New Jersey is the only state that completely bans the sale of home-based goods. On December 7, the Institute for Justice sued the state on behalf of several home bakers, urging that the ban be struck down. Why should people have to beg permission from the state to engage in personal and economic activities that harm no one and benefit those involved? As Vice Chair of the New Jersey Libertarian Party, I urge everyone to contact their state legislators and ask them to repeal this misguided ban. If the Legislature refuses to do the right thing, I urge the Court to strike down the ban.
No town should pass an ordinance unless it meets a two-part test. First, there must be actual evidence in the community of harm to public health and safety (not merely “concerns”). Second, the ordinance must be crafted as narrowly as possible, so as to eliminate the actual harm while otherwise protecting the property rights of homeowners. Based on this article, Dumont has met neither test with regard to its unpaved driveway ordinance.
The Record needs to explain why its reporters continue to ignore third-party and independent candidates in it coverage of the November election. The most recent example is the article on Sunday. In reporting on the 39th legislative district, it mentions the Senate candidates from the two old parties, yet pointedly fails to mention that there is a third candidate—Jim Tosone, the Libertarian Party candidate.
Given that 45% of the registered voters in the district are Unaffiliated, this is a disservice to your readers. Dissatisfaction with the two old parties is at an all-time high. Voters are clamoring more and better choices. Yet they will never learn about those choices as long as your reporters continue to act as a mouthpiece for the Democrats and Republicans. The millions of dollars in free publicity they receive from your paper under the label of “reporting” could be reasonably considered in-kind contributions to their campaigns.
The polls ignore third party and independent candidates, as do many debate commissions. I’m asking you to embrace diversity and inclusion in elections, and end the wall of silence that gives the impression that voters have only two choices in November.
This year, only three political parties are running candidates at all levels of state office—Governor, Senate, and Assembly—in Bergen County in the November election. But only two of those parties—Democrats and Republicans—were allowed in a lottery for Columns 1 and 2, the most favored positions on the ballot. On August 14th in the Bergen County Clerk’s Office, the Republicans “won” Column 1 and the Democrats “won” Column 2.
The Libertarian Party candidates for Governor, Senate, and Assembly were thrown into a separate lottery with other candidates. As a result of this lottery, the Libertarian Party candidates have been relegated to Column 5. This is one of many ways, along with ballot access laws, complex campaign finance laws, and exclusionary debate rules, that the two old parties use to steer you to their candidates and give themselves every possible unfair advantage.
Regarding Mike Kelly’s Commentary “But is it healthy to make America high again?” (August 6, Section O): Kelly at least implicitly acknowledges that marijuana will once again be legal throughout the nation. But there are many flaws in the objections he raises to legalization. While smoking marijuana can have harmful effects, Kelly ignores the fact that people consume marijuana in a variety of forms, including edibles and oils. Marijuana can also be vaped, which eliminates the toxins, irritants, and carcinogens associated with smoking. While studies do show that regular pot smoking inhibits brain development in young people, the laws and proposals relating to legalization restrict sales to adults 21 years and older. And unlike drug dealers, marijuana stores do not have an incentive to sell to minors.
Kelly suggests that we instead decriminalize marijuana, but that leaves in place many of the problems associated with marijuana being illegal: drug gangs, tainted product of unknown potency, warrantless searches, and civil asset forfeiture. He also fails to understand the “gateway” drug issue. The question is not how many hard drug users started with marijuana. The question is how many people who use marijuana go on to harder drugs. Because marijuana is less addictive than nicotine and alcohol, the vast majority of marijuana consumers do not graduate to harder drugs. Finally, Kelly completely misses the point that non-THC marijuana (the kind that doesn’t get you high or addicted) can be an important pain-relieving alternative to prescription opioids.
Regarding the Record’s Article “Booker introduces legislation to legalize marijuana” (August 2, 2017, p. 1A)
Since the 1970s, the Libertarian Party has supported the re-legalization of marijuana and an end to the failed war on drugs. Nice to see that some politicians in the two old parties are finally figuring this out.
I’m Jim Tosone, the New Jersey Libertarian Party’s nominee for State Senate in the 39th Legislative District, which includes many towns in Northern Bergen County. I’ve lived in Washington Township in the district for nearly thirty years. You may be surprised to know that of the 157,000 registered voters in the District, 45% are registered as Unaffiliated. They are the politically homeless, who don’t identify with either of the two old parties. They either don’t vote or reluctantly vote for the lesser of two evils. Only 37% of eligible voters even voted in the last District 39 Senate race.
For the Unaffiliated voters who are concerned about government spending, and interference in our personal/economic lives, I will give them another choice. A real choice.
The issues I will focus on are:
1. Reducing the major areas of State spending (by reforming Public Pension, Medicaid, School, and Transportation programs)
2. Using those savings to reduce taxes (Income, Sales, Gas) and begin paying down our debt
3. Expanding School Choice (Backpack Funding, Vouchers, Charter Schools)
4. Legalizing marijuana and ending the failed War on Drugs
If mainstream media would give me the same coverage they give the two old parties, and if debate-sponsoring organizations would include me in debates, District 39 voters will learn that they have three choices for State Senate on the ballot in November.
Regarding the Record’s Editorial: On the third day, a budget deal (July 4, 2017)
The recent partial shutdown of the state’s government provides the voters an opportunity to discuss the proper role and size of government. The state has designated many of the services it provides as “non-essential.” We should examine each of those services, with an eye to determining how residents and taxpayers could be better served by moving them to the private sector. The government bureaucrats and elected officials in the two old parties have little interest in such a comprehensive review, since a large powerful state serves their self-interests and those of the special interests that put/keep them in power.