The winds of political change are blowing fast in the United States, particularly involving marijuana.
The majority of states — 33 at last count — have now passed some type of legalization, permitting either medical or recreational use of the substance.
Some politicians want to take this trend even further.
Presidential hopeful Kamala Harris, the Democratic senator from California, has just proposed sweeping changes to the nation’s criminal justice system … and a sort of marijuana revolution is at the center of her plans.
According to an Op-Ed penned by Harris herself and posted to Medium on Monday, the 2020 candidate not only wants to decriminalize weed federally, she wants to funnel taxpayer money to marijuana dealers — but only if they’re minorities, it seems.
Much of Harris’ proposal is boilerplate social justice jargon.
“[D]ecades of failed policies have created an unjust, unequal, and vastly expansive system that disproportionately harms communities of color and criminalizes individuals just because they are poor,” the senator declared.
She of course neglected to explain which individuals are being hauled away in handcuffs “just because they are poor,” a gross exaggeration of how the system works.
As a former prosecutor, you’d think she’d know that people end up in criminal court for breaking actual written laws, but we digress.
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“As president, Kamala will fundamentally transform how we approach public safety,” she continued, sounding eerily like Barack Obama.
But what does it actually mean?
Harris laid out a four-point plan, which includes ending “mass incarceration” and retroactively tossing out convictions for people who were found guilty of marijuana-related offenses.
That by itself isn’t particularly radical.
After all, many libertarian-minded voices have talked about decriminalizing marijuana for years, and this is hardly a strict left-versus-right issue.
But Harris then went a step further with a fairly head-scratching proposal.
“Kamala’s Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act […] Provides states and localities with funds to make loans to assist small businesses in the marijuana industry that are owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals,” her proposal reads.
The Harris piece is not heavy on details in this area, but it sure seems like the candidate is saying she wants to send taxpayer money to fund people involved in selling weed.
Forget choosing who receives federal loans based on their qualifications, experience or ability to responsibly repay the taxpayer money.
If you’re not a “socially disadvantaged individual,” no money for you.
A clue as to who counts as “socially disadvantaged” can be found elsewhere in the Op-Ed.
It appears to be largely based on race.
“Black Americans are incarcerated at more than 5 times the rate of White Americans; the incarceration rate for Black women is twice that of White women,” Harris wrote.
“Black people are about four times more likely than White people to be arrested for marijuana.”
Is “socially disadvantaged individual” politically correct speak for “black person?”
Again, that’s the obvious conclusion after reading the piece.
If so, then not only does the liberal candidate want to subsidize marijuana dealers with federal money, she apparently wants to do it based on skin color.
Oh, and based on gender. In a different section of the Op-Ed, Harris singled out women as disadvantaged by current laws.
“We must therefore focus on dramatically reducing the number of incarcerated women convicted of non-violent offenses by finding alternatives to incarceration,” she claimed.
If putting non-violent offenders in prison is wrong, why not end it across the board?
Instead, Harris seems obsessed with splitting people into groups — particularly race and gender — and dealing with them differently.
Put the government into the marijuana loan business, and then only direct that money to “disadvantaged” people who fit demographic groups chosen by the left.
That’s what passes for liberalism in 2019.
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