Until now, only a few New Jersey shore towns have weighed in on their decision to ban or allow recreational cannabis sales in their towns. While some NJ Shore towns including Seaside Heights, Point Pleasant Beach, Shrewsbury, and Berkeley have all taken measures by their town councils to ban cannabis sales, Garfield is the first northern New Jersey town to take a proactive measure to ban sales. Mayor Richard Rigoglioso stated, as reported by Gannett News, “Everyone thinks this is happening right away, but now with the federal government weighing in, it may take some time.”
In a shocking statement further highlighting a lack of understanding of the issue, Rigoglioso said, “I don’t want it anywhere in Garfield,” he said. “I don’t see the purpose of it. I know people don’t agree but I still believe it’s a gateway to other drugs.”
This continues to highlight the ‘reefer madness’ of the past and contradicts research by both the medical community and data from the states that have legalized cannabis for either medicinal or recreational use.
Mayors in towns such as Asbury Park and Atlantic City have stated they will embrace cannabis and allow it to be sold. Atlantic City’s mayor suggested the city be the pilot for the state and has requested to be the sole municipality with time to iron out the kinks. There is still many myths to be demystified about cannabis, but one thing is for sure, there will be towns who embrace it and others who are afraid and lack understanding of the issue.
Cannabis is expected to be a multi-billion dollar industry and some figures suggest it will even grow larger than the NFL by 2025. New Jersey has many budgetary restraints, obligations and needs that will be alleviated by allowing the recreational use, taxed at a fair price for the users in the state.
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