Republican member of the Kansas House of Representatives, Steve Alford, apologized Monday for a racist comment where he stated that African-American people were more prone to drug addiction due to “their genetics.”

According to a report by The Garden City Telegram, the comment was made Saturday during a legislative coffee session at St. Catherine Hospital, Kansas. The report stated that when Zach Worf, the president of Finney County Democrats — a political organization in Kansas, was talking about legalizing marijuana which could lead to financial gains for the city of Kansas, Alford replied that the latter should revisit history by taking a look at the 1930s.

Alford said, “Basically any way you say it, marijuana is an entry drug into the higher drugs .”

“What you really need to do is go back in the ’30s, when they outlawed all types of drugs in Kansas (and) across the United States,” Alford continued.

Addressing a crowd of approximately 60 people,  none of whom were of African-American origin, Alford said, “One of the reasons why, I hate to say it, was that the African Americans, they were basically users and they basically responded the worst off to those drugs just because of their character makeup, their genetics and that.”

“And so basically what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to do a complete reverse with people not remembering what has happened in the past,” Alford added.

He was referring to a time when Harry Anslinger was made the chief of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN). Anslinger was famous for his fight against marijuana and during his tenure the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 was established. The report further stated that from 1930 to 1937, Anslinger worked towards banning the use of marijuana. One of his statements regarding black people and the use of marijuana said, “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.”

Meanwhile, according to a report by New York Daily News, Alford in a statement Monday said, “I was wrong, I regret my comments, and I sincerely apologize to anyone whom I have hurt.”

He added, “Substance abuse is a blight on our society, and legalizing marijuana opens the door to harder drugs. I have seen firsthand how drug abuse destroys lives, even within my own family, and I remain committed to fighting the spread of addiction in our state.”

A video of the entire statement was posted on Youtube by The Garden City Telegram.

The comment was met with silence from the crowd at first. Another representative from Kansas John Doll broke the silence by saying, “I can respond real quick to that. We took away alcohol in the ’30s and went into the greatest depression known to man, so...”

The crowd burst into laughter following the comment, The Garden City Telegram reported.

However, Alford’s comments were found to be incorrect according a 2016 study conducted by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The study found that white people were a bit more prone to meet the diagnostic standards for substance-abuse disorders as compared to the blacks.