The Marc Steiner Show

June 30, 2010 – Segment 1

This Monday, leaders of the NAACP California chapter announced that they support the passing of a marijuana
legalization initiative to be voted on in California in November. The measure would allow people age 21 and older to possess an ounce of marijuana.

The president of the California NAACP Alice A. Huffman says, "The war on drugs is a failure and disproportionately targets young men
and women of color, particularly African-American males."

According to a study by the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice in 2009, 62% of marijuana arrests in California were of non-white suspects and 42% of arrests were individuals under age 20. This is despite the fact that studies show that blacks use marijuana at a lower rate then whites. (Source: LA Times)

What are you thoughts on the issue? Do you believe that laws regarding marijuana unfairly target black individuals?


Matthew Fogg – Retired Chief Deputy U.S. Marshall who now works with LEAP
(Law Enforcement Against Prohibition)

Leigh Maddox
– Retired Maryland State Police Captain and board member of LEAP.

Written by Marc Steiner

Marc Steiner

The Marc Steiner Show airs Monday thru Friday from 10AM to Noon on WEAA 88.9 FM. The show covers the topics that matter, engaging real voices, from Charm City to Cairo and beyond. Call us at 410.319.8888 or email us to participate live in the show, or share your comments on our site! Aren’t in Baltimore but want to listen? Stream the show live.


  1. Not only does the US have the highest rate of incarceration, but the racial disparity of arrests, convictions and imprisonment have become grossly pronounced. Black people do not use illegal drugs disproportionately to their numbers in the population. But nationwide they are arrested, convicted and imprisoned disproportionately. Thirty-seven percent of drug-offense arrests are black; 53 percent of convictions are of blacks; and 67 percent — two-thirds of all people imprisoned for drug offenses — are black. This is not because more black than white Americans use drugs: therefor there is no justification for racially targeted stops and searches or for racially targeted arrests and convictions.

    Much of the voting rights & victories won by the civil rights movement during the 1960s have effectively been eroded. Nearly 5 million people are now barred from voting because of felony disenfranchisement laws. The United States is the only industrial democracy that does this.

    Drug prohibition has become a successor system to Jim Crow laws in targeting black citizens, removing them from civil society and then barring them from the right to vote. If harsh sentences deterred illicit drug use, America would be “drug-free” by now. But that is not the case, and never will be. The drug war has given the “former land of the free” the highest incarceration rate in the world and disenfranchised millions of citizens. It is a cure worse than the disease.

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