Harris, D-Calif., told the nationally syndicated radio show "The Breakfast Club" earlier this month that she supports marijuana legalization at the federal level, and acknowledged that she's smoked pot in the past, saying: “I have. And I inhaled. I did inhale.”
The senator re-emphasized her use when asked by the hosts about rumors that she opposes marijuana legalization.
“That’s not true. Look, I joke about it, I have joked about it. Half my family is from Jamaica, are you kidding me?” Harris said, laughing.
Harris' father, Donald, disapproved of the comments, which he told the Jamaica Global Online constituted "identity politics."
"My dear departed grandmothers ... as well as my deceased parents, must be turning in their grave right now to see their family’s name, reputation and proud Jamaican identity being connected, in any way, jokingly or not with the fraudulent stereotype of a pot-smoking joy seeker and in the pursuit of identity politics," he said
Donald Harris continued: "Speaking for myself and my immediate Jamaican family, we wish to categorically dissociate ourselves from this travesty.”
The senator told the radio program: “We need to research the impact of weed on a developing brain” and said measuring how marijuana impairs people who are driving needs to be addressed."
Harris supports a bill — introduced Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, a rival for the Democratic presidential nomination — that would end the federal marijuana prohibition.
Fox News' Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.