As San Francisco’s District Attorney and California’s Attorney General, Harris upheld California’s medical marijuana law. Since being elected to the Senate, she has come on strong for federal marijuana law reform as the Senate sponsor of the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, enabling states to set their own marijuana policies and reinvesting funds in communities of color that have been impacted by laws against marijuana.
California cannabis activist Mikki Norris remembers Harris as “smart, respectful, and wanting to do the right thing” while seeking the medical marijuana community’s vote during her 2004 bid for SF DA. Harris named Norris’s husband Chris Conrad to a Medical Marijuana Advisory Group that advised her once in office. “She wanted to prevent cops from ever interacting with the cannabis clubs before a case could be brought to her office,” Conrad says.
During her Presidential campaign, Harris said on a radio talk show she was “absolutely in favor of legalizing marijuana,” harkening to her half-Jamaican heritage and citing the mass incarceration resulting from cannabis prohibition, particularly of young black men. Harris admitted she smoked pot when she was in college, and when asked if she might start smoking again, said, “I think it gives a lot of people joy, and we need more joy in the world.”
“We’re hopeful that Harris will nudge the next administration’s cannabis policy in the right direction,” said Cal NORML director Dale Gieringer.
NORML has partnered with HeadCount on a Voter Registration Tool to make it quick and easy to get registered and vote in the November election. NORML’s Smoke the Vote Guide ranks candidates based on their records and positions on marijuana reform at the federal, state, and local levels.