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Biden reverses, says marijuana isn't a gateway drug

Biden reverses, says marijuana isn't a gateway drug
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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they 'forgot who was the true leader' Should deficits matter any more? Biden's Cabinet gradually confirmed by Senate MORE on Monday walked back his previous comments about marijuana's status as a "gateway drug" while also insisting that he had never made such a claim.

The former vice president told reporters during a press call that marijuana was not a "gateway drug," or a drug that supposedly leads to the user becoming addicted to other, more powerful substances.

“I don’t think it is a gateway drug. There’s no evidence I’ve seen to suggest that," Biden said, according to a reporter for The Nevada Independent.

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"I didn't [say that it was]," he added, when asked about his statement about the issue at a recent town hall. "I said some say it's a gateway drug."

Biden was ambiguous about the issue at a recent town hall in Las Vegas, calling for more research on whether marijuana was 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,” he said earlier this month. “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.”

And in 2010, when asked by ABC News's George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosChristie: Republicans claiming election was stolen trying to score 'political points' with those Trump 'lied to' Getting to herd immunity before next school year 'an ambitious goal,' says surgeon general nominee Klobuchar says Senate impeachment trial of former official is constitutional: 'We have precedent' MORE about the issue, Biden was more firm in his belief that marijuana use leads to other drug addictions.

“I still believe it's a gateway drug. I've spent a lot of my life as chairman of the [Senate] Judiciary Committee dealing with this. I think it would be a mistake to legalize,” Biden said at the time. “The punishment should fit the crime. But I think legalization is a mistake.”

Biden's campaign did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill.