Former president Bill Clinton famously once said he smoked marijuana at Oxford — but “didn’t like it and didn’t inhale.” In 1992, it just wasn’t OK to admit you had smoked pot, even if you were, as Clinton was, a young man in the 1960s, when drug use exploded in America.
But when Barack Obama came along in 2008, it was cool to say you’d once been a stoner. And Obama detailed his days in “The Choom Gang,” a group of kids in Hawaii who smoked a lot of reefer. And nowadays, it’s all totally cool. Marijuana is legal for recreational use in 10 states, and some 33 states allow the use of medical marijuana. So the taboo that once existed on pot smoking has been greatly reduced since Clinton ran for office.
But 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker on Monday appeared to take a shot at his rival, Sen. Kamala Harris, for what he said was “bragging” about her past marijuana use.
“We have presidential candidates, senators bragging about their pot use while there are kids who can’t get a job because they have a nonviolent offense for doing things that two of the last three presidents did,” the New Jersey Democrat said in an interview on MSNBC.
Booker has already been making stops in Iowa, a more conservative part of the country that has not made recreational or medical use of marijuana legal. On one stop, he criticized fellow candidates who are advocating that the records of those arrested for marijuana violations be expunged, given the new climate on its use.
“We have presidential candidates and congresspeople and senators that now talk about their marijuana use almost as if it’s funny,” he said, according to Marijuana Moment. “But meanwhile, in 2017, we had more arrests for marijuana possession in this country than all the violent crime arrests combined.”
“Do not talk to me about legalizing marijuana unless in the same breath you talk to me about expunging the records of millions of people that are suffering with not being able to find a job,” he said
Kamala Harris, a Democrat from California, where recreational marijuana use is allowed, said last month in a radio interview that she listened to Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur while smoking marijuana way back in her college days.
Co-host “Charlemagne tha God” asked Harris if she had ever smoked marijuana, to which the California senator replied: “I have.”
“And I did inhale. I did inhale! It was a long time ago, but yes. I just broke loose,” Harris said. She added: “I think it gives a lot of people joy. And we need more joy in the world.”
The host asked her what music she listened to when high, and Harris said, “Definitely Snoop. Tupac for sure.”
There was just one little problem. Harris graduated from Howard University in 1986, and she finished her schooling for a law degree from University of California in 1989. But Tupac Shakur did not release his first album until November 1991 and Snoop Dogg didn’t put out his first work until two years later.
By the time those albums were released, Harris was working as a deputy district attorney in Alameda County, Calif.
Still, Kamala Harris is making it clear she’s hip to the scene, daddio. Asked in the radio interview if she opposes marijuana legalization, she said: “That’s not true. Look, I joke about it, I have joked about it. Half my family is from Jamaica, are you kidding me?”