Kamala Harris acknowledges smoking weed in the past

Democratic White House hopeful Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThe Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck The Memo: All eyes on faltering Biden ahead of first debate 2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the first Democratic showdown MORE (D-Calif.) on Monday acknowledged that she has smoked marijuana in the past.

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In a radio interview on New York City radio station WWPR's “The Breakfast Club,” Harris, who recently entered the 2020 presidential race, said she smoked a joint “a long time ago” and pushed back on accusations that she has opposed efforts to legalize marijuana. 

“I have,” she said when asked by host Charlamagne Tha God if she had ever smoked marijuana.

“And I did inhale,” she added, joking about former President Clinton’s famous line that he had smoked marijuana but “didn’t inhale.”

 

Harris went on to say that accusations she has tried to keep the drug from becoming legalized are not true.

“That’s not true,” she said.

“Half my family’s from Jamaica, are you kidding me?” she added, laughing.

Harris added that she supports legalization, a stance she expanded on in a new book published last month.

Last year, Harris backed fellow 2020 candidate Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerInslee unveils plan to fight fossil fuel pollution The Memo: All eyes on faltering Biden ahead of first debate Progressive group launches campaign to identify voters who switch to Warren MORE’s (D-N.J.) proposed bill to decriminalize the drug.

“I think that it gives a lot of people joy. We need more joy,” she said of marijuana in the interview Monday.

Harris faced criticism for laughing off a question about legalization of recreational marijuana in 2014 when she was running for reelection as California attorney general.

Nationwide support has grown for legal recreational pot, with 62 percent of respondents saying in an October poll that they support legalizing marijuana.

Currently, 10 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational pot, and 33 have legalized medical marijuana. Oregon Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOvernight Defense: House passes T spending package with defense funds | Senate set to vote on blocking Saudi arms sales | UN nominee defends climate change record Grassley announces opposition to key Trump proposal to lower drug prices Exclusive: Trump administration delayed releasing documents related to Yellowstone superintendent's firing MORE (D) last week introduced a bill to legalize the substance at the federal level.