Congratulations to Senator Kamala Harris, Joe Biden’s V.P. pick. Harris will become the first Black woman and the first person of Indian descent to be nominated for national office by a major party. It’s a huge accomplishment. It could also impact the race significantly in the coming weeks and months.
What would a Vice President Harris mean for cannabis law and policy? Assuming Biden and Harris win this fall, it’s hard to say. Harris has evolved considerably on cannabis policy, especially in the past few years. She has also emerged as a leading voice on companion issues of racial justice and inequality, even since walking away from her unsuccessful presidential campaign earlier this year.
Looking back, Harris wasn’t always a shining light on criminal justice and cannabis issues. Her resume includes a regrettable tenure as California Attorney General with respect to cannabis enforcement, overseeing the jailing of more than 1,500 people for marijuana crimes, and fighting to keep (and even enhance) the retrograde system of cash bail. These unforced errors famously surfaced in the Democratic Presidential debates and may emerge again with Harris on the ticket.
Eventually, as a U.S. Senator, Harris followed her party away from the War