Christie and the Drug War
For several months now, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey has been out supporting legislation that recently passed the New Jersey legislature. The law is an attempt to reduce recidivism - especially among nonviolent offenders. Specifically, the law would require that all first time nonviolent drug offenders go through a year of treatment for their drug problem instead of incarceration.
Spanning back to November of last year, Governor Christie has been criticizing the effects of the war on drugs and the cost of incarcerating drug criminals and then releasing them without addressing the addiction problem that caused them to commit a crime to begin with.
Comments made by Governor Christie at a Brookings Institute speech days ago caused some stir on the web when he stated that the drug war had failed. He also noted that the cost of incarceration was $49,000 a year and the cost of treatment was $24,000 a year.
There has been some obvious speculation in recent months that Christie in a VP candidate for Governor Romney. While Romney supports the drug war, Christie's actions aren't completely counter to that view. Christie as the VP candidate isn't likely to begin with since it would bring the number of northeastern liberal leaning Republicans to two. However, this is the direction that a number of conservatives are moving with respect to drugs. Even if Governor Christie isn't the VP candidate, he may still drive some discusssion in this area.