Chris Christie told residents in states where recreational marijuana use is legal to smoke their weed now because when he is president he will enforce federal laws.
In a town hall meeting in Newport, New Hampshire, Christie told users of legal marijuana, "If you're getting high in Colorado today, enjoy it." He continued, "As of January 2017, I will enforce the federal laws."
Christie believes marijuana use alters the brain and is a gateway drug to harsher substances, a Bloomberg article explains.
Despite increasing support for marijuana legalization nationwide, Christie strongly opposes it. Other Republican candidates, such as Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, implied they will leave the issue up to the states to decide.
If Christie is hoping to stand apart from the other Republican candidates, this issue might not be the one to do so. In 2012, a CBS News survey found that 65 percent of Republicans think marijuana legalization should be left up to states to decide.
Christie criticized President Obama for selectively choosing which laws to enforce. The New Jersey governor explained in a Face the Nation interview that some residents of Colorado are unhappy with legalization and he is committed to telling the truth, despite the possibility of losing the state if chosen as the Republican nominee.