alice huffman

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California: Marijuana Enforcement Nearly 4 Times More Severe For Blacks

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Black and Latino Boys and Young Men at Particular Risk, Despite Similar Marijuana Use Rates Across Racial Lines

California to Vote on Removing Criminal Penalties and Legal Regulation of Marijuana This November

New data analyses conducted by the Drug Policy Alliance and ACLU of California find that racial disparities in marijuana policing have persisted, following the reduction of low-level marijuana possession from a misdemeanor to an infraction in 2011.

Possession of under an ounce of marijuana is punishable in California by a base fine up to $100 (plus substantial fees).

Despite marijuana usage rates being similar across racial and ethnic lines, data provided by the Los Angeles and Fresno Police Departments show that black and Latino people in those cities were issued marijuana possession citations at higher rates than white people in the years immediately following the penalty change from misdemeanor to infraction.

The data also reveal that marijuana possession enforcement falls mostly on young people. In both cities, the majority of infractions were issued to persons 29 years of age and younger.

California: NAACP Endorses Adult Use of Marijuana Act

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Proponents of a California ballot measure to legalize, control, regulate and tax adult use of marijuana announced today that the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) has been formally endorsed by the state NAACP, comprised of 52 branches and more than 30 youth chapters statewide and part of the nation’s oldest civil rights organization.

NAACP – which voted to endorse over the weekend -- joins a coalition which already includes physicians, environmental leaders, business owners, small farmers and social justice advocates.

“Creating a legal, responsible and regulated framework for marijuana is a predominant civil rights issue and it’s long overdue,” said Alice Huffman, longtime president of California State NAACP. “The current system is counterproductive, financially wasteful and racially biased, and the people of California have repeatedly called for it to be fixed.

“This measure will ensure that California is not unjustly criminalizing responsible adults while also ensuring that our children are protected while the State receives hundreds of millions of new dollars for vital government and community-based programs,” Huffman said.

Last week, the AUMA was cleared for circulation. The official title and summary are available at: http://oag.ca.gov/system/files/initiatives/pdfs/Title%20and%20Summary%20...?

California: Drug Policy Alliance Releases Videos of 3 Marijuana Symposia

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Top Experts in Policy, Science and Regulation Discuss the Public Health, Social Justice and Environmental Issues Related to Marijuana Legalization

In an effort to educate the public and discuss pressing issues related to the legalization of marijuana in California in 2016, the Drug Policy Alliance held three symposia, each focusing on a different aspect of marijuana regulation. Videos from those symposia are now available online to view for free.

The first symposia, held in Los Angeles, addressed issues related to marijuana use and public health. Speakers included Alison Holcomb from the ACLU, Tista Ghosh from the Colorado Department of Public Health and the environment, and Rep. Jonathan Singer from Colorado. The goal of this symposium was to address concerns related to how marijuana legalization might impact road safety, teen drug use and criminal activity. This symposium can be viewed in its entirety or by individual speaker here.

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