New Jersey Governor and famed moose-knuckler Chris Christie (R) said in an interview yesterday that the war on drugs has been a failure — yet he would still reinstate federal prosecutions for states that have legalized marijuana if elected president. (Christie is yet to officially announced his candidacy, but it is speculated that he soon will.)
In an interview with CBS, Christie admitted that the country is looking up too many non-violent drug offenders and said the nation must do more to help people who use drugs to get treatment.
“What I’ve been saying in New Jersey is that we can no longer incarcerate our way out of this problem,” Christie said. “We need to give treatment. No other disease do we say to folks, ‘No, no, no, you don’t deserve treatment.’ That somehow it’s a moral failing. This is a disease like anything else. I think quite frankly the war on drugs has been a failure.”
Christie’s comments ring true, especially as the U.S. finds itself in the midst of a heroin epidemic; a study by the Centers for Disease Control found that heroin-related deaths doubled from 2010 to 2012, and that there are more heroin deaths than homicides in New York City.
However, when it comes to marijuana, Christie is still resolutely blind, known for his unwavering, expressed opinion that weed is a gateway drug. (Really? Still?) Acknowledging that the war on drugs has failed while in the next breath saying he would reverse President Obama’s instruction to federal prosecutors to leave legalized states alone is the utmost of hypocrisy. Furthermore, Christie has been quoted calling his state’s medical marijuana program a “front.”
Adding the quote “the war on drugs has been a failure” is a shrewd political move when a wide national majority — regardless of party affiliation — agrees, but it doesn’t mean shit if his policy and actions tell an entirely different story.