Chris Christie Vows To ‘End’ The Drug War If Elected President—But Only Partially

June 22, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), a Republican 2024 presidential candidate, says that he would “end” the war on drugs if elected, emphasizing the need for a treatment-based approach to people experiencing addiction—while at the same time maintaining that he’d seek to increase enforcement against those who sell drugs.

During a recent town hall event hosted by CNN, a mother who said her son is in jail after struggles with fentanyl asked Christie what he would “do about the war on drugs, which has obviously failed so miserably.”

“End it,” the former federal prosecutor replied, despite his opposition to marijuana legalization and previous pledges to enforce prohibition in legal states during his 2016 presidential run.

“I want to focus on treatment. Look, your son—and I don’t want to pretend to know him, but I know a lot of people have gone through this. And I’ve had some dear friends who have lost their life to this,” Christie said. “He has a disease the same way heart disease, diabetes, cancer. It is a disease, and he can be treated.”

“I still want to make sure we try to interdict as much fentanyl coming across our border as we can,” he said. “I would use the National Guard to try to do that, to enhance that. That part of the war on drugs, to lower supply, should continue.”

“But the idea that incarcerating someone is going to make them not become an addict is ridiculous,” Christie said. “And it’s been proven to be wrong, because you know what happens? They get drugs in jail. And so let’s be real about this. And let’s stop stigmatizing this.”

The former governor, who also served on an opioid-focused commission under the Trump administration, then offered an interesting comparison between how the country treats people who are addicted to tobacco versus those who use currently illegal drugs.

“My mother was an addict. She was addicted to nicotine. She started smoking when she was 16, and she died at 71 of lung cancer,” he said. “And when she got diagnosed, no one came to me and said, ‘well, she’s known since 1964 it could cause cancer. She got what she deserved.’ And I never tried to hide my mother’s illness from anybody. I wasn’t ashamed.”

“But what if my mother was a heroin addict rather than a nicotine addict?” he continued. “Think I would have told everybody? Think people would have rushed to her aid? We have to change that dynamic. And a president can change that dynamic by talking about it—by saying it’s a disease and that your son needs the treatment that can help him to have the redemption I talked about.”

Beyond that personal connection to addiction, Christie said that his views on drug criminalization and addiction are based on his Catholic faith.

“Yes, I want to be tough on crime—and the dealers who are making money off this, you bet they should be penalized,” he said. “But your son sitting in jail tonight, if his crime is that he was addicted and had enough to just feed his own addiction, in my view, he should be in treatment right now, learning how to cope with his addiction and to come home to you. That’s what I’d want as president, and that’s what I’ll fight for.”

The comments during the CNN event last week offered more comprehensive insights into Christie’s drug policy philosophy. But his position is also marked by seeming contradictions: He wants to “end” the drug war, but only parts of it—and he strongly opposes cannabis legalization, even if he’s somewhat come around to the idea of states’ rights on the issue.

Throughout his career, Christie has expressed his belief that cannabis is a gateway drug, that tax revenue from regulated sales amounts to “blood money” and that marijuana use inhibits productivity and endangers children. (Full Story)

In category:Politics
Next Post

Colombia Senate Rejects Cannabis Sales Bill

The Colombia Senate on Tuesday narrowly rejected a bill to allow legal cannabis sales to adults, Reuters reports. The measure failed despite having a majority of support in the chamber — 47 voted in favor and 43 opposed but, as a constitutional…
Read
Previous Post

Biden Review Must Fully Deschedule—And Not Merely Reschedule—Marijuana To Resolve State-Federal Conflicts (Op-Ed)

Since California legalized the use of cannabis for medical purposes in 1996, there has existed a growing chasm between state-level marijuana policies and federal law. Today, the majority of states and the District of Columbia authorize the state-licensed production and sale of…
Read
Random Post

Avoid ‘Diet Weed,’ Johns Hopkins Expert Says

The hemp-derived cannabinoid market is hotter than ever but experts warn that people should educate themselves about the fundamental differences between delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC products. High Times previously reported that delta-8 THC was first partially synthesized in 1941, yet there’s still…
Read
Random Post

I Thought Asia Was Legalizing Weed, So Why Are They Still Hanging People for Cannabis Possession?

I Thought Asia Was Legalizing Weed, Then Why Did Someone Have To Die For It?  Back in 2018, Thailand made waves around the world by becoming the first Asian country to ever legalize marijuana. For decades, Asia has been notorious for being…
Read
Random Post

Opinion: Cannabis business owners should negotiate labor peace agreements before signing

When you apply for a marijuana business license in California, one of the many documents you must sign is a sworn statement that your business will enter into a labor peace agreement, or LPA. Almost every licensed cannabis entrepreneur will…
Read
Random Post

As part of rebranding effort, off-Strip boutique hotel wants to be ‘cannabis-inclusive’

A Las Vegas off-Strip hotel plans to have an entire floor of cannabis-friendly rooms. Under new ownership by Elevations Hotels & Resorts, the Artisan Hotel Boutique will be rebranded as The Lexi. Officials at the 64-room property near Interstate 15…
Read