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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.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

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

Go deeper:

Go deeper

29 mins ago - Health

Young people demand vaccination requirements for reopening

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Three-quarters of people between 18-29 say vaccination should be required to return to campus or work, according to new Generation Lab/Axios polling, and 37% would refuse to come back unless those conditions are in place.

Why it matters: Young workers have put pressure on CEOs to take action on social and political issues and have plenty of capital to exert it on reopening policy.

Internet prices kick off Washington brawl

Shoshana Gordon/Axios

President Biden's promise to cut the price of Americans' internet bills has provoked a fierce lobbying campaign by cable and telecom companies to prove that the cost of broadband has already dropped.

Why it matters: Internet providers are desperate to fend off any move to regulate the prices they charge, while the government is increasingly viewing connectivity as an essential service.

Crime jumps after court-ordered policing changes

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Most police agencies in recent federally court-ordered reform agreements saw violent crime rates skyrocket immediately, according to an Axios examination of departments under consent decrees since 2012.

Why it matters: The increases in violent crime rates — in one case by 61% — suggest that there can be unintended consequences, at least in the short term, to the policing changes many Americans have demanded in the year since George Floyd's death.