Earlier this week, Governor Chris Christie proposed a saner drug policy for New Jersey:
From the transcript:
[L]et us reclaim the lives of those drug offenders who have not committed a violent crime. By investing time and money in drug treatment – in an in-house, secure facility – rather than putting them in prison. Experience has shown that treating non-violent drug offenders is two-thirds less expensive than housing them in prison. And more importantly – as long as they have not violently victimized society – everyone deserves a second chance, because no life is disposable. I am not satisfied to have this as merely a pilot project; I am calling for a transformation of the way we deal with drug abuse and incarceration in every corner of New Jersey.
Christie evidently doesn’t believe that taking this stand will limit his political future. He is demonstrating that his brand of conservatism can form the foundation of a coalition that captures centrist voters even in a heavily urban, diverse northeastern state. This is part of why I understand and accept why Christie chose not to run for president this cycle: he had much more to do in New Jersey, and building a solid foundation there could be a great help if he does indeed pursue a national career.