Kamala Harris Reveals She Smoked Pot In College

By Maggie Ethridge 02/13/19
The U.S. Senator and 2020 presidential candidate discussed her stance on marijuana legalization and revealed a bit about her past use in a recent radio interview.
Kamala Harris
Photo via YouTube

Citing her Jamaican roots and past inhalation of pot, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris firmly stated her support for the legalization of marijuana on a New York-based radio show, The Breakfast Club.

While the bill S.420 to legalize marijuana was submitted to Congress just last week, the issue of marijuana’s legality is bigger than ever. Harris, a former California attorney general and 2020 presidential contender, was speaking with the radio show’s hosts about the social issue of legalizing pot.

When host Charlamagne Tha God asked Harris if she’d ever smoked pot, Harris laughed and said yes, she had inhaled from a joint. She joked that she will probably make the news with her admission.

The previously anti-pot senator's views on marijuana legalization have slowly evolved since 2010. Five years, many studies and nationwide discussions later, Harris changed her position.

She intimated support for recreational use of pot, citing that "it gives a lot of people joy and we need more joy."

In her book The Truths We Hold: An American Journey, she moves beyond just legalization of the herb and calls for prison reform. "We need to legalize marijuana and regulate it, and we need to expunge nonviolent marijuana-related offenses from the records of millions of people who have been arrested and incarcerated so they can get on with their lives."

Answering the morning radio hosts about her position on marijuana legalization and if she opposes it, Harris was clear: “That's not true. And look I joke about it, half joking—half my family's from Jamaica, are you kidding me," Harris laughed.

“I have had concerns, which I think—first of all, let me just make this statement very clear, I believe we need to legalize marijuana," Harris continued.

"Now, that being said... we need to research, which is one of the reasons we need to legalize it. We need to move it on the schedule so that we can research the impact of weed on a developing brain. You know, that part of the brain that develops judgment, actually begins its growth at age 18 through age 24."

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Maggie May Ethridge is the author of Atmospheric Disturbances: Scenes From a Marriage (Shebooks, 2014) and the recently completed novel, Agitate My Heart. She is a freelance writer published in Rolling Stone, VOX, Washington Post, The Guardian and many others. Find her at her blog Flux Capacitor or on LinkedIn or Twitter.