More NJ towns ban sales if Murphy legalizes marijuana
OLD BRIDGE — If Gov. Phil Murphy fulfills a campaign promise to legalize marijuana in New Jersey, at least two more towns will likely be added to a growing list to ban its sales.
At its meeting on Tuesday night, the Old Bridge Township Council discussed becoming the latest town to ban the sale of recreational marijuana, according to MyCentralJersey.com. At Monday's meeting Councilwoman Debbie Walker called marijuana a "gateway drug," and said that "If Gov. Murphy wants it in his town: fine. He can have it in his town, but we don't want it here," according to the story.
Banning the sale of marijuana was also discussed at the council meeting in Toms River. At the Ocean County meeting, an ordinance was to be discussed to "establish prohibitions on the sale, dispensation, and cultivation of Marijuana in the Township of Toms River."
If the towns do adopt ordinances to ban marijuana sales, they would join Point Pleasant Beach in doing so.
Point Pleasant Beach Mayor Stephen Reid said the town took the action to "get ahead of the curve" of possible legalization. Reid said since the town adopted the ban he has received calls from other mayors seeking guidance on how to adopt similar ordinances.
"Money has never been a concern here in this issue," he said. "I hope the governor, I hope the Legislature is not looking at this as a money issue. I think you need to look at it as a society and is this what we want to basically pass on to our children? Is this what we want in our towns? Right now the answer is no in Point Pleasant Beach."
Legislation has not been put in front of the Legislature, but Murphy is already taking steps to change its legal uses in the state. On the same day the topic was discussed at the two meetings, the governor ordered the state Department of Health and Board of Medical Examiners to find ways to expand access to medical marijuana in the next 60 days.
"For eight years, medical marijuana has been legal in New Jersey," he said. "However, the roadblocks put in place by the past administration mean that the law's spirit has been stifled."
The governor said the review will look at whether new conditions could be treated with medical marijuana. He said there are around 15,000 people in the state receive medical marijuana.
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Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com