Biden reverses, says marijuana isn't a gateway drug

Biden reverses, says marijuana isn't a gateway drug
© Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Republican calls second bout of COVID-19 'far more challenging' Conflicting school mask guidance sparks confusion Biden: Pathway to citizenship in reconciliation package 'remains to be seen' 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.


"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 StephanopoulosSunday shows - Jan. 6 investigation dominates Senate Republican 'not happy' with Pelosi plan to delay infrastructure vote Pelosi signals Kinzinger's likely appointment to Jan. 6 panel 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.