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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 Thursday afternoon.

"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 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?"