“Issues do matter,” Booker said while discussing the concerns of black voters. “I have a lot of respect for the vice president — he swore me into my office, he’s a hero. This week, I hear him literally say that I don’t think we should legalize marijuana — I thought you might have been high when you said it.”
The audience responded with groans, laughter and applause.
“Let me tell you … marijuana in our country is already legal for privileged people,” Booker continued. “The war on drugs has been a war on black and brown people.”
He added: “Let me just say this: With more African Americans under criminal supervision in America than all the slaves since 1850, do not roll up into communities and not talk directly to issues that are going to relate to the liberation of children, because there are people in Congress right now that admit to smoking marijuana, while … our kids are in jail right now for those drug crimes.”
Biden responded by attempting to clarify his stance on marijuana laws.
“I think we should decriminalize marijuana, period,” he said. “And I think everyone — anyone who has a record — should be let out of jail, their records expunged, be completely zeroed out.
“But I do think it makes sense, based on data, that we should study what the long-term effects are for the use of marijuana,” Biden added. “That’s all it is.”
During a Nevada town hall last weekend, Biden said he still opposes legalizing marijuana federally because of his persisting concerns about it being a “gateway drug.”
“The truth of the matter is, there’s not nearly been enough evidence that has
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