Former Vice President Joe Biden tried to articulate his position of decriminalizing marijuana but not legalizing it, boasting “I know a lot of weed smokers” in a Friday-morning interview.
Biden spoke about marijuana during an interview with the Breakfast Club‘s Charlemagne tha’ God on Friday. In a rambling overview of the subject, he suggested replacing jail time for any and all drug offenses with mandatory rehab:
The plan I have is my manifesto for black American, and particularly the portion of it that relates to how, in fact, we’re gonna deal with the prison system. If you are in prison, if you are convicted of a crime — No one should be going to jail for drug crime. Period. Nobody. Nobody. No matter what the crime, particularly marijuana which makes no sense for people to go to jail. They should be just wiped out completely, and the reason is that, what, if anything, for those crimes that are actually continue to be crimes, schedule crimes, as marijuana shouldn’t be anymore, what is happening is you shouldn’t go to prison. You should go to a mandatory rehabilitation. It costs less to put people in a drug rehabilitation program than it does in jail. And you have a chance. You’ve got to give people a chance! [emphasis added]
Charlamagne then asked Biden about the difference between decriminalizing and legalizing cannabis. Biden responded that lawmakers need more studies exploring whether marijuana affects the long term development of the brain.
“We should wait until the studies are done, and I think science matters,” he said.
Charlemagne responded that America already had “decades” of data from the drug’s usage across the country.
“I think we got decades and decades of studies from actual weed smokers though,” he said.
“Yeah we do,” Biden grinned. “I know a lot of weed smokers.”