Democrat presidential candidate Kamala Harris on Saturday called for legalization of marijuana at the federal level for the purpose of restoring justice.
“It’s time we legalize marijuana at the federal level and restore justice to our communities,” she posted to Twitter Saturday. “Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs. We must reverse this trend.”
The message comes on a day celebrated by marijuana proponents, April 20, better known as 4/20.
Harris stated publicly in a February radio interview that she smoked marijuana “a long time ago.”
The current U.S. senator from California has changed her stated view on the issue over the past decade, according to CNN, which reported that in 2010 she opposed legalization. At the time she was serving as San Francisco district attorney. She went on to take the office of California attorney general in 2011 and was elected to the Senate in 2016.
Her new book cited in the CNN report states that she now supports a position similar to some other 2020 Democrat presidential contenders. According to the report, she says in the book that she backs legalization of the drug and clearing convictions for non-violent offenses associated with marijuana. “We need to expunge nonviolent marijuana-related offenses from the records of the millions of people who have been arrested and incarcerated so they can get on with their lives,” she is quoted as saying in her book.
The report added that in 2015 Harris supported ending what she called a “federal ban” on the drug but did not call for full legalization. During a 2014 KCRA interview while she was attorney general of California, she laughed at her political opponent’s support for legalizing recreational marijuana.