Former Vice President Joe Biden's anti-legalization position on marijuana sets him apart from his fellow Democratic presidential candidates and goes against the wishes of most voters.
Biden, while at a town hall in Las Vegas, said he would not legalize marijuana on a nation-wide level, as he remains concerned it acts as a "gateway drug" to heavier narcotics.
"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," he said, according to The Hill.
"It's a debate, and I want a lot more before I legalize it nationally," he added. "I want to make sure we know a lot more about the science behind it."
The Washington Post notes this is not a new stance for Biden, who has fought for tough penalties for possession and was a driving force behind the 1994 crime bill when he was head of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Business Insider reports the vast majority of studies on marijuana from the past 20 years show marijuana use does not lead to using harder drugs. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, "the majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use other, 'harder' substances."
Support for legalization hit an all-time high in a recent poll from Pew Research Center, 67 percent of all Americans, while opposition dropped to 32%. A recent Gallup poll found that 66% of Americans support legalization.
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