The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has officially come out in support of Pennsylvania Senate Bill 528, a measure which would legalize the possession, private cultivation and state-licensed sales of cannabis for adults. The proposal is sponsored by Senator Daylin Leach, and currently sits in the Senate Law and Justice Committee.
“The war on drugs is a catastrophic failure,” stated David Scott, chair of the Legal Redress Committee for the Cheltenham Area Branch of the NAACP and a former deputy police chief. Scott points to a recent report released by the ACLU which finds that African Americans are four or more times likelier to be arrest for cannabis than those who are Caucasian, despite their rate of consumption being roughly the same.
“This is decimating the minority community. This is a problem that is particularly acute,” said Senator Leach.
The senator points out that more of his colleagues haven’t stepped forward in support of the measure not because they disagree with it, but because it’s “politically difficult”.
“My belief is if this bill was put up to a secret ballot, it would pass,” he said, “The Senate doesn’t look for controversy. Few people have said it’s a bad idea. They said it’s politically difficult.”
Residents of Pennsylvania should be