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That Time Chris Christie Called Taxes From Legal Pot Sales "Blood Money"

And that time he brushed off a father whose daughter benefits from medical marijuana...

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has channeled his inner former prosecutor and denounced tax dollars raised by the sale of legal pot as "blood money."

Via the Asbury Park Press via Noah Rothman at Hot Air:

“I’ve had many taxpayers at town hall meetings who will ask me about, why not legalize marijuana to make the taxes go a little higher?” Christie said. “To me, that’s blood money. I’m not going to put the lives of children and citizens at risk to put a little more money into the state coffers, at least not on my watch.”

Not on my watch! Such delightful, tough-guy talk from the jefe of my home state, which legalized casino gambling so long ago, was an early pioneer in deregulating beer and alchohol sales, and has any number of horse tracks scattered around like so man Superfund sites! Exactly the type of no-nonsense, blunt speech we once loved about the fella, the Tony Soprano-ish good guy who told teachers to go to hell already, right?

Hot Air's Rothman, a conservative with libertarian leanings, goes deep on all that's wrong pharmacologically with Christie's statements about legalizing weed (and points to various positive elements in the governor's favor, too, such as pushing for drug-sentencing reform). So click through for a thorough fisking of all that.

And read Reason's Jacob Sullum on why Christie is all wrong about marijuana being a "gateway drug."

Suffice it to say that what's on display here is not singular to Christie, either among dum-dum governors of either major party (hello, John Hickenlooper!) or would-be presidents of either party (hello everyone!). What you hear in the "blood money" libel is the last gasp of one of the great policy failures of what we might call "the long 20th century," an era that was filled with so many such rotten efforts. (Let's say the long 20th century in America started with the rise of Progessivism and its cult of controlling all aspects of behavior for the common good. Fifteen goddamn years into the 21st century, we are still living in the long 20th century, alas, and will be until we finally shake off the dust of the past's failures.)

Without being glib or falsely triumphalist about it, the legalization of pot, both recreational and medical, will proceed apace for a large number of reasons. Among them: the rising realization among Americans that it hasn't worked to achieve any of its stated goals, that it is racist in its effects (and was of course racist in its origins), that it incredibly expensive, and on and on.

Attitudes such as Christie's—no blood money on my watch!—will slow down and complicate the legalization process and we should never forget that speed is of the essence. Every year, every month, every day that prohibition continues means that more lives are disrupted and destroyed by stupid and counterproductive laws and policies that still lead to the arrests of hundreds of thousands of people a year. Have you ever been arrested? It's no small thing. Pot prohibition isn't about stopping people from "destroying their lives," it's about wrecking families, perverting the Constitution, diverting police from real crime, creating black-market violence, and making it that much harder for users with problems to seek help. It takes a high that is no more and arguably much less dangerous than boozing it up and makes it a criminal act.

Ultimately, too, pot prohibition violates a core idea that conservative Republicans such as Christie should especially care about: the idea that government should be limited because as a matter of fundamental principle adults can and should be given the widest latitude possible to live their lives how they see fit.

The government has every right to keep intoxicated people from operating heavy machinery or driving up on sidewalks and all that. Dangerous and anti-social behavior should be subject to legal sacntions. But conservatives—more than the typical politician who just wants to be in charge because, well, it's kind of a trip isn't it?—should have long ago grokked that whether you use whiskey or weed or nothing at all to take the edge off at the end of the day is of absolutely no concern to the state.

Related: Chris Christie brushes off a guy whose daughter's epilepsy responds to medical marijuana.

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  • Libertarian||

    In all fairness to Chistie, you can't expect a state to trust you with weed when they can't even trust you to pump your own gas.

  • Free Society||

    In all fairness to Christie, sales tax is blood money.

  • Drake||

    Whether it's guns, weed, or just the scope of government, Christie is conservative only by NJ standards.

  • WTF||

    He is not conservative by any standard.

  • Billy Bones||

    He surely is not conservative at the buffet line, Gov. Fatass.

  • pan fried wylie||

    What part of All You Can Eat do you not understand?

  • Raven Nation||

    He basically won in 2009 because Corzine was virtually dead in the water. Then Christie made his chops taking on public-sector unions, including the AFT/NEA.

  • KDN||

    The government has every right to keep intoxicated people from operating heavy machinery or driving up on sidewalks and all that.

    Half right. They have every right to punish people that drive up on sidewalks, but not to keep them from operating heavy machinery. It's the latter that leads to such excesses as getting your licenses revoked for drinking a beer while mowing your lawn.

  • sarcasmic||

    Nobody loses their license for drinking a beer while mowing their lawn. They lose their license when, after drinking all their beer, they drive their lawnmower on a public road to the store to get more.

  • Harold Falcon||

    You are incorrect, sir.

  • ||

    What if they mow various blvds on the way to the liquor store...is that a defense? Can they bill the city?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If Chris Christie gets the nomination, get ready for a new occupant, Canada. Because I'm going to shove his ass across the border and let you hosers deal with him.

  • WTF||

    The fuck do you have against the Canucks?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    THEY KNOW WHAT THEY DID.

  • ||

    They are responsible for Tom Green.

  • WTF||

    And Justin Bieber. But they did also give us the Shat.

  • Conchfritters||

    They gave me the shat when I had an extra helping of the poutine.

  • ||

    Isn't that why the Canucks have the Canadian Shield? To protect themselves from US blobs?

  • TimothyZ||

    We let a quarter million in a year. I guess since we're taking the dregs of em too, you might as well hop in for the ride.

  • Antilles||

    God, what a stupid twat! If you want to talk about blood money, how about all the profits the state makes off alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs? No one has ever died from a marijuana overdose, so where does this so-called blood come from? Can't wait to see this buffoon eliminated in the primaries.

  • Drake||

    How about all that lotto revenue the state makes off people who never took statistics. Retard money?

  • Antilles||

    The lottery is just a tax on people who don't understand statistics or probability. Unfortunately, most are poor and shouldn't be squandering their limited funds on such astronomical odds.

  • Eggs Benedict Cumberbund||

    Its smart to buy ONE Power Ball ticket (or the equivalent) every once and a while. Your odds of winning go from zero to non-zero. The ROI is not too bad even if you never win, which you won't but 20 bucks spread over a few years for a chance at big money is a decent bet.

  • Antilles||

    I gotta admit I DO buy the occasional lottery ticket when the jackpot gets really high. I know I won't win. But I enjoy imagining 'what if' in the days leading to the drawing. But I can afford it. Many people who play the lottery can't.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's a moral issue. Smoking weed is immoral because it's an unnatural high. Natural highs, like the high a cop gets when he throws a grenade into a crib before smashing down a door ready to kill anyone who disobeys him, are perfectly acceptable because they're natural.

  • bob m||

    "To me, that’s blood money..."

    good argument - too bad he wasn't around in the 1930's when Volstead Act was being repealed. We could have used some tough, common sense talk then.
    Afterall, Prohibition repeal has been a big failure.

  • ||

    Way to gloss over all the problems legalized alcohol as caused.

  • WTF||

    Yeah, things were much better under the Volstead Act.

  • wadair||

    Alcohol doesn't cause problems--people do. Criminalizing alcohol is not justified because a minority abuse it.

  • Antilles||

    Racist!

  • bob m||

    legal or illegal, alcohol will cause problems when used to excess.

    Do we want to criminalize the use vs criminalizing anti-social behavior?

    Jail the drinker AND the drunk driver?

  • Harold Falcon||

    Oh please, fuck off statist.

  • bob m||

    I bet Christie tosses and turns each night over the taxes taken in by sales of tobacco - that's the real "blood money"...

  • Warren's Strapon||

    I'll be glad when people get as upset about marijuana users wasting away in prison as they do about some gay couple that had to use their second choice in bakeries.

  • Andrew S.||

    Who would make a worse President: Governor Fatass or Lieawatha?

  • Rich||

    I don't know. But I just heard a pundit claim that, since Hillary is now "fatally flawed", O'Malley will be the Dem nominee. He would make a bad President.

  • Viscount Irish, Slayer of Huns||

    That would be hysterical. A guy loses a blue state election as an incumbent to a Republican (a state which, during his tenure, was like 40th in the country in GDP growth) and now he's going to go win a presidential election.

    I don't like his odds.

  • Rich||

    Boyish good looks and a silver tongue increase them, unfortunately.

  • KDN||

    O'Malley didn't lose. His hand-picked successor did.

    He's proven himself to be an adept politician. I doubt he's beyond victory in this weak field.

  • John C. Randolph||

    I don't know about the rest of you, but I'd love to see Lewinsky throw her fat slut ass in the ring and run against Hillary for the Democrap nomination. The SJW's heads would all assplode.

    -jcr

  • Viscount Irish, Slayer of Huns||

    Would it be mean-spirited to point out that cheeseburger abuse kills more Americans hourly than pot does in a year and that Chris Christie doesn't appear to have any problem not only taxing McDonalds but consuming its products in excess?*

    *I'm saying he's a fatass.

  • Billy Bones||

    We need to get Gov. Fatass a nice purple suit. Then, I swear, he'll be splitting image of Grimace.

  • Faceless Commenter||

    I thought you were going to say Barney the Dinosaur.

  • EndTheGOP||

    I knew something was seriously wrong with Christie when he laid that French Kiss on Obama for coming to the Jersey shore for that photo op.

    Go eat a couple of extra large pizzas Chris. We'll wake you up when your term is over.

  • Conchfritters||

    The Governor's position on marijuana is the same position that Los Zetas, La Familia, Knights Templar, the Sinaloa cartel, the Juarez cartel, Beltran Leyva, and the Tijuana cartel have on the marijuana issue. They all want to keep prohibition alive. Let me state that again: their collective position on this issue is in lockstep with one another. Now I'm not insinuating that these murderous beasts are donating to the Governor's campaigns, or working the phone banks for him - - no sir. They actually get his support for free.

  • ||

    Again, if you bastards would listen to Tundra and I, you would realize that Dayton 2016 is the way to go.

    http://tinyurl.com/p9r7nm5

    This is how a real leader leads on MJ! You simply tell them to go buy it on the street because it is no worse than a speeding ticket.

    BTW, the audio clip above also gives you a great idea of how our Gov. Mumbles sounds in real life. Reading quotes of his in the paper doesn't do him justice.

  • ace_m82||

    Dangerous and anti-social behavior should be subject to legal sacntions.

    Wait, define "anti-social behavior". I like being alone and could be said to exhibit "anti-social behavior"; does that mean that I should be threatened with force?

  • Cloudbuster||

    So when can I expect Chris Christie to be stopping the flow of all that New Jersey gambling tax blood money -- Atlantic City, horse tracks, the lottery, etc. After all, gambling destroys lives, too, right? And is frequently a front for organized crime. And gambling losses are known to hit lower income people the hardest.

    Shut up, Christie.

  • D. M. Michell||

    Tax from marijuana is "blood money"? Then I supposed that New Jersey and Governor Christie do not allow the sales and taxing of alcohol since it has been proven to be the most violence-causing drug of all the drugs with over 50% of all violent crimes caused by people who have been drinking alcohol, including, in large metro areas, over 60% of all murders or attempted murders. Why can't the politicians get their facts straight? Oh wait. It's because they want to be re-elected and perceive that the majority of those who vote still are ignorant about marijuana (which they are) and wouldn't vote for him if he told the truth.

  • MichaelL||

    If the hypocrite had a leg to stand on, I might think he knew something. He should prohibit the real killer...ALCOHOL!! But he continues on with his ignorant ways. If enough of us, from both parties, would get out and vote a third party in, maybe the other two parties would get a clue!?

  • barkway||

    The time has been ripe for a true third party for yeats bit Americans are too cowardly to vote their conscience. They keep hiding their cowardice behind the notion that voting anything other than Thing 1 or Thing 2 is "throwing your vote away."

  • barkway||

    Like Corp CU money and mob money aren't? Gambling? Horse race torturing?

  • masculistman||

    Let's email Governor Christie: http://www.state.nj.us/governor/contact/ choose "taxation" then "state tax" and tell him we're not to put up with his prohibitionist attitude.

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