About a year ago, United States Senator Rand Paul (R - Kentucky) said, "the last two presidents could conceivably have been put in jail for their drug use.
“Look what would have happened. It would have ruined their lives. They got lucky. But a lot of poor kids, particularly in the inner city, don’t get lucky. They don’t have good attorneys. They go to jail for these things. And I think it’s a big mistake” [Yager, Jordy (24 March 2013). Sen. Paul: Obama, Bush ‘lucky’ they weren’t arrested for smoking pot as kids. The Hill. Retrieved on 15 October 2014.].
In 2013, the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) both cited a report that said, "A black person is 3.73 times more likely to be arrested on marijuana charges than a white person in the United States."
The ACLU took it a step further, declaring the war on marijuana a failure that is a waste of time, a waste of money, racially biased, and a strain on the criminal justice system.
Fact-checking organizations say the ACLU claims are true. Young black men and women, who aren't as lucky as Obama and Bush, frequently have their lives ruined due to the failed war on marijuana. But two black Democrats want to keep the conflict going.
At a recent candidate forum, hosted by the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, Georgia state Senators Vincent Fort and Donzella James publicly opposed the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana.
"Incumbent Vincent Fort (D - Atlanta) said legalizing recreational marijuana will have a detrimental effect on District 39 communities," read a report in the South Fulton Neighbor newspaper.
"Senator James said, having lost her teenage son to a marijuana and alcohol-impaired driver, she can only support medical cannabis use."
The Senate districts James and Fort represent in the Georgia General Assembly are both majority black. The 35th district, represented by James, has a black population of 64%. The 39th district, represented by Fort, has a black population of 65%.
In 2010, blacks made up 31% of Georgia's citizens. That year, 32,473 people were arrested in Georgia for marijuana possession. 64% of those arrested for marijuana possession in Georgia were black.