Towns that don’t want legal weed have to ban it all over again (Opinion)
A funny thing happened on the way to legalization.
Leading up to the historic passage of legalization of recreational marijuana in New Jersey many towns decided along the way they wanted no part of it. Towns like Bridgewater, Freehold Borough, Middle Township, Seaside Heights and many others passed proactive bans to assure no marijuana type business would ever open shop within their borders. In all, over 70 towns had enacted such bans. The full list of towns can be found on NJ.com.
Now won't they be surprised to learn they'll have to do it all over again, and soon.
Part of the fine print of the legislation signed into law for legal weed says any such bans that went into effect before the law was enacted will bill null and void. This means towns that really don't want any part of dispensaries or growers doing business in their midst must go back to the drawing board and do a brand new ban. And they only have 180 days to do it. Should they miss that time window they would not be allowed to enact a ban for a full five years.
Well that's ... interesting.
The state clearly wants opportunity for businesses to be set up so they can reap the taxes. I mean, if a town already expressed their NIMBY (not in my back yard) desire why make them jump through bureaucratic hoops again? I'd bet no one from the state is contacting these towns to inform them that they just laid waste to their bans, either.
Personally a marijuana shop in my town wouldn't bother me as long as it was well-regulated and secure. It wouldn't bother me any more than a liquor store and we certainly have plenty of those. This will be new, so naturally people will be suspicious with something they're not used to. But I don't think it's going to turn a nice Bedford Falls into a seedy Pottersville (It's A Wonderful Life reference).
Look at all the cute names these stores will have, too! CannaBiz. Best Buds. High Y'all. Ganja Mangia (they could sell munchies, too). Fahrenheit 420 (for Ray Bradbury fans).
So now that it's going to be legally sold, would you have a big problem with a marijuana shop in your town? Take our poll below.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.