If there was ever a sign that Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) is considering throwing her hat into the ring for a 2020 presidency, her new memoir is it. In many ways, The Truths We Hold: An American Dream is a campaign book designed to clear the air and position her directly on the runway towards a presidential bid. Among other things, she addresses past controversies, but she also discusses cannabis in a way she previously has not.
“Something else it’s past time we get done is dismantling the failed war on drugs—starting with legalizing marijuana,” Harris writes, according to Forbes.
But dismantling prohibition, she adds, must be accomplished “with eyes wide open, understanding that there is unfinished business when it comes to legalization.”
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These opinions reflect a reversal from Harris, who just a few years back was chuckling at questions regarding cannabis. Back in 2014, Harris was battling GOP candidate Ron Gold in a race to be California’s Attorney General. Gold heavily favored legalizing adult-use marijuana, and integrated it into part of his platform.
When a local news reporter asked Harris her thoughts on Gold’s position, she replied that “he’s entitled to his opinion,” before bursting into laughter. Just two years ago, when Californians voted to legalize adult-use cannabis, she declined support for the ballot measure.
But as more members of the Democratic party use cannabis legalization as means of gaining favor with voters, Harris, too, has changed her tune.
“We need to legalize marijuana and regulate it,” Harris writes in the book, while also highlighting racial disparities in law enforcement upholding drug laws. “And we need to expunge nonviolent marijuana-related offenses from the records of millions of people who have been arrested and incarcerated so they can get on with their lives.”
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Last year, Harris also supported Sen. Cory Brooker (D-NJ) and his Marijuana Justice Act, a piece of legislation that would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act.
Making marijuana legal at the federal level is the smart thing to do and it’s the right thing to do. Today, I’m announcing my support for @CoryBooker’s Marijuana Justice Act. pic.twitter.com/cOh3SjMaOW
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) May 10, 2018