08 Feb Chris Christie’s Plan to Combat Addiction
Now that election season is rolling around, we are going to get to hear what many of the most prominent politicians and lawmakers in the United States have to say about issues surrounding addiction, such as the heroin epidemic, the criminalization of drugs, and their plans to deal with the issue. While it can be hard to decipher what many of these people are actually going to follow through on, and what parts of their stump are just empty rhetoric to drive up hype. However, there is at least one candidate that we can examine on what drug policies might look like under their presidency, because he is currently enacting many of them in the state of New Jersey, where he is governor. This candidate, of course, is governor Chris Christie. While it is looking like his chances of becoming presidency aren’t very high, at least as of now, let’s take a look at how his policies have manifested, so far…
Christie has worked on decriminalizing policies
To his benefit, many of Chris Christie’s plans to fight addiction have involved moving away from the extreme penalties and overuse of the messed up penal system that the United States, as federal entity, continues to enact. For example, his 2016 strategy to fight growing addiction and substance abuse in New Jersey puts more treatment resources in prisons, and lessens penalties for nonviolent drug offenders. These policies are a good way to move away from a purely penal system, and move into a strategy that will actually help people get better, rather than run them through a system that is counterproductive to these individual’s ability to get to a point where they can contribute to society.
Increased policing has been met with mixed results
Despite these administrative motions towards decriminalization, there are still many who have extreme concerns with the numbers to combat drug addiction. His plan ultimately calls for increased policing in many of New Jersey’s metropolitan areas. This isn’t a new development for 2016 either, as this policy has always been a trademark of many of Chris Christie’s policies. However, these increases in policing often mean further abuse of lower class addicts who need help the most, and increased arrests often offset the decrease in penalization that other policies attempt to bring to the table. These policies have been viewed with, at best, extreme skepticism from human rights watchdog groups.