Governor Christie’s Marijuana Plan: Say One Thing, Do Another

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director January 22, 2014

    GovChristieDuring his second inaugural address, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had some harsh words for our War on Drugs:

    “We will end the failed war on drugs that believes that incarceration is the cure of every ill caused by drug abuse,” Governor Christie stated, “We will make drug treatment available to as many of our non-violent offenders as we can and we will partner with our citizens to create a society that understands that every life has value and no life is disposable.”

    While critiques of the War on Drugs are always welcomed (Governor Christie had previously made similar statements), it is hard to take his comments seriously when you consider his record regarding sensible reforms to New Jersey’s marijuana laws.

    The same day he was calling for an end to this failed policy, two pieces of legislation that would have made pragmatic changes to New Jersey’s marijuana laws were sitting on his desk awaiting signature. The first would have allowed state farmers to receive licenses for industrial hemp cultivation as soon as the federal government changed the national policy on the issue. The other, Senate Bill 1220, would have ensured patients enrolled in New Jersey’s medical marijuana program would be able to receive organ transplants and not be disqualified because of their medicinal use of cannabis. You would think that a governor who just stood at a podium and lambasted our prohibition as a failed policy, would immediately leave the stage and eagerly sign these pieces of legislation.

    He didn’t. These two important measures sat on his desk, unsigned and were ultimately doomed to failure by Governor Christie’s pocket veto.

    In the previous few years, Governor Christie declared that he would veto any legislation decriminalizing marijuana that came to his desk and also fought against rational reforms to the state’s medical marijuana program tooth and nail. He eventually capitulated slightly on the latter, but not before watering down many proposed amendments to the state’s program.

    We appreciate the Governor’s sentiment and welcome him in joining the overwhelming majority of Americans who think the War on Drugs has failed, but his statements are merely political bluster until his rhetoric is matched by his actions. While the ensuing years (and continual rise in public support) will only lead to more politicians, both aspiring and those currently in power, joining us in our call for a new approach to marijuana, we must be vigilante. Actions speak louder than words. If Governor Christie (and President Obama for that matter) want the rubber to meet the road between their statements and actual public policy, they will need to follow these flowery words with legitimate action.

    38 Responses to “Governor Christie’s Marijuana Plan: Say One Thing, Do Another”

    1. harry says:

      one thing I do not get is when someone say we do not know enough about something to make it legal how do they know enough to make it illegal

    2. Dee says:

      He just said he does not want the quality of life in HIS state that Colorado has……too HEALTHY for YOU CHRISTIE???? And what about the quality of life in some of your major cities????
      And all the gambling and alcohol (casinos)… and illegal drugs all over your state…for YEARS! Oh please, what a stupid stupid man, who makes stupid remarks before researching anything. He will NEVER be president……

    3. bigpharma says:

      Big pharma IS christies no 1 priority .
      If im not mistaken ,his wife is in the buisness.

    4. Julian says:

      HA! HA! Stupid Christie! The Hemp Research Amendment just passed the Farm Bill, and you just shot down the Hemp Bill in your state. How stupid do you feel now?
      Greg Abbot just announced he is against even medicinal marijuana in Texas, even after Perry suggested decriminalization. Wendy Davis has this governor race on lock down.
      And now with Florida? That’s more than half the U.S. population pro medicinal marijuana by the end of this year. God Bless America.

    5. Bwizzle says:

      We plan on voting for candidates that are for legalization. Want to smoke again someday, my job keeps me from it. Finally, There is something we can follow and make happen in our local and national elections. Pray the green party wins. Would really love to chill out to some smoke, music, and creating a cool oil painting.

    6. TheOracle says:

      Don’t trust Christie. He’s ambitious and likes to throw his weight around. I would not want to see this archetype personality in the presidency. He’s just another prohibitionist with his mind made up.

    7. Michael lr says:

      Governor Christie, you have a very hard responsibility to God and the people. I pray you can and will respond to the medical marijuana as an individual of God first. The Lord wants what is best for humanity within his boundaries. I believe the lord would rather have me medicating with herbs rather that Tramadol a synthetic opiate which I have been taking daily to help reduce the pain I suffer from for over a year. I tried to quit the Tramadol and could not because of the addictive properties of opiates. I hate pills they represent some form of death, just read the side effects write up from the pharmacy. Now, my case is marijuana helps me not take deathly addictive pills. Please check your own motives and hear my motive. I have been saved by God since Feb 28 1979, I served as a full time missionary for twenty years. At this time I need marijuana for the pain I suffer. God gave us the herb for good and the world bought the lie that it was evil. Yes cocaine heroin, meth, these are death drugs also, but Marijuana (Cannabis) is gentle herbal medicine when used responsibly. I won’t go to the pharmacy to get it when I can grow it with my rosemary and tomatoes and cost no other person for my pain. Please let god direct your path not man. Yet all truth is from God and the truth is that Cannabis is much better for me than any other. I know, I have suffered chronic pain for eight years and it stinks, but god has made a medicine that works better. Please legalize my medicine and for millions. Please do not let politics distort your understanding, study to show yourself approved, serve the humanity that you care about. Give god all the glory it is his name that we care for and want to glorify. Knowledge, wisdom and understanding will set us free to be about gods plan the best we are able. I pray the lord to give you wisdom on how best to take care of the people for his glory. Do not let the pharmaceutical industry that prescribes death from a pill, win.
      Michael lr

    8. Fed-Up says:

      Governor Christie stated, “We will make “drug treatment” available to as many of our non-violent offenders as we can’

      Translation: We will make you pay for you’re fines, court cost, attorney fees and drug counselors . You will be put on probation, monitored and urine tested for months to years.

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