What’s Inside New Jersey’s Proposed Cannabis Legalization Bill?

What’s Inside New Jersey’s Proposed Cannabis Legalization Bill?

By Patrick McKnight

Over a year after reform advocates first began predicting swift legislative victory, the recreational use of cannabis remains illegal in New Jersey. When Governor Murphy and Senate President Sweeney agreed on a $42 per ounce flat tax in February, legalization supporters once again hoped for quick adoption of New Jersey Assembly Bill 4497 (“A4497”). Once again, the much-publicized March 25th vote was called off due to lack of support. Now legislators have a limited window to act before the state budget deadline on July 1st.

Hopes for reform have ebbed and flowed since Governor Murphy was elected on a platform including legalization within his first 100 days. Despite his party controlling both the Senate and Assembly, the Governor has only been able to expand the medical program since taking office. That executive action doubled medical marijuana enrollment in just six months.

While the media has spilled considerable ink analyzing the political drama, actual details of the bill itself have received considerably less attention. A4497 attempts to incorporate lessons learned from other legalization regimes in Colorado, Washington, and California. Some critics argue certain provisions in the bill are too ambitious. Others wish the bill would go even farther. These disputes will need to be resolved before the ongoing 18-month saga finally comes to a vote in Trenton.

New Jersey Moves Closer to Legalization

New Jersey Moves Closer to Legalization

New Jersey took another big step towards legalizing the recreational adult-use of cannabis last week, but legislators stopped short of taking the historic vote. After a breakthrough in negotiations over taxes and regulatory oversight between Governor Murphy and Senate President Sweeney in February, the scene appeared to be set for legalization. A vote was scheduled for Monday, March 25 but was postponed due to a lack of support. Leaders now hope to work out remaining sticking points and pass legislation before June.

Why Rand Paul is Right to Oppose Trump’s National Emergency Declaration

 Why Rand Paul is Right to Oppose Trump’s National Emergency Declaration

By Lee Enochs 

Recently, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has re-emerged as a national force to be reckoned with while receiving significant press coverage for his constitutionally principled and implacable stand against President Trump’s recent national emergency declaration on illegal immigration.

Such a declaration reallocates substantial tax payer’s money from military spending to fund a portion of Trump’s proposed border wall.

Like Senator Paul, I am generally and genuinely favorable to most of President Trump’s policy decisions.

However, I cannot give acquiescence with Donald Trump’s recent declaration of a national emergency and call for the reallocation of billions of dollars towards his border wall project out of concern that such an executive action by President Trump violates the clear separation of powers as delineated by the Framers of the U.S. Constitution.

How to Grow the Middle Class

How to Grow the Middle Class

 By Murray Sabrin

The decision by Amazon to pull out of building a New York City headquarters has ignited a debate over growth, ("Amazons exit reignites a debate over growth," February 17).

According to the article Nick Hanauer, who was one of the early investors in Amazon and identified as a progressive activist and writer, decries tax incentives as an example of egregious trickle-down economics.  Instead, he and a former Clinton administration advisor are calling for "middle – out economics."

Mr. Hanauer states confidently, "The thriving middle class is the cause of economic growth." This is incorrect. A middle class is the result of investment and production.  Mr. Hanauer's own actions prove that. He invested in Amazon, because he obviously believed the new online book service would be success. He did not "invest" in Seattle's middle-class.

Despite Mr. Hanauer's mistaken assertions regarding economic growth, the truth of the matter is there is no shortcut to creating a middle-class other than to have a vibrant free-market economy based upon investment and production.

Why Amazon’s Departure is Bad for New York

 Why Amazon’s Departure is Bad for New York

By Lee Enochs 

In a stunning and detrimental economic development for all New Yorkers, the Empire State’s Democratic Governor, Andrew Cuomo, who truth be told, is generally not friendly to pro-capitalist business interests in the Big Apple, lashed out bitterly at progressive politicians such as Democratic-Socialist Alexandria Cortez and Massachusetts Junior Senator Elizabeth Warren, for influencing tech giant Amazon’s decision to leave the city. 

It has been estimated that Amazon’s New York headquarters would have provided close to 25,000 new jobs and billions of dollars of economic revenue for America’s largest city.

However, “AOC” as Ocasio-Cortez is known to her adoring, three million followers on Twitter, celebrated gleefully Amazon’s abrupt departure from the city which never sleeps, and said, 

“Anything is possible: today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world.”

The Brains Behind Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

The Brains Behind Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

By Robert Wenzel

I have previously posted that the socialist congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been using, in a very skillful manner, Leninist type tactics to advance her socialist cause.

Those attacking her for being ignorant, simple, etc. miss the point. She knows nothing about economics or doesn't care. Her game is completely about politics and the power game.

To understand this, you need to understand how she entered the race that allowed her to capture New York's 14th congressional district seat.

On the True Cost of Minimum Wage

On the True Cost of Minimum Wage

By Murray Sabrin

On Feb. 4, Gov. Phil Murphy fulfilled his 2017 campaign promise when he signed the bill that would raise the state’s minimum-wage, in increments, to $15 an hour by 2024. This year the state’s minimum wage would increase to $10 an hour in July and increase by one dollar every January 1 until it reached $15 per hour.  Not all workers, however, would see the legal mandated minimum wage increase to $15 per hour.  In short, some workers apparently are not deserving of being treated equally.

The governor signed the bill surrounded by Democratic leaders, union workers and other supporters at the headquarters of Make the Road New Jersey, an immigrant advocacy group based in Elizabeth.

The front-page article in The Record, “Raise Praised,” on Feb. 5, captured two moments during the event in separate photos -- supporters cheering enthusiastically with their hands raised and Gov. Murphy with both arms pointing to the sky; beneath him at the podium there was a placard with the statement, “A $15 Minimum Wage: A Path to the Middle Class.”

Northeast Moving Towards Cannabis Legalization

Northeast Moving Towards Cannabis Legalization

Despite the progress and widespread optimism surrounding Garden State cannabis reform in 2018, politics has once again proven to be the biggest obstacle. On November 26th, New Jersey made headlines when bill S2703 left legislative committees and seemed destined for a quick approval vote by the Assembly and Senate. The committees also submitted legislation to further expand New Jersey’s medical cannabis program and develop a process for criminal expungements.

Minimum-Wage Smartness in Switzerland

Minimum-Wage Smartness in Switzerland

A few years ago, Swiss voters had a national referendum that would have set the nation’s minimum wage at $25 an hour, ten dollars more than what is being proposed in the United States. I’ll bet you’ll never guess how the referendum came out. It went down to defeat, big time. 76.3 percent of voters voted no to the referendum.

Election Day: Whoop Dee Do

Election Day: Whoop Dee Do

Notwithstanding all the heated pronouncements in the mainstream press and among the Republican and Democrat political machines, nothing is going to change as a result of today’s election. There is a simple reason for that: There isn’t really any difference between Democrats and Republicans, at least not in a fundamental sense. The election is about power and money. That’s what the two political parties are fighting over.