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Former Democratic congressman and presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard criticized Vice President Kamala Harris’ track record over the marijuana prosecution after Harris sentenced the Russian incarceration of WNBA star Brittney Griner on cannabis charges.
“Another tone of hypocrisy emanating from Kamala Harris and this administration is mentioned during its illustrious record of service as a California Attorney General… she kept prisoners in prison longer than their sentence to use them as free slave labor, but at the same time were these same people condemning other countries for doing the exact same thing,” Gabbard told TSTIME News host Will Cain.
Griner was sentenced this week to 9 years in prison by a Russian court after being caught with a pen for vaporizing cannabis at an airport near Moscow earlier this year.
The verdict was widely condemned by US officials, including Harris, who said she is working towards Griner’s release.
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“With today’s sentencing, Russia is continuing its wrongful detention of Brittney Griner. She should be released immediately,” Harris tweeted on Thursday. “@POTUS and I, and our entire government, work every day to reunite Brittney, as well as Paul Whelan, with loved ones who miss each and every one of them dearly.”
Gabbard, who pointed out that she also opposes Griner’s conviction, said the “thing that struck me” about Harris’s tweet is that her administration has not expressed the same sentiment for people accused of marijuana crimes domestically.
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“Where is your outrage at your fellow Americans who are in prison today here in the United States of America for minor marijuana offenses,” said Gabbard. “How come you don’t fight as hard for their return home and reunite with their families as you did for Brittney Griner?”
Gabbard added that she believes Harris is sending the message that the rich and powerful in the United States will be treated differently than average Americans when it comes to prosecuting marijuana crimes.
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“Unfortunately, like too many politicians, it seems that she keeps her finger to the wind and decides the things she should be angry about on any given day and if it becomes politically inconvenient or harmful then she will turn the other side.” go up.” Gabbard said of Harris prosecuting marijuana offenders as California’s Attorney General.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TSTIME News Digital.