Former Vice President Joe Biden Says He Won't Push to Legalize Marijuana, Says It May Be 'Gateway Drug'

PEOPLE.com | 11/19/2019 | Staff
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Joe - Biden - Eyebrows - Weekend - Marijuana

Joe Biden raised eyebrows over the weekend when he said he won’t look to legalize marijuana nationwide if elected president because it may be a “gateway drug” that first requires more research.

The Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president claimed during a Las Vegas town hall there hasn’t been enough evidence to show whether or not marijuana is a “gateway drug” — a term used to describe habit drugs that lead users to harder illegal substances, like heroin or cocaine. Research by the National Institute on Drug Abuse shows, however, that most marijuana users don’t go on to use harder substances.

Debate - Biden - Video - Saturday - Lot

“It’s a debate,” Biden, 76, said in video from Saturday. “Before I legalize it nationally, I want to know a lot more about the science behind it.”

However, Biden said he supported decriminalization of recreational marijuana use.

Two-thirds - Americans - Marijuana - Pew - Research

Two-thirds of Americans say marijuana should be legalized, according to a recent Pew Research poll. Eleven states have legalized recreational marijuana use, with Illinois being the most recent and going into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

Biden also said he believes states should have the right to decide on legalization for themselves and that he supports medical marijuana legislation. The former vice president said that those being held for marijuana arrests should be released from...
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