When California Senator Kamala Harris declared her run for the presidency, she gained an instant following among the constituents of the Democratic Party. One of the policies that Harris hopes to enact if elected president is the legalization of marijuana. She admits to having had smoked the drug in the past. However, her Jamaican father who is a professor at Stanford University has come forward to criticize his daughter for using a “fraudulent stereotype” to justify her use of the drug.
Because she used the drug when she was younger, she wanted to be honest with the American people about it. And now the many states have legalized the recreational use of the drug, it no longer is as much of a taboo as it was a few decades ago. Marijuana usage has been linked to many medical benefits especially when treating cancer and some other life-threatening conditions.
“I joke about it – half joke – but half my family’s from Jamaica! Are you kidding me?” Harris said in a radio interview earlier this month.
When her father heard her speak about his country of origin like that, he turned to a Jamaican website and openly criticized her daughter just as she is going for the most powerful seat in the land. Her father said she exploited the “fraudulent stereotype of a pot-smoking joy seeker.”
Donald Harris then said the following about his daughter and one of the leaders for the Democratic Party: “Speaking for myself and my immediate Jamaican family, we wish to dissociate ourselves from this travesty categorically.”
Meanwhile, Senator Harris points to the fact that black men are more likely to be arrested for marijuana-related crimes and that “not all drugs are the same.”
Presidents have admitted to using marijuana for decades. Bill Clinton famously said he smoked but “didn’t inhale” pot when he was a young man. Barack Obama said that inhaling marijuana “was the point.”
Because Donald Harris felt that his presidential candidate daughter threw Jamaican people under the bus when she made the joke about smoking pot, he said:
“My dear departed grandmothers … as well as my deceased parents, must be turning in their grave right now to see their family’s name, reputation and proud Jamaican identity being connected, in any way, jokingly or not with the fraudulent stereotype of a pot-smoking joy seeker and in the pursuit of identity politics. Speaking for myself and my immediate Jamaican family, we wish to dissociate ourselves from this travesty categorically.”
The following is what Harris said that offended her father. She affirmed that she had smoked marijuana in the past.
“I have. And I inhaled. I did inhale. It was a long time ago, but yes. I just broke the news!” Harris said as she was laughing. “You know, I joke about it – half joke – but half my family’s from Jamaica! Are you kidding me?”
When asked how she smoked marijuana, Harris said: “It was a joint. I think it gives a lot of people joy, and we need more joy!”
What do you think about this controversy?
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