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Chris Christie Stands Alone on Conservative End of Pot Debate

Image: Chris Christie Stands Alone on Conservative End of Pot Debate
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By    |   Thursday, 11 Jun 2015 09:23 PM

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has claimed a spot on the conservative end of divide over marijuana but he appears to have it all to himself among declared and likely Republican presidential candidates.

Christie, who hasn't announced an official White House candidacy, said Sunday if he were president, he'd return to federal prosecutions on marijuana in states that have legalized it.

The tough stance would hammer state-licensed growers and retailers, but he wouldn't have the power to make Colorado, Washington, Alaska, and Oregon recriminalize marijuana, Forbes reports and any move to override voters in those states would likely be met with stiff opposition.

Which is just what announced GOP presidential contender Carly Fiorina argues, Forbes reports.

“While I don’t support legalized marijuana for a whole host of reasons, including the fact that this is a very complex chemical substance, and when we tell young people it is just like drinking a beer, we are not telling them the truth," she told "Fox & Friends" on Tuesday, the IJReview reports.

"But I think Colorado voters made a choice, I don’t support their choice, but I do support their right to make that choice."

That view appears shared by at least two other GOP contenders, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Forbes reports.

Former New York Gov. George Pataki thinks states ought to decide the issue, as does Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the advocacy website marijuana.com reports.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham's position is toward the conservative end, as he laid out in a 2010 letter arguing he didn't think complying with state law should protect medical marijuana suppliers from federal prosecution.

"I do not support this policy as I feel it is tantamount to federal legalization of medical marijuana and creates an inconsistent federal enforcement policy between states," he wrote.

He also remarked in 2010: "If marijuana is half as bad as alcohol, that’s probably good enough reason to keep it illegal."

As for voters, three-fifths of Americans think the feds should not "enforce federal marijuana laws" in states that have legalized pot, an April Pew Research Center survey found.

Forbes also pointed to a 3-year-old survey by CBS News that found 65 percent of Republicans thought "laws regarding whether the use of marijuana is legal or not should be … left to each individual state government to decide," even though only 27 percent supported Colorado-style legalization.

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has claimed a spot on the conservative end of divide over marijuana - but he appears to have it all to himself among declared and likely Republican presidential candidates.
Chris Christie, conservative, marijuana, states
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2015-23-11
Thursday, 11 Jun 2015 09:23 PM
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