Has Kamala Harris changed her stance on marijuana?

Vice President Kamala Harris announced that she supports the need for debt restructuring. Marijuana stocks have surged as the industry holds its breath. Harris spoke at a meeting at the White House with people who had received presidential pardons from marijuana authorities. Joseph Cartagena, aka rapper Fat Joe, and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) were in the crowd. But has Kamala Harris changed her stance on marijuana or is this another campaign promise that will take years to implement?

As a prosecutor in San Francisco, Harris oversaw more than 1,900 cannabis-related convictions, higher than their predecessors. When it came to the central question of whether the state voted for legal marijuana, Harris withdrew from the discussion. It wasn't until the 2020 presidential campaign that she appeared to change her mind and followed Biden's lead by promising the cannabis industry a friend in power. But it would take 3.5 years before any real action occurred.

In 2020, the cannabis economy was just gaining momentum, but now, with federal opposition, chaos in New York and California, and flower prices plummeting, a decisive change is needed. Marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug under Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) regulations. The classification describes the plant as heroin-like, LSD. It is considered a dangerous drug with no medical use. Science, medicine and cannabis advocates have lobbied for the federal government to either reclassify marijuana or repeal it altogether because it has proven medical benefits. Alcohol is considered a drug, but is not recorded.

President Joe Biden, who is running for re-election, has brought marijuana back into play, even mentioning it in his State of the Union address. But he said he would work with the industry in 2020, took office in 2021 and finally tentatively suggested a move in 2023. Harris was not given a public role in the conversation until the meeting.

The Biden/Harris campaign has tried to appeal to the young voters it needs. However, some of them are dissatisfied with his slow political reforms. Going into Election Day with more talk and no real action could be a dangerous path for the election.

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