Kamala Harris And Cannabis

The 2020 presidential election is gearing up to be a race like none other before in the history of the United States. This year’s election is further complicated by many things such as the coronavirus pandemic that has rocked the world and a period of massive civil unrest within the country itself. Voter turnout is expected to be record-breaking this coming November with many people who historically would not vote coming out in droves to support the candidate of their choice. On one side we have the Republican incumbent Donald Trump and his running mate Mike Pence. On the other, we have the former Democratic Vice President of the US Joe Biden running for president with Kamala Harris as his elected VP. It is sure to be an electrifying election year and everyone who can vote should get registered to have their voices heard!

Who Is Kamala Harris?

Kamala Harris is an American attorney and politician who has served as a US senator from California since 2017. Currently, she is the Democratic vice-presidential nominee for the 2020 presidential election. She was born in Oakland, California, and studied law at the prestigious Howard University. Her career began in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. In 2003 she was elected to be the district attorney of San Francisco. Then in 2010, she was elected the attorney general of California only to be re-elected for another term in 2014. In 2016 she beat out Loretta Sanchez during the senate election becoming the first South Asian American and the second African American woman to serve in the US senate. As a senator, she advocated progressive tax reform, healthcare reform, the DREAM Act, federal rescheduling of marijuana, a ban on assault weapons, and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Kamala Harris ran for the 2020 democratic presidential nomination before canceling her campaign on December 3, 2019. However, on August 11, 2020, she was announced to be Joe Biden’s running mate for the 2020 presidential election.

Harris’s Past Views On Pot

Kamala Harris was a former prosecutor so it should come as no surprise that at one point in her career she was anti-pot. In 2010 when she was the district attorney of San Francisco and running for attorney general she was known to be opposed to Proposition 19. Prop 19 was famous for the measure that would legalize marijuana in California. Harris said that Prop 19 would encourage drug use in the workplace and driving while high. However, Prop 19 did not ultimately pass with 53.5% of voters saying no. Then in 2014 when asked how she felt about her opponent’s platform of legalizing marijuana she replied, “he is entitled to his opinion,” right before laughing in the face of the reporter. She also has overseen 1,900 convictions for weed during her career as a prosecutor and at one time called for more police officers on the streets.

A Significant Change Of Opinion

Since 2014 Kamala Harris’s stance on marijuana prohibition has changed significantly. This 180-degree pivot has not been met without intense scrutiny in light of her past prosecutorial record. Regardless of the past in 2018, she announced her support for legalizing pot. This was long after her home state of California and many others around the country legalize marijuana, but it was a nice gesture nonetheless. She released a book where she says the US should legalize albeit with regulations and expunge non-violent marijuana offenses, “from the records of millions of people who have been arrested and incarcerated so they can get on with their lives.” Furthermore in 2019 Harris as well as many other democrats including Booker and Lee introduced the Marijuana Justice Act. This bill would end the federal prohibition on weed, expunge all records, and reinvest funds into communities that were most negatively impacted by the war on drugs. Some people will say that Harris’s true objective and reason for 180 is to secure the votes of younger voters. However, it appears that she has seen the good it can do for the community particularly in her home state of California. When asked if she supports legalization on the morning radio show The Breakfast Club she said, “Look, I joke about it, half-joking — half my family’s from Jamaica. Are you kidding me?” Additionally in another interview, she was quoted as saying “I think marijuana gives a lot of people joy and we need more joy in the world.”

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