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. Don M says:

      Chris Christie and Jeff Sessions are both the lowest form of human. They will die some day and good people everywhere will celebrate! I look forward to it.

    2. Denny Strausser Jr says:

      Chris Christie is an idiot, and Sessions isn’t far behind. Why oh why did Trump appoint such an idiot for his position? I think someone who is pro pot should hold that position, as they realize just how little sense the drug laws make. Cannabis doesn’t harm anyone, and it is more enjoyable to be high than drunk. There’s also no hangovers from pot.

      I hope the next years go fast, and that we oppoint someone who is more pro pot than the current administration.

      Legal pot just makes sense. Even if I were against it, which I am not. I would still feel a legal market is the better idea.

      Jailing people just clogs up the legal system.
      Because you always have some sort of court hearings, and it just should never be necesarry to place a person through that for pot. Or any other drug for that fact. We should have an encouraged rehab program instead.

      • Julian says:

        I realize you were being somewhat sarcastic in questioning “why o why” would Trump pick Christi for this made-to-fail commission to “fight opiates.” But it must be clarified for those catching up with events that Trump is a con and a treasonous villain for Big Pharma and private insurance that is banking on a drug war to increase their profits over people’s targeted, predatory opiate addictions. After exacting his revenge on Christi for arresting Kushners father in a fit of vengence by humiliating him with rejecting his cabinet nominations, the Mercers and Sheldon Adelson and every other billionaire with a stake in opiate addiction, organized crime and private prisons (including Trump) elected to use Christi’s already dying brand on the dirtiest job left to fill… shoveling more Americans into private prisons and early overdosed graves. But who could be worse than Sessions who goes to West Virginia to tell the worst victims of the opiate epidemic that they are to blame for being targeted by Big Pharma and need to go to prison?
        Trump is a low-information vote, capitalizing on a low-attention span of reality-tv-jaded Americans, harvesting and exploiting fear, hatred and avarice to make Americans even more opiate dependent.
        But with that said, the money in politics continues to spin our media coverage away from voter caging and the Republican Crosscheck Program that stole the election for Trump and the GOP.
        While everyone is paying attention to Trump firing Comey, Trump makes an executive order to go after voter “fraud” while millions of Democratic votes continue to get caged before 2018 elections:
        While here in Texas we debate ridiculous bathroom bills and marijuana reform gets killed like the patients we have to deal with HB3422 thats pushing the evil Crosscheck program into Texas:

      • Miles says:

        I agree with your thoughts Denny except for the idea about the years going by fast since I am now in my 60s… I am not looking forward to my life being over.

        The current Trump administration is just a nightmare! I am praying that Trump and his cronies are thrown out and replaced with people who are intelligent, compassionate, and truly believe in the ideals of freedom and justice.

        • Denny Strausser Jr says:

          Sorry about the comment about the years going fast then. My roommate/lover is 71.
          My dad is 73, will probably barely make it to 74, as he has a type of terminal cancer. And so far all attempts at getting him to illegally use cannabis have failed.

          I hope Trump gets caught in some big scandal, forcing him out of office. I did not like him from day one. My thoughts there were, “What is this self made billionaire doing running for president?” I never supported him. On the other hand, Clinton seemed funny to be running too. BUT. She’d been in politics before, and Trump wasn’t. My feelings were get someone in who at least had some sort of experience.

          Thanks @Julian
          I believe your both right.

          Someday we will look back on this, and smile that we are out of it. Regardless of how old we get. I just wonder where 46 going on 47 years have went. 60s? I’ll get there, but I believe by that time, cannabis will be legal here in PA.

          Thanks Both Of You.

          • Evening Bud says:

            Denny, I agree with pretty much everything you said, except Trump being a self-made billionaire. Nobody who is handed $50 million the day he graduates from high school is a self-made anything. Besides that $50 million, he had his daddy’s business connections and his army of lawyers and accountants at his disposal. No, the only thing self-made about Trump is his lecherousness.

            He picked Sessions and Christie for the same reasons he picked all the billionaires to run his cabinet–they’re all conservative elites like he is.

    3. Liz says:

      I’m really starting to hate my own country now. Our government officials are all fucking corrupt and are willing to bend us over and fuck us in the ass in order to get some hush money, some keep it illegal so pharmaceutical companies stay rich money. I’m sick of it all. Fuck trump, fuck sessions, fuck Christie, fuck pence, fuck all these incompetent tyrannical pieces of shit. We need to our current gov officials out and get people who actually give a fuck about our countries citizens in. Our gov officials refuse to accept the facts or read the scientific research which supports that notion that cannabis is a safer medicinal and recreational plant than most over the counter medicines and alcohol. Let them get shitfaced every night and pop their pills. In a few years they will be plagued with dementia, heart disease , and other neurological conditions because of the shit they put in their body. Everyone needs to put their political party aside and come together to bring forth justice, to get rid of these brainless twats in office, and actually bring forth change .

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