Thursday, September 17, 2015

Addicts Start With Caffeine. Don't Tell Chris Christie.

Simply put: Chris Christie makes things up. (So does Carly Fiorina but this is about Chris Christie.)

Oh, as a good politician- an excellent one- and Christie generally avoids lying. However, he will leave his listeners with the wrong impression. Consistently.

After Senator Paul in Thursday's debate emphasized the Tenth Amendment and suggested that the federal government should permit states to set their own drug policy, Governor Christie cited New Jersey's use of drug courts instead of incarceration and added

You see, Jake, I’m pro-life. And I think you need to be pro-life for more than just the time in the womb. It gets tougher when they get out of the womb. And when they’re the 16-year-old drug addict in the Florida county lockup, that life is just as precious as the life in the womb.

And so, that’s why I’m for rehabilitation, why I think the war on drugs has been a failure.

As with most critics of the "war on drugs," Christie offered no evidence but of the claim but it was nonetheless a hopeful beginning. Nonetheless, the discussion immediately turned darker when- immediately after proclaiming the drug law a "failure"- Christie added

But I’ll end with this. That doesn’t mean we should be legalizing gate way drugs. And if Senator Paul thinks that the only victim is the person, look at the decrease in productivity, look at the way people get used and move on to other drugs when they use marijuana as a gateway drug, it is not them that are the only victims. Their families are the victims too, their children are the victims too, and their employers are the victims also.

The war on drugs, Christie argued, has been a failure.  With no more evidence, the governor labeled marijuana "a gateway drug," a charge which has been nearly disproved, though nicotine and alcohol do appear to be gateway drugs (Sanjay Gupta, in 2013, below).  Christie didn't call for banning cigarettes.

Of course, possession of marijuana is a victimless crime. By Christie's standards, highway construction- encouraging more drivers and hydrocarbon emissions- creates tens of millions of victims among pedestrians.

Still, the governor says marijuana use creates victims.- family members, employers, even unrelated, innocent, victims. Then he says "you can still put an emphasis on rehabilitation."  We are left with: marijuana destroys millions of people, but we won't lock people up for it.

The logic is weak; in fact, non-existent.  However, it gets worse when Christie remarks

In New Jersey, we have medical marijuana laws, which I supported and implemented. This is not medical marijuana. There’s goes as much — a further step beyond. This is recreational use of marijuana.

This is much different. And so, while he would like to use a sympathetic story to back up his point, it doesn’t work. I’m not against medical marijuana. We do it in New Jersey. But I’m against the recreational use, against marijuana.

That at least is makes a little sense and is even coherent. But it's not true, given that

The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act was first introduced by Sen. Nicholas P. Scutari (D-Middlesex, Somerset, and Union) in January 2005 and was debated for five years before being enacted and signed into law by Gov. Jon S. Corzine in the closing days of his term in January 2010.

The final law was different than the original bill, which would have allowed a patient or the patient’s caregiver to possess up to six marijuana plants.

Gov. Chris Christie, who opposed the bill as he was running for governor in 2009, was put in the position of implementing it as he entered office. He’s contrasted New Jersey’s deliberate approach with the less restrictive approaches of Colorado, which has legalized the drug, and California, where doctors prescribe it for a wider range of conditions.

New Jersey's medical marijuana law is feeble, as Governor Christie has made it.  Non-violent drug users get a shot at drug courts, Christie says, and in most cases, that does bear more fruit than incarceration. As for completely innocent ill people under the care of a doctor but who could benefit from medical marijuana, Chris Christie would like them to go elsewhere, and it's not heaven or purgatory.

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