2016 presidential candidate and Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey says he will enforce federal law banning the recreational use of marijuana if elected president despite four states having legalized the drug already.
“If you’re getting high in Colorado today, enjoy it,” Christie said at a town hall event in New Hampshire on July 28. “As of January 2017, I will enforce the federal laws.”
In Christie’s home state, marijuana is legal for medicinal use but it still heavily regulated and laws do not allow minors to use the drug for any purpose. Since his governorship began in 2009, Christie has tackled marijuana use repeatedly, referring to it as a gateway drug, The Washington Times noted.
One day after his town hall comments, Christie appeared on Fox News Channel’s “Fox and Friends” to discuss his position on marijuana legalization.
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“You take an oath of office. I take one as governor; I will take one as President that says that you’ll enforce the laws – not just enforce the laws you like. You’ll enforce the laws. And marijuana is against the law in the United States and it should be enforced in all 50 states,” the outspoken governor said.
“The same way there are folks out there who don’t like sanctuary cities, and I agree with that – I don’t think we should have sanctuary cities, either," Christie added. "Yet the federal government’s not enforcing the immigration law in those cities. There’s becoming an ethic in this administration that they only enforce the laws that they like.”
Under the federal Controlled Substances Act, marijuana use of any kind is not allowed anywhere throughout the United States, The Oregonian noted. However, a guidance ordered by the Department of Justice in 2013 allows states to place strong regulations on the growing, sale and distribution of marijuana that did not go against the federal laws already in place. Residents in four states -- Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Alaska -- have voted to legalize the drug for recreational use during the 2012 and 2014 elections.
At his event in New Hampshire, Christie continued to discuss the negative effects of legalizing marijuana.
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“I don’t think it’s good for folks, I don’t think we should be encouraging our young people to engage in it and I think it’s a gateway drug for other things. I’m not for it,” he said.
During his morning appearance on “Fox and Friends," Christie also discussed his GOP competitors and Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton. You can watch the whole interview here.