Campaign

Biden reverses, says marijuana isn’t a gateway drug

Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden 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 Stephanopoulos 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.

Tags Gateway drug theory George Stephanopoulos Joe Biden Joe Biden Joe Biden 2020 presidential campaign marijuana legalization
See all Hill.TV See all Video