Governor Chris Christie thinks that being a hardliner about the states which have legalized marijuana for recreational use is a way to distinguish himself in the race for the Republican nomination for US President.
This is in an era in which the Republicans seem to be softening on their stance on marijuana, so this is a bit strange.
What was weirder is that at the debate last night Christie argued that he was in favor of medical marijuana decisions by States and indeed bragged that his State of NJ made medical use of marijuana legal on his watch as Governor.
Christie tried to soften his hardline stance by claiming "I'm not against medical marijuana."
Here's what I find strange.
Christie seems to be standing on the notion of "federal law", States' rights be damned.
“If you’re getting high in Colorado today, enjoy it,” Christie warned. “As of January 2017, I will enforce the federal laws.”
When you take an oath of office, Christie said, you’re agreeing to enforce the laws. President Barack Obama has ignored the law and looked the other way as states like Colorado and Washington have moved toward legalization, he said.
The DEA still lists marijuana on the Schedule I list. This is distinguished from Schedule II drugs not on a "high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence" (on which both Schedule I and Schedule II substances qualify) but on accepted medical use. The federal law does not recognize any medical use of marijuana at this time.
So Christie makes no sense. He has to be against both recreational and medical marijuana laws enacted by States if he is going to stand on Federal law as his reason.