Last week, President Joe Biden made headlines when he announced plans to issue an executive order pardoning everyone convicted of simple marijuana under federal law.
Nearly 2,000 people jailed for marijuana while Harris was was state attorney general
Harris voiced support for the president’s new marijuana policy during an event for NARAL Pro-Choice America and Groundwell Fund on Saturday, saying, “Nobody should have to go to jail for smoking weed.
VP HARRIS: “Nobody should have to go to jail for smoking weed.” pic.twitter.com/yHDGeUyQ9e
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) October 9, 2022
However, the San Francisco Chronicle cited state records showing that during her time as California attorney general, some 1,974 people were incarcerated for hashish and marijuana convictions.
Former Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard famously drew attention to Harris’ pro-drug war stance while participating in a 2019 Democratic primary debate.
— America Rising (@AmericaRising) August 1, 2019
“Senator Harris says she’s proud of her record as a prosecutor, and that she’ll be a prosecutor president, but I’m deeply concerned about this record,” Gabbard said before mentioning the number of marijuana users Harris helped incarcerate along with the fact that she laughed about her own drug use during a radio interview.
Biden calls on state governors to follow his lead
For his part, the president touted his decision to pardon marijuana users in a series of tweets he put out this past Thursday.
“As I’ve said before, no one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana,” Biden declared. “Today, I’m taking steps to end our failed approach.”
Biden went on to ask that state governors issue similar pardons and called for marijuana to be reclassified under federal law.
“Sending people to jail for possessing marijuana has upended too many lives – for conduct that is legal in many states. That’s before you address the clear racial disparities around prosecution and conviction. Today, we begin to right these wrongs,” he concluded.