Tag Archive: Jay Lassiter

QotD – The Day After

Our friend Jay Lassiter, quoted in this morning’s Philadelphia Inquirer:

“We need to win with grace,” he said. “There are people who will feel harmed by this decision. They are still Americans. We have more work to do in the court of public opinion.”

Health Care Professionals and Patients Call for Governor Christie to Obey the Law

The compassionate use of marijuana for palliative purposes was legalized in New Jersey even before Chris Christie occupied the State House. But as Governor, he does not have the power to choose which laws to obey – he is obligated to execute the laws that he agrees with and those with which he disagrees.

Today, the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey held a press conference urging the governor and lawmakers to carry out the law which the Governor has stonewalled ever since he took office. Every day that the Governor delays is another day of suffering and inconvenience for some very sick people.

The videos below are interviews and comments with Ken Wolski, Executive Director, and Jay Lassiter, Media Director of the Coalition. Also, below the fold, some brief comments from Democratic Assemblyman Reed Gusciora are presented.

Compassionate medication should not know political boundaries, and indeed, one of the proponents of the use of medical marijuana is Republican Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll. He was unable to attend today’s press conference, but he issued the following statement:

My philosophy on New Jersey’s medical marijuana law is that we should be empowering doctors to treat their patients as they see fit, and not have lawyers or bureaucrats standing in the way. That’s why I’m frustrated at the State’s implementation of this law, which smacks of big government overreach.

EXCLUSIVE: Leadership Change at Garden State Equality

Today, Garden State Equality announced that after 8½ years at the helm, Steven Goldstein will be moving on to another opportunity. Earlier today, I sat down with Steven and his successor, Troy Stevenson, for an exclusive interview to discuss the status of LGBT activities in New Jersey.

Thank you to New Jersey Citizen Action, in whose Highland Park facility this interview was recorded.

Disclosure: I am a member of, and proud contributor to, Garden State Equality

Below the fold: Press Releases from Garden State Equality and Rutgers-Newark

“If it Bleeds, it Leads”

That old newspaper adage is exemplified by the South Jersey Times, which picked its top stories of 2012:

  • Woodstown woman dies of heart attack after burglary

  • Camden woman high on ‘wet’ decapitates son

  • Autumn Pasquale’s Murder

  • Crash kills Washington Township teen

  • Millville police officer killed in accident

  • Super derecho storm, death at Parvin State Park

  • Paulsboro train derailment

  • Woman attacks worker over 7-11 sausages

  • Kid forced to eat trash-picked bagel

  • Glass flows like lava at plant explosion

  • Woodstown woman dies of heart attack after burglary

  • Camden woman high on ‘wet’ decapitates son

That publication should be ashamed of itself by sensationalizing tragedy while ignoring some of the positive events in South Jersey:

  • The several non-profits and individuals in Camden working to make the city safer and better, including former Governor and South Jersey’s own Jim Florio celebrating the opening of affordable housing in the city.

  • The election of not one, but two Democrats to the Burlington County Board of Freeholders despite the injection of funds from Sheldon Adelson

  • The ascent of a new, young political star in Assemblyman Troy Singleton

  • The first class of physicians at Cooper Medical School

  • The saving of Rutgers Camden (despite the Governor)

  • South Jersey’s Senator Sweeney’s about-face on marriage equality, and his leadership in getting the bill passed (vetoed by the Governor)

  • Assemblyman Herb Conaway’s leadership in working to establish ubiquitous affordable health care across the state (vetoed by the Governor)

  • Senator Diane Allen’s leadership in combating teacher-on-student bullying.

  • Former Blue Jersey writer and Cherry Hill resident Jay Lassiter’s quest to implement the medical marijuana law despite the Governor’s ceaseless obstructions.

Playing Offense with Marriage Equality

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UPDATE! Wed May 9, 4:30pm

President Obama “comes out” in SUPPORT of marriage equality!

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To say that Vice President Joe Biden’s recent comments on Meet the Press “rippled the waters” of the marriage equality debate puts it mildly. In fact, by speaking his mind — like only he can –Biden has thrust the issue into the Presidential Campaign fray, creating a bit of a media circus in the process.

Presidents Obama’s education secretary added fuel to the debate the very next day. Boston.com:

Asked during an appearance on MSNBC whether he believes same-sex couples should be allowed to marry in the United States, Arne Duncan gave a straight answer: “Yes I do.”

Biden’s nuanced thoughts on the matter followed by Duncan’s emphatic “I do” are a stark contrast to President Obama’s “incoherent stance on gay marriage (equality).”

But let’s face it, Obama’s not the only one likely wishing he could be left to privately “evolve” on the issue out of the campaign spotlight. Follow me below the fold where this gets Jersey-centric.

Norcrossippi Rising

A Blue Jersey commenter has repeatedly written what I consider insulting remarks about residents of South Jersey and Mississippi. I want to believe that his comments were not meant to be insulting, but nevertheless, that’s how I interpret them. There are many fine and decent people both in South Jersey and in the Magnolia State who don’t deserve such disparaging remarks, regardless of their political affiliation.
I love New Jersey. I live in South Jersey, used to live in Central Jersey, and have close relatives whom I frequently visit in North Jersey. The state offers a tremendous amount of diversity – not only in its residents, but in what it has to offer. Most people I know from out of state envision the Garden State the way it is portrayed in the opening scenes of The Sopranos – a series of dirty highways littered by oil refineries and crumbling infrastructure and nice homes occupied by crooks and thieves. But anyone who has lived here knows we’re more than that.
So I decided to have some fun with our commenter’s proposition. What would happen if he had his way?
Story below the fold… 


That’s the Jewish blessing of thanks that is said on special occasions, and the message that Steven Goldstein, Chair of Garden State Equality, sent to his co-religionist opponents of marriage equality at a press conference this afternoon in Trenton.

It was a joyous occasion, after several hours of “debate” in the Assembly chamber – dominated by supporters of marriage equality with their touching stories of family, civil rights, and equality – peppered with contrived rationalization of the status quo from marriage discrimination proponents.

Whether you give thanks with the Jewish prayer, or in some other way, today was an historic day for New Jersey, affirming the tenets of our Constitution.

In the end, the vote was 42-33. We’ll post some of the amazing floor speeches later, but here’s the press conference: