Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang recently took to Twitter to post a picture of himself at a marijuana grow operation not long before he appeared on CNN to speak about the legalization of the drug. The 44-year-old serial entrepreneur captioned the photo with a quote from Walter White, the main protagonist of the critically-acclaimed television show, Breaking Bad.
During Yang’s CNN appearance, he expressed his support for the legalization of marijuana at the federal level and said he would pardon people currently incarcerated for marijuana offenses, Forbes reported.
“Most Americans agree that we should be legalizing marijuana at the federal level,” Yang said, referring to data that suggests more than two-thirds of American adults are in favor of ending marijuana prohibition.
According to Yang, the legalization of cannabis is essential for developing proper regulation.
“Marijuana is not something that we should just have out there completely free and easy, but it should be legal so that we can regulate it properly, make it safer and more standard for Americans, and also have some of the tax revenues that can help us counteract any of the negative effects.”
Yang also highlighted that cannabis is a safer alternative to prescription opiates in “almost every case” and noted that the enforcement of marijuana laws is not equal across races.
“When we administer these marijuana laws they are deeply uneven and even racist in the way we administer these laws.”
Yang’s comments come in the wake of Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden’s opposition to legalizing marijuana at the federal level. According to Biden, the matter should be left in the hands of states. The former vice president also suggested that there isn’t enough evidence to determine if marijuana is a gateway drug. He said that he believes more research is necessary before legalizing the drug nationally.
During his CNN interview, Yang addressed these comments and suggested that Biden’s position isn’t something that will stand the test of time.
“I believe that Joe actually will end up evolving on this issue over time if he sees the same evidence that I have,” he said.
Yang is also in favor of decriminalizing opioids for personal use and supports the use of safe injection sites. In an interview with Shannon Bream for FOX News, Yang said he believes that using criminal law as a deterrent is not effective and claimed eight Americans die from drug overdoses every hour. He also pointed out countries that have used similar decriminalization policies and the subsequent decline in the use and abuse of drugs and overdoses.