Only 45 People Went To State Prison For Weed Under Kamala Harris, So Why Don’t People Just STFU Already?
Time to debunk the same stupid claims we debunked back in 2019 again.
Apparently, people have forgotten, since 2019, that Tulsi Gabbard lied about Kamala Harris locking people up for smoking Jazz Cigarettes, while she was DA in San Francisco. In fact, people have such bad memories that they have taken to citing Gabbard’s accusations from the primary debates, as if the lies she rattled off are well known facts, rather than complete fabrications. I often see one accusation Gabbard made that night being flung around at Democrats these days: the erroneous idea that Kamala Harris sent 1900 people to prison for smoking weed. Somehow not one of the major news organizations, who have been known to print accusations against Harris verbatim, has ever bothered to look into the actual facts about Cannabis incarcerations that occurred under Harris’s purview. Kamala Harris did her job, but she was not the type of DA that was running around trying to put people in prison for smoking a few Jazz Cigarettes. In fact, she was one of the more Progressive DAs when it came to prosecutions for Cannabis, and the number of people sent to prison just for weed is far less than 1900, or whatever number people are using these days.
Most of the journalists in the MSM seem to rely on other publications to seek out the truth; rather than buckling down and getting to the heart of any particular issue, they gather opinions of various people who really have no idea what the reality is. Their eyes grow big when they see the number 1900 sitting there beside the word convictions, so they assume everyone who was convicted actually went to prison. That’s a stupid assumption.
From Mercury News:
Harris oversaw more than 1,900 marijuana convictions in San Francisco, previously unreported records from the DA’s office show. Her prosecutors appear to have convicted people on marijuana charges at a higher rate than under her predecessor, based on data about marijuana arrests in the city.
Most people stop reading right about there, because it’s much easier to become hysterical than to actually finish reading the article. I know I certainly prefer screaming erroneous bullshit at random stranger on the internet to actually knowing WTF I’m talking about. Who doesn’t?
But former lawyers in Harris’ office and defense attorneys who worked on drug cases say most defendants arrested for low-level pot possession were never locked up. And only a few dozen people were sent to state prison for marijuana convictions under Harris’ tenure.
Does that say “only a few dozen” of these people convicted for Weed even made it to prison? Yes, yes it certainly does. Looks like Harris locked up far fewer than the 1500-1900 souls her detractors claim she locked away. So, clearly, all the people who keep running around crying bitter tears about how Kamala Harris used to lock up truant Black Kids for weed are absolutely full of shit.
Oh, and here’s another very important piece of info:
None of the marijuana convictions Harris’ office secured are still on the books. Her successor as DA, George Gascón, moved earlier this year to expunge all 9,300 of the city’s marijuana convictions going back to 1975.
Anyone prosecuted by Harris’s office during her tenure as DA, or for two decades before, has had their record expunged. This means there are no citizens that were convicted, being held back by having a Marijuana conviction on their record. Every single conviction since 1975 has been systematically removed from the system.
“There is no way anyone could say that she was draconian in her pursuit of marijuana cases,” said Niki Solis, a high-ranking attorney in the San Francisco Public Defender’s office during Harris’ time as DA.
Yep. You read that exactly right. The actual Public Defender is siding with the Former DA, Kamala Harris, a woman her office went up against time after time.
Over Harris’ seven years as top prosecutor, her attorneys won 1,956 misdemeanor and felony convictions for marijuana possession, cultivation, or sale, according to data from the DA’s office. That includes people who were convicted of marijuana offenses and more serious crimes at the same time.
Okay, so, that’s the number when you include people who also had charges other than weed they were convicted for. But, what about the people who were only charged with weed?
Conviction rate aside, only 45 people were sentenced to state prison for marijuana convictions during Harris’ seven years in office, compared with 135 people during Hallinan’s eight years, according to data from the state corrections department. That only includes individuals whose most serious conviction was for marijuana.
FORTY FIVE GODDAMN PEOPLE?? 45? Um? Why haven’t people read this article and moved on from this made up issue?
“Our policy was that no one with a marijuana conviction for mere possession could do any (jail time) at all,” said Paul Henderson, who led narcotics prosecutions for several years under Harris. Defendants arrested for the lowest-level possession would typically be referred to drug treatment programs instead of being charged, and weightier charges for marijuana sales would routinely be pleaded down to less serious ones, he said.
If nobody could be imprisoned for mere possession, then all those stories about Kamala laughing while she locked up poor kids for smoking a joint are just like the stories Trump told us about the “Beautiful Healthcare” he had planned for us. I mean, we’re in a fucking pandemic, and Trump’s health plan seems to be to just let us die, so pretty soon we should find out that Harris has magical wings, and flies reefer smoking teens home on her back every night.
Solis, who led the public defender’s office misdemeanor division for part of Harris’ tenure, agreed that her office only rarely prosecuted people for low-level, simple possession.
“Kamala Harris and I disagreed on a lot of criminal justice issues, but I have to admit, she was probably the most progressive prosecutor in the state at the time when it came to marijuana,” Solis said.
Solis had more to say in her recent USA Today Op-ed:
Having had this experience, I feel compelled to speak on Harris’ record while she was a district attorney. Simply put, Harris was the most progressive prosecutor in the state. This is not an anecdotal opinion. It is based on facts.
As San Francisco DA, Harris refused to seek the death penalty — even on a case where a very respected police officer was tragically killed. Marijuana sales cases were routinely reduced to misdemeanors. And marijuana possession cases were not even on the court’s docket. They were simply not charged. Unless there was a large grow case, or a unique circumstance, this was the reform-minded approach then-DA Harris’ office took. The accusations about marijuana prosecutions being harsh during her tenure are absurd. The reality was quite the opposite.
Like with most tales of the terrible things Kamala Harris did during her tenure as DA, the stories being spread about her are nothing more than mythology. Successful women are scary as hell to men and women around the world, and the pushback is meant to reinforce roles and force women to fear stepping out into traditional male spaces and working within occupations the Patriarchy had determined belonged to men for all time. Daily, we will hear new attacks on Harris, as we would no matter which woman Joe Biden had chosen. Our job is to actually use critical thinking skills and our research ability to debunk false claims immediately; if we can manage to find this information, there is no reason the media shouldn’t be able to find it too. Since I know how shifty the media is, I will be debunking these things for you. Until next time!