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Candidates on Cannabis: Joe Biden

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by Dan Larkin.

“Candidates on Cannabis: Joe Biden” is the first in a series of reviews of 2020 presidential candidates’ stances on cannabis legalization.

Let’s start with the current Democratic front-runner, Joe Biden. He is, of course, the former Vice President of the United States under President Barrack Obama. He served two terms. Prior to that, Biden was a senator for the state of Delaware. He served in that capacity from 1973-2009.

Biden was born on November 20, 1942, in Scranton, PA. So, that will make him 77 years old at the time of the election in 2020. That also makes him one of the oldest candidates running for the job. (Bernie Sanders is the oldest. He was born in 1941.)

Biden’s Cannabis record

Well, let’s just say that Joe Biden’s cannabis record is not good. In fact, you can make an argument that he is one of the architects of the failed “war on drugs.” That puts him in a group with the likes of Richard Nixon and Nancy Reagan.

Biden is one of the chief designers and backers of tough criminal penalties for non-violent drug users. In fact, in 1989 he went on television to criticize President G.H.W. Bush for not going far enough in the punishment of drug users. So, umm, yeah, he was big into the anti-drug scene for decades.

Where does Biden stand on cannabis today?

Candidate Biden has seen the light…sort of. Much of what he is now proposing, if elected, would be the undoing of the laws he helped put in place over his 40 years as a senator. Specifically, he wants to undo the 1994 legislation that he helped write.

He has evolved his thinking about filling up prisons with people who have no violent crime convictions and are only incarcerated because they used or possessed drugs that were or are illegal.

So, Biden is for the decriminalization of cannabis but he is not for the federal legalization of it. He thinks that should just be up to the individual states to decide. (As is now the case.)

Candidates on Cannabis: Conclusion

We can and must do better than Joe Biden. His inability to see a need for federally legal adult-use cannabis puts him outside of the majority of the voters in this country. His past record points to out-dated views from another time. There are other candidates (and possibly even the current holder of the office), who are more likely to move the country to where it needs to be on the cannabis issues we face.

Read more from CannabisIRL on Joe Biden here.

What are your thoughts about Joe Biden’s stance on cannabis? Who are you supporting for 2020? Share your views at

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