Marijuana Policy Project
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Biden Blows It Again on Marijuana Legalization Question

At 77, it's hard to teach Joe Biden new tricks.

This was clear in his controversial May 22 Breakfast Club interview with Charlamagne tha God during which he contended, "If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, you ain't black."

But before he made that ridiculous statement, Biden again put his foot in his mouth regarding marijuana policy (cue to the 15-minute mark in the clip above).

Charlemagne the God and former Vice President Joe Biden on "The Breakfast Club" on May 22.

Biden: No one should be going to jail for drug crime. Period, Nobody. No matter what the crime. Particularly marijuana, which makes no sense for people to go to jail. They should just be wiped out completely. The reason is if anything for those crimes that are actually continue to be scheduled crimes as marijuana shouldn't be anymore what is happening is you shouldn't go to prison, you should go to a mandatory rehabilitation. It costs less to put people in a drug rehabilitation program than it does in jail. And you have a chance. You've got to give people a chance.

Charlamagne: What's the difference between legalizing it or decriminalizing it?

Biden: Becaue they're trying to find out if there's any impact on the use of marijuana, not in leading you to other drugs, but does it effect longterm development of the brain. And we should wait until the studies are done. I think science matters.

Charlamagne: I think we have decades and decades of studies from actual weed smokers.

Biden: Yeah, I do. I know a lot of weed smokers.

This is pretty much Biden's position, fairly unchanged. He stumbled on this question at a town hall in November when he referred to marijuana as a "gateway drug" to hard drugs like heroin.

Despite efforts to corral Biden and get him to focus on the bigger picture - the marijuana-centtric voter demographic - he keeps going back to the science argument, that cannabis needs more research to deterimine whether it should be legal or not. And he also called for treatment over jail. Treatment is not an appropriate alternative for most marijuana users.

His kooky comment about knowing "a lot of weed smokers" is just another Biden gaffe. What and who is he referring to and what does that mean to him?

Biden is hardly the main choice for stoner voters in November. Like Charlamagne said previously in the interview, Biden was one of the architects of the War on Drugs. He doesn't deal well with criticism of his former positions.

We'll vote for him with hands closed on our noses I suppose, but if Biden would only adjust his marijuana platform from decrim with research to legalization without conditions, then he just might truly win us over. Can this old dog learn a new trick before it's too late?

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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.