Chris Christie Has Zero Credibility on Drug Policy

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 thoughts

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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..

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

    1. 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:

    2. 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.

      1. 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.

      2. 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.

  12. 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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