Former Vice President Joe Biden, 76, has repeatedly indicated that he has no plans to legalize recreational cannabis, and most recently, the presidential candidate said there is not enough evidence to determine if the plant is a gateway drug.
“The truth of the matter is, there’s not nearly been enough evidence that has been acquired as to whether or not it is a gateway drug,” Biden said. “It’s a debate, and I want a lot more before I legalize it nationally. I want to make sure we know a lot more about the science behind it.”
Voters worry if Biden is in tune with the will of the people in America—especially considering that 76 percent of Millennials, 65 percent of Gen Xers and even 63 percent of Baby Boomers currently want to see cannabis legalized at the federal level. That makes a 67 average approval rate across all demographics, including the Silent Generation. Legalization is also now a bipartisan issue as Republicans support it at 55 percent, while Democrats continue to support it at 78 percent.
Meanwhile, other presidential Candidates such as Andrew Yang and Pete Buttigieg are touring cannabis facilities and using cannabis reform as one of their driving points. According to Politico, 11 presidential candidates so far support legalization, while three support letting states decide. Biden is the only candidate to declare that he wouldn’t legalize.
Biden’s relatively conservative stance on cannabis led celebrities to speak out. Adam Carrolla told TMZ that “gateway drug is such a weird antiquated 50s/60s Reefer Madness kind of thing.” Biden appeared to backtrack shortly after his comments with a tweet clarifying his position to decriminalize, but only legalize medical cannabis. But the damage to his public relations campaign had already been done.
There is a lot of talk out there on where I stand when it comes to our marijuana laws. Here are the facts: pic.twitter.com/oaoExCXud8
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 18, 2019
While Biden refrains from supporting legalization, Congress is actively pushing federal cannabis reform through legislature.