Lead image via
We’re still more than a year and a half away from the 2020 presidential election, but with primary season approaching quickly, a slew of Democrats are already vying for the early attention. And with support for cannabis legalization among the American public coming in at over 65%, it is no surprise that next year’s presidential hopefuls are jumping on the green wagon.
The latest fairweather cannabis fan is Senator Kamala Harris, an early leader in the race for a Democratic nomination. During a lengthy appearance on the syndicated morning radio show The Breakfast Club, host Charlamagne Tha God asked Harris about her stance on cannabis legalization, and whether she had ever smoked the sticky stuff herself.
Immediately, the Senator made it seem like common sense why she supports federal adult-use legalization. What Harris failed to mention, however, is that she spent swaths of her career in the criminal justice system supporting incarceration and literally scoffing at the idea of drug reform.
As the interview continued, Harris recalled her days in college at Howard University, where she said that she once smoked a joint with a group of friends. Pressed to paint a more vivid image of the college smoke-out, Charlamagne asked Harris what music she was listening to while smoking, followed by a guess from co-host DJ Envy, who asked if she was listening to Snoop Dogg. “Oh yeah, definitely Snoop,” Harris replied, before adding, “Tupac for sure.”
Something smells fishy here, though: Neither Snoop or Tupac had ever released music before Harris graduated from Howard in 1986. Maybe she got confused and misremembered law school? Nope, her ‘89 law school graduation was still two years before Tupac’s ‘91 debut and four years before Snoop released Doggystyle.
The timing discrepancies in Harris’ claims were first uncovered by Twitter user @Joshieecs, and quickly went viral, throwing the Senator’s entire story into question.
Kamala Harris claims to have smoked pot in college while listening to Tupac and Snoop.— all about the Benjamins baby 🎶 (@joshieecs) February 11, 2019
Tupac's first album came out in 1991.
Snoop's first album came out in 1993.
Kamala Harris graduated college in 1986.
Either Harris was lying about her past experiences with cannabis to seem cool in front of cannabis-friendly radio hosts, or the politician got her years mixed up and was actually smoking weed well into the 1990s. The problem with that second theory is that in 1990, Harris accepted a role as the assistant district attorney in Alameda County, California where she helped to oversee thousands of prosecutions in Oakland and surrounding East Bay cities, including arrests for possessing and distributing cannabis.
It may not seem like a big deal to tell a white lie about bumping “Gin & Juice” and toking up in college. But when the truth turns out to be green rush posturing after decades of supporting the War on Drugs, the cute stories start to sound a bit more sinister.
Follow Zach Harris on Twitter