OK Boomer: Joe Biden Says Marijuana Is a Gateway Drug, and He Won’t Legalize It

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Joe Biden is a boomer.

Let me preface this by saying not all boomers are annoyingly out of touch. There are some boomers who completely understand why marijuana should be legal at the federal level. Those same boomers understand that cannabis is not the gateway drug the pharmaceutical lobby people want you to believe it is.

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Joe Biden is not one of those boomers.

Joe Biden is the kind of boomer who is running for president and openly said at a Las Vegas town hall Saturday that he doesn’t want to consider legalizing marijuana at the federal level until he has more evidence that it is not a gateway drug that leads to the use of harsher drugs. Yes, Joe Biden is the living embodiment of the DARE campaign.

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The Hill reports that when asked about federal legalization, Biden said, “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. 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 also reportedly said that he believes possession of marijuana “should not be a crime,” and he is in favor of medical cannabis, but ultimately, “States should be able to make a judgment to legalize marijuana.”

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Way to pass the buck, you boomer.

From The Hill:

“It is not irrational to do more scientific investigation to determine, which we have not done significantly enough, whether or not there are any things that relate to whether it’s a gateway drug or not,” Biden said.

Several of his top Democratic rivals in the race have thrown their support behind 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’s campaign previously noted the former vice president would reschedule the substance as a Schedule II drug to aid in researching its health impacts.

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As The Hill notes, two of Biden’s fellow boomers—Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders—have said that if elected, they would legalize cannabis at the federal level. Cory Booker has said the same.

My mama, also a boomer, loves marijuana. She, like two-thirds of the American public according to the Pew Research Center, believes it should be legal. That’s the majority of Americans. Majority rules.

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I know I keep calling him a boomer, and I’m doing it on purpose because he’s so annoying, but Biden—who was born in 1942–is technically part of the “Silent Generation”—the group of adults born between 1928 and 1945. That group according to Pew Research is only 35 percent in favor of legalizing cannabis. 64 percent of that generation is opposed, and that, my friends, is some boomer bullshit.

Currently, marijuana is considered a Schedule I drug at the federal level, which is defined by the Drug Enforcement Administration as being “drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” In addition to marijuana, other drugs on the Schedule I list include heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote. Minus the heroin, that’s all the fun shit if you ask me. The boomers who put this into place are some straight haters, yo.

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And, as the Washington Post notes:

Throughout most of his legislative career, Biden championed tough criminal penalties for possession, including in the 1994 crime bill, which many critics have since linked to a rapid rise in mass incarceration and mass policing. Biden, who oversaw the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time, was one of the bill’s key authors, so much so that he later took to calling it the “1994 Biden Crime Bill.”

Even as he’s shifted his stance on harsh penalties for nonviolent drug crimes, Biden has a long record of skepticism toward full marijuana legalization.

Stating in 2010 his belief that it would be a “mistake to legalize,” according to Forbes, he said, “I still believe it’s a gateway drug.”

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Man, fuck this boomer.

It is worth noting that the idea of marijuana being a gateway drug has been debunked numerous times. As Vice noted in 2015, weed is more likely to keep people away from stronger drugs than it is to provide a stepping stone into harsher drug use.

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From Vice:

On the surface, the gateway idea seems reasonable enough. After all, there are almost no heroin users who didn’t start their illegal drug use with marijuana, and marijuana smokers are 104 times more likely to use cocaine than those haven’t tried weed.

Yet as scientists constantly remind us, correlation isn’t the same thing as causation. For example, the number of people killed annually by dogs correlates almost perfectly with the growth in online revenue on Black Friday. And the rise in autism diagnoses is strongly correlated with the growth in sales of organic food. It’s technically possible that some third factor causes both of these apparently haphazard connections. However, it’s completely implausible that these connections are causal, and odds are that the links are due to random chance.

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And, most importantly:

In terms of marijuana’s specific correlation with other drug use, slightly less than half of Americans over 12 have tried marijuana, while less than 15 percent have taken cocaine and less than 2 percent used heroin, according to the latest National Household Survey on Drug Use and Health. Even smaller portions go on to become addicted to those drugs: Typically, only 10 to 20 percent of those who try alcohol and other drugs get hooked.

If marijuana were causing other drug use, most users should progress to more dangerous substances. But they don’t. By the numbers, marijuana use seems more like a filter that keeps most people out than a gateway that lets the majority pass through.

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In other words, stop the nonsense and get with the times, Joe.

Or get your antiquated ass on, you fucking boomer.

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About the author

Monique Judge

News Editor for The Root. I said what I said. Period.