Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate Joe Biden is taking heat for his position on legalizing marijuana at the Federal level. No less a light than Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D, NY) objects to Biden’s hesitation:
Marijuana should be legalized, and drug consumption should be decriminalized. These are matters of public health.
And Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate and Senator Bernie Sanders (I, VT):
Too many lives were ruined due to the disastrous criminalization of marijuana[.]
Biden, though, doesn’t see the need for the rush:
I want a lot more [data] before I legalize it nationally. I want to make sure we know a lot more about the science behind it.
On this one, Biden is right, even if his version of the science is centered on whether marijuana is a gateway drug. There’s better science that argues for reluctance to legalize, and if we do so, to legalize only under very narrow circumstances.
There is considerable evidence that THC, the chemical putatively of interest, in uncontrolled use damages brains. There is, also, considerable evidence that various chemicals, including THC, and chemical combinations in marijuana can have beneficial medicinal effect.
Research needs to be done to identify with clarity those chemicals and chemical combinations. If the research bears out, then growing marijuana for the production of medically beneficial chemicals and chemical combinations can be licensed—just as is done with heroin into morphine and related chemicals.
Then, as with morphine, controlled doses of those chemicals/chemical combinations, with their known side effects and trade-offs, can be prescribed pursuant to useful treatment regimes.