At the progressive minded IDEAS Conference, Kamala Harris called for changes to federal marijuana policy.
Freshman U.S. Senator Kamala Harris has only been at her new job for a few months. Despite her short tenure, she is already pushing back against the Trump administration on marijuana policy. As California’s former Attorney General, Harris certainly has some insight on overseeing marijuana law. While speaking at the IDEAS Conference this week, Harris went after Jeff Sessions.
“Let me tell you what California needs, Jeff Sessions. We need support in dealing with transnational criminal organizations and dealing with human trafficking – not in going after grandma’s medicinal marijuana,” she said according to The Sacremento Bee.
It is no secret that the Democrats are in need of new leaders. With Bernie Sanders unlikely to run again, and President Obama out of office, the party is seeking someone who can tap into the Trump resistance. Her statements on marijuana could help gain the attention of the coveted youth vote.
“While I don’t believe in legalizing all drugs – as a career prosecutor I just don’t – we need to do the smart thing, the right thing, and finally decriminalize marijuana,” she said.
Harris made clear at the conference that she feels the War on Drugs has failed, especially when it comes to the disproportionate numbers of non-whites arrested for low-level marijuana possession.
“Instead of going after violent crime, drug cartels, and major traffickers, we’re worried about the neighborhood street-level dealer,” she said. “Instead of addressing the core issue of addiction and getting folks into treatment, we’re going to overcrowd and build more prisons.”
Some think Harris is prepping for a White House run in 2020. Her profile is similar to that of former President Barack Obama. She has already been successful in state-level politics, and would only be in her first term in the U.S. Senate if she decided to run for president.