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Kamala Kush Strain Sparks Conversation on Jimmy Kimmel Live


A limited-edition strain from an Oregon-based grower was named after U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris—and it ended up becoming the topic of a conversation on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The vice president has nothing to do with Kamala Kush, but was asked about the peculiar strain bearing her name while on live television.

In an interview with late-night host Jimmy Kimmel on June 4, he brought up the topic of the proposal to move cannabis to Schedule III, and several other questions related to the topic. Benzinga reports that Harris appeared “visibly surprised upon learning that a cannabis strain had been named after her.”

“I think we both agreed people shouldn’t have to go to jail for smoking weed,” Harris said. “Well you don’t go to jail for drinking alcohol why would you go to jail for smoking. And so we’ve pardoned a number of people.”

She admitted resources are better spent on worse drug problems like fentanyl, and that it’s been determined that cannabis is not in fact a gateway drug.

“You know, I think it’s interesting also because, remember, there was a time when people would say, ‘well, marijuana is a gateway drug,’ and these were failed policies,” she said. “The resources should be better directed—and will be better directed—to deal with opioid addiction and what we need to do around fentanyl, getting more resources into mental health and mental health care.”

Kimmel confronted her about a strain in Oregon called Kamala Kush and asked her if she knew anything about it. 

Laughing, Harris replied, “Really? Seriously? I did not know that.”

Clackamas, Oregon-based Alibi Cannabis, is a woman-owned cannabis operation that created Kamala Kush. “So excited about this limited-run genetic,” Alibi Cannabis says about the strain. “Earthy and grounding. Buds are weighty and shaped like grenades. A unique flavor for an active high. Available only for a limited time!” Alibi Cannabis is available at dozens of OLCC-approved dispensaries throughout Oregon.

Kimmel also seemed surprised that the developers hadn’t sent Harris a sample. Even if they had, Harris said, “I’m not touching that.”

Kamala Harris and Her Evolving Stance on Cannabis

Alibi Cannabis appeared to be just as surprised about the mention on Jimmy Kimmel Live as everyone else, and acknowledged that she formerly served as a state prosecutor, which put her at odds with people who handle cannabis.

“Alibi produced a special edition strain called ‘Kamala Kush,’ the grower posted on their website. “In a wild turn of events, Jimmy Kimmel asked VP Harris about it. See her reaction! Would love to share with her our vision of a cannabis industry focused on helping people and providing high quality plant medicine.”

“We know her stance has been very negative towards the cannabis industry, but what better way of moving forward than to reach out and educate.”

Due to Harris’s history of having prosecuted some 2,000 cannabis-related offenders during her job as District Attorney of San Francisco in California, some people took her rescheduling announcement with a grain of salt.

But by 2019, Harris said that cannabis “gives a lot of people joy,” signaling that her views on the plant might be changing. In February 2019, Harris admitted in an interview on The Breakfast Club to smoking cannabis in college. “I have. And I inhaled—I did inhale. It was a long time ago. But, yes,” she said in a reference to former president Bill Clinton’s famous “didn’t inhale” comment he said in 1992.

Last March, Harris hosted a White House meeting to discuss drug policy reform that will feature guests including hip hop artist Fat Joe and others who have benefitted from the cannabis pardons granted by the Biden administration. The Friday meeting will also include Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, a leading proponent of cannabis legalization in his state, and other advocates for ending the criminal prohibition of cannabis. 

On May 16, on the same day as President Joe Biden, Harris announced that it’s time to move cannabis to Schedule III, and posted a video with a speech about the game-changing move.

“President Biden and I vowed to address injustices in marijuana policy,” she said. “Today, our Administration takes another major step forward.”

“Currently marijuana is classified on the same level as heroin and more dangerous than fentanyl,” Harris said in another video. “We are finally changing that. But I want to thank all of the advocates and everyone out there for helping to make this possible and we are on the road to getting it done.” 

Harris’s views are quickly changing, and the move to Schedule III could be a boost for the Biden administration with the general election quickly approaching this November.

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