“I still believe it’s a gateway drug. I’ve spent a lot of my life as chairman of the Judiciary Committee dealing with this. I think it would be a mistake to legalize,” Biden said on Good Morning America today. “The punishment should fit the crime. But I think legalization is a mistake.”
Biden is wrong on both counts. He’s also covering the administration’s ass for its failure to live up to Obama’s promise not to go after medical marijuana. Meanwhile, Robertson is talking about not splitting up America’s families with prison terms over minor recreational drug use. (And speaking of gateway drugs: It’s not pot that puts one on the road to perdition, but prison and the people you might meet there.)
The more glaring concern for Biden and Obama is that come 2012, there could be several Republicans running for president who are more progressive on pot. Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, and Gary Johnson have all expressed support for drastically reforming marijuana laws. (Johnson and Paul are in favor of legalization, Palin said she supports a person’s right to use it in their home.) You also have establishment Republicans and Tea Party groups citing the 10th Amendment argument for repealing health care–the same argument most libertarians cite when calling for the repeal of the Controlled Substances Act and allowing states to legislate their own drug laws.
Two more points: In the unlikely event that someone primaries Obama from the left, I’ll bet money that person agrees more with Pat Robertson than with Joe Biden.
Also: The marijuana lobbies, while mostly staffed with folks who are across-the-board progressive, are incredibly disenchanted with Obama, and will throw their weight behind whichever candidate pays the most lip-service to legalization/decriminalization. Such a candidate would have Obama’s own broken promises to use as ammo.
P.s. Did I mention that Biden/Obama/Holder are also to the right of organized labor on pot?