Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday urged both Congress and state governments to follow the lead of the Biden administration to decriminalize marijuana.
Harris’ comments were made during an interview on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” after President Joe Biden pardoned individuals convicted of cannabis-related offenses under federal law. It was delivered in less than a week.
“Let me just say this first. I strongly believe, and the majority of Americans agree, that no one should go to jail for smoking marijuana, right?” Harris said. quoted from yahoo“We are urging our governors and states to take our lead and pardon those who have become criminals for marijuana possession. Similarly, if Congress acts, there will be a unified approach to this and many other issues, but Congress needs to act.”
On Thursday, Biden announced that he would grant a pardon to all individuals convicted of simple marijuana possession. This is a move that affects thousands of Americans.
In the announcement, Biden made the same point the vice president made in a late-night interview, urging “all governors to do the same when it comes to crime in their state.”
“As I used to say during my presidential campaign, marijuana use and possession alone shouldn’t put people in jail,” Biden said. We have claimed too many lives and imprisoned people for conduct we don’t prohibit, and our criminal record for marijuana possession also imposes unnecessary barriers to employment, housing, and educational opportunities. While blacks and browns use marijuana at similar rates, blacks and browns are disproportionately arrested, prosecuted and convicted.”
Beyond the massive pardon, Biden’s announcement also marks the beginning of what could be a historic shift in U.S. drug policy, calling for the Secretary of Health and Human Services and Attorney General to teach how to use marijuana. I have instructed them to initiate an administrative process for a speedy review,” he said. Scheduled under federal law. ”
“Federal law currently classifies marijuana in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, a classification that signifies the most dangerous substance. Even higher – drugs causing an overdose epidemic.
Nineteen states have legalized recreational cannabis for adults. Voters in her five other states are set to vote on their own legalization proposals in next month’s elections.
But Congress failed to approve its own cannabis reform bill despite being under Democratic control.
In April, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation known as the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Elimination (MORE) Act. This excludes cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act.
Senate Democrats said they intended to create their own legalization bill, but that effort stalled over the summer months.
Harris has voiced her support for marijuana legalization as a presidential candidate in the 2020 presidential election, but her record as a prosecutor in California leaves drug reform supporters cold.
While serving as the San Francisco District Attorney from 2004 to 2010, Harris “oversaw over 1,900 marijuana convictions.” according to mercury newsshe said, “Prosecutors appear to have convicted people on marijuana charges at a higher rate than her predecessor, based on data on marijuana arrests in the city.”
“In Harris’ seven years as chief prosecutor, her attorneys won 1,956 misdemeanor and felony convictions for possessing, growing, or selling marijuana, according to data from the DA’s office. mercury news report“This includes people convicted of marijuana offenses and more serious offenses at the same time.”