Christie: War on Drugs a Failure

Caring about addicts part of being pro-life, he says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2012 12:27 AM CDT
Christie: War on Drugs a Failure
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie addresses a crowd at a town hall meeting in Manchester, N.J.    (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

Chris Christie strayed far from GOP orthodoxy yesterday by declaring the war on drugs to be a failure. "We're warehousing addicted people every day in state prisons in New Jersey, giving them no treatment," he told a crowd at the Brookings Institution. Christie argued that mandatory treatment programs for drug offenders made more economic sense than incarceration, the Huffington Post reports. "It costs us $49,000 a year to warehouse a prisoner in New Jersey state prisons last year," he said. "A full year of inpatient drug treatment costs 24,000 a year."

Christie tied his position on drugs to his pro-life policies. "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." His stance on the issue appears to differ from Mitt Romney's, notes MSNBC. "We've got to not only continue our war on drugs from a police standpoint but also to market again to our young people about the perils of drugs," Romney said at a campaign stop last year. (Read more Chris Christie stories.)

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