A Republican member of the Kansas House of Representatives said over the weekend that cannabis should be illegal because the character and genetics of black people make them more susceptible to use the plant.
Rep. Steve Alford of Ulysses, Kansas, made the racially charged comments during a town hall meeting on Saturday while arguing against marijuana legalization.
Alford said black people were “users” and responded worst to marijuana because of their “character makeup” and genetics. He also attributed the U.S. decision to ban marijuana in the 1930s to drug abuse by black Americans.
Alford later apologized for his comments after facing a barrage of criticism.
“I was wrong, I regret my comments and I sincerely apologize to anyone whom I have hurt,” Alford later said in a statement, according to The Topeka Capital-Journal. He has served in the Kansas House since 2011.
Other Kansas representatives criticized Alford after his comments became public.
“I think that is outrageous,” Democratic state Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau said, according to the Capital-Journal. “For a sitting state representative to say that, I just can’t believe it. You can’t put everybody in one category. He should be more of a statesman and get facts.”
Watch Alford during his remarks on African Americans below:
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