FACT CHECK: Image Claims To Show Kamala Harris Holding A Marijuana Cigarette

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims to show Vice President-elect Kamala Harris holding a marijuana cigarette while speaking into a microphone.

Verdict: False

The image has been digitally manipulated to add the joint. The original image shows nothing in her hand.

Fact Check:

The image, which appears to show a screen grabbed tweet written in Mandarin, shows Harris speaking at a microphone while holding a lit marijuana cigarette in her hand.

The photo of Harris, however, has been digitally manipulated to add the joint in her hand. Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found that the original photo dates back nearly six years and shows Harris gesturing without holding anything in her hand. Photographer Damian Dovarganes took the picture for The Associated Press.

“Kamala Harris, California’s attorney general keynotes the UCLA Law Review Symposium: ‘Examining the Roots of Human Trafficking and Exploitation,’ at the UCLA campus in Los Angeles Friday, Jan. 30, 2015,” reads The Associated Press’s caption of the unaltered photo.

Harris discussed the state’s efforts to combat human trafficking at the symposium, according to the UCLA Law Magazine. Had she held a marijuana cigarette while onstage, it would have made headlines, yet no state or local media outlets reported that such a thing occurred.

During a February 2019 interview with the radio show The Breakfast Club, Harris stated that she smoked marijuana in college and that she supports legalization of the drug. (RELATED: Can You Smoke Marijuana On TV?)

The claim has spread through Chinese language social media groups and WeChat, a Chinese social media app, AFP Fact Check reported.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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