Well there's a headline I never guessed I'd write. I grew up next door to this Union County city of 43,000 people. Being from Rahway it's where we often hung out as teenagers. It's where my mom has lived for the past 30+ years.

And, according to a lawsuit filed in Hunterdon County, it's where some people think marijuana sellers belong.

Let's take it from the top. The prospective operator of a proposed medical marijuana cultivation facility is suing the Lebanon Township Committee and the Planning Board over what they say is absurdly unfair treatment they're receiving in the Hunterdon County town.

The NAR Group is being told they must apply for a much harder-to-get use variance from the Zoning Board in order to have a chance of operating. The lawsuit claims the Planning Board "ignored the advice of their counsel" in coming to an "unsupported and unsupportable" decision that medical marijuana is not an agricultural crop.

Well, if it isn't, what is it?

After all, 7 U.S. Code § 1518 defines tobacco as an agricultural commodity. Why would medical marijuana be anything different? Especially when it does more good than harm.

green marijuana in hand
mycola, Getty Stock / ThinkStock

But that's not the craziest part of this story. The lawsuit also claims that at a public meeting NAR representative Nitin Manglani was told he does not belong in a place like Lebanon Township and "should move to Linden where his kind belongs."

His kind? Would that be people with first names like Nitin? Or would that be people who want to operate a legal business cultivating marijuana for medical use? Unclear.


I live in Hunterdon County but not in Lebanon Township. If this was really said, this person must think quite highly of themselves and feel the folks in Lebanon are quite superior to those in Linden.

Having grown up in Union County with a mother living in Linden I can tell you most people in Linden are good, honest, hardworking people. My mom worked from the time she was 13 years old and for the next 68 years that followed. You've never seen someone with a better work ethic or more kind and generous as my mother.

If that's Nitin Manglani's "kind" then yes, maybe he does belong in Linden because he'd be in very good company.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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