Right now, the California Senator Kamala Harris is running for president, and she’s one of the frontrunners in a crowded Democratic field. But if she wants to become president, she’s going to have to appeal to left-wing voters in the primaries, and she’s going to have to appeal to any skeptical left-wing voters. That means that she needs to find the right thing to say about weed legalization, an especially tricky subject for her. She’s not doing very well at it.
Back in 2010, when she was still San Francisco district attorney, Harris opposed Proposition 19, which would’ve legalized marijuana in California, as ThinkProgress reports. Four years later, when Harris was running for reelection as California Attorney General, Harris literally laughed at her Republican opponent’s proposal to legalize marijuana. It’s only in the past few months that Harris has changed her position on marijuana legalization.
On Monday morning, Harris was a guest on The Breakfast Club, the New York radio show that’s best-known for viral interviews with rappers. On the show, Harris said that her opposition to legalized marijuana was “not true.” She joked that half of her family is from Jamaica. When host Charlamagne Tha God asked if she’d ever smoked weed, she said, “I have. And I did inhale. It was a long time ago. I just broke news.” When Charlamagne asked follow-ups, Harris said that this was in college, that it was a joint, and that she remembers the high. She also said, “I think it gives a lot of people joy, and we need more joy.”
— The Breakfast Club (@breakfastclubam) February 11, 2019
A few seconds later, Charlamagne asked what music Harris smoked while she was high, and she responded, “Oh my goodness. Oh yeah, definitely Snoop. Tupac for sure.” She was cackling through all this, obviously not taking it too seriously. But the problem, as people quickly pointed out, was that the timelines don’t match up.
A friend claimed I was spreading "fake news" about Kamala Harris listening to Snoop and Tupac before either of them were out
— T. Greg Doucette (@greg_doucette) February 12, 2019
Kamala Harris graduated college in 1986. She was admitted to the California Bar in 1990, and that’s also when she began serving as a deputy district attorney in Alameda County. 2Pac’s debut album 2Pacalypse Now came out in December 1991. Snoopy Doggy Dogg’s debut Doggystyle came out two years later. There are questions here!
Politician being asked about weed in 1993 (lying): I've actually never even seen marijuana.
Politician being asked about weed in 2019 (also lying): Oh you BET I was smoking that lound! Sticky icky. I…[turning to aide, who is nodding vigorously] I put honey on the blunt.
— Law Boy, Esq. (@The_Law_Boy) February 12, 2019
Maybe Kamala Harris kept smoking weed after college. Maybe she doesn’t remember what music was on. Maybe she somehow got ahold of a demo tape from a 14-year-old Snoop Dogg. Maybe she’s just lying! In any case, she clearly underestimated the depth of people’s weed-rap nerdery. Harris’ fudged timeline immediately became a meme on rap Twitter, and now it’s spread to the right wing media.
Steve Doocy pronounces "Tupac" like it rhymes with "Aflac" pic.twitter.com/AkihntlvnU
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) February 13, 2019
All of this certainly calls Harris’ sincerity into question. And it also raises the intriguing question of what collegiate stoners were listening to in 1986? Prince? Run-D.M.C.? Dire Straits? Dead bootlegs?
Here’s Harris’ full Breakfast Club interview: