Joe Biden might be missing the old days right about now. Just a few short years ago he was the kindly jokey sidekick to a beloved president and about to ride off into the sunset while Hillary Clinton carried on the work of his administration.
Now, as a presidential candidate, he’s been facing one controversy after another, as well as the confusing fact that he is a frontrunner in the race who also finished fourth in the first democratic caucus in Iowa.
So maybe all that stress Jolly Joe has been facing has given him an appreciation for the chillaxing power of cannabis. Or anyway, something has brought a change to the former Vice President’s thoughts on weed.
The only major democratic presidential candidate who opposes federal cannabis legalization, Biden recently said it should be “basically legalized” in a recording obtained by POLITICO.
That confusing statement is exemplary when it comes to Biden and cannabis. Last November, he said that marijuana is a “gateway drug.” However, at a campaign event for the New Hampshire primary, he said twice that he doesn’t believe it’s a gateway drug.
Biden has endorsed decriminalizing cannabis in the past and expunging criminal records for marijuana offenses. But as a senator he also endorsed harsh criminal penalties and during the current campaign he has said he is “not prepared to [legalize] as long as there are serious medical people saying, ‘We should determine what other side effects would occur.'”
While his stance is vague, he does seem to be coming around. During the New Hampshire campaign event, Don Murphy of the Marijuana Policy Project invited Biden to clarify his policy on the debate stage.
“There’s this conflict that needs to be fixed and you get a chance to do it,” Murphy said.
Photo via Flickr/Gage Skidmore