It’s 2017 and by now, most Americans know quite a few things that we didn’t know a decade ago: marriage equality is the law of the land, climate change is a factor in our everyday lives, and smoking weed is really not a big deal.

And yet daily, we have ignorant elected officials who choose to pander to the lowest of the low in brain cell count in order to argue against common-sense beliefs that have little political or practical benefit.

The most recent suspect of such ignorance is none other than universally reviled New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who argued this week that if the U.S. were to legalize marijuana for recreational use, we might as well legalize heroin and all other elicit substances as well. Apparently, according to Christie, a mild herb and a highly addictive, deadly drug often absorbed intravenously are practically the same thing.

Clearly frustrated with what he viewed as a pointless argument, Christie flippantly called for the legalization of all drugs in a speech given on Monday.

“Let’s legalize cocaine. Let’s legalize heroin. Let’s legalize angel dust. Let’s legalize all of it. What’s the difference? Let everybody choose.”

Christie called efforts to legalize cannabis in New Jersey “beyond stupid.

“We are in the midst of a public health crisis on opiates and we have people saying yeah, but the pot’s OK. This is nothing more than crazy liberals who want to say everything is OK; people should be able to choose. Baloney.”

It is true that Christie’s state is in the midst of the continued opioid crisis, but there appears no evidence to suggest that the use of opioids are in any way connected to the use of marijuana. In fact, legalization advocates argue that access to pot for pain relief results in fewer prescription pain pills and fewer addictions.

Christie’s comment echo similar ones recently made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a sign that the federal government may be taking a giant step back in federal drug enforcement.

Though many states have legalized the use of marijuana either for medical or recreation use, the Federal government still has some jurisdiction to enforce federal law which still prohibits marijauna use across the board. The only way to prevent such regression is for elected officials to continue marching slowly forward on the road to progress, something Sessions and Christie seem intent on not doing.

As is so often the case, Christie is refusing to look at the science behind the argument he is making – we know how marijuana affects the human body and mind and it is miles away from the opioid crises we are witnessing in small-town communities across the rust belt of America.

Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at