Am I alone in being puzzled by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s stance on the war on drugs?
Yesterday while speaking at the Brookings Institution, Christie said “…the war on drugs, while well intentioned, has been a failure, and that we’re warehousing addicted people every day in the state prisons in New Jersey, giving them no treatment, sending them back out on the street after their term of incarceration, and wondering why recidivism rates go up and why they don’t get better, why they commit crimes again.”
He elaborated further on the economics by saying “It costs us $49,000 a year to warehouse a prisoner in New Jersey state prisons last year. A full year of inpatient drug treatment costs 24,000 a year.” It is refreshing to hear a GOP leader speaking candidly on the failed war on drugs versus spreading the usual reefer madness misinformation.
In fairness to Governor Christie, he has been consistent in his stance of saying jail time for first-time nonviolent drug offenders is both a waste of tax dollars and unfair, like he stated in a November 2011 video he uploaded to YouTube.
What I can’t resolve with Christie is how he’s passionately against any sort of legalization, or even decriminalization efforts, given the failure that is the war on drugs. As the June 27th Daily Show clip slammed Christie for, he won’t go against the federal government on decriminalizing marijuana but he has no issues telling the fed to piss off on sports gambling.
What else can we speculate other than Christie is only willing to partially stand up as a leader within the GOP and say the 40 year war on drugs is a failure and lost, but doesn’t have the political or moral courage to call for any meaningful solutions.