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Former Democratic congresswoman and presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard criticized Vice President Kamala Harris’ record on marijuana prosecution after Harris condemned Russia’s imprisonment of WNBA star Brittney Griner on cannabis charges.
“Another note of hypocrisy comes from Kamala Harris and this administration you mentioned during her glorious past as California Attorney General… she kept prisoners longer than their sentences to use them as free slave labor, but at the same time these same people they’re condemning other countries that are doing the exact same thing,” Gabbard told Fox News host Will Kaine.
Griner was sentenced by a Russian court to 9 years in prison this week after he was caught with a cannabis pen at an airport near Moscow earlier this year.
The sentence drew widespread condemnation from American officials, including Harris, who said she was working to secure Griner’s release.
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“With today’s sentencing, Russia continues its illegal detention of Brittney Griner. She must be released immediately,” Harris tweeted Thursday. “@POTUS and I, and our entire management, are working every day to reunite Brittney, as well as Paul Whelan, with loved ones who are each sorely missed.”
Gabbard, who noted that she also opposes Griner’s sentence, said “what struck me” about Harris’ tweet is that her administration has not expressed the same sentiment about people charged with marijuana crimes domestically.
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“Where is your outrage at your fellow Americans sitting in prison today here in the United States of America for minor marijuana violations,” Gabbard said. “How come you don’t fight as hard for them to go home and be reunited 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, she seems to be putting her finger in the wind and deciding on the things she’s supposed to be angry about every day, and if that becomes politically inconvenient or damaging, then she’ll reverse course.” Gabbard said Harris prosecutes marijuana offenders as California’s attorney general.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.