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NAACP leader under fire for backing pot initiative

July 7, 2010 | 11:55 am

More than 20 African American religious and community leaders called Wednesday for California NAACP President Alice Huffman to resign after she endorsed a November ballot measure to legalize marijuana in the state.

Bishop Ron Allen and other members of the International Faith-Based Coalition said Proposition 19 would hurt the African American community and questioned why Huffman would back the measure.

"Why would the state NAACP advocate for blacks to stay high," Allen said at a Capitol press conference. "It’s going to cause crime to go up. There will be more drug babies."

Huffman recently explained her endorsement by saying that African Americans are disproportionately affected by the enforcement of marijuana laws. A higher percentage of blacks are sent to jail then are believed to use the drug, she said. Huffman did not return calls Wednesday seeking comment.

-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento