Christie Maintains Stance on Marijuana Laws
On Sunday's edition of CBS' "Face the Nation" Gov. Chris Christie repeated that if he were president he would enforce federal marijuana laws in Colorado and Washington where recreational use of the drug is legal under state law. Christie has never said he would do same in states where medical marijuana use is legal, but as Commander-in-Chief he would certainly have that option.
Federal law does not recognize a difference between medical and recreational marijuana use. In fact, doctors can't "prescribe" medical pot under federal law even in states where it is legal, but they can "recommend it under the First Amendment rights. Christie has been outspoken on his thoughts regarding New Jersey medical marijuana program which was enacted by former Gov. Jon Corzine in 2010 the morning Christie took the oath of office for his first term.
"There's not that much of a demand for this," Christie said in the June 2014 edition of Townsquare Media's 'Ask the Governor' program. "All this conversation about what a huge demand there would be for medical marijuana, what there's a huge demand for is marijuana not medical marijuana. This program and all these other programs in my mind are a front for legalization."
According to the website www.safeaccessnow.org, which advocates for legal medical marijuana, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has actively gone after large-scale medical marijuana growers and sellers in states where the drug is legal and there are hundreds in prison or facing charges.
The regulations New Jersey has in place for its medical marijuana program are among the strictest in the nation.
According to the website www.norml.org, which works to reform marijuana laws, first and second offense pot possession are considered misdemeanors under federal law. A third could be upgraded to a felony. Selling or growing the drug and possession of pot paraphernalia are felonies.
Christie has never shied away from giving his thoughts on the legalization of recreational use.
"I don't care about the tax money that may come from it and I don't care quite frankly that people think it (legal recreational pot use) is inevitable," Christie said in the April 2014 'Ask the Governor' program.
At a recent town hall event in Stafford Township, Christie said legal recreational pot use should not be allowed in society because objective data tells us it's a gateway drug.