The Democratic Party of Alabama launched a “free weed” website on 4/20 this year to draw attention to the state’s stalled cannabis legalization efforts, AL.com reports. Although the Deep South state has a medical cannabis program, decriminalization and adult-use proposals have failed in the Republican-controlled legislature in recent years.
The FreeWeedAL.com website draws attention to the disproportionate effect the “Alabama War on Marijuana” has on Black Alabamians using a 2018 Alabama Appleseed Center for Law & Justice and Southern Poverty Law Center study. The data found that Black cannabis consumers in Alabama were four times more likely to be arrested for cannabis than their white peers, despite similar rates of cannabis use between the two groups, the report says.
“Alabama’s Republican politicians seem hellbent on wasting money criminalizing ordinary people, ruining lives in the process,” said Chris England, chair of the State Democratic Party. “Rather than pursuing policies that create opportunity and make our state more equitable, taxpayers are now strapped to a $1.3 billion prison project.”
England believes legalizing cannabis “can bring new economic opportunities to Alabama” and “correct decades-old policies based on outright racism.”
State Republican Party Chair John Wahl issued a statement saying the Alabama GOP supports “traditional family values” and “recreational use of marijuana does not encourage these principles.” He called the website “a stunt.”
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