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Why Chris Christie Being Trump’s Drug Czar Doesn’t Really Matter

Recent media reports indicate that President Donald Trump is considering New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as the next U.S. Drug Czar. Here’s why that doesn’t really matter.

chris christie drug czar

(Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

According to reports, Donald Trump recently had lunch with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and is potentially considering him to become the nation’s Drug Czar, which is the informal title given to the Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Given Christie’s undeniable history of opposing drug and cannabis law reform – even for medical use – the cannabis community quickly went into a bit of a panic at this possibility. However, this panic is relatively unfounded, given that the position would be essentially the same regardless of who took the role.

As pointed out by DrugWarrant.com, the Drug Czar is “mandated to tell lies as part of their Congressional authorization”.

According to Title VII Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998: H11225:

Responsibilities. –The Director– […]

(12) shall ensure that no Federal funds appropriated to the Office of National Drug Control Policy shall be expended for any study or contract relating to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use) of a substance listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812) and take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance (in any form) that–

  1. is listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812); and
  2. has not been approved for use for medical purposes by the Food and Drug Administration;

This means that Trump could select Willie Nelson as his Drug Czar, and he would still be required by law to oppose any attempt to legalize a currently illegal drug. So, whether it’s Christie or someone else, it makes very little difference.

Yes, it’s true that someone like Christie could make a bigger splash given he’s already a well-known public figure (not necessarily a liked one, however), but this only goes so far given that the Drug Czar has little to no authority in regards to what laws are enforced at the federal law; not to mention at this point many in the public understand the position to be a farce.

No matter what happens, it would remain Trump’s choice on whether or not his administration enforces federal law in legal marijuana states, something Attorney general Jeff Sessions doesn’t see happening.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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