If there is one thing that scares me to my core, it’s the thought of Chris Christie being in charge of drug policy decisions at the federal level. Chris Christie being in charge of anything frightens me, but when his name was being floated around as Attorney General, I was really panicked. Jeff Sessions is not exactly an improvement on Chris Christie, so a nightmare scenario ended up happening with the Attorney General position anyways.
But as if that wasn’t bad enough, Chris Christie has not gone away, and could still end up in Donald Trump’s administration. As Tom Angell points out in his daily report, “Christie, an ardent cannabis opponent and one of only a handful of 2016 presidential candidates who vocally supported enforcing federal laws in legalization states, has been floated as a possible drug czar pick for the new administration.” If the thought of Chris Christie as Drug Czar doesn’t frighten you beyond words, you need to check your pulse.
Chris Christie is one of the most outspoken marijuana opponents in America. It wasn’t that long ago that he was telling anyone that would listen that if it were up to him, marijuana prohibition would be in full affect across America, even in states where voters have approved reform. Chris Christie met yesterday with Donald Trump to discuss drug policy, which is a scary thing to think about. Per North Jersey:
Governor Christie and President Donald Trump met on Tuesday to discuss “combating drug use,” the White House said, focusing on an area that the governor has made a priority for his final year in office.
Christie has made battling the state’s opioid abuse crisis his top priority, pushing for new legislation and appearing in radio and television advertisements to promote a new hotline and website dedicated to drug abuse.
If Chris Christie really wanted to reduce opioid abuse in his state, he should embrace marijuana reform rather than trying to fight it at all costs. Below are the results of two studies (via Uncle Cliffy) which found that marijuana access significantly reduces opioid use:
“The treatment of chronic pain with medicinal cannabis in this open-label, prospective cohort resulted in improved pain and functional outcomes, and a significant reduction in opioid use.” - Haroutounian S, Ratz Y, Ginosar Y, Furmanov K, Saifi F, Meidan R, Davidson E. (2016)
“Among study participants, medical cannabis use was associated with a 64% decrease in opioid use (n = 118), decreased number and side effects of medications, and an improved quality of life (45%). This study suggests that many CP patients are essentially substituting medical cannabis for opioids and other medications for CP treatment, and finding the benefit and side effect profile of cannabis to be greater than these other classes of medications.” - Boehnke KF, Litinas E, Clauw DJ. (2016)
New Jersey already has a medical marijuana program, albeit a limited one. If Chris Christie really wanted to attack the opioid crisis in his state, he would be pushing for more access to marijuana, rather than proudly being ‘the only thing standing in the way of legalization in New Jersey’ as Chris Christie has stated recently. I really hope that Chris Christie just rides out the last year of being Governor of New Jersey and we never hear from him again. Yet, sadly, I doubt that will be the case.
image via Wikipedia