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Senator Martin Golden's argument against marijuana is so juvenile. Marijuana is not crack cocaine. But if in fact a positive use for crack could be found, yes I would support sick people's ability to obtain it. Any drug can have a positive potential and a negative potential, even aspirin. It is the ratio of benefits versus consequences that has to guide medical policy, not just a simple-minded condemnation.
I don't see how congestion pricing will benefit poorer, more environmentally burdened residents in the outer boroughs. Congestion pricing in mid and lower manhattan will also increase the value of land used for parking in areas that already struggle to attract higher quality development, like the South Bronx. In addition, how will congestion pricing treat drivers from Queens who already pay $9.00 round trip to come into New York? Brooklynites pay nothing to come into the city right now? Will Queens residents now have to pay $18.00 or more to get into Manhattan? Lastly, congestion pricing does not remove cars and trucks from roadways in communities with the highest rates of asthma and lowest percentages of drivers in the region. These communities will most likely be burdened by more of other people's traffic after congestion pricing. The costs and benefits of the plan, as always, are not shared justly.
Speaker Quinn stated yesterday that there would be money for Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens for mass transit when congestion pricing was passed. As a former Staten Islander, with family still there, not mentioning Staten Island in this program is a gross oversight, since SI is the least served borough by mass transit.
I call for protests and more traffic jams in lower Manhattan until Assemblyman Silver sees the light.
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Brian Lehrer leads the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives.
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