DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: The Obama Administration is not pushing marijuana legalization on the federal level, Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday in an exclusive interview with TIME.
Just weeks after President Barack Obama told the New Yorker that the drug is no more dangerous than alcohol, Biden said the administration supports smarter enforcement, but not outright legalization. “I think the idea of focusing significant resources on interdicting or convicting people for smoking marijuana is a waste of our resources,” Biden told TIME in an interview aboard an Amtrak train on the way to an event in Philadelphia. “That’s different than [legalization.] Our policy for our administration is still not legalization, and that is [and] continues to be our policy.”
The outspoken lawmaker, who came out in support of gay marriage before his boss, was reserved on the subject, taking caution not to get out ahead of Obama. Biden’s position is essentially unchanged from a 2010 interview with ABC News in which he called marijuana a “gateway drug.”