Vice President Kamala Harris wasted little time condemning the harsh nine-year sentence WNBA star Brittney Griner received in a Russian court Thursday for drug smuggling, but given her own track record on the drug in question, it’s highly probable that Harris should have left well enough alone.
Griner was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport in February for allegedly having vape cartridges containing hash oil in her luggage — she had traveled to Russia to play in the Premier League during the WNBA off-season. A judge found that Griner had criminal intent and said she is guilty of smuggling and storing illegal drugs, and gave her the maximum sentence with time served, which is 9 1/2 years behind bars. Griner told the court she made “an honest mistake” when she brought vape cartridges containing oils derived from cannabis into the Moscow airport.
“With today’s sentencing, Russia continues its wrongful detention of Brittney Griner. She should be released immediately. @POTUS and I, and our entire Administration, are working every day to reunite Brittney, as well as Paul Whelan, with loved ones who miss each of them dearly,” Harris tweeted shortly thereafter.
With today’s sentencing, Russia continues its wrongful detention of Brittney Griner. She should be released immediately. @POTUS and I, and our entire Administration, are working every day to reunite Brittney, as well as Paul Whelan, with loved ones who miss each of them dearly.
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) August 4, 2022
President Biden also condemned the sentence in a statement that is almost identical to the statement Harris tweeted.
“Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney,” the statement said. “It’s unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates. My administration will continue to work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue to bring Brittney and Paul Whelan home safely as soon as possible.”
The problem for Harris is that, as the attorney general of California, she has a rich history of locking people up for marijuana charges.
The Washington Free Beacon reported in 2019 that between 2011 and 2016, while Harris was attorney general, at least 1,560 people were sent to prison on marijuana-related offenses. The Democrat came out for legalizing marijuana in 2018 but had previously opposed efforts to legalize weed.
Social media users were quick to remind us of the issue coming up during a 2020 Democratic presidential primary debate, when Harris was buried by former Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, from Hawaii.
“She put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when asked if she ever smoked marijuana,” Gabbard stated.
“She put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when asked if she ever smoked marijuana” pic.twitter.com/aR7yMSCcbn
— K!LLA CAM 🌺🇺🇸⏳ (@killaxxxcam) August 4, 2022
But that was just the beginning of the pushback that was seen online, as the vice president’s hypocrisy on the matter was simply too great to ignore.
Here’s a quick sampling of other responses to the story from Twitter:
Aren’t you the same lady that had about 2,000 people locked up for marijuana?
— Isabella Maria DeLuca (@IsabellaMDeLuca) August 5, 2022
You literally oversaw more than 1,900 marijuana convictions in San Francisco & prosecuted at a higher rate than person before you
That’s 1,900 wrongful detentions of people who should be released immediatley &/or records cleaned
— Anthony V. Clark (@anthonyvclark20) August 5, 2022
okay but you also loved throwing people in jail for marijuana possession charges so are you admitting that all of those were wrongful detentions ?? why hasn’t the biden administration pardoned everyone in jail for smoking weed ?? or is it only wrong when someone else does it
— lex (@euphwhoric) August 4, 2022
— James Rooney (@Grungeholio) August 5, 2022
And if anyone knows anything about wrongful detentions of people, it’s Kamala Harris. https://t.co/vEe8ZvS531
— Not Josh Blackman (@NotJoshBlackman) August 5, 2022
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