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Trying to figure New Jersey's governor's drug crimes position

The Times of Trenton yesterday ran an interesting piece trying to figure out Gov. Chris Christie's position on drug crimes, punishment, addiction and the appropriate level of help the state should extend to addicts.

The article notes that Christie acknowledges that people battling drug addiction are fighting an illness rather than covering up a lack of character. Last year, he talked about a plan for drug courts that give nonviolent drug offenders treatment rather than time locked behind bars.

However, when he was presented with a bipartisan bill to help lower the number of drug overdoses, the governor took a quick step back, vetoed the bill and said the issued needed more study.

That extra study time is expected to last 18 months. However, statistics indicate that in that time, about 1,000 people in New Jersey will die of drug overdoses.

Many others struggling with addiction will turn to crime to try to pay for their drug habits.

So the Times of Trenton writer wonders if the price of studying and waiting is really worth that terrible cost.

One of the problems with drug overdoses is that many people die with help sitting right next to them. Most ODs are in the presence of others -- presumably friends or family -- who would likely be glad to call for help except that they fear that if they do call, they will be charged with crimes.

As anyone who has faced drug charges knows, it can be an intimidating experience, with freedom on the line. Most opt to discuss their legal options with an attorney experienced in successfully handling drug cases.

Source: Times of Trenton, "Amick: When it comes to drug legislation, Gov. Christie can be tough to figure out," Feb. 25, 2013

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