U.S. Senate candidate Jack Graham denies 'smoking marijuana is part of black culture' remarks

Candidate denies 'black culture' pot remarks
Posted at 9:09 PM, Jun 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-10 01:36:42-04

As a U.S. Senate candidate, Republican Jack Graham is traveling Colorado, trying to get your vote.  

But now, he's getting attention from his time as Colorado State University's athletic director. In a profile piece, the Denver Post cites sources, claiming Graham or head football coach Jim McElwain said "smoking marijuana is part of black culture."   

"'Smoking marijuana is part of black culture.' Did you ever say that phrase?” asked Denver7 reporter Marc Stewart. “Absolutely not," Graham replied.

The remark was allegedly made during a meeting with alumni, discussing graduation rates of black student athletes.

"That's not something either one of us would say, either one of us would think, and certainly not something either one of us believe. It's a preposterous statement."

Graham told Denver7 that at the time, drug use was high among new recruits, many of whom were black, from inner city areas in the south -- he was working on a plan so they would thrive and not fail drug tests.              

Yet, hours after the story was published, Graham's opponent in the Republican primary, Ryan Frazier released this statement to Denver7:

Jack Graham doesn't understand 'young black culture.'

To say that marijuana use is hand and hand [sic] with young black culture is simply irresponsible, insensitive and outrageous.

Drug use is not a minority problem but an issue touching many American families. Coloradans need a U.S. Senator who is a problem solver who is working for solutions and not scapegoats."

"I think he's a very good man. I think he's sincere in his statements. But I think he's missed the mark. He doesn't have nearly enough information to make those kind of statements of who I am, what I am, and what my orientation is towards black student athletes," said Graham.


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