Kamala Harris Promises To Decriminalize Marijuana and Expunge Records
Tonight’s vice presidential debate yielded little clarity, with Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) and Vice President Mike Pence skirting question after question. One exception: Harris’s promise that a Biden-Harris administration would decriminalize marijuana.
“We will decriminalize marijuana and we will expunge the records of those who have been convicted of marijuana,” she said.
The position is the strongest any major-party candidate for president or vice president has taken to date on the issue in such a prominent venue.
Though former Vice President Biden has historically resisted calls to ease up on drug enforcement, he seems to have turned on the issue this election cycle, telling supporters in May 2019 that “nobody should be in jail for smoking marijuana.” Most recently, Harris reiterated the position in a virtual town hall on September 14, assuring viewers that a Biden-Harris administration would “end incarceration for drug use alone.” Campaign aide Symone Sanders said the same in an August 29 interview on MSNBC.
It’s a rather recent pivot for Harris as well. While attempting to clinch the Democratic presidential nomination in 2019, the senator campaigned on legalizing cannabis, telling radio host Charlamagne tha God that the drug “brings a lot of people joy.”
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