Chris Christie gave a moving speech on drug addiction, but here's what he failed to mention.

At a campaign stop in a New Hampshire tavern, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie unloaded some heavy emotional artillery on the subject of drug addiction.

He shared a story about his mom, who started smoking when she was 16 years old.


GIFs via Huffington Post/YouTube.

She did everything she could to quit.

When she eventually developed lung cancer, the solution was obvious: Treat it.

He asked why people who are addicted to drugs don't receive the same compassion as those who get sick from cigarette addiction.

He shared another example to drive his point home. This one was about a friend of his from law school. Things always seemed to go his way. He was the smartest among them, the first to get a job offer, had lots of money and a loving wife and kids.

Then a minor running injury changed it all. His doctor prescribed him painkillers.

He was in and out of rehab for a decade, but his addiction was too strong.

He lost his wife, his kids, his home, his job, and his money. Then came a tragic ending.

Christie says policies shouldn't punish people with addictions. "We need to stop judging," he said, "and start giving them the tools they need to get better."

The speech was a touching break from the usual tussle of election season. But where will Christie stand when the rubber meets the road?

As a prosecutor, Christie built a "tough on crime" reputation. However, he has since acknowledged that the prison-crowding war on drugs was a failure.

Today, half of all federal prisoners are locked up for drug offenses. Christie says they need our help, not our judgment.

Full legend here. GIF via the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

“If we choose to stop treating the victims of addiction as enemies in a war," he said in a campaign speech, "we can end this war."

But here's where things get kinda weird.

If elected president, Christie has vowed to enforce federal cannabis prohibition laws, even in states that legalized medical and recreational use.

If that sounds at odds with what he had to say in that New Hampshire tavern, it's because it is. Walt Hickey of FiveThirtyEight says it's probably all about politics:

"Christie's intention may have been to assure the Republican base that the governor of a blue state with a medical cannabis policy is no friend of the reefer or just to shore up his law-and-order bona fides."

But Christie's stance on drug addiction wasn't the only moment of contrast with his other messaging. In the same speech, he says his pro-life beliefs are the basis for his compassionate views on the issue.

But that doesn't quite fit with his public support of the death penalty.

So is Christie really a "tell it like it is" candidate? That's for voters to decide.

In the meanwhile, prisons are swelling with folks who shouldn't be there, and tens of thousands are dying of drug overdoses every year because they can't get the treatment and opportunities they need.

And we'd all do well to remember that's just a fraction of what's at stake behind the clamor and confusion of politics.

Watch Christie's full speech:

More
Courtesy of Houseplant.

In America, one dumb mistake can hang over your head forever.

Nearly 30% of the American adult population — about 70 million people — have at least one criminal conviction that can prevent them from being treated equally when it comes to everything from job and housing opportunities to child custody.

Twenty million of these Americans have felony convictions that can destroy their chances of making a comfortable living and prevents them from voting out the lawmakers who imprisoned them.

Many of these convictions are drug-related and stem from the War on Drugs that began in the U.S. '80s. This war has unfairly targeted the minority community, especially African-Americans.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

Keep Reading Show less
Nature
via James Anderson

Two years ago, a tweet featuring the invoice for a fixed boiler went viral because the customer, a 91-year-old woman with leukemia, received the services for free.

"No charge for this lady under any circumstances," the invoice read. "We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible."

The repair was done by James Anderson, 52, a father-of-five from Burnley, England. "James is an absolute star, it was overwhelming to see that it cost nothing," the woman's daughter told CNN.

Keep Reading Show less
Heroes

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

Keep Reading Show less
popular