Metrofocus: April 25, 2022

FRONTPAGE FORECAST

In tonight’s Frontpage Forecast, Mayor Eric Adams pledges more than a billion dollars to tackling traffic safety and homelessness. We’ll tell you how far his plans will go to protect New Yorkers. Then, the state’s top court is also getting set to hear whether Democrats gerrymandered New York’s congressional districts, a case with significant implications for the balance of power in Washington. Plus, New Jersey rolls out recreational marijuana with at least a dozen dispensaries now open for business. What can New York learn from the Garden State’s push for pot? Tonight Frontpage newcomer Hannah Meyers, director of policing and public safety at the Manhattan Institute and a former NYPD intelligence analyst, joins Kimberly Peeler-Allen – visiting practitioner at the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University and senior adviser to Attorney General Letitia James’s reelection campaign and Jeanmarie Evelly – executive editor at City Limits.

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT, ON THE FRONT PAGE FORECAST, MAYOR ADAMS' BILLION DOLLAR PUSH TO TACKLE STREET SAFETY AND HOMELESSNESS.

DOES IT GO FAR ENOUGH?

PLUS, WHAT THE GARDEN STATE CAN TEACH NEW YORK ABOUT.

ROING OUT LEGAL POT.

'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

♪♪

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION, AND BY --

> GOOD EVENING.

AND WELCOME TO THE 'METROFOCUS', FRONT PAGE FORECAST.

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

IN THIS WEEK'S LOOK AHEAD AT THE MAJOR HEADLINES, MAYOR ERIC ADAMS PLEDGES MORE THAN A BILLION DOLLAR IN TACKLING TRAFFIC SAFETY AND HOMELESSNESS.

BUT DO HIS PLAN GOES FAR ENOUGH TO PROTECT VOTERS?

WHETHER DEMOCRATS GERRYMANDERED NEW YORK'S CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTSING A CASE WITH SIGNIFICANT IMPLICATIONS FOR THE BALANCE OF POWER IN WASHINGTON.

AND WE ALSO CAN'T FORGET THAT NEW JERSEY JUST ROLLED OUT ITS RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA.

WITH AT LEAST A DOZEN DISPENSARIES THAT ARE NOW OPEN FOR BUSINESS, WHAT CAN NEW YORK LEARN FROM THE GARDEN STATE'S PUSH FOR POT?

FOR MUCH MORE ON THE STORIES AND THEIR TAKE ON WHAT ELSE COULD DRIVE THE NEWS THIS WEEK, I'D LIKE TO WELCOME BACK KIMBERLY KIELAN ALLEN, AT THE CENTER FOR WOMEN AND POLITICS AND SENIOR ADVISER TO LETITIA JAMES' RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN.

THAT IS A BIG TITLE.

KIMBERLY, WELCOME BACK TO 'METROFOCUS.'

JEAN MARIE EVERLY IS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR IS THE CITY LIMITS THE INVESTIGATIVE NEWS WEBSITE COVERING NEW YORK.

ALWAYS GREAT TO HAVE YOU ON.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME, JENNA.

AND I'D LIKE TO WELCOME FOR THE FIRST TIME HANNAH MEYERS, DIRECTOR OF POLICING AND PUBLIC SAFETY AT THE MANHATTAN INSTITUTE THINK THANK, AND A FORMER NYPD INTELLIGENCE ANALYST.

HANNAH, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US ON 'METROFOCUS.'

MY PLEASURE.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

LET'S START BACK WITH THE TOP ISSUE THAT I THINK IS ON A LOT OF PEOPLE'S MINDS AND OF COURSE THE ROLLOUT THAT MAYOR ADAMS JUST ANNOUNCED OF NFING MILLIONS, HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN HOMELESSNESS.

CAN YOU TELL US WHAT IT WAS THE MAYOR ANNOUNCED?

THIS WAS AN ANNOUNCEMENT THAT MAYOR ERIC ADAMS MADE OVER THE WEEKEND, AND IT IS CARRYING ON HIS MISSION AND THE FOCUS THAT HE'S HAD ON THE INTERSECTION OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND HOMELESSNESS SINCE HE TOOK OFFICE IN JANUARY, AND THIS LATEST ANNOUNCEMENT IS REALLY A LARGE INCREASE IN THE RESOURCES IN FUNDING THAT THEY'RE PUTTING TOWARDS SHELTER BEDS, SPECIFICALLY FOR THOSE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS WHO HAVE BEEN RELUCTANT IN THE PAST TO TAKE SPACE AND TO SPEAK SHELTER IN THE CITY'S TRADITIONAL SHELTER SYSTEM.

THERE HAVE BEEN A LOT OF LONG REPORTED PROBLEMS WITH TRADITIONAL CONGREGANT SHELTERS LIKE CROWDING, PRIVACY CONCERNS.

SHELTERS HAVE OFTEN A LOT OF RULES THAT SOME FOLKS FIND TOO RESTRICTIVE, AND ADAMS' PLEDGE IS TO EARMARK $171 MILLION TOWARDS WHAT ARE CALLED THE STABILIZATION OR SAFE HAVEN BEDS THEM AMOUNT I THINK HE SAID WOULD BE FOR 100 ADDITIONAL STABILIZED SAFE HAVEN BEDS.

AND SO THESE ARE SHELTER SPACES THAT HAVE TRADITIONALLY LESS RULES THAN OTHER CONGREGANT SHELTERS WOULD BE AND ARE OFTEN A MORE APPEALING OPTION THAN TRADITIONAL SHELTERS.

SO THIS IS PART OF HIS EFFORT AS HE'S BEEN DOING HIS PUBLIC AND CONTROVERSIAL CLEANUPS OR SWEEPS, AS HE CALL THEM OF HOMELESS ENCAMPMENTS UNTIL THE SUBWAY AND PUBLIC SPACES IN THE CITY.

THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF PUSH BACK TO THAT MOVE AND I THINK THIS WAS HIS ANSWER TO THAT IS PROVIDING MORE SPACES FOR FOLKS TO STAY IN.

KIMBERLY, IS THIS THE RIGHT OR BEST STEP IN I ASK THAT QUESTION BECAUSE, OF COURSE, A LOFT A HOMELESS AT ADVOCATES HAVE BEEN CLEAR ABOUT WHY HOMELESS PEOPLE PREFER ENCAMPMENTS OVER THE SHELTER SYSTEM AS IT EXISTS NOW.

AND WE'VE SEEN PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATIONS TRY SOMETHING REMOTELY SIMILAR, JUST SOMETHING -- HOTEL ROOMS, ANYTHING -- TO GET PEOPLE OFF THE STREET.

DO YOU SEE THIS AS A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION THAT'S GOING TO FINALLY MAKE A DENT IN THE CRISIS?

I THINK IT IS A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

I THINK MAKES SURE THAT THOSE WHO ARE CURRENTLY UNHOUSED ARE RECEIVING THE SERVICES THAT THEY NEED, WHETHER IT IS DRUG TREATMENT OR MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES.

OR JUST STABILITY AND THE ABILITY TO LIVE IN THIS CITY.

THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS THAT ARE LEADING TO PEOPLE BEING IN A HOMELESS SITUATION THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED.

I THINK THIS IS A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

WE NEED TO HAVE BEDS WHERE PEOPLE FEEL SAFE, WHERE THEY FEEL THEY CAN TRUST THOSE AROUND THEM, BECAUSE IT IS BEING ON THE STREET IN THEIR CHOSEN COMMUNITIES THAT HAVE GIVEN THEM THAT SENSE OF SAFETY.

THERE IS THIS KIND OF SENSE THAT I KNOW WHO'S AROUND ME AND WE HAVE A CODE OF CONDUCT WITHIN THIS COMPOUND OR IN THIS COMMUNITY WHERE WE ARE THAT THEY DON'T NECESSARILY FEEL WHEN THEY GO INTO THE SHELTER SYSTEM.

SO I THINK THERE'S A LOT THAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED.

DEFINITELY ADDING MORE RESOURCES.

WE DO SPEND A LOT OF MONEY AROUND THE HOMELESS CRISIS.

BUT, YOU KNOW, WE HAVEN'T CRACKED THE CODE YET, AND I THINK GIVEN EVERYTHING THAT HAS BEEN HAPPENING AS WE'RE TRYING TO RECOVER FROM COVID AND BRING PEOPLE BACK INTO THE SUBWAY SYSTEM AND BACK TO THEIR OFFICES, IT IS A QUALITY OF LIFE ISSUE THAT THE MAYOR IS TRYING TO ADDRESS.

BUT THE BIG QUESTION IS, HOW CAN IT BE DONE IN A HUMAN WAY THAT IS NOT JUST PUTTING PEOPLE WHO ARE UNHOUSED IN A CORNER SOMEWHERE BUT ACTUALLY REALLY INTEGRATING THEM INTO SOCIETY.

ANNA, DRAWING ON YOUR EXPERIENCE, ESPECIALLY WITH THE NYPD, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT PEOPLE TEND TO ALSO CRITICIZE IS THAT WHEN IT COMES TO FIXES OR SITUATIONS LIKE THIS WHERE THERE'S AN ANNOUNCEMENT THAT, OKAY, WE'RE GOING THE IT KRA A SPACE FOR HOMELESS PEOPLE TO GO TO, IT IS OFTEN THE POLICE OFFICERS WHO ARE PUT IN THE PLACE OF ENFORCING THIS AND ALMOST MAKING PEOPLE DO SOMETHING WHEN IT'S REALLY ALSO A SOCIAL SERVICES ISSUE.

IS THIS -- ARE THE POLICE REALLY THE RIGHT PEOPLE TO BE DOING THIS?

IN MANY INSTANCES YES, AND THEY'RE THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO CAN.

YOU KNOW, IN TERMS OF THE FUNDING AMOUNT, NEW YORK CITY ALREADY SPENDS $4 BILLION A YEAR ON HOMELESS SERVICES.

PERHAPS IF IT CREATES ALTERNATIVES IT WILL MAKE IT EASIER FOR POLICE TO REMOVE HOMELESS FROM PLACES LIKE THE SUBWAY.

THEY ARE REQUIRING THEM TO HAVE A PLACE TO GO, THIS IS A STEP IN THAT DIRECTION.

NEW YORK SPENT MORE MONEY ON HOMELESS THAN ANY OTHER CITY SINCE THE 1980s.

PERHAPS THE ONLY PLACE WITH A RIGHT TO SHELTER.

YOU COULD COME TO NEW YORK YESTERDAY AND THEY WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.

DE BLASIO, HIS SPENDING WAS CUMULATIVELY MORE THAN ALL THE PLANS PREVIOUS, SO CLEARLY A LARGE INPUT OF MONEY.

HE ALSO REMOVED BLOOMBERG'S BENCHMARKING SYSTEM THAT PROVIDED OVERSIGHT TO MAKE SURE THAT THE PROVIDERS WHO WE'RE ENTRUSTING WITH THIS MONEY ARE ACTUALLY HAVING PEOPLE END UP IN PERMANENT HOUSING WHICH IS OKAY THE GOAL WE'D LIKE TO SEE.

DE BLASIO, UNDER THE SYSTEM, WE SAW WIDESPREAD CORRUPTION, PILFERING OF THE FUNDS THAT WERE GIVEN, AND IT'S ESTIMATED THAT, YOU KNOW, WITH MORE OVERSIGHT WE COULD BE SAVING AT LEAST $20 MILLION A YEAR ON THESE SERVICES DONE MORE CORRECTLY.

BUT WE ARE MISSING THE JUDICIAL LEVERAGE PIECE.

THE POLICE STEPPING IN AND ENFORCING, BECAUSE SO OFTEN THESE ARE POPULATIONS DEALING WITH SEVERE MENTAL ILLNESS, DRUG ADDICTION, A COMBINATION OF THE TWO.

USED TO BE GOING THROUGH THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM, WE HAD LEVERAGE A THE SAY, WE DON'T WANT TO INCARCERATE YOU.

YOU CAN HAVE THIS OTHER OPPORTUNITY TO GET HELP.

MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT, AMBULATORY OR RESIDENTIAL, GET TREATMENT.

BECAUSE THIS IS A POPULATION WE ALL KNOW IS VERY HARD TO CONVINCE ON THEIR OWN TO GET HELP, WHICH IS WHY WITH THE MAYOR'S SUBWAY SAFETY PLAN EARLIER THIS YEAR, WE HAD PEOPLE COMING UP TO HOMELESS AND OFFERING THEM THE OPPORTUNITY FOR SHELTER.

WE DIDN'T SEE THE RESULTS THAT WE WANTED OF EVERYONE LEAPING ON IT AND GETTING THERE.

IT HAS TO BE A COMBINED APPROACH, AND WE SHOULD BE USING THE ENFORCEMENT ANGLE FOR EVERYONE'S GOOD.

HOMELESS ARE HALF OF THE 16 PEOPLE KILLED IN THE SUBWAYS THE LAST TWO YEARS, SO FOR THEIR OWN SAFETY AS WELL.

JEAN MARIE, THAT WASN'T THE ONLY BIG ANNOUNCEMENT THE PLAYER YOUR HAD.

HE ALSO PLANS TO SPEND A WHOLE LOT OF MONEY TO ADDRESS TRAFFIC SAFETY AS WELL.

YEAH, HE MADE THIS ANNOUNCEMENT AT THE END OF LAST WEEK.

AND THIS IS, AS YOU SAID, A BIG INVESTMENT IN STREET SAFETY UPGRADES.

ALMOST A LLDS TO THE SPEED OF BUSSES, BUILDING DEDICATED BUSWAYS AND BUS LANES, INCREASING ENFORCEMENT AROUND TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS.

BIKE LANES IS A BIG PART OF PLAN, INCREASING THE NUMBER OF BIKE LANES AND MAKING SURE THE LANES THAT EXIST ARE PROTECTED BIKE LANES AND CARS CAN'T PARK IN THEM, BLOCK THEM, RENDERING THEM USELESS.

THIS HAS BEEN AN ONGOING ISSUE.

DE BLASIO LAUNCHED VISION ZERO WHEN HE TOOK OFFICE BACK IN 2014, AND I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE WERE ULTIMATELY DISAPPOINTED WITH HIS FOLLOW THROUGH ON STREET SAFETY, ESPECIALLY AS THE NUMBER OF FATALITIES INCREASED RECENTLY.

WE HAVE HAD A VERY DEADLY YEAR FOR NEW YORK PEDESTRIANS AND JUST TRAFFIC FATALITIES IN GENERAL ARE UP SIGNIFICANTLY FROM LAST YEAR.

SO THIS IS SOMETHING THAT ADVOCATES HAVE BEEN REALLY PUSHING FOR, SO I THINK THE FUNDING, OBVIOUSLY IMPLEMENTATION, WE'LL HAVE TO SEE HOW THAT GOES, BUT FUNDING IS WELCOME NEWS.

HANNAH, IS THIS SOMETHING YOU ALSO THINK SHOUB WOULD BE THE RIGHT DIRECTION?

WE'VE SEEN A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN THE DANGER FOR PEDESTRIANS NOT JUST IN NEW YORK CITY, BUT ALL CITIES.

44% INCREASE IN FATALITIES SINCE LAST YEAR.

BUT WE'VE ALSO SEEN A THE 4% DECREASE IN TRAFFIC SUMMONS, AND THESE PARALLEL TRENDS IS SOMETHING WE'VE SEEN SINCE BEFORE -- SINCE COVID.

YOU KNOW, THAT THE REDUCTION IN ENFORCEMENT AND THE INCREASE IN TRAFFIC FATALITIES JUST IN 2020 BETWEEN MARCH AND DECEMBER, WE HAD 50 SOMETHING PERCENT LESS TICKETS ISSUED BECAUSE POLICE WERE OUT SICK, REDEPLOYED TO PROTESTS.

THERE'S BEEN A BIG POLITICAL PUSH AGAINST TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT, AND WE'VE SEEN IN 2020 A 16% RISE IN TRAFFIC FATALITIES DURING A PERIOD WE HAD COVID LOCKDOWN.

THAT'S A TREND THAT'S CONTINUED SINCE THEN, AND IN EVERY JURISDICTION WHERE TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT INCREASED THERE'S A MARKED DECREASE IN TRAFFIC FATALITIES AND A LARGE REASON IS, LIKE HERE IN NEW YORK CITY, IF YOU TAKE 2019, OVER 09% OF TRAFFIC TICKETS WERE ISSUED TO HAZARDOUS VIOLATIONS, TEXTING WHILE DRIVING, SPEEDING, IGNORING CROSSWALKS, THINGS THAT ARE ASSOCIATED WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO HIT SOMEONE WITH THEIR CAR BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION.

WE'RE WELL BELOW HOW MANY TICKETS WE'RE ISSUING TO PEOPLE.

THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE DRIVING RECKLESSLY AND MORE PEOPLE CONFIDENT THEY'RE NOT GOING TO BE STOPPED?

THEY'RE DRIVING RECKLESSLY.

ANOTHER IMPORTANT POINT I WANTED TO MAKE ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP THERE.

BUT CERTAINLY, YOU KNOW, IT'S GREAT TO INVEST IN THE PROTECTIVE BIKE LANES.

I THINK UDONIS RODRIGUEZ COMMITTED TO ATTING 100 MILE.

THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN.

WE'LL SEE IF IT HAPPENS HERE.

IF YOU'RE NOT CRACKING DOWN ON ENFORCEMENT -- THE OTHER THING IS THE INCREASE IN GRAND LARCENY AUTO, UP -- PERCENT.

IF YOU SEE PEOPLE STEAL CARS THEY'RE NOT GOING TO DRIVE AROUND LIKE GRANDMAS CAREFULLY AVOIDING HURTING ANYBODY.

IT'S AN ENFORCEMENT ISSUE THAT ROE DOWNS TO TRAFFIC SAFETY.

NO MATTER HOW MANY GUARDS YOU PUT UP TO PROTECT PEDESTRIANS WE'RE NOT GOING TO BE SAFE WHILE PEOPLE ARE DRIVING BADLY.

WE'LL BE WATCHING TO SEE HOW BOTH OF THESE PROPOSALS ROLL OUT AND ACTUALLY DO AFFECT PEOPLE'S LIVES, BUT I DO WANT TO TURN TO ONE OF THE OTHER ISSUES THAT WILL AFFECT NEW YORKERS ACROSS THE STATE, AND THAT IS THE REDISTRICTING.

AFTER THE CENSUS, WE KNOW THE DEMOCRATIC LEGISLATURE, AT THEIR RIGHT, DREW NEW DISTRICT LINES, AND A LOT OF PEOPLE SAID, WAIT A SECOND, THAT'S TOTALLY NOT FAIR.

KIMBERLY, FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE, HOW DO YOU SEE THE CHALLENGE TO THE DEMOCRATIC -- EXCUSE ME -- THE DEMOCRATS' DRAWN DISTRICTS AFFECTING THE WAY THAT PERHAPS NEW YORKERS GET TO VOTE THIS YEAR?

WELL, I THINK WHAT WE'VE SEEN WITH THE NEW LINES THAT THE DEMOCRATS HAVE DRAWN IS JUST PART AND PARCEL OF KIND OF HISTORICALLY HOW LINES HAVE BEEN DRAWN, WHICH HAS BEEN IN A PARTISAN WAY, AND NOW THAT THE DEMOCRATS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN AT LEAST A GENERATION HAVE BEEN AT THE TABLE AND ACTUALLY AT THE HEAD OF THE TABLE WHEN REAPPORTIONMENT HAS BEEN DONE, THEY HAVE DRAWN LICENSE THAT ARE FAVORABLE FOR THEIR CANDIDATES.

AND WHAT WE'RE SEEING ACROSS THE COUNTRY AS STATE LEGISLATURES GO AND DRAW THEIR LINES BASED ON THE CENSUS, IS THAT WE'RE SEEING MORE AND MORE SOLIDLY BLUE AND MORE AND MORE SOLIDLY RED DISTRICTS.

FEW ARE SWING DISTRICTS, SO IT ACTUALLY IS PUSHING THE PARTIES TO THE POLLS.

SO IT IS DEFINITELY CHANGING THE CONVERSATION AND THE TENOR IN OUR BODY POLITIC.

PARTICULARLY FOR NEW YORK, WE ARE SEEING THAT DEMOCRATIC STATES, NEW YORK BEING ONE OF THEM, AS TRYING TO BE SOMEWHAT OF A FIRE WALL ON WHAT WE ANTICIPATE TO HAPPEN IN THE NOVEMBER ELECTION, WHERE IT IS LIKELY THAT THE DEMOCRATS WILL HAVE SUBSTANTIAL LOSSES IN THE HOUSE, AND IF WE CAN RUN UP THE SCORE IN OUR DEMOCRATIC STATES BY DRAWING MORE SOLIDLY DEMOCRATIC DISTRICTS, IT WILL HOPEFULLY STEM THE BLEEDING, SO TO SPEAK, IN THE MIDTERM ELECTIONS.

BUT WHAT WE'RE ALSO SEEING IS THE LEGISLATORS WERE REALLY LOOKING FOR BROADLY AT WHO, YOU KNOW, WOULD BE LIKE MINDED AND THAT -- THAT FRAMING THAT THE DISTRICTS MUST BE CONTIGUOUS MUST BE STRETCHED AS IT HAS IN SEVERAL OTHER STATES ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

PARTICULARLY NEW YORK FOUR THAT RUNS FROM THE BRONX DOWN TO LONG ISLAND, WITH CONSTITUENCIES THAT HISTORICALLY WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN PUT TOGETHER IN ONE DISTRICT, BUT THE MAP DESIGNERS THOUGHT OTHERWISE, THEY THOUGHT THAT THEY DID HAVE SIMILAR COMMONALITIES, ENOUGH TO BE DRAWN TOGETHER IN ONE DISTRICT.

I THINK WE'LL SEE ENGAGE MS.

PRESIDENT IN THE PRIMARIES IN TERMS OF TURNOUT, BECAUSE THE DECISION WILL BE MADE AT THE PRIMARY LEVEL AND NOT AT THE GENERAL ELECTION LEVEL.

SO IT WILL BE VERY INTERESTING TO SEE WHAT THE TURNOUT LOOKS LIKE AND HOW SOME OF THESE DISTRICTS ARE -- NOW HAVE VERY CROWDED PRIMARIES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE FOR SOME OF THESE DISTRICTS THAT ARE NEWLY VACATED BY MEMBERS.

WHAT THE TURNOUT DIFFERENTIATION IS BETWEEN THE PRIMARY AND GENERAL, AND WHAT THAT MEANS FOR THE DECISIONS OVERALL AND HOW THAT -- WHAT THAT RIPPLE EFFECT IS, NOT JUST ACROSS THE STATE, BUT ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

JEAN MARIE, DO YOU SEE AT LEAST -- I MEAN, IT'S IMPOSSIBLE THE KNOW HOW THE TOP COURT IS GOING TO REACT, BUT HOW THEY HANDLE THE ARGUMENT THAT BASICALLY EVERYBODY ELSE IS DOING IT, SO IT'S ONLY FAIR THAT WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO IN A MORE BLUE LEANING STATE BE ABLE TO DO THE SAME THING IS DRAW FAVORABLE DISTRICTS?

YEAH, IT'S DEFINITELY SOMETHING THAT, YOU KNOW, I THINK THE DEMOCRATS WILL FEEL THAT AFTER YEARS OF HAVING NOT BEEN ABLE TO DO IT THEMSELVES, THIS WAS THEIR CHANCE, AND PERHAPS IT WOULD BE UNFAIR TO NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT.

A REMINDER THAT NEW YORK TRIED TO CHANGE THE PROCESS FOR THIS WHOLE THING AND MAKE AT NONPARTISAN AND KIND OF TAKE THE PARTIES OUT OF THE PROCESS WITH THE KIND OF INDEPENDENT MAPS THAT WERE ORIGINALLY PROPOSED AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS PROCESS, AND THAT DID NOT WORK OUT, OBVIOUSLY, THAT ALSO END IN THE A STALEMATE.

IT'S VERY COMPLICATED AND I THINK THIS ATTEMPT TO FIX THAT OBVIOUSLY DID NOT WORK.

DEPENDING WHAT HAPPENS IN COURT THIS WEEK, OBVIOUSLY IT COULD HAVE PRETTY BIG REPERCUSSIONS FOR THE COMING MONTHS.

WE HAVE A PRIMARY JUNE 28th THAT WE HAVE PEOPLE OUT CAMPAIGNING, FOUR DISTRICTS.

IF THE DISTRICTS WERE TO CHANGE THAT WOULD BE A HUGE WRENCH THROWN IN.

SO DEFINITELY WILL BE WAITING ANXIOUSLY TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS.

AND HANNAH, JUST TO GET YOUR PERSPECTIVE, I MEAN, THIS ALMOST FEELS LIKE THE EXACT KIND OF EXAMPLE OF SOMETHING THAT CAUSES A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO AREN'T ENGAGED TO CONTINUE TO NOT WANT TO BE ENGAGED.

THIS IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF POLITICIANS CHOOSING THEIR CONSTITUENTS, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.

ABSOLUTELY, AND IT'S REASONABLE THAT THEY SHOULD FEEL THAT WAY, BECAUSE IT IS NOT FAIR.

BUT AS EVERYONE SAID, IT'S SORT OF NOT FAIR EQUALLY ON BOTH SIDES.

WHOEVER'S IN POWER, RED OR BLUE PARTICIPATES BECAUSE IT'S REDISTRICTING IN A WAY THAT'S FAIFRLABLE TO YOU.

IT'S A STRUCTURAL PROBLEM MORE THAN WRONG GOING ON ONE SIDE OR THE OTHER, THAT WE TRIED TO GET OUT OF IN 2019 HAVING A NEW COMMISSION COME UP WITH MAPS BUT MAYBE THOSE MAPS WEREN'T NEUTRAL ENOUGH.

WE COULDN'T COME TO AN AGREEMENT ABOUT IT.

MAYBE THERE'S AN OPPORTUNITY TO CREATE A COMPUTER SOME TO MEASURE WHERE PEOPLE ARE VOTING AND COME ONE SOMETHING NEUTRAL, BUT NONE OF THIS WORKED SO FAR.

THE MAPS WILL BE APPROVED -- WILL GO AHEAD AFTER TOMORROW'S RULING.

WE DON'T KNOW, BUT PROBABLY, AND PROBABLY THAT WILL GAIN MORE DEMOCRATIC VOTES.

AND THERE WILL BE SOME DEMORALIZATION AMONG VOTERS WHO SAY, REALLY, WHAT IS THE POINT?

AND HOPEFULLY THAT WON'T LAST FOREVER, BECAUSE WE COME ONE A SYSTEM THAT IS MORE FAIR FOR SETTING JURISDICTIONS.

HOPEFULLY VOTERS WILL COME BACK MORE, AND WE CAN CORRECT IT.

WELL, SPEAKING OF VOTERS' DECISIONS, WE KNOW THAT THE VOTERS IN NEW JERSEY DECIDED THAT LEGALIZING MARIJUANA WAS A GOOD IDEA, AND SO KIMBERLY, NOW THAT THIS HAS BEEN ROLL OUT, THERE ARE DISPENSARIES THAT ARE WORKING, WHAT DO YOU SEE, OR WHAT AT LEAST ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU'D BE LOOKING FOR AS THE POSITIVES?

WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT NEW JERSEY COULD GAIN FROM THIS AND WHAT ARE THE THINGS YOU'RE LOOKING TO SEE WHERE THERE COULD BE MISSTEPS?

REALLY I'M LOOKING TO SEE HOW THIS HAS A RIPPLE EFFECT ACROSS THEIR CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN PREVIOUSLY ENGAGED IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AROUND MARIJUANA USAGE, POSSESSION, ET CETERA.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THEIR RECORDS, FOR THEIR OPPORTUNITY?

AND LOOKING AT THE -- WHO HAS THE ABILITY TO HAVE A LICENSE TO BE A DISPENSER?

AND IS THAT EQUITABLE?

ARE WE MAKING SURE WE HAVE REPRESENTATION OF BLACK AND BROWN COMMUNITIES THAT HAVE HISTORICALLY BEEN HARMED BY THIS DRUG POLICY OVERALL?

SO I THINK THERE IS MUCH TO LEARN.

AND WHAT IS THE ECONOMIC IMPACT FOR THE STATE?

WHAT IS THE ENFORCEMENT AND THE BALANCE BETWEEN THE ABOVE BOARD POLICY AND IMPLEMENTATION VERSUS THE BLACK MARKET?

HOW DOES THAT CONTINUE TO ROLL OUT?

AND WHAT HAPPENS TO THOSE WHO CONTINUE TO OPERATE IN THE BLACK MARKET?

ARE THEY PENALIZED WITH DRUG CHARGES ON TOP OF POSSIBLE, MAYBE TAX EVASION BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT PARTICIPATING LEGALLY?

OR, YOU KNOW, IS IT A LESSER OFFENSE?

SO I THINK THERE'S A LOT TO BE LEARNED, AND WE JUST HAVE TO WATCH VERY CLOSELY AND REALLY PAY ATTENTION TO THE EQUITY AND THE REPRESENTATION WITHIN THE PROCESS, BECAUSE WE KNOW THOSE WHO HAVE CAPITAL ARE EARLY ADOPTERS AND HAVE EARLY ACCESS TO BE ABLE TO SET UP A DISPENSARY AND REAP THE BENEFITS.

JEAN MARIE, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF PEOPLE IN NEW YORK MIGHT BE LOOKING ACROSS THE HUDSON TO SEE -- WHAT ARE THE THINGS THEY MIGHT BE LOOKING FOR TO SEE HOW WE CAN MAKE THIS WORK EQUALLY AS WELL OR PERHAPS PITFALLS WE CAN AVOID?

I THINK I'VE MENTIONED THIS IDEA OF EQUITY IS SOMETHING THAT NEW YORK HAS BEEN REALLY PUSHING FOR IN THEIR DESIGN OF THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY.

GOVERNOR HOCHUL AND OTHER LEADERS HAVE DESIGNATED THE FIRST LICENSES ARE GOING TO POTENTIAL DISPENSARY OWNERS WHO HAVE EITHER -- OR THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS HAVE SOME TYPE OF MARIJUANA RELATED CONVICTIONS IN THE PAST.

SO THE IDEA OF TAKING THE INDUSTRY AND TRYING TO RIGHT THE WRONGS OF CRIMINALIZATION PREVIOUSLY.

I THINK IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO SEE SORT OF HOW THAT SHAKES OUT BECAUSE, I THINK STARTING A SMALL BUSINESS IS TOUGH, AND THERE'S BEEN CONCERN, IS IT GOING TO BE HARD TO FIND THE RIGHT NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO BE ABLE TO FIT INTO THAT CATEGORY?

AND THEN, YOU KNOW, I THINK ANY NUMBER OF THE KIND OF WAYS THAT THIS KIND OF ROLLS OUT IN NEW JERSEY, AS IT HAS IN OTHER STATES, CAN BE LESSONS FOR NEW YORK IN TERMS OF DISPENSARIES AND THE DAY-TO-DAY -- LIKE ANY NEW INDUSTRY OR SHOPS THAT ARE GOING TO BE AN INFLUX OF NEW STUFF WE'VE NEVER DONE BEFORE.

OF COURSE.

AND SPEAKING OF NEW THINGS WE'VE NEVER DONE BEFORE, A DISRENSRY, WHILE LEGAL IN THE STATE IS STILL ILLEGAL AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL.

HANNAH, HOW DO YOU SEE THIS BEING A WISE IDEA?

THERE ARE OTHER STATES THAT HAVE DONE THIS.

THEY HAVE EXPERIENCE THAT PERHAPS NEW YORK CAN LEARN FROM.

WHAT ARE THE THINGS YOU SAY -- THE LESSONS YOU REALLY THINK NEED TO BE LEARNED?

AS JEAN MARIE SAID, IT'S EARLY.

WE CAN'T SAY EVERYTHING YET ABOUT WHAT THE OUTCOME IS, BUT CERTAINLY THERE'S A LOT THAT WOULD CAUSE US TO PUMP THE BRAKES AND BE CONCERNED, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO DEALING WITH EQUITY AND THE RESULTS OF HAVING MARIJUANA BE ILLEGAL.

WHAT WE SEE IS WE THOUGHT THIS WOULD REDUCE THE BLACK MARKET ACROSS THE BOARD.

WHAT WE'RE SEEING IN STATES WHERE IT'S BEEN LEGALIZED AND CITIES, THE BLACK MARKET INCREASED IN SOME PLACES 75% AND WITH IT AN INCREASE OF DRUG RELATED CRIME, INCREASE IN THE AMOUNT THAT'S MARIJUANA RELATED, INCREASE IN MARIJUANA RELATED VIOLENT CRIME.

IN PLACES LIKE COLORADO WE'RE SEEING CARTELS COME UP FROM MEXICO TO GROW IN COLORADO, THIS COMFORTABLE ENVIRONMENT.

IT'S HARD FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO OVERSEE IF PEOPLE ARE GROWING ILLEGALLY.

FROM THAT THE CARTEL SPREADS TO OTHER LOCATIONS.

WORRIED ABOUT THAT IMPACT.

IN TERM OF EQUITY, WHAT WE'RE SEEING, LIKE IN NEW JERSEY, IT WAS THE PROSPEROUS SUBURBAN COMMUNITIES WHO SAID, NO THANK YOU.

WE'D RATHER KEEP MARIJUANA ILLEGAL HERE.

WE'RE WORRIED ABOUT WHAT IT WILL DO TO OUR COMMUNITY, KIDS ABILITY TO THRIVE IN SCHOOL.

MARIJUANA USE INCREASES A LOT IN AREAS WHERE IT'S LEGALIZED.

AND IT'S IN THOSE AREAS WHERE AFTER LEGALIZATION, THE PARENTS CAN MAKE SURE THAT EVEN WITH SO MUCH MARIJUANA AROUND LEGALLY AND ILLEGALLY, THEIR KIDS WHICH HAVE OPPORTUNITIES TO THRIVE.

IN POOR COMMUNITIES, BLACK COMMUNITIES, THERE ISN'T THE SAME AMOUNT OF RESOURCES.

WHAT WE'RE SEEING IS THE NEGATIVE IMPACT OF MARIJUANA INCREASING AND CRIME INCREASING IN THE NEIGHBORHOODS, CERTAINLY WHEN IT COMES TO PRIORITIZING PEOPLE WITH A HISTORY OF MARIJUANA RELATED ACTIVITY -- OF COURSE WE WANT IT TO BE A FAIR SYSTEM FOR SEEING WHO GETS DISPENSAIES AND LICENSES, BUT THE IDEA THAT HAVING SOLD MARIJUANA ILLEGALLY GIVES YOU A -- FOR SELLING LEGALLY, COMPLIANCE WITH TAXES AND OH, MY GOD, THE ONEROUS BURDEN OF HAVING A SMALL BUSINESS IN A CITY LIKE -- IN ANY KIND OF CITY OR STATE NOWADAYS BUT ESPECIALLY IN THE NORTHEAST, WE SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT, ESPECIALLY SINCE THIS IS A POPULATION THAT WHETHER OR NOT IT WAS RIGHT THAT MARIJUANA WAS ILLEGAL, IT WAS.

THEY WERE INVOLVE IN THE CRIMINALITY BEFORE.

EVEN IF IT WAS CRIMES THAT SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN, AND EVEN IF THEY WERE DISPROPORTIONATELY TARGETED FOR IT, ARE THOSE WHO WE WANT TO INVEST AND TRUST WITH BUSINESSES NOW IN SOME SORT OF DISPROPORTIONATE WAY?

I THINK WE SHOULD BE CONCERNED.

AND LASTLY, JUST THE IDEAED THAT GOVERNMENT HAS AN INCENTIVE TO PUSH MORE PEOPLE TO BE BUYING MARIJUANA.

THEY GET TAXED FROM IT.

IT'S NOT A SECRET.

IS THAT SOMETHING WE WANT WHEN WE KNOW IT HAS AN IMPACT?

IT HAS AN IMPACT ON PEOPLE'S ABILITY TO SAFELY COMPLETE JOBS, TO FOCUS, TO DO WELL PROFESSIONALLY AND ACADEMICALLY.

IT'S SOMETHING THAT MIGHT GIVE US PAUSE AND WE SHOULD BE HAVING MORE DISCUSSION ABOUT THE OUTCOME WHERE IT'S BEEN DONE BEFORE.

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