‘Are you high right now?’ — Christie blasts marijuana tax revenue as ‘blood money’
New Jersey 101.5 video
EWING — Gov. Chris Christie has never been sympathetic to marijuana reform efforts. And he's not about to start as he heads into the final year of his last term.
Reacting to a caller on New Jersey 101.5's "Ask The Governor," Christie said any revenues that would be raised by taxing recreational marijuana would be "blood money."
"Are you high right now?" an irate Christie asked a caller who had suggested that the revenue could help offset the recent gas tax increase.
"There is nothing we spend in government that is important enough to allow me to willfully poison our children for that money," Christie said. "That’s blood money."
New Jersey allows for medical marijuana and Democratic lawmakers have explored legalizing the drug for recreational use.
Christie has long opposed recreational marijuana. But his administration has expanded the state's Drug Courts, which focus on rehabilitation rather than incarceration of nonviolent drug offenders.
Voters this month approved recreational marijuana proposals in California, Nevada and Massachusetts. Medical marijuana ballot measures also passed in Florida, North Dakota and Arkansas. Advocates believe the success at the ballot would bolster legalizing efforts nationally.
But any effort in New Jersey would likely go up in smoke with Christie still in office.
"You’re damn right I'm the only impediment. And I am going to remain the only impediment until January of 2018," Christie said.
"I have watched too many kids start their addiction with alcohol and marijuana and then move on to much more serious drugs. Every study shows that marijuana is a gateway drug and every study shows that marijuana causes damage."
Studies on marijuana's gateway effects, however, are not as conclusive as Christie suggests.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-438-1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.