Jul 24, 2019

Kamala Harris introduces bill to decriminalize marijuana

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris introduced a bill with House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler on Tuesday to decriminalize marijuana at a federal level and expunge low-level marijuana possession convictions.

"Times have changed — marijuana should not be a crime. We need to start regulating marijuana, and expunge marijuana convictions from the records of millions of Americans so they can get on with their lives."
— Sen. Kamala Harris statement

The big picture: The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act focuses on criminal and social justice reforms, removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and introducing a 5% tax to go toward grants for minorities and low-income communities.

  • Nadler said in a joint statement with Harris that as states legalize marijuana, those with criminal convictions for the drug still face "second class citizenship."
"Racially motivated enforcement of marijuana laws has disproportionally impacted communities of color. It’s past time to right this wrong nationwide."

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New York decriminalizes marijuana use

Andrew Cuomo delivers a speech earlier this month. Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Monday to decriminalize marijuana use in the state. Under the law, use could still result in a fine, but will not be considered a criminal offense that could result in prison time.

The big picture: New York joins 15 other states that have decriminalized. 11 states plus Washington D.C. have legalized marijuana.

Go Deeper: Deep Dive: The burgeoning marijuana industry

Keep ReadingArrowJul 29, 2019

Kamala Harris' post-debate polling slump

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris at the Detroit debates hosted by CNN. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

After June's Democratic presidential debates, Sen. Kamala Harris has gone from a high of 20% of Democratic voters who favor her to just 7% on Tuesday, per Quinnipiac.

Why it matters: That 13-point drop in just one month indicates Harris' post-debate "sugar-high" might not be aging well, despite the fact that she's firmly established herself in the top tier of candidates in several national 2020 polls.

Go deeperArrowAug 7, 2019

How Kamala Harris' "Medicare for All" plan differs from Bernie Sanders

Kamala Harris. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

After changing course a couple of times on Sen. Bernie Sanders' "Medicare for All" plan, Sen. Kamala Harris is out with a version of her own on Monday.

How it works: Harris' proposal differs from Sanders' in a couple of key ways.

Go deeperArrowJul 29, 2019