Where Do They Stand? Chris Christie

Chris Christie has decided to take another go at the presidential election. He ran in 2016, but after struggling to gain support, he pulled out of the race and became a supporter of his former rival.

Christie was the 55th Governor of New Jersey from 2010 to 2018 and worked as a former federal prosecutor. He also served as the chairman of the opioid commission during Trump’s presidency and has always taken a strict stance on drug use, with a particular emphasis on cannabis.

He has had a complex and evolving stance throughout his political career and has made his opinion well known. From his tenure as governor to his public statements, Christie’s views on cannabis have garnered attention and debate. Christie is entering his second presidential race with a conviction that cannabis should not be legalized.

Christie As Governor- Drug Policy

During Christie’s time as Governor, he made a point to support policy that favored treatment over prosecution for low-level, non-violent drug offenses. In 2012 he stated, “What we’re dealing with most people here is an addiction, an illness that needs to be treated as such.” Christie has taken an aggressive stance on treatment, requiring that those who are arrested and addicted go through treatment, and even went as far as to expand treatment resources in New Jersey.

Against Legalization

Christie seems to have taken a strict approach to cannabis, condemning it as a gateway drug that is dangerous for children and productivity. During his time as Governor, he discussed his opinion about legalization on a radio show, “I am not going to allow de facto legalization of marijuana in this state or regular legalization of marijuana in this state by statute.” Throughout his time as Governor, he stayed true to this statement and consistently opposed legalization, vetoing multiple bills aimed at legalizing recreational cannabis.

One of the key arguments Christie made against legalization was that it could lead to increased use of cannabis among youth. He expressed concerns about the potential negative consequences of legalization on public health and safety as well.

For Limited Medical Use

However, Christie did support the limited use of medical cannabis in New Jersey. He was elected to office just one day after medical legalization was approved. While he promised to uphold this law, he was criticized for the regulatory barriers and the slow development of the industry during his time in office.

Image Credit Via Gage Skidmore Flickr

On the other hand he signed a bill in 2013 that expanded the state’s medical cannabis program, allowing for the sale of edible forms of medical cannabis and permitting children to use it in school under certain circumstances. While this represented a more moderate position compared to his stance on recreational cannabis, he continued to express skepticism about broader cannabis legalization.

Federal Prohibition

Christie’s opposition to cannabis extended to his role as chairman of the White House Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis under the Trump administration. In this capacity, he advocated for stricter federal enforcement of cannabis laws, even in states that had legalized the drug for recreational or medical use.

During his 2016 presidential bid he even made headlines for his pledge to enforce federal prohibition on states. He has since showed more favor toward allowing states to decide legalization but is unclear whether he will stick to this for the coming election.

Christie on Psychedelics

While Chris Christie’s stance on cannabis is well-documented, there is limited public information available regarding his opinions on psychedelics. Unlike cannabis, which has seen a growing movement toward legalization and acceptance in recent years, psychedelics have been the subject of renewed scientific interest and are undergoing clinical trials for various mental health conditions.

It is important to note that attitudes toward psychedelics can vary widely among policymakers,
and public discourse on these substances is constantly evolving with the addition of research and
anecdotes. Some politicians have expressed support for further research into the therapeutic
potential of psychedelics such as psilocybin and MDMA, while others remain skeptical.

Given Christie’s history of opposing legalization of cannabis, it is reasonable to assume that he
may also have reservations about the decriminalization or medical use of psychedelics. However,
without specific public statements or policy actions related to psychedelics it is unclear where he
stands on the subject.

Christie’s Stance on Drug Policy and the Road Ahead

In conclusion, Chris Christie’s political career has been marked by a complex stance on drug policy and a strong opposition to the legalization of recreational cannabis. As he embarks on his second presidential election bid, his views on cannabis policy have strayed from federal prohibition to support of states’ rights, but will he maintain this for the 2024 election?

While Christie did support limited medical cannabis use in New Jersey, he remained a staunch critic of broader cannabis legalization, citing concerns about its potential negative consequences. His history of advocating for stricter federal enforcement of cannabis laws, even in states with legal cannabis, raises concerns about where he might stand.

Regarding psychedelics, Christie’s stance remains unclear, as there is limited public information available on his opinions about these substances. Given his historical opposition to drug liberalization, it’s reasonable to infer that he may have reservations about the decriminalization or medical use of psychedelics.

As the political landscape continues to evolve, Chris Christie’s perspectives on cannabis, psychedelics, and drug policy, in general, will likely play a significant role in shaping his candidacy and influencing the broader debate on these important issues in the upcoming election.

Featured Image Credit Via Gage Skidmore Flickr

About the Author

Michael has a background in cannabis education and grew up in a family with roots in the industry. When he was Director of Events at Cannaclub UCLA he had the chance to learn from the industry and educate the student body on various aspects of the industry and the plant’s medical benefits.

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