GOP Lawmaker Apologizes for Saying Black People Abuse Weed Because ‘Genetics’

A Republican Kansas legislator apologized late Monday night for employing openly racist logic to explain why he believes marijuana should remain illegal. “Marijuana is an entry drug into the higher drugs,” State Rep. Jim Alford said at a legislative “coffee session” over the weekend. “What you really need to do is go back in the ’30s, when they outlawed all types of drugs in Kansas, across the United States. What was the reason why they did that?... 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.” No black people were among the 60-plus attendees at the event, The Garden City Telegram reported. “I apologize, I regret my comments and I sincerely apologize to anyone whom I have hurt,” Alford later said in a statement, according to the Telegram, emphasizing that he was just referring to “damaging effects on the African-American community.”