Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Cory Booker went head-to-head Wednesday over legalizing marijuana, with the senator joking that Biden "might have been high" when he recently said he opposes federal legalization.

What they're saying: Booker called Biden out, stating: "I have a lot of respect for the vice president. He has sworn me into my office, and he's a hero. This week I heard him literally say that I don't think we should legalize marijuana. I thought you might have been high when you said it... because marijuana in our country is already legal for privileged people..."

  • Biden quipped back: "I think we should decriminalize marijuana, period, and anyone who has a record should be let out of jail, their record expunged, be completely  zeroed out. But I do think it makes sense based on data that we should study what the long-term effects are for the use of marijuana."

Catch up quick: Biden is the sole Democrat in the 2020 field who opposes legalizing marijuana at the federal level. The former V.P. said at a town hall Saturday that there would need to be more research into marijuana's effects before he'd ever legalize it as president, in order to rule out whether it's a "gateway drug."

  • He later clarified his stance on the drug in a tweet following online backlash from his 2020 competitors.

Of note: The House Judiciary Committee passed legislation Wednesday that would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, CBS reports.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022
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  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases — Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
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