POT & THE TRI-STATE

Is recreational marijuana coming soon? Steve Adubato, host of “One on One with Steve Adubato,” and author of “Lessons in Leadership” joins us with the details.

Aired on December 6, 2018.

TRANSCRIPT

> LEGAL POT IS CLOSE TO BECOMING A REALITY IN NEW JERSEY AFTER MONTHS OF FALSE STARTS AND DELAYS, STATE LAWMAKERS RECENTLY ADVANCED A BILL THAT WOULD LEGALIZE THE POSSESSION AND PERSONAL USE OF MARIJUANA FOR RECREATIONAL PURPOSES AND, IF PASSED, NEW JERSEY WOULD JOIN TEN OTHER STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IN LEGALIZING RECREATIONAL POT.

GOVERNOR PHIL MURPHY MADE MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION A CORE PROMISE OF HIS CAMPAIGN LAST FALL AND HAS SAID THAT HE WANTS IT DONE BY THE END OF THE YEAR.

BUT DESPITE RECENT ACTIONS IN THE LEGISLATURE, LEGAL WEED IS STILL NOT A DONE DEAL IN THE GARDEN STATE.

HERE TO TALK ABOUT NEW JERSEY'S LATEST MOVES ON MARIJUANA, AS WELL AS THE POTENTIAL FOR A $15 MINIMUM WAGE THIS THAT STATE IS 'METROFOCUS' CONTRIBUTOR AND ANCHOR OF STATE OF AFFAIRS, STEVE ADUBATO.

WELCOME BACK TO THE PROGRAM.

ALWAYS GREAT, RAF.

IT WASN'T THAT LONG AGO WHEN THE LEGALIZATION OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA HAD TO GO THROUGH ALL KINDS OF DIFFICULTIES AND CONTROVERSIES AND JUMP ALL KINDS OF ON STRAKLESS IN ORDER TO GET PASSED.

NOW WE'RE ON THE VERGE IN NEW JERSEY OF PASSING RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA.

WHAT CHANGED?

MOSTLY THE GOVERNOR HAS CHANGED.

I MEAN, CHRIS CHRISTIE WHO WAS GOVERNOR AND YOU AND I KNOW FROM INTERVIEWING HIM MANY TIMES HE WAS LIKE, LOOK, I DON'T BELIEVE IN IT.

THEY WERE SAYING WHAT ABOUT MEDICAL MARIJUANA.

IT'S ALL RIGHT, BUT THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH MADE IT DIFFICULT, ALL THESE OBSTACLES, ALL THESE HURDLES.

PHIL MURPHY AS YOU JUST SAID IN THE INTRODUCTION, HE RAN AND SAID WE ARE GOING TO MAKE IT LEGAL.

RIGHT NOW THE NEW LEGISLATION, WANT TO GO THROUGH SOME OF THE KEY THINGS?

YEAH, TELL US WHAT'S IN IT.

21 YEARS OF AGE IT IS NOW LEGAL --

IT WOULD BE.

ABSOLUTELY, IT WOULD BE LEGAL, IF, IN FACT, THE LEGISLATION PASSED.

IT ALSO IMPOSES A 12% TAX ON ANYONE WHO SELLS MARIJUANA.

NOW, THINK ABOUT THAT.

THE NATIONAL AVERAGE IS HIGHER THAN THAT IN THE TEN STATES THAT YOU MENTIONED.

GOVERNOR MURPHY WANTED IT CLOSER TO A 25, 25% TAX BUT IT LOOKS LIKE THE LEGISLATION AS IT IS HAS A 12% TAX.

IT ALSO SAYS IF YOU ARE IN A TOWN, COMMUNITY, MUNICIPALITY WHERE THE CANNABIS MARIJUANA IS SOLD THERE IS A 2% EXCISE TAX.

ONE MORE THING, THE LEGISLATION CALLS FOR A REGULATORY BODY, MEANING A SEPARATE OUTSIDE OF THE MURPHY ADMINISTRATION REGULATORY BODY WHICH WOULD MONITOR THE SALE AND DISTRIBUTION OF CANNABIS AND, BY THE WAY, I KNOW YOU AND I DIFFER ON THIS, I THINK IT IS A BIG DEAL THAT THEY'RE CALLING IT THE CANNABIS LEGISLATION, NOT THE MARIJUANA LEGISLATION BECAUSE THEY WANT TO SAY, LISTEN, IT'S THE CLINICAL NAME, THIS IS A CLINICAL THING, WHAT'S IN A NAME?

TALK ABOUT THE SOCIAL JUSTICE COMPONENT OF THIS BILL BECAUSE THAT'S GOTTEN A LOT OF PLAY.

I'VE READ A LOT ABOUT THAT.

WHAT DOES IT ENTAIL?

HUGE ISSUE.

AFRICAN-AMERICAN, PARTICULARLY AFRICAN-AMERICAN MEN, MANY, MANY MORE TIMES LIKELY TO BE ARRESTED FOR MARIJUANA WHILE IT'S BEEN ILLEGAL THAN THOSE WHO ARE WHITE.

IT'S WRONG IN THE EYES OF MANY.

SO YOU'VE GOT PEOPLE DISPROPORTIONATELY AFRICAN-AMERICAN WITH THESE CRIMINAL RECORDS FOR MARIJUANA, RIGHT, AND THE QUESTION NOW BECOMES WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT THAT?

SO THERE IS AN EXPUNGEMENT COMPONENT, IF YOU WILL, AND A COMPANION LEGISLATION THAT SAYS, LOOK, IF, IN FACT, YOU HAVE A MARIJUANA CONVICTION OR CONVICTION FOR THE POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA OVER A PERIOD OF TIME IT WILL BE EXPUNGED.

IT WILL BE DONE AWAY WITH.

THAT'S GOT TO BE DONE.

WHAT'S THE OTHER PART OF IT?

WHAT THEY DID WAS IN THE LEGISLATION, IF PASSED NO LAW, THEY SAID, LOOK, WE ARE GOING TO CREATE THESE ZONES AND PARTICULARLY MUNICIPALITIES, URBAN COMMUNITIES WITH A HIGHER AFRICAN-AMERICAN, LATINO POPULATION, THAT WE'RE GOING TO GIVE YOU AN OPPORTUNITY TO SELL THE MARIJUANA, MAKE MORE MONEY.

SO IF IN YOUR COMMUNITY YOU WOULD BE GETTING DISPROPORTIONATELY SHAFTED, IF YOU WILL, ON THE CONVICTION END, WE ARE GOING TO GIVE YOU A CHANCE TO MAKE SOME MONEY.

IT IS A COMPROMISE IN THE EYES OF SOME, IT IS A DEAL IN THE EYES OF OTHERS, BUT THERE ARE SOME AFRICAN-AMERICAN LEGISLATORS AND OTHERS WHO DIDN'T WANT TO VOTE FOR THIS WHO ARE NOW SAYING, WELL, NOW MAYBE BECAUSE IN THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY THERE COULD BE MORE ENTREPRENEURISM.

I WANT TO BE CLEAR THERE ARE MANY LIKE SENATOR RICE, AFRICAN-AMERICAN FORMER POLICE OFFICER, FORMER VETERAN WHO HAS BEEN DEAD SET AGAINST THIS FOR 20 YEARS AND IS STILL AGAINST THIS, FEELS IT IS A SCOURGE ON THE BLACK OPPORTUNITY AND SHOULD NEVER BE PASSED.

I DON'T THINK HE'S GOING TO HAVE HIS WAY.

HE HAPPENS TO BE ONE OF THE FEW DEMOCRATS THAT ARE AGAINST THE LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA.

THERE ARE SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF REPUBLICANS WHO ARE AGAINST THE LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA AND ARE GOING TO EXPRESS THAT POINT OF VIEW.

AS OF NOW IT IS PASSED, THE HEALTH COMMITTEE AND ASSEMBLY, THE BUDGET COMMITTEE BECAUSE THERE ARE BIG FINANCIAL RAMIFICATIONS OF THIS -- BY THE WAY, LET'S NOT KID OURSELVES, NEW JERSEY NEEDS REVENUE.

PART OF THE REASON THEY'RE DOING THIS WITH A 12% TAX IS THEY NEED REVENUE.

WHICH IS WHAT RON RICE IS SAYING.

YOU'RE KIDDING US IF YOU TALK ABOUT THE SOCIAL JUSTICE THING, IT'S ALL ABOUT MONEY.

SHIFTING GEARS A LITTLE BIT, YOU KNOW, YOU SPOKE ABOUT THE DIFFERENCES THAT THE GOVERNOR HAS, IN FACT, WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE STATE SENATE, SWEENEY.

ANOTHER ISSUE IS THE $15 MINIMUM WAGE.

YES.

AGAIN, BOTH OF THEM AGREE ON.

THEY WANT IT.

BUT THEY'RE FIGHTING ABOUT IT.

WHAT'S THE BEEF THERE?

I WILL GIVE YOU A CRAZY ANECDOTE THAT DEMONSTRATES THIS.

ON THE DAY THAT THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY FINANCE COMMITTEE AND HEALTH COMMITTEE HISTORICALLY PASSED THE LEGISLATION TO MAKE MARIJUANA, CANNABIS LEGAL, THAT SAME DAY THE GOVERNOR WAS HOLDING A PRESS CONFERENCE CALLING FOR THE $15 AN HOUR MINIMUM WAGE.

SO WHAT DOES SENATE PRESIDENT STEVE SWEENEY DO?

HE GOES WE DON'T NEED MORE PRESS CONFERENCES, WE DON'T NEED GRANDSTANDING.

I'M SAYING, WAIT A MINUTE, DIFFERENT THINGS ON DIFFERENT WAYS AND NOW THEY ARE GOING TO POINT THE FINGER AT EACH OTHER.

I BELIEVE IN A LOT OF WAYS THAT IT'S A PERSONALITY DIFFERENCE, I BELIEVE THAT SWEENEY IS ALSO MORE MODERATE LEANING A BIT MORE TO THE RIGHT THAN THE GOVERNOR WHO IS DEFINITELY A PROGRESSIVE, BUT THEY AGREE ON THESE ISSUES BUT DON'T AGREE ON TACTICS AND STYLE.

IT'S GOING TO CONTINUE THAT WAY.

IN 15 SECONDS YOUR BEST GUESS, WILL THERE BE A MARIJUANA -- WILL MARIJUANA BE LEGAL IN NEW JERSEY BY THE END OF THE YEAR AND WILL THERE BE A $15 MINIMUM WAGE IN NEW JERSEY SOON?

YES AND YES.

OKAY.

THANK YOU, STEVE.

IS THAT CLEAR ENOUGH.

YEAH, THAT'S GOOD.

LESS THAN 15 SECONDS.

THANKS, BUDDY, AS ALWAYS.

Funders

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