NEWSROOM

Schleifer Unveils “Voting Rights Act of 2021” To Expand Voting Participation and Maintain Election Integrity During COVID-19

If Elected To Congress, Schleifer Will Sponsor a $50 Tax Credit for Voting in a Federal Election

Schleifer Will Also Continue His Mission to End the Electoral College, Incentivize States to Expand Absentee and Early Voting during COVID, and Make Election Day a Federal Holiday

Schleifer: “To improve access, let’s reward participation in and remove obstacles to democracy.”


White Plains, NY – Adam P. Schleifer, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in New York’s 17th Congressional District (Westchester and Rockland Counties), has unveiled an outline of the Voting Rights Act of 2021, his plan to protect voting rights and election integrity. If elected to Congress, Schleifer’s legislation will include policies designed to boost voter participation, including a refundable tax credit of $50, making Election Day a national holiday, and expanding absentee and early voting across the United States. Further, he calls for the end of the electoral college as a means of electing future U.S. presidents; supports state-by-state independent redistricting commissions to draw state and congressional boundaries; and, calls for overturning Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission through a constitutional amendment.

“The COVID-19 pandemic, along with the Trump Administration’s ongoing campaign to restrict the right to vote, present unique threats to our most sacred democratic tradition,” said Schleifer. “We must act now to protect voting and the integrity of our elections during the COVID-19 period and long after it has passed. If elected to Congress, I will sponsor the first ever tax credit for voting, because every American’s voice is valuable in our democracy. Election Day must also become a national holiday, because no American should lose out on a paycheck in order to exercise the right to shape our government.”

Schleifer’s plan to increase voter participation comes at a critical time. Over the last decade, the United States has seen right-wing politicians undermine elections through deliberately purged voter rolls, restrictive voter ID laws aimed at minorities and low-income voters, and the appointment of right-wing judges who condone voter suppression.

Schleifer notes that in Wisconsin’s primary election earlier this year, there was a surge in absentee voting due to COVID-19, which strained the state’s ability to process so many votes by mail. He believes that the federal government has a mandate to ensure elections are conducted freely and fairly in all corners of the United States. Neither a politician nor a pandemic should get in the way of an American from exercising their constitutional right to vote.

Schleifer’s plan strengthens democracy by making voting easier while also ensuring the integrity of our elections. As a congressman, Schleifer would propose a voting tax credit of $50 to incentivize voting and address the economic burden it often places on the working class. He is the only candidate in the race thus far to publicly endorse a voting tax credit. In 2018, 53 percent of the eligible voting population cast a ballot in the midterm elections, a record in recent history but still far behind voting rates in other advanced democracies. Such a tax credit would boost turnout in U.S. elections, while also keeping voters from having to make a choice between going to the polls and suffering a loss of income.

“A tax credit for voting is a progressive and democracy-enhancing form of tax relief. It provides greater proportional incentives to hardworking Americans in the working and middle class, and will help us ensure our voters reflect the diversity and composition of our society,” Schleifer said.

To further boost participation rates, Schleifer proposes to make Election Day a federal holiday in the United States, joining more than 80 percent of other OECD countries that hold elections on weekends or national holidays. Moreover, he would support funding that incentivizes states to make voter registration automatic, especially here in New York.

Schleifer would also support legislation that provides funding to states seeking to liberalize their absentee balloting and early voting laws. According to a recent poll, an overwhelming majority of registered voters in America support allowing voters to request an absentee ballot. During a global pandemic, Schleifer believes that it is imperative that our democracy continue to function even if voters cannot physically appear at their polling location.

In addition to making voting easier, Schleifer would take steps to preserve and enhance the integrity of our elections. Continuing the scholarly work he published earlier in his career, Schleifer would work to eliminate the Electoral College, as he believes the time has come for us to elect our presidents the same way we elect all other federal, state, and local representatives: one-person, one-vote. He would support legislation that sets up independent redistricting commissions in each state to minimize the impact of partisan politics on the process for drawing state and congressional boundaries.

Finally, he would support a constitutional amendment that overturns Citizens United, putting an end to unlimited corporate spending in our elections.

About Adam Schleifer:

Adam Schleifer is running for Congress to serve the people of New York 17th District encompassing Rockland County and northern & central Westchester County. Adam, 38, graduated from Chappaqua’s public schools in 1999 and went on to attend Cornell University and Columbia University Law School, where he served as a Senior & Staff Development Editor on the Columbia Law Review. After graduating from law school, Schleifer served two years as a federal law clerk, first in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and then in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Schleifer then built a career at one of the nation’s leading law firms before reentering public service, first as a New York State consumer-protection regulator, and then as an Assistant United States Attorney. Schleifer has prosecuted regulatory and federal-criminal actions against predatory payday and subprime auto lenders; taken dangerous and illegal weapons out of communities; prosecuted crimes of sexual violence and predation; and protected our clean air by prosecuting a conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act. Adam Schleifer and his wife, Nicole, are residents of New Castle.

Read more about Adam Schleifer at www.AdamSchleifer.com.

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Schleifer Announces Sweeping LGBTQ+ Rights Policy That Emphasizes Equality, Inclusion, and Justice For All Residents in Rockland and Westchester

Schleifer Will Push for Federal Civil Rights Protection, Invest in Public Health Initiatives, and Implement Legal Safeguards for LGBTQ+ Community

Schleifer: “LGBTQ+ Rights are Human Rights.”


White Plains, NY – Adam P. Schleifer, a Democratic Candidate for U.S. Congress in New York’s 17th District, announced his sweeping policy to strengthen and protect LGBTQ+ rights for all Rockland and Westchester residents. Specifically, he wants to codify LGBTQ+ equality through the Equality Act, which would provide federal Title VII protections under the Civil Rights Act. Such legislation would support anti-discrimination efforts in employment, education, and other federal services. Schleifer will also promote inclusion with greater resources towards public health research and services that support LGBTQ+ persons in Rockland and Westchester Counties. 

Schleifer emphasized the continued need to use existing federal laws and law-enforcement authority to protect the LGBTQ+ communities, along with all others, from hate crime and domestic terror. One such law, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, prohibits and provides for prosecution for violent crimes motivated by discrimination based on race, religion, color, sex, sexual identity, or sexuality, among other protected bases.

“LGBTQ+ rights are human rights,” said Schleifer. “We must ensure that everyone in Rockland and Westchester Counties can live without fear of being persecuted simply because of who they are and whom they love. In Congress, I will work every day to protect the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. The LGBTQ+ community needs federal civil rights protection written into federal statutory law.”

“It is noteworthy and moving that the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act equally protects members of both the LGBTQ+ community, as well as the victims of the anti-Semitic act of domestic terror perpetrated in a rabbi’s home in Monsey in December. That is because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, a truth we must always keep in mind.”

Schleifer’s plan to promote the rights of LGBTQ+ Americans is based on values that have guided him throughout his life as a federal prosecutor, including equality, inclusion, and justice.  He is a fervent supporter of the Equality Act, which will ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in sectors like employment, housing, and credit. Today, half of LGBTQ+ people live in a state where it is legally permissible for an employer to fire, pass over for a promotion, or harass them without legal repercussions.  Schleifer’s support of the Equality Act would extend federal protections across all 50 states, including the 28 states that currently do not have any job protections for LGBTQ+ workers.

Schleifer would also foster a greater sense of inclusion and belonging among the LGBTQ+ community by directing greater resources towards research and services that support their wellbeing. Schleifer will also fight to ensure that everyone in 21st century America has access to quality, affordable healthcare, including supporting legislation for a public option to compete with private insurance plans and cover the 8.5% of Americans that have no existing coverage. Schleifer will also fight to force insurers to cover more services, including fertility services which are especially vital for same-sex couples looking to start their own biological families.

His plan also increases funding to curb bullying of LGBTQ+ students and serve runaway and homeless LGBTQ+ youth, who are 120 percent more likely to experience homelessness than their non-LGBTQ+ peers.  And finally, he’ll devote more research funding to the National Institute of Health to study HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment options, including current options like Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). 

He will also call upon the president to lift the 2018 ban restricting transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military.

Adam’s Plan for LGBTQ Equality, Inclusion, and Justice

Equality: Codify LGBTQ+ equality into law by passing the Equality Act.

Pass the National Equality Act so that Title VII protections under the Civil Rights Act extend to the LGBTQ+ community, including in employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service.

Inclusion. Direct greater resources towards research and services that support the well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals.

Increase the National Institute of Health funding for HIV/AIDS research and prevention measures, including access to PrEP.

Require health insurance companies to cover fertility services, so that members of the LGBTQ+ community have a meaningful and equal opportunity to reproduce and/or start families, and work to ease restrictions and barriers to adoption.

Increase access to funding and services for runaway and homeless youth.

Provide more federal funding to support local schools adopt codes of conduct prohibiting bullying on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Increase resources available for LGBTQ+ pride centers so they can continue their work protecting the community.

Justice. Outlaw harmful and antiquated practices that afflict LGBTQ+ people.

Ban the use of the gay-panic defense.

Enforce existing federal hate-crime laws, including the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

About Adam Schleifer:

Adam Schleifer, 38, graduated from Chappaqua’s public schools in 1999 and went on to attend Cornell University and Columbia University Law School, where he served as a Senior & Staff Development Editor on the Columbia Law Review. After graduating from law school, Schleifer served two years as a federal law clerk, first in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and then in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Schleifer then built a career at one of the nation’s leading law firms before reentering public service, first as a New York State consumer-protection regulator, and then as an Assistant United States Attorney. Schleifer has prosecuted regulatory and federal-criminal actions against predatory payday and subprime auto lenders; taken dangerous and illegal weapons out of communities; prosecuted crimes of sexual violence and predation; and protected our clean air by prosecuting a conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act. Adam Schleifer and his wife, Nicole, are residents of New Castle.

Read more about Adam Schleifer at www.AdamSchleifer.com

 

News 12 Interview: Adam Schleifer Rejects Trump’s “Mail Tax”

In an interview with News 12, Adam Schleifer unveiled his plan to introduce legislation in the next Congress to embolden the USPS with the power to conduct basic financial services.

Adam, a Democratic Candidate for U.S. Congress in New York’s 17th District, urged President Trump to reverse his pledge that any COVID-related relief funding for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) would be contingent on higher fees for residents and businesses in Rockland and Westchester Counties who send mail through the USPS. President Donald Trump declared Friday (4/24) that he would not approve any bailout for the USPS unless it significantly increases its prices. Schleifer argued that Trump was wrong to call USPS “a joke” on Friday. 

The USPS has warned of its serious financial distress, but with the U.S. economy stalled during the COVID crisis, USPS reported a 30 percent decrease in volume. The service has requested $75 billion in cash, loans and grants to remain solvent.

As part of this declaration, Schleifer unveiled his plan to not only oppose Trump’s attempts to privatize USPS, but to strengthen a public Postal Service with basic banking powers. Schleifer noted that USPS used to take deposits from clients until 1966 and, in 1947, had nearly $3.4 billion in deposits. USPS became a popular deposit home for people who didn’t have confidence in banks in the early 20th century. Schleifer notes that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton advocated for the USPS to have banking powers when she won the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election. His plan would allow USPS to offer basic financial services, including cashing checks and giving USPS more flexibility in choosing what services it provides in order to grow as a stronger public entity, rather than wither and die under Trump’s call for a mail tax.

Read Adam Schleifer’s full plan to embolden the US Postal Service through basic financial service offering capabilities: 

https://adamschleifer.com/2020/04/30/schleifer-calls-on-trump-to-reverse-his-pledge-to-force-westchester-and-rockland-residents-to-pay-higher-fees-at-local-post-offices

Schleifer Calls On Trump To Reverse His Pledge To Force Westchester and Rockland Residents To Pay Higher Fees at Local Post Offices

Schleifer Unveils His Plan to Strengthen a Public USPS with Basic Banking Powers, Allowing Millions of NYers to Cash their Stimulus Checks

Schleifer Warns that COVID-19 Fears Led to 30% Decrease in USPS Volume, While 70 Million Americans Wait on Stimulus Checks and, in Many States, Turn to Pawn Shops and Payday Lenders

Schleifer: “Trump’s Mail Tax Is No Laughing Matter.”

White Plains, NY – Adam P. Schleifer, a Democratic Candidate for U.S. Congress in New York’s 17th District, urged President Trump to reverse his pledge that any COVID-related relief funding for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) would be contingent on higher fees for residents and businesses in Rockland and Westchester Counties who send mail through the USPS. President Donald Trump declared Friday that he would not approve any bailout for the USPS unless it significantly increases its prices. Schleifer argued that Trump was wrong to call USPS “a joke” on Friday. The USPS has warned of its serious financial distress, but with the U.S. economy stalled during the COVID crisis, USPS reported a 30 percent decrease in volume. The service has requested $75 billion in cash, loans and grants to remain solvent. In response, Schleifer unveiled his plan to introduce legislation in the next Congress to embolden the USPS with the power to conduct basic financial services.

“Trump must immediately reverse course on his pledge to impose a ‘mail tax’ on Westchester and Rockland residents and businesses who use the U.S. Postal Service,” said Schleifer. Trump must not make federal relief to save the Postal Service during this pandemic contingent on higher postal fees for Americans. Trump was out of line to call the U.S. Postal service a ‘joke.’ The 500,000 postal workers and the millions of Americans who use the mail are not laughing. Trump wants to send Americans a higher bill in order to send letters and packages to loved ones and keep their businesses afloat. Trump will further burden state and local governments as they look to institute absentee voting. Instead of trying to destroy or privatize USPS, we must save and strengthen it.”

As part of this declaration, Schleifer unveiled his plan to not only oppose Trump’s attempts to privatize USPS, but to strengthen a public Postal Service with basic banking powers. Schleifer noted that USPS used to take deposits from clients until 1966 and, in 1947, had nearly $3.4 billion in deposits. USPS became a popular deposit home for people who didn’t have confidence in banks in the early 20th century. Schleifer notes that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton advocated for the USPS to have banking powers when she won the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election. His plan would allow USPS to offer basic financial services, including cashing checks and giving USPS more flexibility in choosing what services it provides in order to grow as a stronger public entity, rather than wither and die under Trump’s call for a mail tax.

Further exemplifying the need for expanded financial service offerings through the USPS, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand notes in a recent op-ed in the New York Times that “millions of Americans without a bank account or those forced to use predatory financial products like payday lenders.” Throughout his career, Adam has stood up to this predatory practice as a consumer financial regulator, successfully holding payday lenders accountable. In Congress, Adam will not be afraid to continue this fight to bring expanded financial options to the American public, so they are not penalized for their income or location and afforded every opportunity possible.

Schleifer notes that USPS is a national treasure, which is why his plan calls for a vibrant, public Postal Service that offers universal service, and reject any effort to privatize or marginalize it. Schleifer says that if elected to Congress, he would vote to give USPS basic banking powers to take deposits, the ability to provide small-dollar loans, and “services relating to international money transfers.”

Schleifer warned that Trump’s mail tax would arrive at the same time millions of Americans are waiting on their stimulus check. This could lead more hardworking people to use payday lenders for immediate cash. In 2015, Schleifer took on payday lending giant MoneyMutual as a consumer protection regulator under Governor Cuomo. Up until 2013, New York state law made it illegal for payday lenders to charge more than 25 percent interest on a loan. 

However, payday lenders skirted this law by giving out loans online or over the phone with interest rates well above the 25 percent cap, sometimes as high as 1000 percent. In 2013, Governor Cuomo and financial services Superintendent Ben Lawsky issued a cease and desist letter to 35 online companies ordering them to stop issuing illegal payday loans to New Yorkers immediately. They also declared that existing loans were void and unenforceable, and lenders were prohibited from collecting on any outstanding debt. Licensed payday lenders are still permitted to grant loans with interest, but rates must not exceed 25 percent.

On Friday, Trump said that “If [USPS doesn’t] raise the price, I’m not signing anything.” Schleifer noted that over 40 postal workers have died performing their jobs during the COVID pandemic and raising prices and further threatening the survival of the USPS would hurt consumers, businesses, and communities in Westchester and Rockland.” Schleifer notes that Trump is essential imposing a tax to use the regular mail. Schleifer vows to never let the post office system fail.

About Adam Schleifer:

Adam Schleifer, 38, graduated from Chappaqua’s public schools in 1999 and went on to attend Cornell University and Columbia University Law School, where he served as a Senior & Staff Development Editor on the Columbia Law Review. After graduating from law school, Schleifer served two years as a federal law clerk, first in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and then in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Schleifer then built a career at one of the nation’s leading law firms before reentering public service, first as a New York State consumer-protection regulator, and then as an Assistant United States Attorney. Schleifer has prosecuted regulatory and federal-criminal actions against predatory payday and subprime auto lenders; taken dangerous and illegal weapons out of communities; prosecuted crimes of sexual violence and predation; and protected our clean air by prosecuting a conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act. Adam Schleifer and his wife, Nicole, are residents of New Castle.

Read more about Adam Schleifer at www.AdamSchleifer.com.

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SCHLEIFER URGES TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TO FUND STATE GOVERNMENT SHORTFALL IN PROPORTION TO ECONOMIC LOSSES THROUGH NEW ROUND OF FEDERAL RELIEF FOR COVID-19

Schleifer Warns that Schools, Hospitals, and Other Local Services in Rockland and Westchester Could Shutter Needlessly if the Trump Administration Fails to Act Now Through Proportionate Funding to NY

Schleifer: Rockland and Westchester Cannot Afford to Wait for Commonsense Federal Relief

New York – Adam P. Schleifer, Democratic candidate for Congress in New York’s 17th Congressional District, demanded the Trump Administration immediately provide proportionate relief for states that hit hardest during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, he urged the Trump Administration to prioritize states like New York, which has suffered $10 billion in economic losses due to the drop in sales and other local taxes during the necessary quarantine. He pointed that school districts could be forced to lay off essential workers when students arrive back at school. Further, municipal hospitals may no longer be able to maintain adequate staffing during the public health crisis. Finally, local businesses and other government services have been left struggling to stay open.

“COVID-19 has devastated the local economies in Rockland and Westchester, as well as those throughout New York,” said Schleifer. “Schoolchildren, hospital patients, businesses, and local civil servants cannot afford to wait for the Trump Administration to act. Governor Cuomo and local leaders here in my district have fought hard to keep local and state services operational for all New Yorkers, but time and money are running out.”

“The Trump Administration must act now to clear a path for Congress to pass proportionate relief funding to state governments that have felt the greatest economic devastation in the wake of COVID-19. Washington should not force school districts to slash essential services, just because state governments are not able to carry the economic burden alone. The federal government cannot leave states like New York high and dry when people are dying, schools and hospitals are closing, and the local budget shortfalls increase by the hour.”

Schleifer supports New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s call for $500 billion in direct aid to states. Cuomo, along with the National Governors Association, stresses that existing funds cannot be used to help stabilize state budgets. New York estimates it has seen a revenue fall by $10 billion due to COVID-19. School districts in the Hudson Valley have already begun to slash funding. Already, hundreds of school bus drivers for private bus companies that provide transportation were let go this week, with districts uncertain whether they’ll lose state aid because buses aren’t running.

Schleifer also echoes Cuomo’s assertion that the CARES Act, while a solid first step towards necessary relief, does not do enough for New York state. The CARES Act provides New York approximately $4 billion in emergency aid, but the state is facing a $15 billion deficit. Further, New York is still waiting for money included in the $2.2 trillion CARES Act. The bill included $150 billion specifically for states, but it has not been released weeks after the first round of emergency aid was approved. As good as the CARES Act has been, Schleifer stresses that we need more.

Schleifer joined the bipartisan New York congressional delegation, which recently urged Trump to immediately grant New York State a waiver to provide 100 percent federal funding for all Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) emergency work in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. The representatives specifically asked that any eligible work paid for through the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) be paid for by the federal government, rather the New York taxpayers, as was done by Presidents Bush and Obama after 9-11 and Superstorm Sandy.

About Adam Schleifer:

Adam Schleifer, 38, graduated from Chappaqua’s public schools in 1999 and went on to attend Cornell University and Columbia University Law School, where he served as a Senior & Staff Development Editor on the Columbia Law Review. After graduating from law school, Schleifer served two years as a federal law clerk, first in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and then in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Schleifer then built a career at one of the nation’s leading law firms before reentering public service, first as a New York State consumer-protection regulator, and then as an Assistant United States Attorney. Schleifer has prosecuted regulatory and federal-criminal actions against predatory payday and subprime auto lenders; taken dangerous and illegal weapons out of communities; prosecuted crimes of sexual violence and predation; and protected our clean air by prosecuting a conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act. Adam Schleifer and his wife, Nicole, are residents of New Castle.

Read more about Adam Schleifer at www.AdamSchleifer.com.

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Opinion: US Should Decriminalize, Regulate and Tax Marijuana

Published as Expert Analysis on Law360.com. 
By Adam Schleifer (April 27, 2020, 12:06 PM EDT)

Before COVID-19 turned our world upside down, legalization of marijuana was expected to be a centerpiece of New York’s 2020 budget legislation. Now, legalization — and the $300 million in estimated annual tax revenues that it will eventually bring — will have to wait.

This raises an important question: Why are we not talking more about federal legalization of marijuana, which could generate some $132 billion in tax revenue and 1 million new jobs?[1]

If undertaken with appropriate health and safety oversight by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, federal legalization would help address our vaping health crisis, which evidence suggests may be caused by grey-market THC pens[2] adulterated with harmful additives.

Federally legalized, regulated, quality-controlled marijuana would also deprive pernicious international drug cartels of a major revenue source and help support the integrity of our borders.

The perniciousness of those cartels’ illegal operations cannot be understated. On Feb. 7, 1985, for example, drug-cartel thugs abducted U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in broad daylight just outside of the U.S. Consulate in Guadalajara, Mexico. As they also did with a pilot, Alfredo Zavala, who had helped Camarena investigate large Mexican marijuana plantations, these thugs dragged Camarena to a safe house, where they interrogated and tortured him to death.

These murderers were motivated by a pair of recent busts in which the DEA had helped seize many billions of dollars’ worth of marijuana from the cartel’s thriving Mexican military-industrial-cartel complex. Marijuana was big business in 1985; it remains so today.

I learned of those tragic crimes and their marijuana connection by investigating them as a federal prosecutor.

As I reconstructed the dark, cocaine-fueled life and times of the Guadalajara cartel and its corrupt allies and partners, I was surprised at the centrality of the American marijuana market to those dangerous cartels’ profits and power, cartels which remain a blight on and threat to civil society throughout the Americas.

More broadly, I was also struck by the flow of (1) Mexican panga boats that smuggle tons and tons of marijuana onto our shores; and (2) the slow burn of fraud, corruption and tax evasion endemic to the state-legal but federally illegal marijuana industry in its current form.

So, although states such as Colorado and California have served as helpful laboratories of democracy in our country’s experimentation with marijuana legalization, the results are in. We can do better; we must do more.
First, we must federally decriminalize the possession and licensed distribution of marijuana.

Although many may assume state decriminalization makes it legal to possess marijuana, the only thing standing between all marijuana businesses and end-users and federal criminal prosecution is a discretionary set of U.S. Department of Justice guidelines set forth in the Cole memorandum,[3] and a current congressional budget rider denying funds to prosecution of state-legal marijuana activity — both of which are subject to change anytime. This uncertainty is anathema to the planning and certainty that rule of law and legitimate business activity both require.

And unlike physically addictive, dangerous and deadly drugs like methamphetamine, opioids and heroin, it is hard to see how continued devotion of federal criminal resources to the interdiction of marijuana accomplishes much beyond supporting a life-limiting one-way ratchet of criminal institutionalization of young people — particularly young people of color, upon whom the incidence of marijuana arrests and prosecutions has fallen unequally.[4]

The criminal justice system has a salutary role in protecting society from the scourge of violence, property crimes and death posed by drug addiction and abuse, but it’s clear by now that marijuana use has little to do with that important mission.

Second, we should reschedule marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. While the 2018 Farm Bill circumvented certain limitations when it comes to hemp agriculture[5] — a very important first step — marijuana’s listing within Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act belies pharmacological reality, stymies further scientific study, and makes use and development of marijuana-related therapeutics unnecessarily difficult.

Marijuana should either be removed from the schedules entirely or reclassified[6] within a schedule that reflects its low or lower potential for abuse and physical addiction. And while rescheduling could be accomplished without legislation through administrative rulemaking, Congress should act directly and pass federal rescheduling (or unscheduling) legislation for the dual purposes of greater permanency and increased legitimacy.

Third, we should reform the tax code and related federal statutes affecting the financial treatment of marijuana, its proceeds and the access to credit it needs to function legitimately.

The tax code establishes unfair limitations[7] on the ability of marijuana-related businesses to deduct routine expenses, which encourages accounting and tax fraud and makes it difficult for legitimate marijuana businesses to operate profitably and make accurate financial disclosures to potential investors and shareholders.
These limitations and others,[8] which essentially deprive marijuana businesses of access to the interstate banking and credit system, create dangerous Wild West conditions in the marijuana industry.

Finally, we must amend the relevant international treaties and our obligations under them. It is an inconvenient truth that major reform of our federal marijuana framework would put us out of compliance with various treaty obligations.[9] Rather than ignore this and further undermine our country’s once-proud status as a multilateralist force for public international law, we must work to amend these treaties and our obligations thereunder.

It’s high time our federal laws recognize the scientific, financial and policy realities of marijuana.

Adam P. Schleifer is a candidate for Congress in New York’s 17th congressional district. He previously worked as an an assistant U.S. attorney and as special associate counsel for the New York State Department of Financial Services.

The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Portfolio Media Inc., or any of its affiliates. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.

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[1] https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/2018/01/10/study-legal-marijuana-could-generate- more-than-132-billion-in-federal-tax-revenue-and-1-million-jobs/.
[2] https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/health/vaping-illness-tracker- evali.html?searchResultPosition=10.
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:DOJ_Cole_Memo_2013.pdf.
[4] https://www.aclu.org/report/report-war-marijuana-black-and-white?redirect=criminal-law- reform/war-marijuana-black-and-white.
[5] https://www.fda.gov/news-events/congressional-testimony/hemp-production-and-2018-farm-bill- 07252019.
[6] https://www.drugpolicy.org/sites/default/files/marijuana-scheduling_january_2019_0.pdf.
[7] https://my.vanderbilt.edu/marijuanalaw/2019/01/564/.
[8] https://www.nafcu.org/faqs-marijuana-banking-credit-unions#question%201.
[9] https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2014/10/16/marijuana-legalization-poses-a-dilemma-for- international-drug-treaties/.

 

https://www.law360.com/cannabis/articles/1267572/us-should-decriminalize-regulate-and-tax-marijuan

SCHLEIFER EARNS THE ENDORSEMENT FROM FORMER NEW CASTLE TOWN SUPERVISOR BARBARA GERRARD

Barbara Gerrard is a leading tax and real-estate attorney and former two-term New Castle Town Supervisor

Gerrard: “Adam has the vision and energy to bring us together”

White Plains, New York –
Adam P. Schleifer, Democratic candidate for Congress in New York’s 17th Congressional District, earned the endorsement of the former New Castle Town Supervisor, Barbara Gerrard. Based on her three-decade knowledge of Schleifer’s grit and compassion for others, Gerrard announced her unequivocal support of Schleifer’s candidacy to represent Westchester in the U.S. Congress.

Barbara Gerrard’s endorsement of Schleifer can be read below:

“I have known Adam and his family for three decades. He and they have been fixtures of the New Castle Community, and it has been a joy to watch Adam grow from a bright and kind young man into a formidable public servant with the talent and integrity to deliver for our Congressional District. He has the vision and energy to bring us together, and the toughness and drive to stand up for us all. I am proud to call Adam a friend, and look forward to calling him our Congressperson.”

Gerrard and her husband of over 40 years, Michael, a leading climate change expert, have both endorsed Schleifer for U.S. Congress.. Barbara Gerrard was reelected to two terms as supervisor (the equivalent of mayor) of the Town of New Castle, of which Chappaqua is a part. The town became increasingly environmentally conscious under her leadership and was the first in New York to sign the state’s Climate Smart Communities Pledge to lower greenhouse gas emissions, promote recycling and reduce energy consumption. Barbara has spent over three decades years practicing tax law and real property transactions as an attorney in Westchester. She is the author of The S Corporation Handbook, published by West Publications for over 22 consecutive years.

About Adam Schleifer:

Adam Schleifer, 38, graduated from Chappaqua’s public schools in 1999 and went on to attend Cornell University and Columbia University Law School, where he served as a Senior & Staff Development Editor on the Columbia Law Review. After graduating from law school, Schleifer served two years as a federal law clerk, first in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and then in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Schleifer then built a career at one of the nation’s leading law firms before reentering public service, first as a New York State consumer-protection regulator, and then as an Assistant United States Attorney. Schleifer has prosecuted regulatory and federal-criminal actions against predatory payday and subprime auto lenders; taken dangerous and illegal weapons out of communities; prosecuted crimes of sexual violence and predation; and protected our clean air by prosecuting a conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act. Adam Schleifer and his wife, Nicole, are residents of New Castle.

Read more about Adam Schleifer at www.AdamSchleifer.com.

Schleifer Unveils “STOP” Gun Violence: His Sweeping Gun Reform Plan To Enforce Universal Background Checks, Ban Assault Weapons, And Save Lives

Schleifer Took Dozens of Illegal Guns off the Street as a Prosecutor, and Will Ban Millions of Dangerous Weapons as a Member of Congress

Schleifer Warns that COVID-19 Fears Have Led to a Surge in Gun Sales

Schleifer: “Enough.”

White Plains, NY – Adam P. Schleifer, a Democratic Candidate for U.S. Congress in New York’s 17th District, unveiled his sweeping gun control plan, “STOP” (Securing Threats and Ongoing Protection). Specifically, he will support and introduce legislation to mandate universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and “red flag” laws that prevent those in mental health crises from obtaining firearms. Schleifer’s plan comes after spending years as a federal prosecutor fighting illegal gun possession and the community-destroying effects of gun violence. Schleifer also endured a dangerous experience when a first-grader in New York City public schools, when a classmate pointed a loaded gun at him.

“Now is the time to stop senseless gun deaths,” said Schleifer. “America has had enough carnage due to weapons of war flooding our streets. The COVID-19 era has seen the largest surge in background checks in our nation’s history, while millions of illegal firearms fall through the cracks. As a federal prosecutor, I took illegal guns off the streets. As your congressman, I’ll keep illegal guns off the street. When I was in first grade, I had a loaded gun pointed at my head, and I was one of the lucky ones. Through robust, commonsense reform, I’ll work relentlessly to keep our children and citizens safe.”

According to the FBI database, last month set the all-time record for the number of National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background checks since the creation of the system over two decades ago. After the announcement of federal social distancing guidelines in mid-March, Americans rushed the gun stores. The five days that followed all made the list of the most background checks in a single day, ever—no other year has more than one day in the top 10, let alone five in one week. By the end of March, NICS saw 3.7 million background check requests, 1.1 million more than the same month last year. The surge in gun sales puts a massive strain on the system and increases the risk that people who should be denied a gun slip through the cracks.

Schleifer pointed out that commonsense gun reform is needed now more than ever. COVID-19 fears have led to record-breaking gun sales and a potential increase in domestic violence. He will not only push for a federal assault weapons ban, but will broaden the federal preemption laws to include ammunition and high capacity magazines meant for weapons of war.

Schleifer will introduce and support federal legislation to increase the amount of time investigators have to complete background checks on gun purchasers to 30 days, ten times the current limit, and to keep records of all delayed background checks until they’re complete. While federal law requires licensed gun dealers to run background checks on all prospective gun buyers, due to an NRA-backed loophole in the 1993 Brady Bill, gun sales can proceed by default after only three business days—even without a completed background check. Each year, this loophole puts thousands of firearms in the hands of people who are legally prohibited from possessing them. While most background checks are completed on the spot, typically 10 percent of all federal checks—1.2 million of the 3.7 million in March 2020—require additional time and 3 percent are delayed longer than three days. Schleifer will fight to close that loophole.

Schleifer will also enact “red flag” laws to prevent those in mental health crises from obtaining dangerous firearms. Specifically he will support extreme risk laws so that law enforcement and family members can act on warning signs of gun violence and temporarily prevent access to firearms; secure firearm storage laws to address the primary source of guns used in school gun violence—the shooter’s home or the homes of family or friends—and educational programs to raise awareness about the importance of secure storage; raise the age to purchase semiautomatic firearms to 21; and require background checks on all gun sales so that minors and people with dangerous histories can’t evade our gun laws. He will also oppose any efforts to arm teachers in schools. Instead, he will push the federal government to fund evidence-based threat assessments in schools and increased security upgrades.

Schleifer pointed to the rise of ghost guns as one of the most insidious gun safety problems today. A ghost gun is a DIY, homemade gun made from readily available, unregulated building blocks. It is produced by an individual, not a federally licensed manufacturer or importer. Schleifer, when elected to Congress, vowed to amend federal law to reach and regulate the parts and sales of DIY gun manufacturing kits, including the at-home manufacturing of the “lower receiver” part necessary for many ghost guns.

Schleifer vowed to hold gun manufacturers accountable. One of his top legislative priorities in Congress will be to enforce mandatory background checks on all gun sales. He pointed out that 99.9 percent of New Yorkers live within 10 miles of a gun dealer. He pointed out there are nearly 62,000 unique gun dealers across the country, more than four times the number of McDonald’s in the United States.

An outline of Schleifer’s STOP (Securing Threats and Ongoing Protection) Plan for gun reform below:

1.  Universal background checks, because we should be at least as careful about who wields a firearm as we are about who drives a car.
2.  A ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. In civil society, no one needs a weapon of war.
3.  Enact “red flag” laws, so that persons in mental health crises or distress are disallowed from possessing firearms. If a person cannot safely possess a firearm, it should not be legal for them to do so.
4.  Regulate DIY parts and sales of “ghost guns”.
5.  Hold gun manufacturers accountable.

About Adam Schleifer:

Adam Schleifer, 38, graduated from Chappaqua’s public schools in 1999 and went on to attend Cornell University and Columbia University Law School, where he served as a Senior & Staff Development Editor on the Columbia Law Review. After graduating from law school, Schleifer served two years as a federal law clerk, first in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and then in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Schleifer then built a career at one of the nation’s leading law firms before reentering public service, first as a New York State consumer-protection regulator, and then as an Assistant United States Attorney. Schleifer has prosecuted regulatory and federal-criminal actions against predatory payday and subprime auto lenders; taken dangerous and illegal weapons out of communities; prosecuted crimes of sexual violence and predation; and protected our clean air by prosecuting a conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act. Adam Schleifer and his wife, Nicole, are residents of New Castle.

Read more about Adam Schleifer at www.AdamSchleifer.com.

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Adam Schleifer Reveals Environmental Plan: Smart Policies To Encourage Innovation and Protect Our Planet

Schleifer Will Pass Laws to Tax Carbon; Promote Green Infrastructure that Provides Good-Paying Jobs in the Reusable Energy Economy; Restore the EPA to Protect Public Lands; and Continue His Record of Prosecuting Polluters in Federal Court

Schleifer Also Announced the Endorsement of Leading Climate-Change Policy Expert, Professor Michael Gerrard

Schleifer: “We have no higher duty than leaving our descendants a healthy, habitable planet”

White Plains, NY – On the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, Adam P. Schleifer, Democratic candidate for Congress in New York’s 17th District, today released his comprehensive policy plan detailing how he will fight to preserve the environment and combat the climate crisis in Washington. Schleifer proposes to push for tax incentives to help provide green jobs and infrastructure, protect clean air and water with a restored and robust EPA, and will support his own legacy of federal prosecution of polluters. Schleifer will fight for a progressive carbon tax, incentives for green jobs and technology, and a national Green Infrastructure Corps as part of a National Service Plan that gives those who serve free higher education. Schleifer also announced a personal announcement from climate-regulation and environmental policy expert Professor Michael Gerrard. As part of his commitment, Schleifer also renewed his existing “No Fossil Fuels Pledge,” ensuring that his campaign would not be funded by oil, gas, or coal industry executives, lobbyists, or PACs.

“We each have the right to live on a healthy, habitable planet,” Schleifer said. “The Trump administration and Republicans in Congress have gravely threatened that right. As a member of Congress, I’ll fight to restore respect for science in our federal government and push to immediately enact innovative policy reforms that will combat the effects of climate change now. When it comes to saving our planet – for us and for future generations – we can’t afford to waste more time.”

Schleifer also announced the endorsement of one of the most renown climate change policy experts in the country, Michael Gerrard. He is the Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia Law School, teaches courses on environmental law, climate change law, and energy regulation, and founded and directs the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. He also chaired the faculty of Columbia University’s Earth Institute from 2015 to 2018. He has been a Westchester resident since 1987.

Professor Michael Gerrard’s personal endorsement of Schleifer can be read below:

“Adam has an impressive record of accomplishment in state and federal government and private legal practice. His intellectual energy, honesty, and integrity are all too rare in public life, and I very much look forward to continuing our productive dialog on how carbon pricing and other federal policies can be implemented in cooperation with the states to achieve a just transition to a sustainable climate. I have no doubt that Adam will be a credit to this community, to the United States Congress, and, most important, to our planet.”

Schleifer says the coronavirus crisis illustrates what happens when we don’t plan for the future. As a new father-to-be, Schleifer is looking ahead to the biggest challenges affecting the next generation like climate change. In Congress, Schleifer will reverse Trump’s anti-science policies. He will fight climate change with a progressive carbon tax on fossil fuel companies and establish a green infrastructure service corps that rewards those who serve with free higher education.

A former-Assistant United States Attorney, Schleifer has prosecuted major federal crimes – including polluters who conspired to violate the Clean Air Act by arranging to falsely certify and sell cars emitting dirty exhaust. His plan to protect the environment calls for:

1. Implementing a progressive carbon tax upon emitters of greenhouse gasses to ensure corporations pay for their damaging emissions and fund research in emerging climate science;

2. Using strong congressional oversight to protect our air, water, and natural resources;

3. Restoring the EPA to help protect our clean air and water and to prosecute polluters;

4. Offering tax incentives to support green technology and investing federal funds in creating green new jobs that also boost our economy; and

5. Creating a Green Infrastructure Corps, a national service program that will match years of service with years of subsequent free vocational training or higher education.

As a federal prosecutor, Adam successfully prosecuted polluters who violated the Clean Air Act, as well as those who smuggled endangered species and tried to destroy Joshua Tree National Park through arson. He also took dangerous guns off the street and prosecuted Medicare fraudsters. Prior to serving in the Justice Department, Adam served as a Special Associate Counsel for the New York State Department of Financial Services, where he helped lead consumer-protection enforcement efforts against predatory payday and subprime auto lenders who were targeting minorities, veterans, and low-income New Yorkers, and took on fraud and abuse in the health insurance and financial markets. Schleifer’s successful efforts to root out unfair practices in New York and nationwide contributed to fairness, transparency, and efficiency in New York’s banking and insurance markets.

About Adam Schleifer:

Adam Schleifer, 38, graduated from Chappaqua’s public schools in 1999 and went on to attend Cornell University and Columbia University Law School, where he served as a Senior & Staff Development Editor on the Columbia Law Review. After graduating from law school, Schleifer served two years as a federal law clerk, first in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and then in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Schleifer then built a career at one of the nation’s leading law firms before reentering public service, first as a New York State consumer-protection regulator, and then as an Assistant United States Attorney. Schleifer has prosecuted regulatory and federal-criminal actions against predatory payday and subprime auto lenders; taken dangerous and illegal weapons out of communities; prosecuted crimes of sexual violence and predation; and protected our clean air by prosecuting a conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act. Adam Schleifer and his wife, Nicole, are residents of New Castle. Read more about Adam Schleifer at www.AdamSchleifer.com.

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Gerrard is the Founder and Director of Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, a Columbia Law School Professor, and Former Chair of the Earth Institute 

Gerrard: “Adam will be a credit to this community, to the United States Congress, and, most important, to our planet”

White Plains, NY – Adam P. Schleifer, Democratic candidate for Congress in New York’s 17th Congressional District, announced today, on Earth Day, that he has earned the endorsement of the nationally-renowned expert on climate-change and environmental policy, Professor Michael Gerrard.

Gerrard is the Founder and Director of Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, the Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia Law School, and the former Chair of the Earth Institute of Columbia University

Michael Gerrard’s endorsement of Schleifer can be read below:

“Adam is an uncommonly deep and creative thinker with a profound and impressive record of accomplishment at the highest levels of public service and private legal practice. His intellectual energy, honesty, and integrity are all too rare in public life and I very much look forward to continuing our productive dialogue on how a carbon tax and other federal policies can be implemented in order to restore our planet and further the cause of earth justice. I have no doubt that Adam will be a credit to this community, to the United States Congress, and, most important, to our planet.”

Michael B. Gerrard, the Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia Law School, teaches courses on environmental law, climate change law, and energy regulation, and founded and directs the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. He also chaired the faculty of Columbia University’s Earth Institute from 2015 to 2018.

A prolific writer in environmental law and climate change, Gerrard twice received the Association of American Publishers’ Best Law Book award for works on environmental law and brownfields. He has written or edited thirteen books, including Global Climate Change and U.S. Law, the leading work in its field (second edition published in 2014, co-edited with Jody Freeman), and the 12-volume Environmental Law Practice Guide. His most recent book is Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States (2019, coedited with John Dernbach).

Gerrard was the 2004-2005 chair of the American Bar Association’s 10,000-member section of environment, energy, and resources. He also chaired the New York City Bar Association’s executive committee and the New York State Bar Association’s environmental law section. He has served on the executive committees of the boards of the Environmental Law Institute and the American College of Environmental Lawyers. Several independent rating services ranked Gerrard as the leading environmental lawyer in New York and one of the leading environmental lawyers in the world.

About Adam Schleifer:

Adam Schleifer, 38, graduated from Chappaqua’s public schools in 1999 and went on to attend Cornell University and Columbia University Law School, where he served as a Senior & Staff Development Editor on the Columbia Law Review. After graduating from law school, Schleifer served two years as a federal law clerk, first in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and then in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Schleifer then built a career at one of the nation’s leading law firms before reentering public service, first as a New York State consumer-protection regulator, and then as an Assistant United States Attorney. Schleifer has prosecuted regulatory and federal-criminal actions against predatory payday and subprime auto lenders; taken dangerous and illegal weapons out of communities; prosecuted crimes of sexual violence and predation; and protected our clean air by prosecuting a conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act. Adam Schleifer and his wife, Nicole, are residents of New Castle.

Read more about Adam Schleifer at www.AdamSchleifer.com.

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