Marijuana Crunchtime, Subsidy Pressure and My Long-Awaited TED Talk – Friday’s Roundup!

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Marijuana Crunchtime
We could not attend the City Council meeting Wednesday night due to a mental health trip we took (kids had off school) that did not go so well (ski trip, rain) but we’re reviewing the tapes of the 2.5-hour meeting, where marijuana legalization was discussed.

Council President Marty Small said he spoke with Phil Murphy, who assured him the city would absolutely get the maximum local revenue allowed under the legislation.

Small also said he asked Murphy if Atlantic City would be allowed to make rules to favor local ownership of marijuana dispensaries and Murphy told him that the city would be allowed to do so.


In related news, Politico is reporting they even don’t have the votes to pass marijuana reform in the senate, or the assembly, yet, with a vote set for Monday, so this is a great victory for the law-and-order caucus that routinely shrugs its shoulders at obstruction of justice out of the White House but thinks you should go to jail for minor drug infractions. Yay us.

This is not a Pot Joke
The New Jersey Tree Recovery Program is handing out free trees around the state over the next few weeks. Find out where to get some.

Tax Subsidies
Elsewhere in Reasons we need a Political Exorcism, the Spotlight/WNYC has a delightful story on the $11 billion EDA tax-incentive program, which is based on testimony from the former Director of Incentives at the EDA, John Rosenfeld, who said in a deposition that he felt pressured by members of Governor Christie’s Business Action Committee to crank out tax-credit awards while experiencing less pressure re: rules-following.

That’s the Business Action Committee or “BAC” as in, Rosenfeld felt “early on” like “the members of the Business Action Center wanted to take me out back,” (emphasis added), “and, you know, physically harm me,” which is an actual quote from the Rosenfeld testimony and not something I’m making up.

Anyway. We here at the Route 40 Roundup may seem to have our knickers in a twist over the tax-incentive thing, and believe me I do think it’s a scandal you pay so much in property taxes to fund schools so kids can learn to read and type and shop online at Amazon, which somehow deserves a $7 billion state tax break, on top of the zero federal taxes it pays, for your trouble.

But it’s the combination of the tax subsidies, plus the expensive and redundant homerule, plus the endlessly promoted idea that New Jersey’s unfriendly to business or something, plus the what $600 billion in military spending that props up U.S. manufacturing, etc. etc. But god forbid Phil Murphy wants to give immigrant children $2 million in tuition assistance without demanding to see their papers and suddenly the fiscal responsibility caucus get out their pocket calculators in unison to talk about we don’t have the money. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

Oh the BAC was led by Kim Guadagno who is representing the nightclub manager suing Mayor Gilliam for some reason. Small town!

For more feats of journalism…

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