Los Angeles, CA: The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) passed a resolution this week calling for an end to America's so-called 'war' on drugs.
The resolution, enacted Tuesday during the organization's 102th annual convention in Los Angeles, calls for alternative to incarceration for non-violent drug offenders and acknowledges that existing policies disproportionately sanction minorities.
"Studies show that all racial groups abuse drugs at similar rates, but the numbers also show that African Americans, Hispanics and other people of color are stopped, searched, arrested, charged, convicted, and sent to prison for drug-related charges at a much higher rate," stated Alice Huffman, President of the California State Conference of the NAACP. "This dual system of drug law enforcement that serves to keep African-Americans and other minorities under lock and key and in prison must be exposed and eradicated."
Last fall, the California NAACP expressed its "unconditional support" for Proposition 19: The Regulate, Control & Tax Cannabis Initiative, which sought to legalize and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol.
Once ratified by the board of directors in October, the resolution will encourage the more than 1200 active NAACP units across the country to organize campaigns advocating for changes in state and federal drug policies.
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization.
The full title of the NAACP's resolution is "A Call to End the War on Drugs, Allocate Funding to Investigate Substance Abuse Treatment, Education, and Opportunities in Communities of Color for A Better Tomorrow."