In the wake of Jeff Sessions' decision to rescind the Cole Memo, many politicians have come out of the woodwork to criticize the Attorney General's new policies. But at least one of these politicians is being accused of being disingenuous.
Kamala Harris is a Democratic senator representing the state of California. After Sessions' announced his decision on the Cole Memo, Harris sent out a petition to supporters that also including a call for fundraising. And while Harris' has spoken out about marijuana legalization, she's done nothing about it.
As Tom Angell, from the website Marijuana Moment, points out, Harris has not sponsored any bills related to marijuana at all. And not just bills that would legalize the drug. She hasn't sponsored any bills related to medical marijuana or research of the drug either. While she's made speeches and sent emails about it, her work in Senate shows that she doesn't seem too passionate about the issue.
Kamala Harris is building a fundraising email list with her new marijuana petition but she still hasn’t taken the simple step of adding her name as a cosponsor of any marijuana bills— Tom Angell 🌳📰 (@tomangell) January 7, 2018
Meanwhile, @CoryBooker @SenGillibrand @SenWarren and others are actually working to change laws https://t.co/7jwjvaKTDr
Kamala Harris could add her name to any of these cannabis bills: From descheduling to banking to tax fairness to research to even just hemp. She’s done literally nothing to advance marijuana reform as a senator except tweet and mention “grandma’s medical marijuana” in speeches. pic.twitter.com/e8p9U30uyY— Tom Angell 🌳📰 (@tomangell) January 7, 2018
These Republican senators have cosponsored marijuana bills this Congress:— Tom Angell 🌳📰 (@tomangell) January 8, 2018
Meanwhile, Democratic darling @KamalaHarris has signed onto exactly zero cannabis bills.
I admire you generally, @SenKamalaHarris, but how can you tweet about this every day using both your accounts and not cosponsor any of the federal marijuana bills? POC are going to jail. I could go to jail. Please don’t use this issue for popularity until you’re doing something. https://t.co/1hp6pfulkB— Shaleen Title (@shaleentitle) January 8, 2018
So what's the reason behind Harris pro-marijuana speeches but lack of action? The answer is politics. Harris is seen as a likely candidate to run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. And considering the vast majority of Democrats support marijuana legalization, being against it would hurt her chances for the nomination. It also doesn't help that another likely candidate, Senator Cory Booker, has also made his pro-marijuana policies clear and introduced bills to change our nation's drug laws.
Harris is basically trying to have her cake and eat it to. She wants to establish herself as a pro-marijuana candidate without actually doing anything to help the movement.
Perhaps recent events will motivate Harris to get more involved in the movement. But until then, she should be considered all talk, no walk.