Former Vice President Joe Biden has not been swayed by the fact every other Democratic presidential candidate front-runner has declared their support for federal marijuana legalization. On Saturday at a Las Vegas town hall, the politician said that he still didn’t feel he had “nearly enough evidence” to figure out whether marijuana was a “gateway drug” that leads to the consumption of harder illicit substances.
That’s actually a softening of his stance from earlier eras. Biden is known by many as one of history’s primary architects of the United States’ War on Drugs. Over a 40-year Senate career, he promoted draconian criminal justice policies that targeted nonviolent drug users and contributed to the U.S. having the world’s largest prison population.
In July, the candidate published his criminal justice platform, which many saw as an attempt at atonement for a past spent raising incarceration levels. It included plans to abolish the death penalty, private prisons, cash bail, and certain kinds of juvenile incarceration.
But he’s still not willing to let go of some of his Reefer Madness-like views of cannabis.
Taking a Cautious Stance
“It’s a debate, and I want a lot more before I legalize it nationally,” Biden told the