Politics
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie arrives to speak to local residents of Belmar, New Jersey, and other shore towns in Monmouth County during a town hall meeting to discuss federal funds for recovery from hurricane Sandy, in Belmar, March 25, 2014. A review commissioned by Christie into a traffic scandal apparently orchestrated by top staffers in his administration has found the possible Republican presidential contender had nothing to do with the scheme, the New York Times reported Monday. REUTERS/Mike Segar  (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3IKHA New Jersey Governor Chris Christie arrives to speak to local residents of Belmar, New Jersey, and other shore towns in Monmouth County during a town hall meeting to discuss federal funds for recovery from hurricane Sandy, in Belmar, March 25, 2014. A review commissioned by Christie into a traffic scandal apparently orchestrated by top staffers in his administration has found the possible Republican presidential contender had nothing to do with the scheme, the New York Times reported Monday. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3IKHA  

On drug addiction issue, Chris Christie stresses compassion

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Matt K. Lewis
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      Matt K. Lewis

      Matt K. Lewis is a senior contributor to The Daily Caller, and a contributing editor for The Week. He is a respected commentator on politics and cultural issues, and has been cited by major publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Matt is from Myersville, MD and currently resides in Alexandria, VA. Follow Matt K. Lewis on Twitter <a>@mattklewis</a>.

“The war on drugs has failed,” Chris Christie declared yesterday. “There will always be jail cells for violent sociopaths who may have drugs as part of their problem as well,” he continued, “but for those who do not and whose crimes are non-violent and motivated by drug addiction, we need to try to save them.”

The saving them part isn’t just rhetoric.

Last week, Christie signed a waiver making it legal for first responders to carry naloxone, a drug the AP reports “can reverse an overdose that would otherwise likely be fatal.” In the past, some conservatives might have seen such an action as a bleeding-heart liberal policy, tantamount to condoning drug use, but attitudes about addiction have changed in recent years.

Besides, Christie says this issue is personal to him. Most people won’t remember this — the governor was embattled at the time — but at the State of the State in January, Christie talked about a drug-addicted sixteen-year-old who went on to intern for Christie before becoming an attorney.

With the young man sitting in the audience, Christie said: “If you need proof that reclaiming a life is possible and that every life is precious and has value, and that no matter what condition you find that life in that life is salvageable … that proof is in this Chamber today.”

This isn’t a new issue for Christie. While prison reform and reforming mandatory minimums have become vogue (and thankfully so) of late, Christie has been championing this issue for years.

Consider this video from March of 2012, where Christie declares: “Every one of God’s creatures can be redeemed”:

For those looking for issues to unify the various wings of conservatism, it is increasingly looking like this may be it.