Gov. Chris Christie is looking to move past his recent Bridgegate scandal and focus on the failed war on drugs. The Republican New Jersey Governor took the oath of office for his second term yesterday and called for an end to the current drug war, as well as compassion for those who are suffering from addiction.
“We will end the failed war on drugs that believes that incarceration is the cure of every ill caused by drug abuse,” he said. “We will make drug treatment available to as many of our non-violent offenders as we can and we will partner with our citizens to create a society that understands that every life has value and no life is disposable.”
However, this isn’t the first time that Christie has slammed the war on drugs. He also referred to it in July 2012 as “well-intentioned,” but a “failure.” He also pushed for the legislation passed that year by New Jersey state lawmakers to institute a year of mandatory treatment for first-time, non-violent offenders instead of jail time. That legislation will expand statewide by the end of 2017.
“We’re warehousing addicted people everyday in state prisons in New Jersey, giving them no treatment. 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.” He also cited the high cost of incarcerating drug offenders, roughly $49,000 per year, as a reason for treatment over jail time.