Chris Christie Has Zero Credibility on Drug Policy

  • by NORML May 12, 2017

    From Forbes:

    Legalize marijuanaAccording to Erik Altieri, Executive Director of the decades-old drug reform nonprofit NORML, Christie has spent much of time as governor (and, as it happens, much of the opioid epidemic) fighting the rising tide of calls for cannabis reform in his state. Last week, as part of opioid-themed comments, Christie even called the ever more crucial and commonplace drive to bring regulated adult and medical cannabis use to New Jersey “total stupidity” and “baloney,” and described any tax revenues from the industry as “blood money.”

    “We are in the midst of the public health crisis on opiates,” Christie said. “But people are saying pot’s OK. This is nothing more than crazy liberals who want to say everything’s OK.”

    In response, NORML released an open letter to the governor days later, explaining in simple terms how scientific and social research have repeatedly shown that cannabis offers rather the opposite of “baloney” in the face of opioid addiction. Citing years of evidence-based conclusions, the letter pointed out, “It makes no sense from a public health perspective, a fiscal perspective, or a moral perspective to perpetuate the prosecution and stigmatization of those adults who choose to responsibly consume a substance that is safer than either alcohol or tobacco.” It continued:

    “In truth, America’s real-world experiment with regulating marijuana has been a success. Thirty states, including New Jersey, now regulate the plant’s therapeutic use and eight states authorize its use and sale to all adults. These policy changes are not associated with increased marijuana use or access by adolescents or with adverse effects on traffic safety or in the workplace. Marijuana regulations are also associated with less opioid abuse and mortality . In jurisdictions where this retail market is taxed, revenue from marijuana sales has greatly exceeded initial expectations.”

    Altieri explained by phone that the new tactic is one of many advocates have tried over the years in order to convince Christie and lawmakers like him to accept the science on cannabis, and to invest in further study rather than stalwart opposition. Rather than acknowledge evidence that cannabis is a cheap, relatively quite safe method of treating pain and other conditions, and even effective for helping addicts quit much harder drugs, however, Christie has stayed his anti-pot course throughout, according to Altieri.

    “Governor Christie has 0% credibility on drug policy, or any other policy, for that matter,” Altieri said. “When it comes to cannabis’ relationship to opioids from real-world experience, not bluster and rhetoric, states that have medicinal and recreational cannabis laws on the books see lower rates of overdose, lower rates of use, and lower rates of opioids being prescribed to patients.”

    “This cannot be disputed,” Altieri added. “This is happening on the ground in many states, and he should know this better than others, having seen data on his own state, despite his protestations and attempt to block it.”

    But at this point, Altieri said, whether such outreach finally touches Christie’s heart and brain, unlikely as it may be, is no longer of import to the state of New Jersey.

    “In consistent polling, 60% of New Jersey residents support legalizing, regulating, and taxing cannabis, in line with the national average, and that’s three times the number of residents that support Governor Christie in his current position,” he said. “He further weakens his position by displaying his ignorance to basic and readily available science. We know that marijuana has a very low harm profile, that you can’t overdose on it, and that the side effects tend to be minor and temporary. Unlike opioids.”

    Altieri continued, “It’s important to point out that Christie will be gone by the end of this year, and that so far, every single Democratic candidate for governor and a number of Republican candidates have come out in support of legalization. So it’s really a question of not if but when in New Jersey. And there’s nothing Chris Christie can do about it.”




    22 responses to “Chris Christie Has Zero Credibility on Drug Policy”

    1. John says:

      2018 cant get here soon enough!!!

    2. Ohio I am says:

      Can It more obvious that this snook is completely bought and paid for by the interest’s of those keeping Prohibition in place.
      Its so sad to see someone sink so low
      to assist the Greed on one side and smile while stepping on the fingers of all those that suffer from a Wonder Wonderful medicine.

    3. Sean says:

      You all thought this was some big joke. Well it was all fun and games until Sessions implements his ’80’s style Do Drugs Do Time policies. Obama is right, Americas deserve the government they vote for. But take heart America, in 2025 you all can pursue cannabis legalization then. Meanwhile, America enjoy the drug war that you embraced in Nov 2016. Told you so!

      • MSimon says:

        Want a better joke? Comey was a Director of a money laundry bank. And Trump was going to appoint a casino mob lawyer as Drug Czar.


      • Me says:

        That crazy Clinton would not have done anything better fire cannabis. Instead she would have stripped us of our basic rights, under her you could have said goodbye to the 1st, 2nd, 5th, and 6th amendments. We had our chance to oust the two big parties and vote Libertarian but everyone was convinced by the big two that voting third party was a wasted vote. It’s sad really.

        • Julian says:

          Sad indeed. Sad that you dont read the resources and links available on this webpage before you regurgitate your Hillary propagandas, false equivalencies, tired rhetoric and a general malaise of bull$#!+ shotgunned from the orange potato gun of bull$#!+ from which you defend your defenseless position.
          Less than a week ago, AG Sessions, appointed by Trump, reauthorized the drug war out from President Obama’s Cole memos… y’know, the only thing that prevented the DOJ from cracking down on state marijuana legalization before the Rorhabacher-Farr amendment? (Now known as the Rorhabacher-Blumenauer amendment set to expire in September). Y’know, Obama’s Cole memos… the ONLY reason we are even WRITING about state legalized marijuana right now? The same Cole memos Hillary would have kept in place because she would have been kissing the ground Obama walked on to keep her Dems in line? Do you READ? And I dont mean the first website you click on, or whatever floats across the bottom of your cable “news” screen, I mean cross-referenced, research several sources READ?!
          You can start here, on this webpage. You can even get proactive and use the custom search tab at the top right hand corner and find out all KINDS of truths and facts about marijuana policy and the information about the ENTIRE PLANET!!!
          Please. Learn.
          Because your source of low-information vote-bait is feeding our freedom to the predatory institutions you claim to oppose.

    4. Sean says:

      Obama was right. America deserves the government that they voted for. It was all fun and games until Trump got elected and Sessions now introducing his Do Drugs Do Time policies. Stupid America!

    5. TheOracle says:

      Impeach Donald Trump.

      Get rid of Sessions.

      If Pence is involved in this shit, he’s going, too.

      If this drags on, then when 2018 gets here and I want them out.

      I want states to implement legalization.

      Fuck You, Sessions. Fuck You, Christie. Fuck Donald Trump.

    6. Duck says:

      I live in New Jersey (not “New Jesrey,” for Pete’s sake), and Christie is indeed exactly the tool he seems to be; but everyone here knows that now, thanks to “Bridgegate”, and Team Blue seems likely to retake the statehouse in the fall. Still, let’s not get overconfident. Just last week I saw a poster billing a talk by “Dr. Kevin Sabet” (*spit*) called “The Alarming Truth About Marijuana”, and I can just picture him holding up some gummies or something and giving his fact-free spiel, while the soccer moms ooh and aah. I hope I’m just cynical though. In any case, I’m with John (first commenter above): 2018 can’t get here soon enough!

    7. Evening Bud says:

      Duck, I’m with you and John–I’m waiting for my tea-bagging NM Gov, Susana Martinez, to run her course as Gov, and maybe we can finally become free here in NM, too. Perhaps Trump can find positions for her and Christie somewhere in outer Siberia come next year.

    8. Jeedi says:

      Chris Christie’s only credibility is that he is a fat, unhealthy authoritarian. Nobody is listening to this worthless excuse for an upright human being. Sure there is drug abuse; but this MFer is the poster child for abusing food. Lock this POS up and save the children from obesity and would-be obese role models who abuse food.

    9. saferinneworleans says:

      Thank you NORML for getting the truth out there. That’s all we can do. Hopefully the citizens of New Jersey will turn their backs on the drug warriors who have caused so much pain and suffering, not to mention traffic jams..

    10. Mark Mitcham says:

      I believe we in the marijuana legalization community need to make it clear that we do not favor more drug war on opiates.

      Not only would that be hypocritical and cowardly, but the relationship between cannabis and opiate addiction, as described above, makes it clear not only that a) cannabis should be legal because it reduces opioid dependence, among many other reasons, but also that b) more war on drugs focusing on opiates, meth, or heroin is a bad thing also, because it is counterproductive to drug recovery for those respective addictions. No one will be able to receive cannabis as therapy, if they’re in prison. More fundamentally, drug abuse, if it is a problem, is a medical issue and not a criminal matter.

      So let’s not promote the view you hear from time to time to “go after the hard stuff, and leave marijuana alone.” Sure, the “hard stuff” is more dangerous, but it is drug prohibition that represents the greatest threat.