Governor Christie:Marijuana is a Gateway Drug

New Jersey governor, Chris Christie speaking on  marijuana on NJ101.5 FM radio. Image-NJ 101.5
New Jersey governor, Chris Christie speaking on marijuana on NJ101.5 FM radio. Image-NJ 101.5

Potential 2016 Presidential candidate, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, vowed on the “Hugh Hewitt Show,” on Tuesday that if he were to be elected as president next year, that he would crack down on states that have legalized marijuana and enforce federal laws prohibiting marijuana in those states.

On the radio talk show, Christie said, “Marijuana is a gateway drug. We have an enormous addiction problem in this country, and we need to send very clear leadership from the White House on down to federal law enforcement.” As the show continued Christie went on to say, “Marijuana is an illegal drug under federal law, and the states should not be permitted to sell it and profit from it.”

Christie’s politically risky announcement comes at a time that Republicans are softening their views on legalization and more states move towards legalization. By 2016 there may be as many as 10 states with legal marijuana laws on their books.

Polls suggest that 39% of all Republicans are in support of  legalization, with younger Republicans weighing in at 63% according to a Pew Research Center poll. With his announcement, Christie is now out of step with voters as well as many in his political party.

Christie’s own state of New Jersey passed its own medical marijuana law in 2009 and that law was signed in by Christie’s predessessor, Jon Corzine just before Christie took the governor’s chair. In June of last year, Christie called the medical marijuana law a “fallacy”and a “front for legal marijuana,” and said that the signup for medical use  showed no demand for the substance. In June of 2014, only 2,342 people in New Jersey had signed up for the program.

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Although Christie is visiting in New Hampshire this week, he says that his visit is not the beginning of his campaign for president. He said that if he were to run, he would not decide until May or June of this year.