During an appearance on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” on Monday Vice President Kamala Harris (D) said, “nobody should have to go to jail for smoking weed.” The appearance came less than a week after President Joe Biden (D) issued pardons for all federal cannabis possession charges.
During the interview with Harris, a former prosecutor, Meyers said that while “not that many people are affected” by the federal pardon – about 6,500 citizens according to a National Public Radio review – the move still represents “such a big step in the right direction” for federal cannabis policy.
Meyers: “What happens next, rather than just pressuring governors to do the same on the state level? Do you see legislation in the future?”
Harris: “Well, you know, we’ve tried over the years but, let me just start with saying this – I strongly believe, and the majority of Americans agree, nobody should have to go to jail for smoking weed, right? Right? And so we start with that, and we are, to your point, urging – and the president has been very clear – we’re urging governors and states to take our lead and to pardon people who have been criminalized for possession of marijuana and ultimately, though, as with so many issues, if Congress acts then there is a uniform approach to this as so many other issues. But Congress needs to act.”
Harris served as San Francisco’s district attorney from 2004-2010 and oversaw the prosecution of more than 1,900 cannabis convictions, the Mercury News reports. The News said those figures show “prosecutors appear to have convicted people on marijuana charges at a higher rate than under her predecessor, based on data about marijuana arrests in the city.”
During her bid for the White House in 2020, Harris expressed support for federal cannabis legalization.
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