Public Service Post: Marijuana Policy Project Joe Biden Report Card

Marijuana Policy Project graded the 22 most widely discussed presidential hopefuls based on actions they have taken and statements they have made that indicate their levels of support for ending marijuana prohibition, allowing legal access to medical marijuana, and defending states’ rights to adopt their own marijuana policies without interference from the federal government.

Vice President Joe Biden is widely rumored to be considering a run for president in 2016.

Where does he stand?

As a senator, Biden took a hard line against marijuana. He spearheaded legislation that created the federal “drug czar” position and mandatory minimum sentencing for marijuana-related offenses.

As vice president, Biden has continued to oppose the legalization of marijuana, but he has spoken in favor of reducing enforcement of federal marijuana policies.

What has he said?

“I think the idea of focusing significant resources on interdicting or convicting people for smoking marijuana is a waste of our resources. That’s different than [legalization]. Our policy for our Administration is still not legalization, and that is [and] continues to be our policy.” …

“I am not only the guy who did the crime bill and the drug czar, but I’m also the guy who spent years when I was chairman of the Judiciary Committee and chairman of [the Senate Foreign Relations Committee], trying to change drug policy relative to cocaine, for example, crack and powder.” TIME, February 6, 2014

“I still believe it’s a gateway drug. I’ve spent a lot of my life as chairman of the Judiciary Committee dealing with this. I think it would be a mistake to legalize.” ABC News, December 2010

Grade: D

What you can do:

Contact Vice President Joe Biden and urge him to support ending marijuana prohibition, not just reducing enforcement of failed prohibition laws.

Find out more from Marijuana Policy Project


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