TRENTON— Details are expected this week on Gov. Chris Christie's proposal to expand the use of drug courts and make treatment mandatory for many people charged with low-level drug crimes.
Christie has made no secret of [B]his proposal to mandate that nonviolent drug offenders get treatment instead of prison[/B]. He also wants to overhaul the bail system to keep suspects with violent histories in custody as they await trial.
Christie talked about both initiatives in his state-of-the-state address, and included $2.5 million in his budget to expand drug treatment. The former federal prosecutor told a town hall audience last week that state prisons are populated with 7,000 nonviolent drug offenders, each costing the state $49,000 a year to house.
He says the plan would save money and turn around lives.
[QUOTE=sackdance;4378316]How about a proper beating instead of jail or treatment? It's what they deserve and will act as a deterrent.[/QUOTE]
Better system would be to offer a role as a human stunt dummy in an action film in lieu of incarceration or treatment. If they survive the multiple shootings, brutal pummeling with axes/ball peen hammers, horrific explosions, etc., they are set free. Plus, the film achieves a greater level of reality.
[QUOTE=Borgoguy;4378573]Better system would be to offer a role as a human stunt dummy in an action film in lieu of incarceration or treatment. If they survive the multiple shootings, brutal pummeling with axes/ball peen hammers, horrific explosions, etc., they are set free. Plus, the film achieves a greater level of reality.[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE=Trades;4378555]Absolutely a common sense answer. Prison for non-violent drug offenders makes a lot of sense.[/QUOTE]
I think you meant rehab here and if so I agree. IMO simply using drugs should not be a crime involving prison. Rehab mandates make more sense. Drug use can be reformed. I'd prefer saving the prison space to lockup the violent animals that commit murders and rapes and armed assaults.
[QUOTE=chiefst2000;4378674]I think you meant rehab here and if so I agree. IMO simply using drugs should not be a crime involving prison. Rehab mandates make more sense. Drug use can be reformed. I'd prefer saving the prison space to lockup the violent animals that commit murders and rapes and armed assaults.[/QUOTE]
IMHO… this is inconsistent with the Governor's new Drug reform proposal.
Gov. Christie: No clemency for convicted pot grower
TRENTON - Go[B]v. Chris Christie said he won't grant clemency for the Somerset County man serving a five-year prison sentence for growing marijuana in his back yard, despite the man's contention he did it to control the debilitating symptoms of multiple sclerosis.[/B]
During the monthly call-in show, "Ask the Governor" on 101.5 FM last night, Christie said [B]he doesn't believe John Ray Wilson grew the pot for medicinal reasons, and even questioned the Franklin Township man's diagnosis[/B]. Christie repeated the sentiments at an unrelated Trenton press conference this morning.
"The amount he was growing was well beyond the amount of pot you would need for medicinal use for yourself,'' Christie said during the radio show. "His diagnosis has been brought into question as to whether he really has MS or not."
Police found 17 marijuana plants behind Wilson's home in 2008, which he contends was used to help quell the symptoms of his disease. He was barred from bringing up his medical condition and he was convicted in 2009. An appeals court upheld his conviction last year, and the state Supreme Court last month declined to hear the case. Wilson began serving his sentence in January.
Chris Goldstein of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana - New Jersey, responded by emailing portions of Wilson's medical file to reporters, at the request of Wilson's mom.
[B]A copy of an MRI report from 12/1/2011 cites multiple sclerosis as the reason for the test, administered at Robert Wood Johnson University Medical Center in New Brunswick. "The lesions are considerably more than that seen in 2002,'' according to the report. "Findings are consistent with demyelinating disease as can be found in patients with multiple sclerosis."[/B]
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease that attacks "the myelin - the fatty sheath that surrounds and insulates the nerve fibers in the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves," according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
"Mr. Christie's comments on NJ101.5 were callous and completely lacked compassion - John could significantly deteriorate in prison while he serves his sentence,'' Goldstein said. "The Governor is certainly a legal expert and definitely a wannabe radio talk radio show host - but he is not a neurologist or a medical cannabis caregiver."
"We hope Governor Christie will review the merits John Ray Wilson's clemency on his own rather than through a team of attorneys," he added.
Goldstein also shared the MRI report with Sen. Ray Lesniak, (D-Union), who sponsored a resolution urging the governor to grant Wilson clemency. [B]The non-binding resolution (SCR89)that passed a Senate Committee last month asks the governor to commute Wilson's sentence, especially in light of the state's 2010 passage of a law allowing the manufacture and sale of a medical marijuana.
Although he did not mention the resolution, Christie said he considered the matter a dead issue based on what he was told by his legal staff who reviewed the case.
"Unless something new comes up, yeah, I think he has got to go to jail and stay there."
Questioned by a mother who said she nearly lost her son to heroin addiction, Gov. Chris Christie made the case for mandatory treatment for non-violent drug offenders at a town hall meeting this afternoon.
Judy Castiglione, of Lake Hopatcong, said she had to retrieve her son from the streets and pay $30,000 for his rehab.
“I want to know what we’re doing as a state. In the last two years heroin has exploded. Kids can buy it at $5 a bag anywhere. Parents are selling it to supplement their income,” she said.
Christie responded that state prisons should not house people who committed no violent crimes and were only arrested holding enough drugs for personal use. Christie said there are currently 7,000 such offenders locked up.
“What I propose now is that in every county in New Jersey we have to have drug court and that every non-violent drug offender has to, mandatorily, go to drug treatment,” Christie said. “I absolutely believe that every life is precious. And for parents, as you say, every parent will be able to say there but for the grace of god go I. Because you’re right, it’s everywhere.”
The exchange came during an unusually subdued town hall meeting, Christie’s 14th of the year and 74th of his governorship. Even though it was packed with a capacity crowd of 430, there were no testy exchanges between Christie and audience members that have made Christie a YouTube celebrity.
Christie promoted his proposed 10 percent income tax cut and argued the state’s economy is turning around due to his stewardship. He said he had to “say no” to things early so he could “say yes” to essential services now.
“We have a heart and we care about people who are disadvantaged. But we’re not going to say yes to every harebrained idea any politician has,” he said.
Christie also said he opposes the new health care law and hopes the Supreme Court overturns it.
“I just don’t believe the federal government should be able to order anybody to buy something, and I’m very concerned about it,” he said. “If they’re going to order you to buy this, what are they going to order you to buy next?”