A white Kansas lawmaker who suggested at a public forum that blacks were predisposed to abusing drugs resigned from two legislative committee leadership jobs but did not give up his seat in the Legislature. Republican Rep. Steve Alford, from the western Kansas town of Ulysses, faced calls on social media to leave office altogether from critics who saw his remarks as racist. And a black House member said Alford should resign from the Legislature.
During the public meeting…in Garden City, Alford discussed his opposition to legalizing any use of marijuana and referenced a time in the 1930s when it was outlawed.
Kansas is one of the few remaining states that haven’t legalized some form of medical marijuana, including low-THC marijuana derivatives that can’t get a user high. But the legalization question has been percolating in Kansas in recent years.
The 75-year-old Alford said marijuana and other drugs were prohibited partly because blacks responded “the worst” to the drugs “because of their character makeup – their genetics and that.” None of the roughly 60 people in the crowd was black.
The Garden City Telegram first reported on the statement Monday and posted a video of it to YouTube. Alford apologized later that day, saying: “I was wrong, I regret my comments, and I sincerely apologize to anyone whom I have hurt.”
Read full, original post: Kansas lawmaker quits posts but keeps his seat after remarks about blacks’ “genetics”