On January 16, 2018, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will be forced from his office by term limits. You can say many things about Chris Christie, but you can’t say he’s been inconsistent about cannabis policy.
He hates it. Not only does he hate it, he’s never been shy about talking about how much he hates it. From calling the notion of marijuana legalization “beyond stupidity” to comparing cannabis to heroin, Governor Christie has never missed an opportunity to blast the cannabis community and industry.
His latest slam, launched just a little over 2 months before the end of his second term as Governor, came from his perch as the chair of President Trump’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. In a letter to President Trump, Christie said, “There is a lack of sophisticated outcome data on dose, potency and abuse potential for marijuana. This mirrors the lack of data in the 1990’s and early 2000’s when opioid prescribing multiplied across health care settings and led to the current epidemic of abuse, misuse and addiction.”
“The Commission urges that the same mistake is not made with the uninformed rush to put another drug legally on the market in the midst of an overdose epidemic,” Christie added.
Christie has said that he won’t be Trump’s Drug Czar and that he plans on spending time in the private sector. Let us hope that is the case. Having someone in office with power over whether or not the people of an entire state get a say in whether cannabis is legal is one thing, but for that person to be so abjectly ignorant of cannabis as a substance to compare it to things like heroin and opioids is beyond stupidity.
At this time last year, it looked like Chris Christie could be Attorney General of the United States. It’s certainly debatable if he would have been worse than Jeff Sessions, but I feel it’s better that we didn’t find out. I could easily see AG Christie being aggressive, where Sessions has been more passive-aggressive and probing.
In the end, no one in the cannabis community is going to miss Chris Christie having governmental power. Hopefully, if he does decide one day to come back to office, it will be long after marijuana legalization is a done deal in New Jersey and nationwide, and it will be too late for him to do anything about it.