US Vice President Kamala Harris says ‘no one should go to jail for smoking weed’
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Kamala Harris has declared her belief that ‘no one should have to go to jail for smoking weed’.
While appearing on Late Night with Seth Meyers, the US Vice President spoke on Joe Biden’s pardoning of thousands of Americans who have been convicted of possession of marijuana and the decriminalization of cannabis.
Harris told Meyers that while she urges state governors to offer a similar pardon, she hopes Congress can enact a ‘uniform approach’.
Tonight, @SethMeyers talks to @VP @KamalaHarris in her first in studio late night appearance since taking office. Here’s an early look at the interview, where the vice president discusses marijuana decriminalization. pic.twitter.com/xWkfWjX1QN— Late Night with Seth Meyers (@LateNightSeth) October 11, 2022
She said: "Ultimately, though, as with so many issues, if Congress acts, then there is a uniform approach to this and so many other issues, but Congress needs to act.
"We are 29 days away from the midterms. Ask who you're voting for, where they stand on this, and I encourage you to vote accordingly."
Her interview comes just days after the President made the announcement in an issued press release.
In his statement, the president advocates for marijuana regulation reform, noting the significant racial disparity in cannabis arrests.
He said that while ‘white and Black and brown people use marijuana at similar rates, Black and brown people have been arrested, prosecuted and convicted at disproportionate rates’.
According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), African-Americans are incarcerated nearly four times more than white people, despite both ethnicities consuming the drug at almost the same rate.
Additionally, a 2021 study of marijuana-related arrests in 2020 in New York City’s five boroughs showed that people of colour made up 94 per cent of the arrests.
Meanwhile, a 2022 analysis in Texas found that from 2017 to 2019, Black people made 30.2 per cent of the arrests even though they only made up 12.9 per cent of the state’s population.
In his plea, President Biden also called the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General to review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law.
Cannabis is currently classified in 'Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act', along with some of the most dangerous substances, including heroin and LSD.
He concluded: “Finally, even as federal and state regulation of marijuana changes, important limitations on trafficking, marketing, and under-age sales should stay in place.”
Biden continued: “Too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana. It’s time that we right these wrongs.”
Topics: News, Drugs, Joe Biden, Politics, Kamala Harris