The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), one of the nation’s oldest civil rights groups, said at its Colorado-Montana-Wyoming state conference on Thursday that its members support Colorado’s marijuana legalization ballot initiative.

“We are committed to changing policies that result in a disproportionate number of African-Americans and other people of color being introduced into the criminal justice system,” NAACP chapter president Rosemary Harris Lytle said, according to a media advisory.

“With this endorsement, NAACP activists in Colorado take a significant step: calling for equity, justice and more effective policy — such as the proposal to regulate marijuana like alcohol in our state,” she added. “The flawed drug policies that so negatively impact our communities must be replaced with policy that is not disproportionately punitive based on race but that helps us get to the root causes of drug use and abuse in America.”

The group said that marijuana prohibition has dramatically affected African-American community in Colorado, where just 4 percent of the general population is black but 20 percent of the prison population is black. And in Denver, where marijuana is supposedly decriminalized, a recent police review found that African-Americans account for 31 percent of marijuana arrests, despite making up just 11 percent of the general population.

Colorado’s Amendment 64, otherwise known as the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, would allow adults to possess up to one ounce of dried and cured marijuana buds, or up to six marijuana plants, for personal use.