As the 2020-presidential election draws ever closer, potential candidates are making their positions on a number of issues public. Many Democrats are positioning themselves as ultra-progressive and most are open in their support of full cannabis legalization. In the last few days, California Senator Kamala Harris embraced and expanded on her full support of federal cannabis legalization.
Harris’ Evolving Views
In a recently released book, Harris expressed her support for federal cannabis legalization. She also admitted to smoking cannabis and “inhaling” when she was younger. In her new book, Harris wrote,
“We need to legalize marijuana and regulate it.” Harris continued by calling for, “…expunging nonviolent marijuana-related offenses from the records of the millions of people who have been arrested and incarcerated so they can get on with their lives.”
Those positions, while progressive and exciting for many cannabis consumers and members of the cannabis industry, have not always been what Harris believes in. During her tenure as San Francisco District Attorney in 2010, Harris was open in opposition to the legalization of cannabis in California. She told reporters,
“that drug selling harms communities.”
While hypocrisy regarding the legalization of cannabis is more rule than exception when it comes to American politicians, the fact that Harris has now shifted her views to align with those of the American people is optimistic to say the least.
Why Candidates Are Promoting Cannabis Legalization
The American electorate has rapidly evolving views. One thing that is becoming apparent is that they support the legalization of cannabis more than ever before. Gallup found that, “Sixty-six percent of Americans now support legalizing marijuana, another new high in the trend over nearly half a century.” Gallup also found that surprisingly, a majority of Republicans now support the legalization of cannabis. With 53% of Republicans and 75% of Democrats now supporting legalization, it is clear that politicians must appeal to the masses and work to legalize cannabis use federally.
Kamala Harris is an early favorite for the Democratic nomination in a field of more than 20 possible candidates. She will continue to push a progressive agenda with policies like federal cannabis legalization and criminal justice reform at the forefront. For those who look to make cannabis a safe to use and non-criminal plant, Harris may be a solid option for the presidency.
Lane is based in Southern California and is a content curator for Medical Marijuana 411. He focuses his research into finding informative stories that can help medical marijuana patients better understand their diverse medicine.