New Jersey governor Chris Christie called supporters of marijuana legalization "crazy liberals" who want to "poison our kids" during a talk at a substance abuse conference on Monday, according to Politico.
"They want that blood money? Let them do it," Christie said, referring to tax revenue generated by legal marijuana sales.
"And they will. Let me tell you something — this will be like priority number one come January. I guarantee you, if we have a Democratic governor, it will be priority number one."
Christie — who is the most unpopular governor in the US, according to a recent poll — will end his term as governor in January of next year.
Both Democratic candidates for the governor's office in New Jersey have come out in support of marijuana legalization, and pledged to legalize the drug.
Recreational marijuana is legal in eight states, with Maine and Massachusetts being the first states to pass legislation on the East Coast.
The New Jersey Star-Ledger wrote an editorial on Sunday supporting the legalization of marijuana in New Jersey as a key component of criminal justice reform.
Christie, for his part, called the paper the "idiot" Star-Ledger.
Nick Scutari, a New Jersey state senator, is currently introducing a bill to legalize marijuana. Scutari's bill has the support of both Steve Sweeney, the Senate president, and Vincent Prieto, the Assembly Speaker, according to the Star-Ledger.
"People like Nick Scutari and Steve Sweeney and Phil Murphy [leading Democratic candidate for governor] want to bring this poison, legalized, into this state under the premise that, well, it doesn’t matter because people can buy it illegally anyway," Christie said on Monday.
"Then why not legalize heroin? I mean, their argument fails just on that basis. Let’s legalize cocaine. Let’s legalize heroin. Let’s legalize angel dust. Let’s legalize all of it. What’s the difference? Let everybody choose," Christie added.
Christie asserted that teenage marijuana users are 10 times more likely to become heroin addicts by age 24, without citing any evidence, reports Politico.
The link between opioid addiction and marijuana use has been refuted by researchers. Even the National Institute on Drug Abuse admits on its website that marijuana "may have a role in reducing the use of opioids needed to control pain," reports Massroots.
Christie was tapped by President Donald Trump to lead the White House Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.
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