• Kamala Harris Wants Taxpayers to Help Start Up … Pot Stores?

    Surge Summary: Presidential candidate Kamala Harris sketches a plan for the Federal Government to arrange low-interest loans for marijuana businesses, contradictory her former reputation as a tough-on-drug-use prosecutor.

    As part of a broader criminal justice plan released Monday, Senator Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) is proposing to make government loans available to “economically and socially disadvantaged” Americans aiming to start marijuana businesses.

    No, that’s not a typo.

    There’s a deepening whiff of desperation about Harris’ presidential campaign these days as her poll numbers crash and her Oval Office aspirations seem to drift further out of electoral reach. Her pandering is growing increasingly flagrant and unwatchable. Last week it was enthusiasm for Washington doing something about America’s meat consumption – again, no typo. This week? Taxpayer bucks for pot stores.

    It all sounds like a corny plot for a comedic cartoon.

    Here are the specifics (Jack Crowe/National Review):

    Harris, who has been criticized by progressives over her record as a prosecutor, calls for a restorative justice approach to marijuana legalization that would direct the resulting economic benefits to the communities that she argues have been most harmed by the war on drugs. As part of this approach, Harris would direct federal funds to states and local governments that would then provide presumably low-interest marijuana business loans to individuals deemed “disadvantaged.”

    “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,” the criminal justice plan reads.

    Allegedly, a “sales tax on marijuana and marijuana products” would provide the funding for these loans.

    All of the Democrats’ top-tier presidential aspirants favor federal legalization, Joe Biden excepted.

    Former tough-on-drugs California prosecutor Harris now endorses legalizing marijuana at the federal level. She additionally would retroactively clear the records of those convicted on marijuana-related charges.

    These soft-on-pot views are at variance with those she’s previously maintained, first as a prosecutor and as a lawmaker.

    In her six years as California attorney general, Harris jailed 1,974 people on marijuana-related charges. As recently as 2014, Harris laughed when asked about the Republican California attorney general’s support for legalization and, in 2010, she opposed a California measure that would have legalized recreational marijuana in the state.

    The ganja issue has recently caused a rift between her and family members as well.

    When she insinuated during a radio interview that her family were a bunch of pot-heads, her father wasn’t pleased.

    “Half my family’s from Jamaica. Are you kidding me?” Harris said when asked if she smoked marijuana in her youth.

    Harris’s father responded by accusing his daughter of shaming the family.

    “My dear departed grandmothers (whose extraordinary legacy I described in a recent essay on this website), as well as my deceased parents, must be turning in their grave right now to see their family’s name, reputation and proud Jamaican identity being connected, in any way, jokingly or not with the fraudulent stereotype of a pot-smoking joy seeker and in the pursuit of identity politics,” he wrote.

    Lots of head-scratchers here: First of all, the most basic of constitutional questions is provoked: What is the federal government doing facilitating loans to private businesses? Aren’t there all kinds of other concerns meriting Washington’s already cash-strapped attention? (This dilemma doesn’t start or stop with dollars-for-weed vendors, by the way.)

    Second, let’s see: Sen. Harris is boosting the proliferation of cannabis shops in neighborhoods where drug abuse is likely already a crippling feature (“socially and economically disadvantaged”)? Why, whatever could go wrong there?

    These late moves in the Kamala-for-President push make one afraid to ask: What’s next?

    Good news is, as her increasingly erratic and groveling campaign moves forward, it looks like voters are more reluctant to support her. Although I suspect suggestions like this most recent one will tick up her support among Grateful Dead fans.

    H/T: National Review/Jack Crowe

    Image: Adapted from: Laurie Avocado – [1]Medical Marijuana], CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4208788

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