Then-senator Harris, who was also a 2020 presidential candidate, supported legalizing marijuana at the federal level in 2019, saying that she smoked pot in college during an interview with a radio program hosted by DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne tha God.
“I have [smoked marijuana]. And I inhaled. I did inhale,” Harris said. “I think it gives a lot of people joy. And we need more joy in the world.”
Harris did clarify that she used the drug “a long time ago” during the interview and that more research needs to be done on the effects of marijuana on young developing brains.
As previously reported by Fox News, White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed that five White House staffers had been let go by the current administration for past marijuana use, which remains illegal under federal law.
Psaki also said, however, that the administration updated its policies to ensure that past marijuana use wouldn’t automatically disqualify staff or potential hires, which she indicated would represent a shift from past administrations.
Psaki linked to new guidelines reported by NBC, which indicated the White House will review instances on a case-by-case basis and provide exemptions for people who have used the drug on a “limited” basis and are in positions that don’t require a security clearance.
Harris generally sits in on the sensitive President’s Daily Brief given to Biden several days a week.
A number of states have already decriminalized recreational marijuana use.
In December, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would decriminalize marijuana. There is a similar ongoing effort among members of the party to move legislation in the current Congress as well.