Members of the Congressional Black Caucus - a political organization made up of African-American members of the United States Congress - have officially called for the decriminalization of marijuana.
The group said that their position is supported by an overwhelming majority of its 48 members, citing the fact that prohibition of the drug has disproportionately affected Black communities, allowing for greater police authority and higher arrest rates.
Despite the fact that white people use cannabis roughly as much and as often as Black people, Black people are three times more likely to be arrested than white people for cannabis offences. Even in states that have legalized recreational use, people of color are more likely to be arrested for cannabis-related offences than white people.
CBC chairman Rep. Cedric Richmond told the Associated Press that the war on drugs has been a “war on Black and brown communities.”
They also said they believe that overturning prohibition would reduce the number of Black people in prison, and that they choose to support reforms that would have a greater impact on bolstering the community, instead.
Among these reforms is the removal of marijuana from the most dangerous class of drugs, which they believe will help foster necessary research on marijuana.
Hopefully, the group's lobbying efforts will provide a powerful backing behind the effort to put an end to prohibition in the country.