Vice President Kamala Harris is facing backlash for stating that “nobody should have to go to jail for smoking weed,” which critics have argued is completely hypocritical considering her record as a prosecutor in California.
In a video clip that has gone viral on social media, Harris discussed President Joe Biden’s recent announcement of mass pardons for anyone with past federal convictions of simple possession of marijuana.
“And speaking of the system of justice,” the vice president began. “We are also changing — y’all might have heard that this week — the federal government’s approach to marijuana.”
“Because the bottom line is there nobody should have to go to jail for smoking weed,” Harris said as the crowd cheered.
As San Francisco’s district attorney, Harris oversaw more than 1,900 marijuana convictions.
Her record on the subject was called out by former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) during the Democrat presidential primary in July 2019. In a now-famous moment, Gabbard blasted then-candidate Harris over marijuana convictions, stating that she had “put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana,” referring to Harris’ behavior during an appearance on a podcast.
Following the viral clip of the vice president’s new position on the subject, critics took to Twitter to roast her for her hypocrisy.
San Francisco Republican Party Chairman John Dennis — who is challenging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her seat in Congress — responded to her comments in a tweet, writing, “Shameless. As California Attorney General Harris sent people to jail for …smoking weed.”
“The hypocrisy is staggering,” actor Matthew Marsden tweeted.
“Clearly, Kamala has forgotten her legacy in California,” said U.S. Senate Candidate Mark Meuser (R-CA).
“REMINDER: Kamala Harris has sent at least 1,560 people to prison for marijuana-related offenses,” wrote Steve Guest, special communications advisor to Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).
“Kamala Harris comes out against Kamala Harris,” Dan King responded.