Former Vice President Joe Biden defended his reasoning to not legalize marijuana on a federal level if elected president, saying there is not “enough evidence” as to “whether or not it is a gateway drug,” The Hill reports. Speaking at a town hall in Las Vegas, the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate said whether the U.S. should legalize cannabis on a federal level is still up for debate. “The truth of the matter is, there’s not nearly been enough evidence that has been acquired as to whether or not it is a gateway drug,” Biden said. “It’s a debate, and I want a lot more before I legalize it nationally. I want to make sure we know a lot more about the science behind it.”
Biden supports medical marijuana and insisted possession of the substance “should not be a crime.” He also said Saturday that he thinks the decision to legalize marijuana should be left up to individual states. Several of his top Democratic rivals have thrown support to legalizing marijuana, which is currently classified as a Schedule I substance, which the Drug Enforcement Administration defines as drugs “with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Other Schedule I drugs include heroin and LSD. Biden would reschedule pot as a Schedule II drug to aid in researching its health impacts. Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have said they would make marijuana legal on a federal level if elected president.