Tulsi Gabbard fundraises off 4/20: 'Appalls me' that feds consider marijuana illegal

Tulsi Gabbard fundraises off 4/20: 'Appalls me' that feds consider marijuana illegal
© Stefani Reynolds

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardDemocrats ask Labor Department to investigate Amazon warehouses Jack Dorsey maxes out donations to Tulsi Gabbard presidential bid Sanders praises Gen Z for being 'profoundly anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic' MORE (D-HI) released a fundraising email that called to legalize marijuana nationwide on Saturday, which coincided with April 20, a popular date in cannabis culture.

In an email to supporters, Gabbard wrote that it "appalls" her that more than half a million Americans were arrested for possession of marijuana in 2017.

"It appalls me that marijuana is considered a Schedule 1 drug, alongside heroin, and that our country arrested 600,000 people just for possession in 2017 alone. Meanwhile, Big Pharma gets off scot free for pushing highly addictive opioids on to patients who don’t need them," Gabbard wrote in the email.

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"Justice means expunging the records of those with marijuana possession charges and fully prosecuting Big Pharma for fueling an opioid epidemic that has killed thousands," she continued.

The email went on to donation options in several iterations of the number "420," including $4.20, $14.20, $42.00 and $420.00, before attacking racial disparities in drug crime prosecution statistics.

"The costs of our current, draconian policies on marijuana are disproportionately borne by medical patients, veterans and communities of color," Gabbard wrote.

"Although black and Latino populations use and sell drugs at a similar rate as whites, they make up 57 percent of the incarcerated population in spite of being only 25 percent of the overall U.S. population," she added.

Gabbard, who is running for president among a crowded field of Democrats vying for the party's 2020 nomination, was not the only Democratic contender to issue a call for marijuana's legalization at the federal level on Saturday.

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris tops Biden in California 2020 poll The Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment Democrats fret over Trump cash machine MORE (D-Calif.) tweeted that marijuana should be legalized, writing that "[c]ommunities of color have been disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs. We must reverse this trend."

"It’s not enough just to say we want to #LegalizeIt," added former San Antonio Mayor Julian CastroJulian CastroFundraising numbers highlight growing divide in 2020 race 2020 Democrats call Trump's tweets about female Democrats racist Julián Castro: 'Everybody knows that the president acts like a white supremacist' MORE (D-Texas). "We will also regulate it, taking best practices of states that have successfully legalized marijuana. And while we’re at it, we’ll expunge the records of folks who’ve been incarcerated for using it."