VP Kamala Harris: 'We Need to Legalize Marijuana'

Kamala Harris on "SMOKE": "I’m proud of the work that I did."

BET's excellent pot doc SMOKE: Marijuana + Black America ends with an interview with Vice President Kamala Harris in which she acknowledges her support for ending marijuana prohibition:

"There has been a lot that has been distorted about my record, so let me be very clear: I committed my career to reforming the criminal-justice system and to correcting those things that I was born knowing were wrong, were flawed and harmed the community. I'm proud of the work that I did. Was I able to reform the entire system? No, I was not, regrettably. But I continue to work on it.

"That's why I have been a national leader on saying that we need to legalize marijuana."

Harris was the lead Senate sponsor of the MORE Act that would deschedule marijuana, hence legalize it.

Her career began in 1990 as the deputy district attorney for Alameda Country in California. She held that job for eight years. San Francisco district attorney Terence Hallinan hired her to run the office's career criminal unit in 1998. Two year later Harris took a job in the city attorney's office. In 2003, she upset Hallinan in the DA race. In 2010, Harris was electeed attorney general of California, the first Black woman to ever hold the position. She was reelected in 2014.

Much was made of Harris' record as AG during the Democratic primaries. The biggest charge was that more than 1,500 people went to jail on felony marijuana charges from 2011-2016. But as Freedom Leaf revealed, those numbers consistently declined on her watch from 817 convictions in 2011 to 137 in 2016.

In 2016, Harris was elected to the Senate. She was inaugurated witrh President Biden on January 20, becoming the first Black/South Asian vice president in United States history. 

This article was originally posted on November 19, 2020. It was updated on January 20, 2021.


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.