UPDATE:  My Letter was PUBLISHED on page 4 of the Delaware State News of 11/25/19.

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Wow. He lost my vote! I have known Joe Biden since we both were young lawyers in Delaware in the ’70s, and I used to think he’d be ok for president, with all the experience he got as Obama’s VP. Not anymore. 

He says that his concern is that marijuana needs more research because he thinks it a “gateway drug”.   That opinion is ill-informed, outdated, and flat-out harmful to many citizens. He says things like: “there has not been nearly enough evidence acquired as to whether or not it’s a gateway drug.” Absurd! Marijuana probably is the most studied drug – legal or illegal – on the planet!

At this point we are well aware of some of its significant medicinal benefits, which is why 33 states and D.C. allow medical  marijuana! We also know that it damages growing brain cells, so it should not be allowed for minors.  I have read literally thousands of reports and articles about marijuana, and there is not one credible report that it is a “gateway drug”! Not one!  Yet it is classified by federal law right in there with heroin and other killer drugs! That law is nothing less than insane, and should be changed… the very change Biden says he opposes.

To his credit, Biden says things like “anyone incarcerated for marijuana should be released and criminal records should be expunged of any marijuana charges”. But this, along with his opposition to legalization, just makes him look like and old-time politician, “talking out of both sides of his mouth”, trying to please everyone!

READ my Letter, Below!

Excerpts from the Article:

Former Vice President Joe Biden said Saturday that more study is needed to determine whether marijuana is “a gateway drug,” making him the only one of the leading Democratic presidential primary candidates to oppose legalization on the federal level.

Biden – who said in 2010, “I still believe it’s a gateway drug,” and “legalization is a mistake” – was asked at a town hall in Las Vegas if his position had changed.

“No, it hasn’t changed,” Biden said. He explained that although he supports allowing states to determine their own marijuana policies, “the truth of the matter is, there has not been nearly enough evidence acquired as to whether or not it’s a gateway drug.”

Though Biden opposes legalization on the federal level, he said anyone incarcerated for marijuana should be released and criminal records should be expunged of any marijuana charges. He supports removing marijuana from the list of Schedule 1 drugs, which says it has no medical use, to Schedule III, which would make it easier to research.

Biden’s stance contrasts with most other Democratic candidates who seek the nomination from voters who heavily favor legalization. According to a poll from the Pew Research Center that was released Thursday, 78% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say marijuana should be legal.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont vowed to legalize marijuana by executive order in his first 100 days if he is elected president. Sanders is a co-sponsor of a bill, along with fellow 2020 candidates Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Michael Bennet, that would make marijuana legal and expunge criminal records.

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who acknowledged last month that he used pot a “handful of times a long time ago,” favors total legalization and the expungement of records. He opposes incarceration for the possession of any drug.

Eleven states and the District of Columbia have approved the use of recreational marijuana, and 33 states allow the use of medical marijuana. Fifteen states have decriminalized marijuana possession.

The Whole Story

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Letter to the Editor or Commentary/ Op Ed Submission – 11/21/19 – Biden is greatly off base about Marijuana – kra 

Wow. He lost my vote! I have known Joe Biden since we both were young lawyers in Delaware in the ’70s, and I used to think he’d be ok for president, with all the experience he got as Obama’s VP. Not anymore, due to his stance on federal marijuana law!

He says that his concern is that marijuana needs more research because he thinks it a “gateway drug”.   That opinion is ill-informed, outdated, and flat-out harmful to many citizens. He says things like: “there has not been nearly enough evidence acquired as to whether or not it’s a gateway drug.” Absurd! Marijuana probably is the most studied drug – legal or illegal – on the planet!

At this point we are well aware of some of its significant medicinal benefits, which is why 33 states and D.C. allow medical  marijuana! We also know that it damages growing brain cells, so it should not be allowed for minors.  I have read literally thousands of reports and articles about marijuana, and there is not one credible report that it is a “gateway drug”! Not one!  Yet it is classified by federal law right in there with heroin and other killer drugs! That law is nothing less than insane, and should be changed… the very change Biden says he opposes.

To his credit, Biden says things like “anyone incarcerated for marijuana should be released and criminal records should be expunged of any marijuana charges”. But this, along with his opposition to legalization, just makes him look like an old-time politician, “talking out of both sides of his mouth”, trying to please everyone!

The federal criminalization of pot is a cause of much injustice ( federal law enforcement agencies continue to imprison thousands of people for possession of marijuana!) , and it wreaks havoc with laws and policies in states with legal marijuana. The situation is so crazy that governments are trying to dance around those problems with measures like “Safe Banking Acts”!  It’s nuts  … a very costly mistake!

And the revenue! Colorado alone now takes in more than a BILLION dollars annually from taxing marijuana! It has taken in more than $6 billion in total sales of cannabis since the birth of the new industry — over $6.5 billion at the end of May, according to just-released monthly data from the state, and created tens of thousands of new jobs. And that is just one state!

Yes, we need more study of the benefits and drawbacks of pot, now greatly hindered by its federal criminalization (research hospitals and universities are afraid their employees may be arrested), but there is nothing to show that pot is a gateway drug!

Joe!  Don’t do this to yourself! Change your stance on this important issue! 

Ken Abraham, founder of Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE, former Deputy Attorney General, Dover, DE 302-423-4067

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I get lots of letters published, and ghost write for others. The keys to getting your Letter published are:
1. Keep it to 250 words or fewer.
2. Do not make it about “poor little old me”. Describe the problem as one which not only affects the individual, but is a senseless or ineffective measure, policy, or law which also harms communities and society. For example, with reentry, the obstacles make it unnecessarily difficult for the individual, but also harm society by making it hard to become productive, spending money and paying taxes in the community, and they cause increased recidivism = increased crime.
3. Speak from your heart.
4. Google any facts you are not sure about.
5. Do not name-call.
Do what works: Write that Letter! 🙂
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Letter to Editor – sign name, town, state, and your phone number (they often call to verify that you sent it), and “Member of Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE” if you like – shows you are part of a large group.
Send the email to yourself, and put on the “bcc” bar the email addresses for Letters to the Editor for the top ten newspapers in your state and several national ones – The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, U S A Today (google the Letter to Editor email addresses). Any questions, CALL me at 302-423-4067! 🙂
Need a Letter on some criminal justice issue and not a great letter writer? NO EXCUSE! Email me a rough draft and call me and I’ll polish it up! kenabraham3138@gmail.com .