The Kansas state lawmaker recently stated African Americans had the worst response to the drug because of their "character makeup, their genetics".
Republican state Rep. Steve Alford previously argued against the legalization of marijuana while speaking at a Garden City hospital Saturday, reports The Washington Post. "One of the reasons why, I hate to say it, was that the African Americans, they were basically users and they basically responded the worst off of those drugs just because of their character makeup, their genetics and that".
At the meeting, The 75-year-old Alford argued against legalizing any use of marijuana. Alford suggested that the reasons behind the stiff ban on intoxicants at the time was basically to protect other Americans from the consequences of drug abuse by Blacks.
While commenting against marijuana use, Alford had cited the historic record for why so many drugs, including cannabis, were outlawed in the United States in the '30's.
Alford's brief "history lesson" echoed ideas postulated by man named Harry Anslinger, the founding commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics who called for the prohibition of the cannabis plant in the 1930s, The Garden City Telegram reported.
"I think that is outrageous", said Sen.
Carl Brewer, a Democratic candidate for governor told local news station Alford's comments were inappropriate for a politician in 2018. A 2016 study by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health actually noted that white people were slightly more likely than black people to meet diagnostic criteria for substance-abuse disorder.
Alford is the chair of the state's Child Welfare System Task Force and the House Committee on Children and Seniors.
Alford could face discipline for his comments from the House Republican leadership, but the state's Speaker of the House Republican Ron Ryckman, said it was too early to tell what punishment might be appropriate for Alford.
Alford said he has "seen firsthand how drug abuse destroys lives", including in his own family, and said he is "committed to fighting the spread of addiction in our state".
"We were taken aback by his statements, and disappointed with them and (in) no way (do) they reflect the position of the Kansas House or the policies that we will produce", Ryckman said.
"Basically, the question of marijuana was coming up, and basically, what I'm really saying is that I'm against marijuana because it's an entry drug into everything else", he said to the Capital-Journal.
He apologized in a written statement Monday after initially defending himself and saying he was "about as far from being a racist as I can get".