Jaime Harrison, the opponent of current State Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, said in a CNBC interview that he is in favor of legalizing marijuana. Cannabis is fully illegal and criminalized in South Carolina, which means that patients and consumers have no access to medical and recreational products.
High Times noted that Harrison has outraised Graham in funds with a whopping $13.9 million in funding from April to June. This gives him an advantage over his opponent, especially as he is pushing for popular issues such as cannabis legalization and decriminalization, which he has been discussing over his years serving in the government and which can sway the vote of some residents.
This statement came in light of studies showing that younger residents of the United States support legalization. In fact, Gallup revealed that 81% of individuals between ages 18 and 29 believe that the plant should be legal.
Harrison, who studied at Yale and Georgetown Universities, agrees that marijuana should be legalized, regulated, and taxed just like alcohol and tobacco. He noted, “There is simply no medical reason to lock people up over this issue.” He emphasized that it is a common-sense issue but also a criminal justice one.
The former aide to Rep. James Clyburn drove attention to the fact that drug arrests are made up of marijuana arrests, even those involving simple possession. He said, “The racial disparities in marijuana enforcement – black men and white men smoke marijuana the same rates, but black men are much more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession – I just unacceptable.”
When it comes to South Carolina’s lack of cannabis legalization policies, Harrison noted that states across the country are legalizing the plant and that it is time for SC to do the same.
Aside from serving as a former aide to Rep. Clyburn, Harrison is also the executive director of the House Democratic Caucus and the first Black chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party.
Getting in Touch with the 21st Century
Besides his pro-marijuana legalization stance, Harrison also pushes for leadership and legislation that caters to the modern needs of SC residents. One of the main assertions by Harrison is that South Carolina needs senators in Washington who “understand the challenges of the 21st century.”
With regard to education, the candidate stated that the state should focus more on providing the infrastructure for education during the pandemic, especially as around 38% of the rural communities do not have access to Wi-Fi. He strongly believed that deficiency in this area concerning education is “just criminal” and indicates “a lack of visionary leadership that [they] have found in the state and the nation.”
The candidate also aims to protect jobs for Gen Z, who will be entering the workforce. He also emphasized the inadequacy of current legislation to protect jobs and to extend benefits to workers.
Other topics of focus discussed by Harrison include the climate and wage equality for members of the LGBTQ+ in the workplace.