Chris Christie Says Pot Legalization Is a Gateway to a Slippery Slope

New Jersey's governor thinks respecting individual freedom "sends the wrong message."


Office of the Governor

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new drug treatment center yesterday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie explained why he opposes marijuana legalization:

This should not be permitted in our society. It sends the wrong message. Every bit of objective data tells us that it's a gateway drug to other drugs. And it is not an excuse in our society to say that alcohol is legal, so why not make marijuana legal?…Why not make heroin legal? Why not make cocaine legal? You know, their argument is a slippery slope.

Christie, a likely candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, perceives two marijuana gateways: one that leads from smoking pot to injecting heroin and one that leads from legalizing pot to legalizing heroin. He is probably wrong on both counts.

Although it's true that people who smoke pot are more likely to try other drugs, the nature of this association is a matter of dispute. "What is not at all clear," write Jonathan Caulkins and his co-authors in the 2012 book Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know, "is whether marijuana use causes subsequent use of other drugs or whether it is merely a signal indicating the presence of underlying social, psychological, or physiological risk factors—such as weak parental supervision, a taste for intoxication, or a willingness to take risks—for both early marijuana use and later hard drug use." The same pre-existing traits or circumstances that make people more likely to use marijuana may also make them more likely to use other drugs. As I explained in a recent Forbes post, there is considerable evidence in favor of that interpretation, despite Christie's claim that "every bit of objective data" supports the gateway theory.

Because of the gateway effect, Christie implies, we can expect to see increases in heroin and cocaine use in states that have legalized marijuana—increases not seen in other states. I very much doubt that will happen, and there is reason to believe marijuana legalization will have the opposite effect. In a 2011 article published by the journal Addiction, the social psychologist Robert MacCoun noted that a major argument for the Dutch government's policy of tolerating marijuana sales was that it would weaken the link between cannabis and other drugs. He cited evidence that cannabis consumers were less likely to use cocaine and amphetamines once they could buy marijuana in so-called coffee shops. "Although hardly conclusive," he wrote, "these data are consistent with the notion that the coffeeshop system might 'weaken the gateway.'" 

What about Christie's argument that the logic supporting marijuana legalization leads inexorably to the legalization of other drugs? I hope he is right about that, but I doubt it, since public support for legalizing marijuana seems to be driven by widespread familiarity with pot, which is much more popular than other illegal drugs. Furthermore, the case for legalizing marijuana has relied heavily on its clear safety advantages over alcohol, and that argument will be harder (although by no means impossible) to make with respect to heroin and cocaine. 

Still, Christie is right that if you oppose marijuana prohibition because the government has no business dictating to adults what substances they may introduce into their own bodies, you should oppose cocaine and heroin prohibition for the same reason. Christie thinks respecting individual autonomy in this area "sends the wrong message," as if the violence required by drug prohibition can be justified by its propaganda value. What message do drug warriors like Christie send when they use guns, handcuffs, and prison cells to impose their pharmacological tastes on others? 

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  1. Fuck Chris Christie.

    1. Oh, please, no. Not into guys. Not into Suits.

    2. No. Just, no. Into guys. Generally like ’em beefy, but he’s waaaayyyy overlimit. No suits.

      1. “Not into Suits”
        “no suits”

        Is this some meme I missed?

        1. I see a lot of suit pictures (yes, that sort of picture). Never got it. And those people who got nuts over me wearing a suit – I just want to get out of the damn thing and get comfortable.

          I don’t know about Shoe and his world, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a lot of boss-lady porn with under-desk interns, etc.

          Like so much else in that sort of fantasy, it’s about power. And the suit is a symbol of power and accomplishment.

          And whatever you do, don’t google mormonboyz.

          1. “go nuts” although I suspect my typo was also true given the recent reaction of one lad when I told him it was a coat and tie day for me.

          2. I used to love suits before I realized that the people in them were likely…how should I say this?…..not my type.

            Remember those C&R Clothiers commercials from the late 80’s/early 90’s? Those were pretty awesome.

            Now just put Nick Offerman covered in swadust in front of the camera and I’m in my bunk.

            1. My dear, you have excellent taste in men.

            2. Now just put Nick Offerman covered in swadust in front of the camera and I’m in my bunk.

              I had to look that up. He might be the exact polar opposite of my ex (a skinny Asian guy). Ha!

          3. I guess I haven’t given it any thought since no man of mine has ever been successful enough to wear one.

    3. Chris Christy is deathly afraid of slippery slopes… He got stuck in a waterslide once and nearly drowned.

  2. respecting individual freedom “sends the wrong message.” – says the fat guy who probably has too much freedom over what and how much he eats.

    1. Twinkies? This should not be permitted in our society. It sends the wrong message. Every bit of objective data tells us that it’s a gateway junk food to other fattening foods. And it is not an excuse in our society to say that alcohol is legal, so why not make junk food legal??Why not make pork rinds legal? Why not make Oreos legal? You know, their argument is a slippery slope.

      1. Because pork rinds are a low carb food. Very paleo/atkins friendly.

  3. It sure does. You give people a little bit of freedom and they’ll want more. Next thing you know, they’re firing government bureaucrats.

    1. Next thing you know, they’re firing government bureaucrats.

      A boy can dream.

    2. Actually I’ve been stock piling wall space for when the balloon goes up

      1. Uuuup against the wall gub’mint worker
        He’s 34 and workin’ as a bureaucrat
        Kissn’ bosses’ asses and watching porn

    3. Next thing you know, they’re firing [on] government bureaucrats.


  4. I fucking hate this guy so much. I want to grab his neck fat and just shake him until he dies.

    1. And the really troubling thing is, there are so many worse out there…

    2. How are you going to get both hands around all those chins?

  5. What do you expect when the fat fuck got his start as a prosecutor? Thank Christ he fell and fell hard from his frontrunner status.

    He’s the Republican New Jersey deserves.

    1. He’s the only type of Republican that could ever get elected in a blue state like Jersey.

  6. And it is not an excuse in our society to say that alcohol is legal, so why not make marijuana legal??Why not make heroin legal? Why not make cocaine legal?

    Well, why not?

    1. And it is not an excuse in our society to say that alcohol is legal, so why not make marijuana legal??Why not make heroin legal? Why not make cocaine legal?

      You can get high huffing gasoline fumes and Baron Fatkonnen can’t do fuck about it!

      Hey Chris…..get back to me when the circulation is restored to your soft New Joisy nugget!

      1. You can get high huffing gasoline fumes and Baron Fatkonnen can’t do fuck about it!

        Sure they can. In New Jersey only trained professionals are allowed to pump gasoline. Your plot to huff gasomohol is foiled before its hatched!

    2. You left part of it out:

      You know, their argument is a slippery slope.

      That’s right. He used the slippery slope fallacy, called it the slippery slope, and expected to be taken seriously.

  7. You’re only free if someone else gets to decide what you may or may not put in your own body.

  8. Every bit of objective data tells us that it’s a gateway drug to other drugs.

    Even if that were true, why is it a problem?

    1. Because of reasons!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. Well, everyone who ever smoked pot is a heroin addict now. Why do you hate the children? Is it because they are selfish little disease bags?

    3. A quick glance through various government, anti-drug websites shows that the number of people who’ve used “hard” drugs recently is less than 10% of the number who have used marijuana recently. Also, that about 43% of Americans have tried weed.

      When almost half of the population has tried weed, it’s not surprising that a substantial % of people in any given group have tried it. It’s a pretty good bet that about half of all people in the software industry have tried weed… so obviously it’s a gateway to coding. A quick look at political history over the last 20 years would suggest that smoking marijuana is a gateway to becoming President. Apparently it is also a gateway to winning olympic gold medals in swimming.

  9. Chris Christie is a despicable fetid douchebag. Who can be surprised by any of his statist pronouncements or edicts?
    He *ought* to be the death of the Republican Party. Watch them nominate him and be all confused about how they failed to win the presidency yet again.

    1. They’ll blame it on identity politics, and they’ll be right (but for the wrong reason). It seems inevitable that Team Donkey will nominate a woman. It’s going to be very, very difficult to defeat that candidate, given the reality of identity politics.

      1. They may have binders full of women, but I’ve only heard of Big Chief Whiteface and Hilary Clitdong being presented as viable. And both of them seem destined to implode long before they get the nomination.

        1. I tend to agree with this. Even if one gets the nom (of course that will depend to some extent on who the Republicans come up with). They really lucked out with Obama as a candidate for first blackish president. He was a plausible candidate with little history or record so people could imagine whatever they wanted about him. Hillary and Warren don’t really have that going for them. And I don’t think that the opportunity to vote for some annoying old woman will really get people who usually don’t vote out the same way a “cool”, young black guy did.

          1. Warren stands a better shot than Hilary. But she’s so buffoonish that she comes across as a caricature of a progressive, even to the second most uninformed voter in any given room of voters, (with the exception of any room having “Run Lizzie Run” sing-along). Her support just wouldn’t be broad enough.

        2. In any sane world Clinton would self-destruct and Warren wouldn’t get anywhere near the nomination. This is not a sane world. Also remember that at some point any scrutiny of either of them is (and you know what’s coming, here) WAR on WIMMINZ!!1!

          1. Also remember that at some point any scrutiny of either of them is (and you know what’s coming, here) WAR on WIMMINZ!!1!

            This is exactly right. Team BLUE will follow the same play book they did with Obama, only the revised edition of it will have “racist” crossed out with “misogynist” penciled in. All criticism of any of their policy positions will be interpreted as a hostility towards women.

            1. Melissa Harris Perry is going to moderate a debate, you wait and see. “Being white and male is triggering, I have no choice but to disqualify you from the debate and kidnap your children to be raised by the bureaucracy.”

              1. Are you joking? I haven’t seen much, but what I have seen of her makes me think she is actually retarded.

            2. I just don’t think the “mysogyny” thing plays as well as calling racism on people. I guess we will find out.

              1. To elaborate a bit more, most people of all political striped abhor racism, rightly so. But many people see through the “war on women” crap. I don’t think it has the same power.

                1. Most people don’t know even how to define racism. Being “anti-racist” is a cheap piece of flare someone wears in effort to appear in control the moral high ground at best, and code for being a racist themselves (usually anti-white) at worst.

  10. I think his chances in a Republican primary are lower than Rand Paul’s. They’ll run the video of him sucking up to Obama, run it again and again, and the base will be like, “WTF?”

    1. And then they will run quotes from him endorsing New Jersey’s crazy gun laws. And note what the laws that he endorses actually say. That will destroy him in most red states.

  11. “it’s a gateway drug to other drugs” because it is illegal and you need to associate with people selling other drugs to get weed. The illegality makes it easier to flaunt other laws and makes the other drugs seem less dangerous since experience tells you that the govt has been lying about the dangers of marijuana forever.

    1. The fact is that the worst thing about just about any drug is that the government will destroy your life if it catches you with it.

      1. The fact is that the worst thing about just about any drug is that the government will destroy your life if it catches you with it.

        This. I’m sure that heroin/meth/etc has ruined people’s lives without ever having been caught, but even that is likely a side effect of prohibition itself.

        No weed smoker has been so high that it would do more damage than being caught.

    2. Yeah, that’s really the only way it could be a gateway. And even then, unless you are buying from some sketchy street dealer, most retail pot dealers aren’t also selling heroin, I don’t think. If there were a real gateway effect, I would expect a much larger portion of pot users to be into harder stuff too. But even official drug use statistics don’t back that up at all.

  12. Of course, most of us, while sliding down a slippery slope, can grasp a branch, a root, or a bush, or a tree to stop the slide. If Christie tries it, the bush or tree will simply get torn out of the ground and slide down with him.

    1. I lol’d.

  13. What message do drug warriors like Christie send when they use guns, handcuffs, and prison cells to impose their pharmacological tastes on others?

    Assumes facts not in evidence. I wouldn’t be the least surprised if it turned out Christie smokes a joint, snorts some coke and eats a six-foot sub sandwich every weekend. He can handle his drugs unlike you proles.

  14. A slippery slope is voting for statist fucks.

  15. OT — Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival will not sell controversial poster at festival…..iva_6.html

    1. That reminds me – it’s almost time for self-serve strawberry pickin!

    2. Depictions of blacks are heresy.

    3. Southern blacks don’t like strawberries?

  16. You just know there’s some visual evidence somewhere of him toking up.

    And as the current empty suit occupying the effice proves – it doesn’t matter one bit.

    1. Obama’s a leftie so it doesn’t matter.
      For Christie it would be a mortal sin. I dare say that if the evidence exists, the effect would be his just desserts. No pun intended.

      1. The younger Bush pretty clearly had used cocaine in his past and he was able to brush it aside. Nobody cares about this stuff anymore.

        1. Yeah, I think it’s more that than anything left/right at this point. Somewhere between 1992 and 2000 people decided that it doesn’t matter. At least when it comes to youthful pot smoking and occasional coke snorting.

  17. Every bit of objective data

  18. And let’s just ponder for a moment….Fatfuck got that fat without the help of weed.*

    *making an assumption that’s probably not true. Anyone who’s that obsessed by weed has to be a closet user.

    1. I thought I saw data indicating that smokers being fatter, was a myth.

      1. It’s a lot easier to shovel junk into your maw when the demon weed is screaming “I’m not full yet!!!!”

        I consider myself somewhat of an expert on this.

        1. I bow to your expertise. For me it’s more a matter of what I eat, not how much.
          That said, I’m not stereotypical. I tend to be inclined to get up and do something rather than lounging.

  19. A “slippery slope” is this corpulent fuck covered in Astroglide.

    1. Eeeeeewwwww!

      1. Didn’t think it was possible that he could be made any more repulsive, huh? If I’ve learned anything in my life it’s the simple, unassailable fact that IT CAN ALWAYS GET WORSE. 😉

    2. BRB, throwing up forever

  20. Statists, are gonna state!

    Wait, um… –

    Mr. Christie’s authoritarian leanings preclude his ability to think logically and admit the fallacies of his argument, so he will then double down on his authority since he, “knows better.”

  21. The “right message” must be violent reprisals and kidnappings for all who would dare disobey.

  22. Apparently, no one ever warned CC about “gateway foods”.

    1. First it’s lollipops at the bank. Then it’s the (urine coated) mints at the restaurant hostess stand. Now you’re hooked, drawn into a progression that proceeds from Hostess Snack Cakes to jumbo bags of M&Ms; to eating tubs of Bluebell ice cream alone by in the dark, and feeling irritated by how all the other brands have reduced the size of their packaging.
      This man knows well about the slippery slope.

  23. To be fair… is there any viable candidate for pres offering a different message on this issue? I.e. one that is not full of lies and hypocrisy.

    1. I can’t remember, has Rand Paul said anything about leaving states who legalize alone? That’s at least a little better.

      1. That’s been his position all along. All but completely kill the drug war at the federal level and leave it up to the states.

        1. That’s cool. Too bad it will cost him the election if it ever gets out.

  24. Chris Christie Says Pot Legalization Is a Gateway to a Slippery Slope

    Watch out Chris…smoking pot will make you FAT!

  25. Every bit of objective data tells us that it’s a gateway drug to other drugs.

    There isn’t any objective data you lying piece of shit.

  26. “…you know what that leads to: drinking beer!”

  27. No need to extrapolate early data from Washington, Colorado, Alaska, and DC. We have about 15 years of data from Portugal. Infectious disease rates down, addiction down, casual use up.

    Christie is obviously a liar.

  28. It’s like that eating that first cookie in the bag, eh Christie?

    1. He knows he couldn’t possibly stop at one, so nobody, anywhere has any self control.

    2. Girl Scouts: The drug dealers that Chris Christie WON’T put away.

  29. So is that supposed to be a bad thing? I certainly hope legalization is a slippery slope. I kind of suspect it isn’t. I doubt I will see cocaine or heroin legalized in my lifetime. It will stop with pot and maybe some psychedelics. Possibly MDMA.

    1. Somebody’s feelin’ optimistic today.

      1. Except for weed, not overly so. The others are fairly unlikely, but within the realm of possibility. SO called “hard drugs” will be legalized sometime after the federal government is reduced back to it’s proper constitutional role and hell freezes.

        1. t reducing the federal gov’t to its proper role won’t cause that (nor Hel’s freezing), because the state prohibitions preceded & will likely survive federal prohib’n. No, the only way to get legal heroin, etc. will be for their use to become enormously popular for a gener’n or more, and then probably to gain widespread medical use. So to get heroin legal, our efforts should be directed at making life so shitty for such a large swath of the public that a great many of them become regular heroin users, and for other painkillers to be discovered to be deadly to a large percentage of users. Probably we need a nuclear holocaust, then another a decade later, then 1 more; that oughta do it.

    2. Even if all of those were legalized, the state can easily fuck it up with taxes and regulatory compliance costs, essentially keeping those industries underground. Grey markets and all that.

  30. yes fatboy, tell me what I should and shouldn’t ingest and I’ll make a list for you too.

  31. As long as it’s a “slippery slope” to liberty, cowabunga and call me Bode Miller! Chris Christie proclaims himself a disgusting authoritarian in such opinions as these. There’s the dumpster of history, Chris. I don’t know if it’s big enough to hold you, but do your best to self-insert, would you please?

  32. Diacetyl morphine (heroin) is legal, as a pain medication, in many countries! Cocaine is a class 2 drug. That makes it legal. Forget the fact that cannabis is less of a gateway drug than alcohol! Does Christie’s ignorance disqualify him from this conversation?

    And why not make the use of addicting drugs a medical problem, instead of a, political/legal, club to beat everyone with! We don’t treat alcoholics that way, unless they endanger others, like driving drunk! When was the last time a drunk person received any type of punishment, related to the alcohol use, when they beat the crapolla out of someone?!

    1. I think he was using “legal” as an abbr. for OTC, which is understandable.

  33. The people paying for the cover-up of Christie’s bridge follies and misallocated Hurricane Sandy funds shenanigans are making too much bank from working both sides of the cannabis and hemp ban and resultant health and environmental crises to allow The Glubbernator to say anything else.

    Poor guy – not only does he have to go around in public saying idiotic things, but, cannabis could really help him to lose that gut without dangerous drugs and risky surgery.

  34. Even before I went full libertarian, I never found anything attractive about Christie. He and others like him are dying off on the wrong side of history. This is our Green Revolution.

    The incremental revisions of cannabis policy is changing this country and by its dark hegemony, the world for the better right before our very eyes.

    Cannabis will absolutely be a deciding factor in 2016. Everybody who knows that has already shifted the federalist position or is simply an idiot who will lose.

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