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Chris Christie to Colorado: I Will Ram Federal Law Down Your Throats

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07/29/2015

Chris Christie, who unbeknownst to virtually everyone is running for President, has announced that, if he becomes president, he will make sure that Colorado's nullification of federal marijuana law will not be allowed to stand. Says Christie

"If you’re getting high in Colorado today, enjoy it," Christie, a Republican presidential candidate, said during a town-hall event in the early voting state of New Hampshire, according to Bloomberg

“As of January 2017, I will enforce the federal laws,” he added. 

Christie has long had it out for Colorado. Back in April 2014, he declared that Colorado must be an awful place to live because of legal cannabis:

"For the people who are enamored with the idea with the income, the tax revenue from this, go to Colorado and see if you want to live there," the Republican said.

"See if you want to live in a major city in Colorado where there's head shops popping up on every corner and people flying into your airport just to come and get high. To me, it's just not the quality of life we want to have here in the state of New Jersey and there's no tax revenue that's worth that."

To most Coloradans, the idea that someone from New Jersey is looking down on Colorado is pretty hilarious, but Christie's threat of using violence against peaceful Coloradans is no doubt very real. The threat also applies to Washington State, Oregon, and Alaska, of course, although Christie seems particularly fixated on Colorado. 

When the ballot issue passed in Colorado, it passed with significant support from Republicans and non-affiliated voters, so Christie apparently knows he'll never get the nomination, because his position on legalized cannabis only helps ensure that a Dem would win the state and its badly-needed electoral votes in the general election. 

Electoral politics aside, however, the next presidential administration will be an interesting test case of the nullification that has taken place on the cannabis issue in recent years. Will Republicans take a stand to destroy federalism even further in the name of promoting the drug war? We already know that some politicians, including AG Jon Bruning of Nebraska have led efforts to obliterate what is left of federalism in the United States in a bizarre crusade to keep cannabis illegal. If recent lawsuits from the GOP leaders of Oklahoma and Nebraska are successful in the federal courts, the idea of state sovereignty will be dead and buried, at least legally.  

Such a situation would also help ensure a quick demise to the Texas gold plan, among other local initiatives. Basically, a new assault on federalism would help establish once and for all that nothing any state government does is beyond the purview of federal oversight.  

Such an outcome would also send the message yet again that democracy only counts for anything if the ruling elites agree with the outcomes. The federal courts have sent this signal for years, killing democratically-approved measures such as Proposition 187 and Proposition 8 and barely tolerating the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights. Now, cannabis legalization may ultimately get it, although, the upside may be that the voters may finally figure out that none of the millionaires in the White House, Congress, or the Governors' mansions care what they think. 

Image source. 

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Contact Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken (@ryanmcmaken) is a senior editor at the Mises Institute. Send him your article submissions for the Mises Wire and The Austrian, but read article guidelines first. Ryan has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Colorado and was a housing economist for the State of Colorado. He is the author of Commie Cowboys: The Bourgeoisie and the Nation-State in the Western Genre.

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