Democratic Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard was among the first to land a solid blow on presidential primary rival Sen. Kamala Harris (CA), but she may not have taken her attack far enough.
“She put over 1500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana,” Gabbard said of Harris’s time as a prosecutor and District Attorney of San Francisco. (RELATED: Kamala Harris Rips Tulsi Gabbard: ‘I Can Only Take What She Says And Her Opinion So Seriously’)
Senator Harris claims to be “for the people”. Her record as AG tells a very different story. (link: https://t.co/JeftgP0Qma) https://t.co/JeftgP0Qma #TulsiGabbard #Tulsi2020 pic.twitter.com/lUFhxGTBkr
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) August 1, 2019
But as Joe Garofoli of the San Francisco Chronicle discovered as he fact-checked Gabbard’s claim, the number of people Harris sent to jail for marijuana violations was actually closer to 2000.
Garofoli noted that an initial report published by the Washington Free Beacon had put the number at 1560, but that a spokesman for California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation had told him the actual number was 1974.
The [Free Beacon] article cited statistics from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation that said “at least 1,560 people were sent to state prisons for marijuana-related offenses between 2011 and 2016” during the time Harris was the state AG. On Thursday, a department spokesman told The Chronicle that 1,974 people were admitted for hashish and marijuana convictions during that period.
Gabbard continued her attacks on Harris during an appearance on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” the evening after the debate, pointing out the fact that Harris has often touted her own record as a prosecutor.
“We are not talking about something that happened, you know, 30 years ago or 50 years ago. These are things that she did in her last job, just before she was elected as U.S. Senator, and she should be held to account for them,” Gabbard argued. “She has claimed to be very proud of this record, so, answer for it. The voters deserve to know.”