The NAACP of Pennsylvania endorsed a bill to regulate and tax marijuana last week.
Sen. Daylin Leach (D) introduced SB 528, or the Regulate Marijuana Act, in early April. The bill would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and to grow up to 12 plants. The bill includes safeguards to protect against driving under the influence and requires that the state develop a regulatory framework for overseeing marijuana sales. If enacted, Pennsylvania would become the third state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana for adults.
“The war on drugs is a catastrophic failure, particularly for people of color,” said David Scott, a spokesman for the NAACP and a former deputy chief of police. “In Pennsylvania, blacks are 5.2 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites – even though they use drugs at the same rate.
This support comes in light of a shattering ACLU report, “The War on Marijuana in Black and White,” which found that there is significant, nationwide racial bias in marijuana arrests.
Sen. Leach has welcomed the group’s support.