Nov 19, 2019

Biden clarifies stance on marijuana

Photo: David Becker/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the sole top 2020 Democrat to oppose the federal legalization of marijuana, clarified his stance on the drug Monday.

Driving the news: Biden was criticized over the weekend for saying he opposes the federal legalization of marijuana because "there's not nearly been enough evidence that has been acquired as to whether or not it is a gateway drug." He argued to leave it to the states, but he supports legalizing medical marijuana and does not believe possession of the drug should be a crime.

  • Marijuana legalization has been a near-universal "yes" among 2020 Democrats.
  • Many argue that criminalizing the drug has placed unfair penalties on communities of color and that its symptoms are not serious enough to justify its legal repercussions.

What he's saying: Biden outlined his stance on the issue in a tweet:

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Joe Biden speaks in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Nov. 2. Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

2020 candidate Joe Biden said Saturday there would need to be more research into marijuana's effects before he'd ever federally legalize the drug as president, in order to rule out whether it's a "gateway drug."

The big picture: Several 2020 candidates have proposed to end the war on drugs and legalize marijuana. When Biden was vice president, he supported decriminalization rather than legalization.

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House committee passes marijuana bill to federally legalize the drug

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The House Judiciary Committee approved a bill 24-10 Wednesday that would decriminalize marijuana at a federal level.

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