Sen. Kamala Harris publicly took a stand in favor of legalizing marijuana in a radio interview on Monday — and her reasoning caught people’s attention.
Harris explained that half her family is from Jamaica and also talked about smoking a joint in college. She seemingly threw shade at former President Bill Clinton by saying she “did inhale,” alluding to Clinton’s infamous denial that he “didn’t inhale” when smoking marijuana.
“It was a long time ago,” she said. “I just broke loose.”
— The Breakfast Club (@breakfastclubam) February 11, 2019
People on Twitter praised Harris’s candor, while political analysts noted that she was the first 2020 candidate to openly talk about her own experience smoking.
— Brandy Dewing (@BrandyDewing) February 11, 2019
— BK (@realannakae) February 11, 2019
— #HeyAGirlCanDream🌊 (@lsfarmer311) February 11, 2019
Her approval just went up!
— Don Collar (@dacollar1) February 11, 2019
Kamala Harris is the first 2020 candidate to say she's smoked marijuana. The grass ceiling (at least for this election) is officially broken.
— David Martosko (@dmartosko) February 11, 2019
However, not everyone was thrilled by Harris’s response.
Still not really sure about her and what she stands for. Is she really sincere or is she just trying to get our vote.
— Brina1817 (@tsabrina) February 11, 2019
Did they edit this? Why just medical marijuana? Why not go all the way? She plays it too safe
— Germaine (@Thegayest) February 11, 2019
Kamala Harris’ breakfast club interview this morning was the most cringeworthy way to start my day. I did not hear a single sincere, unrehearsed response
— B. (@_bluntbrit) February 11, 2019
Kamala Harris went on the Breakfast Club with a charm offensive; might have offended some of the Jamaican community insinuating she can’t be anti-marijuana because she’s part Jamaican
— Gong's Pinnacle (@RasThaFarEye) February 11, 2019
Harris also called for legalizing marijuana in her recently released memoir, The Truths We Hold: An American Journey.
“We need to legalize marijuana and regulate it,” Harris wrote, according to Forbes. “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.”
Harris’s career as a California prosecutor has been under scrutiny as she ramps up her presidential campaign. But the New York Times notes that she started programs in California that helped first-time drug offenders get a high school diploma and find work instead of going to prison.
Legalizing marijuana is expected to get more attention in the 2020 Democratic primary race than it has in past elections, and Harris is quickly making her stance crystal clear.
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