New Jersey Governor and Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie stated in an interview on “The Hugh Hewitt Show” on Tuesday that he would “crack down” on marijuana legalization if elected president.

Asked whether he would enforce federal laws in those states that have legalized cannabis, Christie responded, “Absolutely. I will crack down and not permit it.”

When Hewitt attempted to steer the interview elsewhere, Christie re-emphasized his position:

“Marijuana is a gateway drug. We have an enormous addiction problem in this country. And we need to send very clear leadership from the White House on down through the federal law enforcement. Marijuana is an illegal drug under federal law. And the states should not be permitted to sell it and profit from it.”

The governor’s position contrasts sharply with those taken by other Republican contenders, such as Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, and Rick Perry, who have asserted that states should be free to regulate marijuana irrespective of federal law.

If Christie is betting that opposing marijuana legalization will put him in the good graces of conservatives, he may be disappointed. A Pew Research Center poll from March found that 54 percent of Republicans stated that the federal government should not enforce federal laws in states that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. 58 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of independents responded likewise.


Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

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