Black News, Entertainment, Style and Culture - HuffPost Black Voices
iOS app Android app More
October 24, 2014

Ferguson Protester: Things Will 'Never Be The Same' If Darren Wilson Isn't Indicted

Ferguson
Scott Olson via Getty Images

Chris Paul: Becoming A Mentor Like The Ones Who Helped Me Succeed

Chris Paul
NBA Cares

Do Toni Morrison's Papers Belong At Princeton Or Howard?

Toni Morrison
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Americans Are Really Confused About Which African Countries Have Ebola

Africa
David Santiago Garcia via Getty Images

12 Of The Sketchiest Things The DEA Has Ever Done (That We Know Of)

Drug Enforcement Administration Seal
MANDEL NGAN via Getty Images

WATCH
Mo'ne Davis' Chevy Ad Will Leave You With A Lump In Your Throat

Money Davis
YouTube

Darren Wilson's Lawyers Say They're Not Responsible For Leaks

Michael Brown Autopsy
ASSOCIATED PRESS

30 Numbers That Prove Domestic Violence Is An American Epidemic

Black Woman Abuse
isitsharp via Getty Images

Boko Haram Suspected Of Kidnapping 25 More Girls In Nigeria

Boko Haram
PIUS UTOMI EKPEI via Getty Images

DOJ Condemns Leaks In Michael Brown Case

Michael Brown
AP

Bloomberg Businessweek's Obama Cover Is 'Too Cool'

Obama Cover
Bloomberg Businessweek

Get Set For The Solar Eclipse

Partial Solar Eclipse
DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY via Getty Images

The Ebola Outbreak And The Void Left By The Absence Of Government

Ebola
Fuse via Getty Images

Forensic Expert Urges Caution On Brown Autopsy Analysis

Michael Brown Autopsy
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Giant Settlement Promises 'More Humane Justice System' For The Poor

Cuomo
Spencer Platt via Getty Images

Artist Organizes Community Gun Buyback In New Orleans

Violence

13 Women Have Accused Bill Cosby Of Rape, So Why Has America Forgiven Him?

Bill Cosby
Ethan Miller via Getty Images

Football in America -- How We (Don't) Talk About Race

Nfl Tackle
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Report: Several Black Witnesses Back Up Darren Wilson's Account Of Mike Brown Shooting

Darren Wilson
ASSOCIATED PRESS

UNC Officials Failed To Stop 18-Year Long Student Athlete Academic Fraud

Unc Football
Raleigh News & Observer via Getty Images

Michael Brown Autopsy Released

Michael Brown
AP

These Biased Ideas Are Presented As Fact In Texas Curriculum Standards

Texas Textbooks
ASSOCIATED PRESS

#Muslims4Ferguson Takes To Twitter To Protest Police Brutality

Ferguson Protests
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Cigarette Company Finally Bans Workers From Smoking At Work

Camel Cigarettes
Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

Examining The 'Intolerable Levels Of Violence' Faced By Gay Jamaicans

Jamaica Gay Violence
ASSOCIATED PRESS

How To Make It As A Black Sitcom: Be Careful How You Talk About Race

Blackish
Troy Dunham

Ferguson Protesters Anticipate Bad News In Michael Brown Case

Ferguson
Scott Olson via Getty Images

'Mystery Woman' Involved In Teddy Pendergrass' Paralyzing Accident Speaks Out

Tenika Watson Woman From Pendergrass Accident
OWN

Ebola Survivors Feared, Even Though They're Instrumental In Stopping The Disease

Ebola Survivor
John Moore via Getty Images

Next Time Someone Says 'White Privilege Isn't Real,' Show Them This

Social Mobility
Reeves and Sawhill

The State Of Drug Use In America, In 9 Maps

Beer Pills
Jupiterimages via Getty Images

'Django Unchained' Actress And Boyfriend Charged With Lewd Conduct

Daniele Watts
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Michael Sam Cut From Cowboys' Practice Squad

Michael Sam
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Missouri Gov Forms Commission To Look At Ferguson Unrest

Jay Nixon
ASSOCIATED PRESS

How 'Hip-Hop, As Usual, Is Ahead Of The Game'

Wiz Khalifa
Frazer Harrison via Getty Images

Labor Secretary: Lack Of Paid Parental Leave In U.S. Is Embarrassing

Labor Secretary Tom Perez
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Missouri State Senator Arrested During Ferguson Protests

Jamilah Nasheed
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Follow HuffPost

    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    1. Most Popular on HuffPost
    2. Latest News
    3. Black Voices
    4. View all RSS feeds

Why Jasmine Guy Used That Accent On 'A Different World'

Jasmine Guy Whitley Gilbert A Different World
NBCU Photo Bank

Amber Rose Tweets Wiz Khalifa: 'I Still Love You No Matter What'

Amber Rose Wiz
C Flanigan via Getty Images

Dave Chappelle And Paul McCartney Are Killing Wyatt Cenac's Career

Wyatt
TBS

Halle Berry Wants You To Take Your Clothes Off

Scandale
Scandale

Comedian's Idea For New Redskins Logo: A Sunburnt White Person

Dan Snyder
Twitter

How To Look Like Gugu Mbatha-Raw's 'Elle' Cover

Gugu Mbatha Raw
Paola Kudacki for ELLE

Marching Band Covers Beyoncé's 'Single Ladies,' Deserves A Ring On It

Fsu Single Ladies
YouTube / Karrissa Wimberley

Kanye West Takes Kim Kardashian On Surprise Birthday Getaway

Kim Kanye
Chelsea Lauren via Getty Images

Zoe Saldana Wants This Word To Disappear

Zoe Saldana
Albert L. Ortega via Getty Images

Alfonso Ribeiro Injured Doing The Carlton Dance

Alfonso Ribeiro Fresh Prince
NBC via Getty Images

CaCee Cobb And Donald Faison Expecting Second Child

Cacee Cobb Donald Faison
Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

Revisit The Grit And Glamour Of '70s and '80s NYC

Angel

'Racism Insurance' Is The Full Coverage Policy A LOT Of People Need

Racism Insurance
YouTube / Dear White People

Exploring The Graffiti Hidden In New York's Abandoned Military Base

Tilden

Hannibal Buress Opens Up About Bill Cosby Rape Jokes

Hannibal Buress
Cindy Ord via Getty Images

13-Year-Old Kim K Answers All Your Questions

Kim K
Youtube

London Richards Is Your New R&B Obsession

London Richards
Jared Thomas

Diddy And Nas Set For Alicia Keys' Annual Black Ball

Diddy And Nas
Richard Bord via Getty Images

WATCH:
Baby Spinach Has Never Sounded More Hardcore

Ice Cube
ABC

'Saturday Night Live' Gets More Diverse

Leslie Jones Nbc
NBC

Wyatt Cenac Describes His 'Physical Altercation' With An 'SNL' Cast Member

Wyatt Cenac
Mike Coppola via Getty Images

Kerry Washington Talks 'Awkward' 'Scandal' Sex Scenes

Allure Photo
Carter Smith

For The Love Of God, People, Do Not Dress Up As Ray Rice For Halloween

Ray Rice
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Macy Gray: 'I Was A Massive A**hole'

Macy Gray On Where Are They Now
OWN

Afroman: 'After Marijuana Is Legalized, I'm Not A Criminal'

Afroman
HuffPost Live

16 Times Floyd Mayweather Jr. Bragged About Having More Money Than You

Floyd Mayweather
Dan Harr/Invision/AP

North West Heads To A Pumpkin Patch In Leather Pants

North West Pumpkin Patch
Instagram

Tyra Banks Proves You Can Be A Feminist And A Runway Model

Tyra Banks
Michael Tran via Getty Images

Beyonce Dons A Floral Romper For Night Out With Adele

Beyonce
Keith Hewitt via Getty Images

California NAACP Says Marijuana Should be Legalized

Comments (12)


The NAACP's California chapter recently backed legislation to legalize marijuana, stating that existing laws are biased against minorities. The group also highlighted the high arrest rate of African Americans, claiming that it dramatically exceeds that of whites.

"Justice is the quality of being just and fair, and these laws have been neither just nor fair," said Alice Huffman, president of the California State Conference of the NAACP.

The measure, which is going to be on the November ballot, would allow residents to legally grow small gardens of marijuana, letting individual counties and cities decide whether to allow the marijuana to be sold.

Not everyone is happy about this measure though. International Faith-Based Coalition President Ron Allen is against the NAACP's backing of the measure and is vocal is in his opposition.

"The NAACP does not represent the African American community when it comes to legalizing marijuana," Allen said.

Allen might be in the minority on this issue, however, as there are many community activists who feel that the support of the NAACP will signal broader backing of the measure.

"There have not been high-profile organizations or elected officials within African American communities to say enough is enough. We have to end marijuana prohibition. This is really a first," said Stephen Gutwillig, California director of the Drug Policy Alliance.

Allen is correct in that the NAACP doesn't speak for the entire black community on the marijuana issue. But the truth is that the group doesn't speak for the entire community on many issues, including illegal immigration and support for Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court.

What must be remembered, however, is that the NAACP leadership also understands that it doesn't speak for the entire black community, primarily because it would be impossible for the entire black community to be represented by one voice. The group is a strong advocate for African Americans, and the world is better with the NAACP than it would be without it.

On the issue of legalizing drugs, there are clear benefits to seeing marijuana as a public health issue rather than one that involves criminalization. A little weed has not, to my knowledge, hurt anyone. Although I've never tried it myself, I am not overly concerned with its legalization. There are also tremendous tax benefits to cash-strapped communities, especially California, where taxation of the multibillion-dollar marijuana industry would be a huge step in helping the state overcome its serious budget crisis.

A final point that must be acknowledged, and Allen addresses this quite well, is the fact that the black community is quite conservative. It's hard to imagine black church leadership ever standing behind the legalization of marijuana, or any drug, which certainly reminds us that the NAACP will likely get even more resistance on this issue.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and the author of the new book 'Black American Money.' To have Dr. Boyce's commentary delivered to your e-mail, please click here.

Comments: (11)

Add a comment

Page 1 of 2

Add a Comment

Please keep your comments relevant to this blog entry. Email addresses are never displayed but they are required to confirm your comments. When you enter your name and email address, you'll be sent a link to confirm your comment, and a password. To leave another comment, just use that password."

Most Commented Articles

Daily Drama

The Best Clips From TV's Hottest Shows


More Daily Drama >>

Get Closer to BV

  • slider Image
  • slider Image
  • slider Image

BLACK MUSIC NEWS
The latest news and updates on a multitude of music stars.
Check It Out!

BLACK MUSIC NOTES

       

MEN OF MCCAFÉ SEARCH
McDonald's continues its nationwide search to find five community-service minded black men during this year's CIAA tournament.


LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD MEN

       
 

Find a Message Board

Discover conversations on everyone from Barack to Beyonce. There are nearly 50 forums, so click on a category below and find the right one for you.