[L]et us reclaim the lives of those drug offenders who have not committed a violent crime. By investing time and money in drug treatment – in an in-house, secure facility – rather than putting them in prison. Experience has shown that treating non-violent drug offenders is two-thirds less expensive than housing them in prison. And more importantly – as long as they have not violently victimized society – everyone deserves a second chance, because no life is disposable. I am not satisfied to have this as merely a pilot project; I am calling for a transformation of the way we deal with drug abuse and incarceration in every corner of New Jersey.
The federal gov't has terrible drug policies. And states like New Jersey have an opportunity to try and change that. Gay marriage is another issue where some states are implementing good policies that go against poor federal policies. I applaud these efforts and hope every state does the same. But one reason I always emphasize the importance of the federal gov't is that in the end, that is where the good policies have to end up. I just don't see how policies like marijuana legalization or gay marriage will make their way to every state. If they don't the federal gov't can solve that problem.