Kamala Harris: 'I Believe We Need to Legalize Marijuana'

It’s not whether Kamala Harris is ‘black enough,’ critics say but whether her policies will support native black Americans

Sen. Kamala Harris D-Calif. launches her presidential campaign at an event in Oakland Calif. last month. David Paul Morris Bloomberg

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) said, on Monday, that she has tried marijuana. "And I inhaled. I did inhale".

Appearing on the syndicated radio show The Breakfast Club, Harris was asked about reports that she actually opposed the legalization of marijuana. "I did inhale", she responded.

"It was a long time ago but yes. Are you kidding me?" she joked.

"Right now in this country people are being arrested, being prosecuted, and end up spending time in jail or prison all due to their use of a drug that otherwise should be considered legal", she said in a press release. Q: I know. HARRIS: And look, I joke about it - half-joking - half my family's from Jamaica.

But Harris said "we need to research the impact of weed on a developing brain" and said measuring how marijuana impairs people who are driving needs to be addressed.

That's a subject she's raised before. Several more states are considering legalization in 2019.

"Spending two decades in courtrooms, Harris believes that drug selling harms communities", her campaign manager said in 2010. Almost 60 percent of Americans said they supported legalizing marijuana in a Fox News Poll released a year ago. "Harris supports the legal use of medicinal marijuana but does not support anything beyond that". "He's entitled to his opinion", she said, laughing off the issue to local news reporters. By January of 2018, Harris's public position began to change.

She asked if Barr intends to use "the limited federal resources" at his disposal to enforce federal marijuana laws in the states that have repealed their own laws against it.

And last month, Harris raised the issue with William Barr, the nominee for USA attorney general.

"Making marijuana legal at the federal level is the smart thing to do and it's the right thing to do". She also signed on as a co-sponsor of the Marijuana Justice Act, a bill to make marijuana legal at the federal level.

Booker past year introduced a bill to the Senate to legalize marijuana at the federal level and gained support from other likely 2020 rivals, including Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Bernie Sanders.

Harris's comments follow those of fellow Democratic senator and 2020 candidate, Cory Booker, who kicked off his campaign earlier this month by calling for legalizing marijuana as an essential part of criminal justice reform.

But her record as a senator is a bit more weed-friendly. "What it did for me, is it made me cough a lot. But I gather other people have had different experiences".

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