Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) acknowledged this week that she could have been clearer when she discussed which musical artists she listened to while smoking marijuana in college.
In an interview with The Post and Courier, the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate joked about the cannabis controversy that followed after she said she listened to Snoop Dogg and Tupac while consuming marijuana during her college days. The claim that was quickly challenged given that Harris graduated law school in 1989 and both artists released their debut albums in the early 1990s.
The senator was asked on Monday about her earlier admission to smoking cannabis and admitted that she “definitely was not clear about what I was listening to.”
Charlamagne Tha God, co-host of the radio show The Breakfast Club where Harris first talked about her past marijuana use and musical preferences and who accompanied the candidate at a campaign stop in South Carolina, also jumped in.
“If the weed was good, she shouldn’t remember,” he said.
To some, the so-called “Snoopgate” scandal reflected the quickly evolving political landscape as it concerns cannabis, with office seekers no longer downplaying or denying their experience with marijuana but taking pains to embrace the culture—and in this case, stoking controversy not over the admission itself but questionable details surrounding an alleged smoke sesh.
Harris’s national press secretary said at the time that the senator didn’t mean to suggest she was listening to Snoop and Tupac during college, but rather she was answering a separate question about her favorite music.
In any case, the new conversation with The Post and Courier moved on, and Harris was asked what she made of the early results of California’ legal marijuana market.
While the industry “has become a cash cow,” there are also “people who are making a ton of money in this new industry and excluding the very people who have been doing the same work for years and have been have been designated felons for life,” she said. “We need to allow those folks to expunge their records and put them first in line for the jobs. And not only the jobs, but also to get the licenses to run the businesses.”
Charlamagne added that cannabis reform is more complicated in South Carolina, which doesn’t have a medical marijuana program, in part because it’s “a good ol’ boy state.”
“Prisons are a big business here, so it’s going to be hard for them to decriminalize marijuana when they can lock so many people up for it,” he said.
Harris has become a vocal advocate for comprehensive marijuana legalization, but she’s also been an easy target for opponents who’ve pointed out that during her time as a prosecutor her office pursued low-level cannabis offenses and she opposed proposals to end prohibition in California.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), another presidential candidate, called Harris out for her prosecutorial record during a Democratic debate in July. Even Saturday Night Live poked fun at the senator, casting her as “America’s fun aunt” who will give you marijuana and then arrest you for possessing marijuana.
Harris also recently discussed the importance of promoting social equity in the legal industry in a separate interview where she joked about full-body CBD lotion rubs.
Photo courtesy of YouTube/The Breakfast Club.