When California’s Attorney General, Kamala Harris, was asked about legalizing recreational marijuana use for adults in 2014, she laughed and acknowledged that it was inevitable. She was reluctant, however, to express full support. A year later it seems the U.S. Senate candidate has changed her outlook, or at the very least, refined it. Her critics are wondering if the opinion will stick, while others recognize that she has been a medical cannabis supporter from the start.
In Anaheim at the 2015 Democratic State Convention, Harris (photo below) publicly declared her opinion on the war on drugs. The Senate candidate said,
“The war on drugs was a failure.”
She also took a moment to acknowledge the mass incarceration that is a direct result of these old policies, but Harris did not stop there. She went on to proclaim,
“Now is the time to end the federal ban on medical marijuana.”
As California’s Attorney General, Harris seems to have taken note of the state’s successful medical cannabis field. The industry began nearly two decades ago and has yielded steady solutions for patients in need. Pro-cannabis supporters are excited about Harris’s opinions regarding medical marijuana, but some are wary that this may just be a political maneuver or flip-flop.
In 2011, federal officials infamously raided, arrested and prosecuted some of California’s legitimate medical cannabis growers and operators. At that time, she stood mute as federal agents exerted their force in the legal grey area. After all, medical cannabis may be legal in certain states, but it is still against federal law.
As the people’s attitudes evolve, so do the attitudes of elected representatives. It is important to note that though Harris laughed at the idea of legal recreational marijuana a year ago, she was never openly against medical cannabis. In fact, she has publicly supported medical uses for several years. Her pro-marijuana critics are still wary, but overall, they are excited about her candid remarks at the convention.
For those who are pro-marijuana, it is exciting to have Harris voice strong support for medical cannabis and opposition for the war on drugs in her role as the current California Attorney General.
View Kamala Harris’s speech at the California Democrats Convention 2015 below:
photo credit: Salon