laws have been used selectively against people of color, resulting in our nation’s overincarceration crisis. Even today, black people are four times more likely to be stopped and arrested for marijuana possession than white people.

So it came as no surprise to see this video, unearthed earlier today, of Kansas State Rep. Steve Alford (R-Ulysses) explaining to a town hall meeting that he’s against cannabis legalization because of–well, frankly, because of African-Americans.

Black people, Alford said during the Saturday night gathering in Garden City, KS, were “users” who responded especially poorly to cannabis because of their “genetics” and “character makeup.”

Here’s the video, which must be seen to be believed:

“Basically any way you say it, marijuana is an entry drug into the higher drugs,” Alford said in response to a suggestion that legalization could raise money for the state of Kansas. “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.

“What was the reason why they did that?” he said. “One of the reasons why, I hate to say it, was that the African Americans, they were basically users and they basically responded the worst off to those drugs just because of their character makeup, their genetics and that.”

By Monday, word of Alford’s “explanation” had leaked to the press, and the backpedaling began.

“I was wrong, I regret my comments and I sincerely apologize to anyone whom I have hurt,” Alford said in a statement


Marijuana Prohibition Began With These Arrests in 1937

Bruce Barcott's Bio Image

Bruce Barcott

Leafly Senior Editor Bruce Barcott oversees news, investigations, and feature projects. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and author of Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America.

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  • Legalize420

    He ain’t wrong and he don’t regret it…he’s only apologizing obviously to cover up his sick beliefs. If he didn’t feel that way, he wouldn’t have said it. These fossils must be removed and forced out of office.

    Great example why cannabis needs to be removed from the CSA. It creates a breeding ground for things like this. The truth is out there, it can’t be denied. Sadly Sessions completely agrees with this as this is a great example of southern bred reefer madness style thinking that’s more than obsolete.

    We cannot have people this old and uninformed in office and still expect sensible decisions. But this goes to show prohibition was brought on by racism and fear.
    Only way to stop it is to keep flooding the media and other places with true facts and studies done elsewhere as because of their ignorant policy, they can’t be conducted here, and they won’t as these politicians live a life of luxury while the rest of us all suffer and live in fear….despite being a majority even!

    • freewheelinfranklin543

      I’m damn near as old as this old hick and I think he is an idiot. You do divide and conquer by age. You are as prejudiced as this moron snowflake!

      • Legalize420

        Tell me how anything in my comment implies me being prejudiced. The fact I pointed out this kinda thinking comes mostly from the southern states? What area is most behind concerning medical or decrim legislation? I don’t see how that’s prejudiced but tell me.

        I reread my post and I did not mean to imply anyone that’s old as that wouldn’t be true and is very wrong. I was enraged thinking about the fact he was using VERY old outdated debunked racist philosophies to promote criminalization of a harmless plant and many opponents of legalization are older folks from southern states with outdated thinking like this guy. I have a problem with jumbled thinking as I have aspergers so I usually reread my posts and edit them after, but I didn’t with that one. I’ll be typing something a response but start thinking about something else but in relation to the topic in the middle of my response I would type sometimes. I couldn’t believe how the first sentence came off and I’m glad you pointed that out.

        Thank you freewheeling ✌

  • Susan Simpson


  • Compassion HQ

    Kansas is where freedom and liberty go to die.

    • tom

      Haven’t these dinosaurs gotten the memo that we aren’t in the Dark Ages anymore? All the BS and talking points that have no foundation in fact at all but are used to implement policies in this nation must be challenged and cross examined if there is to be any REAL progress in this nation!

      • freewheelinfranklin543

        My gramps and his granny used to smoke weed on the farm in the early 1900’s. He told me she grew great weed and opium poppys too in her herb garden.They all liked to go to granny’s house. Pot and Opium were legal back then before 1914.

        • JohnnyR6356

          Ah for the power of time travel…it would be a hoot to hook your gramps up with some modern day bud!

        • tom

          Corporate profits have rolled over the American people like a giant bowling ball and only those who are well informed, who take the time and make the effort to be informed, get out of the way of the big bowling ball. TV is and has always been one thing- corporate pushing of products down our throats while at the same time espousing the ‘evils and dangers” of marijuana. I got tired of being lied to a LONG time ago and I am never going back. Push is going to come to shove in this instants! Cheech could beat Trump if the issue was trump against weed and Cheech for! Then we could get Tommy Chong for Press Corp so we can hear his great dialogue on the issues of the day.

  • freewheelinfranklin543

    Kansas is a corrupt state,a bankrupt state and a state where their young folks are leaving. They have literally murdered people in jail who were there for possessing Cannabis. Stay outa the place. It’s Oz,full of wicked witches and flying monkeys!

    • Icarus

      Here I am I’m still waiting to see if they will finally legalize marijuana in our state

  • Justin Thought

    I LOVE (to see) KANSAS (in my rear-view mirror)

  • ALberto

    This guys head is so far up his own anal pore that the first thing he sees upon opening his eyes each morning is the interior of his own colon. WTF!

  • Nickson Toussaint

    The subtle reminders that America is truly equal and racism is in the past ! ,…… #AmeriKKKa

  • JohnnyR6356

    If he had opened his mouth just a little wider he could have fit both feet in there!

  • Dante-the-cat

    What the actual fvck is in the water down there? Tell, your “law makers” that 1954 has come and gone.