DENVER — It was no surprise that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s comments ripping Colorado for its diminished quality of life as a result of marijuana legalization didn’t play well here.
But Christie’s comments are now being panned in his own state too.
An editorial posted Wednesday by the New Jersey Star Ledger mocked the Garden State governor, thoroughly ridiculing his comments about “head shops popping up on every corner” in Colorado as “dubious, at best.”
“Pity the poor saps who live in the beautiful Rocky Mountain State, where voters decided in a referendum that marijuana should be legal, beginning this year,” the newspaper’s editorial board begins.
It was a lengthy response to the GOP’s one-time 2016 presidential front-runner over the comments he made Monday on a call-in radio show after being asked about legalizing marijuana.
“See if you want to live in a major city in Colorado, where there are head shops popping up on every corner, and people flying into your airport just to get high,” Christie said on a radio show Monday. “To me, it’s not the quality of life we want to have here in the state of New Jersey. And there’s not tax revenue that’s worth that.”
Here’s more of the New Jersey newspaper’s rebuttal:
“The idea that Colorado, a land of healthy, fit outdoorspeople, is now being overrun by zombie potheads is nonsense. It’s still illegal to use marijuana in any public space in Colorado. You can’t smoke it on the street, in cafes, bars or parks.
“Christie’s assertion that people are flying into the state just to get high is dubious, at best. Not coincidentally, the tourism bump at Denver International Airport also corresponded with two playoff games for the Denver Broncos and a prime snow season for skiers and snowboarders.”
On Tuesday, Colorado lawmakers laughed off Christie’s bombast.
“I think when you’re running for president and you haven’t been to a state you know nothing about, you’re likely to say outlandish things,” said Colorado Rep. Dan Pabon, D-Denver, who helped write the state’s new marijuana laws.
Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat who opposed legalizing marijuana but has been tasked with implementing the voter-approved changes, responded by having his office send out a slew of statistics ranking Colorado ahead of New Jersey in a number of categories, most of them related to job growth and economic development.