New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says that if he were president, recreational marijuana would be outlawed — even in the states that have voted to legalize it.
In an interview outside a New Hampshire drug treatment center that aired on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday, Christie said he would enforce federal drug laws in Colorado and Washington.
“Yes, sir,” Christie said when asked whether he’d “go after” recreational marijuana users in those states. “I think there are a lot of people in Colorado who are not too thrilled with what’s going on there.”
When it comes to weed, Christie is the most outspoken of any of the 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls. In a radio interview last year, Christie vowed recreational marijuana would never be legal in New Jersey “as long as I’m governor.”
“For the people who are enamored with the idea with the income, the tax revenue from this, go to Colorado and see if you want to live there,” he said. “See if you want to live in a major city in Colorado where there’s head shops popping up on every corner and people flying into your airport just to come and get high. To me, it’s just not the quality of life we want to have here in the state of New Jersey, and there’s no tax revenue that’s worth that.”
But Christie also admits the war on drugs has been a failure.
“We can no longer incarcerate our way out of this problem,” he said. “This is a disease, and every life is precious. We need to have the ability to give people the tools to deal with the disease. No other disease do we say to folks, ‘No, no, no. You don’t deserve treatment.’”
Christie said it is the job of the commander in chief to “lower the stigma” for people seeking drug and alcohol treatment.
“People see it as a moral failing,” Christie continued. “And if you have a president up there saying, ‘You’re not a failure — you’re sick and we want to help you get better, and we’re going to emphasize in this country for the first time that this is a disease, and we need to give people the treatment they need to get better,’ I think that’ll move the needle significantly in our country.”