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Vice President Kamala Harris: No one should go to jail for smoking marijuana

In a late-night interview, Vice President Kamala Harris underscored President Biden’s decision to pardon Americans convicted of marijuana possession, declaring that “no one should go to jail for smoking cannabis.” did.

Democrats told NBC’s Seth Meyers that a Biden pardon is a first step and the issue could play a role in the midterm elections.

“We are calling on governors and states to take the lead in granting amnesty to those found guilty of marijuana possession,” Harris said. “If Congress acts, we will have a unified approach to this and many other issues. But Congress needs to act.”

Marijuana is considered illegal at the federal level, but 19 states and Washington, D.C., allow recreational marijuana use, and about 30 states allow medical use.

Harris said voters should ask candidates where they stand on the issue and “vote accordingly.”

Biden last week issued a pardon for all previous federal crimes of simple marijuana possession, urging governors to follow his example at the state level. While the thousands of people affected by this decision are unlikely to end up in prison, convictions could make it harder to get jobs and housing.

SEE ALSO: Voters in Five States Consider Marijuana Legalization in November Ballots

Harris also said access to abortion will be a key issue in the upcoming election. She said if Democrats win her two seats in the Senate, they can codify the nationwide abortion rights that were overturned by the Supreme Court earlier this year.

She also said that senators have retained their influence longer than congressmen.

“These Senate seats — six-year terms,” ​​she said.

Harris said a conservative majority in the Supreme Court could reconsider access to contraception and gay marriage, which could raise the stakes.

“There are so many things about these issues that affect everyone and the people you love, so take them seriously and let our votes speak for themselves. Vice President Kamala Harris: No one should go to jail for smoking marijuana

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