Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke at a town hall in Las Vegas on Saturday, where he told Democratic primary voters that, if he ends up becoming president, he will not legalize marijuana. The reason, he says, is that there is not “enough evidence” as to “whether or not it 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, according to The Hill. “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.”
What makes his position rather interesting is the fact that he does support medical marijuana. Oh, and he also says that possession of the drug “should not be a crime.”
No. @joebiden, you must know marijuana prohibition has disproportionately impacted low-income communities & communities of color, fueling mass criminalization, & a crisis of over-incarceration. Perpetuating unsubstantiated theories like this hurts people.https://t.co/y9be3KAQVa
— Eliza Orlins (@elizaorlins) November 17, 2019
But, wait a minute: if it is indeed a gateway drug, why would you want people who are already suffering from one disease or another using it? They’ve got cancer and now they’ve also got a) first a marijuana addiction and then b) a meth addiction? Isn’t their disease bad enough? Why would you advocate hooking them up to some terrible drugs?!
And, if it is a gateway drug, why should you allow possession of it? That doesn’t make sense either. Either it’s safe and legal, or it’s hazardous and illegal. But no, Biden wishes to have his cake and eat it too.
In any case, as the Mises Institute explains, the gateway drug story is a myth — a theory “roughly as old as Biden himself.”
If the gateway theory is true, increases in cannabis use should be accompanied by increases in harder drugs. This trend is not supported by the evidence. Over the decades, marijuana use has moved up and down according to the cultural trends of the day, but use of all other drugs has remained largely level. Even where we do see increases in heroin use, for instance, it fails to track with marijuana use.
Unlike what Biden and many other elderly politicians believe, marijuana is not a gateway drug. Sadly, however, studies explaining this were published after Biden came of age. In all likelihood, he hasn’t read anything on the matter since he became an adult in 1960. (“What?! I thought learning stopped after finishing high school!”)
I guess it’s good that he didn’t come of age in the 1920s. If he had, he’d undoubtedly call for prohibition to be reinstated.
As an aside, I hear that marijuana is quite useful and pleasurable for folks suffering from dementia. Just sayin’, Joe.