The New Jersey governor, has been an outspoken advocate of reechoing the sentiments of President Nixon as this marks the dawn of the 45th anniversary of his renown denunciation and proclamation of the infamous war on drugs campaign.  Christie is spearheading efforts to equip first responders with the anti-overdose drug Naloxone (Narcan) in hopes to quell the resurgence of heroin related deaths on the streets of New Jersey.  

Christie has led it be known quite clearly that there is no issue currently on the table that he fights and stands for more vehemently and that it is something near and dear to his heart.

“I have to struggle with fiscal problems and tax problems and job creation and health care and education, lots of other issues that are clearly important. And I’m not trying to minimize those,” Christie said. “But you need to understand that as a father there’s nothing more important to me than this.”

Christie’s bold stance on combating drugs has been something of a political lynchpin among all of the 2016 presidential candidates and is growing steam by the day.  With even President Obama recognizing the need for sweeping political reform in the arena, it is an issue that is gaining ever more traction by the minute.  

Several states are considering hopping on the bandwagon in favor of decriminalizing marijuana in response to the nationwide boom in heroin, especially in New Jersey.  Another popular means of addressing the problem which has been a favorite among Republican candidates has been to overhaul the prison and sentencing structures in place.  Also, several Republicans governors have embraced prison and sentencing reform as a way of saving money.  Governor Christie is preaching to a receptive audience.  

“I think what 10 years ago was perceived as largely an urban problem has become a national problem,” said Steve Duprey, New Hampshire’s former Republican state chairman and current member of the Republican National Committee. “It is a big issue.”

Amidst fellow GOP activists, Christie was embraced warmly at a Washington conference under the auspices of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, a group fronted by staunch Christian activist Ralph Reed, as he outlined the need for treatment as opposed to increased punitive measures.

Christie has even made the analogy of addiction to being like that of abortion, with effect to its ability of sparking controversy.  

“I believe if you’re pro-life, as I am, you need to be pro-life for the whole life. You can’t just afford to be pro-life when the human being is in the womb,” he said.

Christie’s track record on drug policy harkens back all the way to his days when first elected to county government in 1994, as oversight to human services.  It was then that he struck a relationship and began working alongside Daytop New Jersey, a well known addiction rehabilitation center.  He would go on to be an integral figure as a member of the group’s board and being a pivotal in raising funds towards the group’s mission.  

The addiction topic took on even more importance when one of Christie’s close associates fell into the throes of prescription drug addiction.  Christie indicated his friend was in and out of recovery programs and eventually lost his wife and children to addiction.  Several years ago Christie had come to find this friend had turned up dead in a motel room with empty prescription pill bottles and a bottle of vodka.  Ever since then Christie has vowed to eradicate the menace of drugs and addiction for good.  

“It just made me believe the words that I had actually said previously even more _ that this could happen to anyone,” Christie said in an interview.

Christie has instituted broader usage of drug courts and ushered in legislation aimed at getting minor offenders help through treatment programs rather than the prospect of jail.  However he he remains firm and resolute in his opposed stance on marijuana legalization.

“For him to say that he believes that the war on drugs has failed and then to also believe that people should continue being prosecuted and criminalized for nonviolent offenses like simple possession of marijuana for personal use … there’s this inherent inconsistency,” said Udi Ofer, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey. “He has to choose which side he’s on.”

Christie is undaunted by such naysaying and is eager to address the politics of his platform head on.  He thinks his position will gather consensus among other states.