Christie ‘Headshops’ Comment Irks Colorado
Colorado residents, including the state's governor, have come to the defense of their state, in response to comments by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Monday's "Ask the Governor" program.
Christie told a caller arguing for legalization of marijuana in New Jersey: "I am not going to be the governor who is going to tell our children and young adults that marijuana use is okay. Because it’s not. Not even in casual use.”
He then made a comparison to Colorado, where private use of marijuana is now legal. Christie said: “Go to Colorado and see if you wanna live there. Headshops popping up on every corner, and people flying in just to 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 worth that."
Coloradians have taken exception to Christie's portrayal of the state. Eric Brown, a spokesman for Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), told Denver TV station KMGH: “A lot of people think Colorado is great place to live, work and play. Plus, we have a pretty awesome quality of life." Brown ticked off a list of statistics showing Colorado outpacing New Jersey in economics, technology and health.
Denver television station Fox 31 notes Hickenlooper was against voter-approved Amendment 64, the ballot question that legalized marijuana in Colorado in 2012, but has implemented the law.
Colorado state representative Dan Pabon (D) took a swipe at Christie's presidential aspirations.“I think when you’re running for president and you haven’t been to a state you know nothing about, you’re likely to say outlandish things,” he told Fox 31.“When you’re counting your electoral votes, I guess he doesn’t think he needs Colorado’s nine.
U.S. Senator Mike Bennett (D) invited Christie to visit Colorado. “Whether it’s hiking season or snow season, we invite Gov. Christie to experience Colorado’s quality of life anytime,” he told Politico. Christie visited Colorado in August, 2012 for the Republican Governor's Association meeting and was part of a fundraiser.
Many callers to Dan Calplis' show on Denver talk radio station KNUS thought it "laughable" Christie would knock Colorado's quality of life. However, in an email, Caplis wrote that most of his callers and emailers "agreed with Governor Christie and are glad that he spoke out on this." Caplis was against the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and believes that the state's "quality of life has been badly damaged by the explosion of the drug culture and the impact of that on our children and communities."