Vice President Kamala Harris was accused of hypocrisy after she decried Brittney Griner’s conviction by Russia on cannabis smuggling charges — despite Harris prosecuting thousands of similar marijuana possession cases in her earlier career as a prosecutor.
Griner, 31, was sentenced on Thursday to nine years in prison after she admitted to bringing vape cartridges containing cannabis oil into the country. The WNBA star said she had been prescribed the oil to help relieve pain related to her chronic injuries and had accidentally packed them in her luggage.
The verdict was met with universal condemnation from US diplomats and government officials, led by President Biden, who called the sentence “unacceptable” and demanded that Russia release both Griner and a second jailed American, Paul Whelan, “immediately.”
Harris released a separate statement on Twitter condemning Griner’s conviction.
The San Jose Mercury News reported in 2019 that during Harris’ tenure as San Francisco’s top prosecutor between 2004-2010, her office handled more than 1,900 marijuana convictions — although it has been pointed out that most of those arrested for low-level possession were spared prison time, and only a few dozen were incarcerated.
Harris was elected the Golden State’s attorney general in 2011 and had a further 1,970 people locked up for marijuana offenses on her watch, according to an investigation by the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative publication.
Harris also vocally opposed California’s marijuana legalization ballot initiative, which ultimately passed in 2016.
Approved ~ MJM