Kansas Republican Representative Steve Alford would like his constituents to know that when it comes to legalizing marijuana, he’s not only against it—he’s against it for a super-racist reason.
Alford, who represents Kansas’s 124th district in the state house, was speaking at an event over the weekend when he was asked for his thoughts on legal weed—and the potential cash boon it might offer.
After denouncing weed as a gateway to “higher drugs,” Alford offered this totally normal-person explanation for why marijuana is bad (emphasis mine):
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 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 off those drugs just because their character makeup, their genetics, and that.
Let’s go through this step by step, shall we? According to Alford:
- Drugs are bad
- Black people used drugs
- Black people are psychologically and genetically more likely to “respond the worst” to drugs.
Alford defended his comments on Monday, telling reporters from the Wichita Eagle that an advocate for legalization at the weekend event was “the one that brought the racial part in.”
“I’m about as far from being a racist as I can get,” Alford added. Thank god nobody asked him about jazz.