What We Know:
- At a Las Vegas town hall, presidential candidate Joe Biden told the crowd that he is against the legalization of marijuana in the United States. He believes there should be more testing on the drug first.
- When asked about federal legalization he stated, “It is not irrational to do more scientific investigation to determine, which we have not done significantly enough, whether or not there are any things that relate to whether it’s a gateway drug or not.” He believes possession of marijuana “should not be a crime”, and he is in favor of medical cannabis, but ultimately “states should be able to make a judgment to legalize marijuana”.
- Joe Biden has been known for being against the legalization of marijuana dating back to 1994. Through his legislative career, he oversaw the Senate Judiciary Committee who pushed the 1994 crime bill. The bill had tough criminal penalties for possession of marijuana which critics of the candidate believe is directly linked to the rapid rise in mass incarceration and mass policing.
- Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, and Andrew Yang have all said that if elected, they would legalize cannabis at the federal level. Surveys have shown two-thirds of the American public are in favor of the legalization as well.
Marijuana is currently considered a Schedule I drug at the federal level.
Marijuana should be legal nationwide. It is already legal in several states, it reflects a safer approach to pain relief than opiates, and our administration of drug laws is deeply uneven and racist. https://t.co/0Uhl17MW98
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) November 18, 2019