- U.S. Senator Kamala Harris announced her support on May 10th, signing a bill to effectively legalize Marijuana on a Federal level– in addition to removing cannabis from the U.S. Controlled Substances Act.
- Harris: “Making marijuana legal at the federal level is the smart thing to do and it’s the right thing to do,”
US Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) on Thursday announced her support for legalizing cannabis at the federal level, signing on to congressional legislation that would remove cannabis from the US Controlled Substances Act and take initial steps to address the lasting consequences of the drug war.
“Making marijuana legal at the federal level is the smart thing to do and it’s the right thing to do,” Harris tweeted this morning, including a video statement she gave to the news outlet NowThis. “Today, I’m announcing support for [Sen. Cory Booker’s] Marijuana Justice Act.”
Signing on to the bill (S.1689) comes as the first significant move Harris has made in favor of cannabis reform despite more than a year of railing against prohibition. Nearly a year ago, she publicly decried US Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ drug war rhetoric nearly and pledged to defend state legalization from federal interference.
But she’s since taken few formal steps to change the system, drawing fire as one of the few senators from a legal-cannabis state to not support any of a growing number of reform bills introduced by colleagues.
In 2014, as Harris sought re-election as California attorney general, a reporter asked about her views on legalization, pointing out that her opponent at the time supported it. “He’s entitled to his opinion,” Harris replied with a laugh.
In the video announcing her endorsement of the Marijuana Justice Act, which Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced in August 2017, Harris says the legislation does “what we need to do to finally make marijuana legal at the federal level in the United States.”