Chris Christie has become the latest politician to rewrite the war on drugs. During a speech on Monday, the New Jersey Governor spoke out against the government’s policies cracking down on illegal drug usage.
“The war on drugs, while well-intentioned, has been a failure,” Christie told a crowd at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. “We’re warehousing addicted people every day in state prisons in New Jersey, giving them no treatment.”
This isn’t a typical talking point from a typical Republican leader. The governor did, however, put a conservative spin on the issue. “If you’re pro-life, as I am, you can’t be pro-life just in the womb,” he said. “Every life is precious and every one of God’s creatures can be redeemed, but they won’t if we ignore them.”
Christie supports mandatory treatment programs for first-time, nonviolent drug offenders and also argued in favor of rehab over jail-time as a cost-saving mechanism.
His stance seems to differ from Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. At a campaign stop in 2011, Romney pressed the need ”to not only continue our war on drugs from a police standpoint but also to market again to our young people about the perils of drugs.”