Joe Biden’s 1989 opinion of legalizing marijuana could prove problematic for a presidential candidate running in 2020.

By |2019-05-17T06:21:40-08:00May 17th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , , |9 Comments

Courtesy of Mother Jones:

In September 1989, Biden, then a United States senator from Delaware and chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, gave a lecture to students at Wake Forest University about the process of nominating and confirming federal judges. Afterward, according to a clip surfaced by Mother Jones, he took questions from the students.

“My wife believes that so-called recreational drugs ought to be legalized [and controlled], as booze is. What’s your view on that?” someone asked him.

“It is a legitimate argument,” Biden replied, “one which I reject.”

He went on to say that legalizing “synthetically produced, mind-altering drugs or cocaine or heroin or marijuana” would, in fact, take the profit motive out of the drug trade and, if not eliminate, significantly reduce the violence associated with it. But doing so would be a “significant moral hurdle” for the government, he said, because unlike the case with alcohol, “you cannot be a recreational user” of “certain [other] drugs.”

“Is it proper and legitimate for a government to take an action which we know expressly will lead to the mental and physical demise of an individual?” Biden asked. “I say no.”

It should be noted that Biden is making the mistake of lumping pot in with harder drugs and then dismissing them all as dangerous and potentially fatal. 

By today’s standards that seems extremely uneducated, but it was a fairly standard opinion back at that time. 

I myself, being a non-drug user, may have expressed a similar opinion if I had been asked as well.

The problem with the answer is that potential voters seeing it through a more sophisticated lens provided by increased education and the passage of time, makes Biden appear painfully out of touch.

I don’t think too many people are basing their decision to support one of these 2020 candidates on whether they support marijuana legalization alone, but it could definitely add more evidence which shows Joe Biden to be out of step with his younger and more modern opponents. 

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  1. Anonymous May 17, 2019 at 10:23 am

    So now we nitpik? When trumps moral majority is done with america there will be no abortions and no maijuana. Dont belive, then just wait and see.

  2. AK Lynne May 17, 2019 at 11:01 am

    Most of us are not the same as we were thirty years ago, and hopefully we all keep learning and growing. The opposition will grasp at anything they can, but I’m not particularly bothered by this particular position he had then. (I could be accused of worse than that.) Of course, I will vote for whomever our Democratic candidate is no matter how that person is attacked. It can’t be as bad what we have now.

    • Anon May 17, 2019 at 2:47 pm

      Agreed! Trying to tear down someone, who could possibly rid us of the orange menace, over something so trivial is as bad as some poor dumb redneck, on welfare, voting GOP. It’s suicide.

    • anonymous May 17, 2019 at 8:52 pm

      Well said, echoes my sentiments as well. Not my first choice but if he get the nomination he gets my vote. I’ve become irritated with several of the more liberal and moderate talking heads making jokes about the ‘number’ of candidates. Talking about you Brian Williams. Enough. Just stop. Lots of good people stepping up with lots of good ideas and solutions is a good thing. Each has an appeal and a voice to get positive messages to the masses which IMHO is a good thing. The only two I’d like to see out of the Dem race are Sanders and Tulsi the Trojan Horse. Can predict a lot of trumpy $$$$ heading their way as the spoilers they are.

  3. Anonymous in Chicago May 17, 2019 at 10:30 pm

    Biden’s view on weed won’t stop me from voting for him if he is the nominee. Marijuana legalization will continue to be decided by individual states. For me, this is no big deal.

  4. Anon May 17, 2019 at 10:30 pm

    What about all the clips of Sarah being all boozed and pilled and drugged up? Its hard to find a speech of her between 2009 and 2017 where she isn’t slurring and drooling with her wig pulled to the side.

  5. the Bern May 18, 2019 at 8:34 am

    Bernie Sanders loses more ground

    Sanders is getting increasingly close to Trump levels of favorability. <gOOd!

  6. Anon May 18, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    It really sucks that someone like Joe Biden will probably end up with the nomination but women like Elizabeth Warren and as we witnessed HRC, are minimized and dismissed. The difference being that they are female and yet they have the most common sense ideas and actual solutions to bring to the table.

  7. Anonymous May 20, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    Railing against Marrijuana. The Anita Hill testimony. All of the video of him hugging women.

    Joe Biden may be polling high now but he will LOSE against Trump.

    He is also TOO OLD.

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