Jacob Sullum on Carly Fiorina's Marjuana Federalism vs. Chris Christie's Prohibitionist Meddling


NBC News

Last week New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie reiterated his intention to crack down on marijuana in states that have legalized it if he is elected president. In an interview on Face the Nation, Christie answered "yes" when asked whether he would "return the federal prosecutions in these states," "yes" when asked if he would "go after" marijuana, and "correct" when asked if legalization would be "turned off."

If Christie were president, Jacob Sullum notes, he could make a lot of trouble for state-licensed growers and retailers, but he would not actually have the power to make Colorado, Washington, Alaska, and Oregon recriminalize marijuana. Furthermore, Sullum says, any attempt to override the decisions made by voters in those states would arouse strong objections—and not just from supporters of legalization. Illustrating that point, another Republican presidential contender, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, disagreed with Christie. "Colorado voters made a choice," she said in a Fox News interview last Tuesday. "I don't support their choice, but I do support their right to make that choice." As Sullum shows, Fiorina's position is the majority view among presidential candidates as well as voters.