Kamala Harris' Commitment to Weed Legalization

by Matt Meyer March 12, 2021

One of the burning issues that would define the Biden/Harris presidency is the debate and the government’s actions surrounding Cannabis Legalization and Decriminalization.

Already, the Senate led by it’s majority leader Chuck Schumer is leading the charge with a draft resolution to pass the MORE act as well as enact other laws that would provide legal cover for businesses involved in the cannabis value chain.

But what says the White House?

Although the new occupants of the White House have had a far from pleasant disposition towards cannabis, there seems to be a change of hearts. For Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, it’s all about what’s right for the people now.

Much of the statements that have emanated from the White House suggest that the administration is committed to changing the narrative of marijuana legality in the shortest time possible. In the run down to the election, they (Joe and Kamala) had made it clear that they would pursue a federal drug policy reform that would not only decriminalize marijuana use but also provide funding for small businesses in the sector.

Kamala Harris while speaking with the Black politics and culture website The Grio, said, “We have a commitment to decriminalizing marijuana and expunging the records of people who have been convicted of marijuana offenses.” That’s absolutely a significant step down from her once hard-line stance on the criminalization of marijuana use.

Noting that mistakes have been made and the need to push forward a new narrative, she had this to say in the rundown to the elections. “Let me just make this statement very clear, I believe we need to legalize marijuana… I am absolutely in favor of legalizing marijuana. We've got to do it. We have incarcerated so many and particularly young men and young men of color, in a way that we have not for the same level of use (among) other young men.”

Harris has continued to emphasize decriminalization and expunging previous criminal records for minor marijuana offences since she joined the Biden campaign, and she says much of these come from strength of resolve to change the status quo. In 2018, Senator Harris co-sponsored the Marijuana Justice Act, which aimed to end federal pot prohibition and establish social equity programs in the process. 

However, while all of these pro-statements are commendable, for many players in the sector, it is a waiting game. 

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