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 BidenJoe Biden looks to expand election battleground into Trump country Trump puts Supreme Court fight at center of Ohio rally Special counsel investigating DeVos for potential Hatch Act violation: report 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

"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 StephanopoulosMurkowski: Supreme Court nominee should not be taken up before election Cruz says Senate Republicans likely have votes to confirm Trump Supreme Court nominee Pelosi: House will use 'every arrow in our quiver' to stop Trump Supreme Court nominee 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.