Last month, New Jersey governor Chris Christie promised that if he was elected president, he would go after states that allowed the sale and use of recreational marijuana. On CBS’s Face The Nation he made it very clear that as president, he would federally prosecute people for marijuana, even though it is legal in states like Colorado and Washington.
This is a very poor position for Chris Christie to take since he is trying to portray himself as a moderate and avoid the extremist rhetoric of candidates like Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee. However, instead of backing off or modifying his message, he has instead decided to double down on his anti-marijuana position.
“If you’re getting high in Colorado today, enjoy it,” Christie, a Republican campaigning for the 2016 presidential nomination, said Tuesday during a town-hall meeting at the Salt Hill Pub in Newport, New Hampshire. “As of January 2017, I will enforce the federal laws.” (Source)
As Bloomberg notes, a majority of Americans support allowing the recreational use of marijuana, and Chris Christie is going against popular opinion. From a campaign strategy standpoint, I can’t understand why he would want to do this since vocally opposing legal marijuana and threatening to federally prosecute people in states where using it is allowed makes him look like an out-of-touch bully. As an independent and Bernie Sanders supporter, I am absolutely no fan of Chris Christie, but I just cannot fathom how this stance is going to pay off for him in any way.
Even many Republicans support the legalization of marijuana, including 63% of GOP millennials, 47% of Generation X (my generation) and 38% of Baby Boomers. Legal marijuana is more popular in the GOP than gay marriage, a subject that most candidates have made it a point to oppose, yet Chris Christie simply ignores both popular opinion and science.
As Gawker points out, Chris Christie also likes to talk about states’ rights, yet here he is trying to infringe on states’ rights on issues that don’t involve civil rights or interstate commerce.
Of course, like any good conservative, Christie has previously advocated for states’ rights—an advocacy that apparently stops at actual conflicts between state and federal law.
What Chris Christie should have said is that he supports regulated use of marijuana and/or decriminalization of recreational possession, and that would have allowed him to portray himself as an experienced, moderate Republican governor from a blue state, something the current field has a shortage of. Instead, he’s trying to appeal to the anti-marijuana faction of the party while trying to appear moderate at the same time, something that will also be a huge turnoff to libertarian-minded members of the party who legitimately view the War on Drugs as a massive failure.
Chris Christie has a strategy here, it’s just a very poor one and even if he somehow makes it through the primaries, he is absolutely doomed in the general election where the cards are already stacked against the GOP.
Latest posts by Manny Schewitz (see all)
- It Looks Inevitable, Donald Trump Will Eventually Be The Republican Nominee - January 17, 2016
- Donald Trump Is Now Using Ted Cruz’s Canadian Birth Against Him - January 14, 2016
- Hillary Clinton’s False Statements On Bernie Sanders’ Healthcare Record Are Disgraceful - January 14, 2016