When Rep. Tulsi Gabbard charged Sen. Kamala Harris at the Democratic presidential candidates’ debate on July 31 with putting “over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations” during her time as attorney general of California from 2011-2016 and Harris later fired back that Gabbard is an “apologist” for Syrian dictator, Bashar al-Assad who has “murdered the people of his country like cockroaches” and that Gabbard “refuses to call him a war criminal,” it opened a huge can of worms.
As Freedom Leaf reported prior to the debate, the 1,500-figure stated by the right-wing website Washington Free Beacon in February, and which Gabbard quoted from, was erroneous. First of all, the actual figure reported by the Free Beacon was 1,560. After receiving data from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, we added up the total number of prison admissions for marijuana-related felony offenses during those six years. The actual total was 1,876. That figure would appear to buttress Gabbard’s argument that Harris was somehow responsible for the admissions.
However, in its fact-checking article, the San Jose Mercury-News wrote the next day, as we noted in our article:
“The attorney general’s office doesn’t directly prosecute the vast majority of drug cases