Things That Matter

Kamala Harris Pledges That, If Elected, She and Joe Biden Would Decriminalize Marijuana Use

On Monday, Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris vowed that a Biden-Harris administration would “decriminalize” the use of marijuana.

“Under a Biden-Harris administration, we will decriminalize the use of marijuana and automatically expunge all marijuana-use convictions, and end incarceration for drug use alone,” Harris said during a Facebook Live virtual round-table.

“We need to deal with the system, and there needs to be significant change in the design of the system,” she continued.

The decriminalization of marijuana would be a boon for cannabis-rights activists who have long said that marijuana’s potential health risks “pale in comparison” to the harm that criminalization has done to communities of color in America.

We’ve known for a while that the U.S.’s drug policies disproportionately affect people of color. While the stats suggest that Americans across all demographics use marijuana at roughly the same rate, Blacks and Latinos are more likely to be arrested and charged for possession.

For example, in New York City in 2017, the NYPD arrested 17,000 people for marijuana-related offenses. 86% of those were Black or Latino.

via Getty Images

Historically, politicians on both the left and the right haven’t done much to fix this disparity. Although both Republicans and Democrats were responsible for the largely ineffective “War On Drugs” policies of the ’90s that left a large number of people of color incarcerated, the Dems have recently changed their tune.

In the ’90s, there was an erroneous belief that marijuana was a “gateway” drug to harder, more destructive drugs, like crack-cocaine. Cracking down on marijuana possession was seen as a preventative tactic to keep people from trying crack.

The decriminalization of marijuana would be a marked change for Biden in particular who has held quite stringent anti-marijuana positions throughout his career.

“The school of thought was that we had to do everything we could to dissuade the use of crack cocaine,” Biden said in 2008 Senate hearing. “And so I am part of the problem that I have been trying to solve since then.”

This falls in line with what Senator Harris’s policy stances have been of late. She recently spear-headed a bill called the MORE Act that, if passed according to Politico, would “remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and erase some cannabis criminal records”.

It’s worth noting that there is a marked distinction between the decriminalization of marijuana vs its legalization.

via Getty Images

According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, decriminalization means “no arrest, prison time, or criminal record for the first-time possession of a small amount of marijuana for personal consumption”. In essence, a marijuana-related offense would be treated similarly to a traffic violation.

Legalization, on the other hand, would mean a federal policy that “supports a legally controlled market for marijuana, where consumers can buy marijuana for personal use from a safe legal source.”

Whether it’s decriminalization or legalization, one thing’s for sure: the data shows that hyper-punitive laws towards cannabis possession has done the American people more harm than good. Especially in communities of color.

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Kamala Harris Ruffles Republican Feathers With Her Dancing And Proves GOP Wouldn’t Know Fun If It Threw Them A Party

Fierce

Kamala Harris Ruffles Republican Feathers With Her Dancing And Proves GOP Wouldn’t Know Fun If It Threw Them A Party

Nic Antaya / Getty

Right-wing conservatives really don’t know how to have a good time.

You may remember about a year ago the GOP was up in arms when 30 seconds of a 4-minute, 20-second video that featured a then-freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dancing in a video filmed at her alma mater Boston University. The video saw Ocasio-Cortez, who graduated from BU in 2011 with a degree in economics and international relations, imitating dance scenes from popular 1980s films and upset conservatives because she was… dun. DUN. DUNNN.

Dancing.

Now it seems the GOP are startled again, this time after seeing Sen. Kamala Harris breakout some moves of her own.

In a recent post published by The Washington Street Journal, author Peggy Noonan revealed that she took umbrage with Harris’s dance moves.

Noonan, a former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan and past winner of a Pulitzer Prize for commentary, spent her time scrutinizing Harris’ recent appearance at a recent campaign rally in Jacksonville, FL. For her appearance, Harris wore Converse sneakers and danced in the rain.

Noonan remarked that the senator’s “giddy” appearance was unserious. “She’s dancing with drum lines and beginning rallies with ‘Wassup, Florida!” Noonan remarked. “She’s throwing her head back and laughing a loud laugh, especially when nobody said anything funny. She’s the younger candidate going for the younger vote, and she’s going for a Happy Warrior vibe, but she’s coming across as insubstantial, frivolous.” Noonan also called Harris’s moves “embarrassing.” 

“Kamala Harris is running for vice president of the United States in an era of heightened and unending crisis,” she went onto write. “The world, which doubts our strength, our character, and our class, is watching. If you can’t imitate gravity, could you at least try for seriousness?”

Of course, in this piece, Noonan had nothing to say about Trump’s attempts at dancing which are in fact deeply embarrassing.

Many have been quick to highlight Noonan’s criticism and the double standard which she applied to Harris’ behavior in her piece.

“Peggy Noonan attacks Senator Harris b/c white supremacy dictates black women should stay in their place: quiet, subservient, and obedient,” one Twitter commented. “This is 2020. You don’t dictate Kamala Harris’s existence. You can’t take Kamala Harris’s joy.”

“This is the joy that so triggered Peggy Noonan that she wrote a column about how Senator Harris comes off as ‘insubstantial, frivolous,’” African American Policy Forum commented. “Black joy is something they feel the need to attack.”

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Black Eyed Peas With Jennifer Hudson Redo Lyrics Of ‘Where Is The Love’ For Powerful Biden Ad

Entertainment

Black Eyed Peas With Jennifer Hudson Redo Lyrics Of ‘Where Is The Love’ For Powerful Biden Ad

Black Eyed Peas / YouTube

There are seven days left until the 2020 presidential elections. Democrats and Republicans are doing everything they can to make sure that their party wins. The Black Eyed Peas and Jennifer Hudson joined the fight for a Biden/Harris administration with a powerful ad.

The Black Eyed Peas, Jennifer Hudson, and Joe Biden are appealing to the love of the American people.

The Black Eyed Peas with Jennifer Hudson reworked the lyrics to the groups mega hit “Where Is The Love” to appeal to the American voters. The video starts with Joe Biden quoting the late civil rights activist Ella Baker saying, “Give people light and they will find the way.”

Biden’s ad is a final push to appeal to the American voters’ compassion and love. Images of protesters fighting against police brutality and white supremacy stand alongside the white supremacists marching with torches. The stark realities of two Americas is shocking as people from all walks of life hold up hearts with their hands to appeal to voters.

The ad is resonating with voters who are desperate for a hopeful message from the White House.

Fear and hate have dominated the past four years. Marginalized communities have lost rights and progress under the Trump administration. The administration has apologized for white supremacists while underplaying the danger it poses to the U.S. The FBI has named white supremacy the biggest domestic terror threat in the U.S. yet the Trump administration has done little to limit it. During the first presidential debate, President Trump was asked to condemn white supremacy and he was not able to do so.

For Biden, the election is a referendum on what kind of nation we want moving forward.

People are excited to see this collaboration. It is tugging at everyone’s heartstrings. Hate crimes have increased significantly under the Trump administration and police brutality has become more visible. The deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor highlighted the need to better train our police forces and change policing in the U.S. Americans took to the streets for months protesting the disproportionate share of local and state budgets allocated to police departments.

People are focusing on the issues on the ballot.

The Democratic Party is highlighting the issues represented on the ballot this election. From immigration to healthcare to democracy, the argument from the Democratic Party is that this election is the most consequential election of our lifetime. Furthermore, the Democratic Party and the Biden/Harris campaign argue that the soul and spirit of our nation are on the ballot.

Don’t forget to vote on Nov. 3 or send in your mail-in ballot in time to make sure that your vote and voice are heard.

READ: Joe Biden Walks Away With Final Presidential Debate On Healthcare, Covid, And Many Issues

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