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April 28, 2018

Brigantine preemptively bans recreational marijuana sales

Shore town's move follows introduction of bill in New Jersey legislature to legalize possession of pot

Marijuana Politics
Carroll - NJ Marijuana Dispensary Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Packaged medical marijuana.

A Jersey Shore town is saying no to recreational weed before New Jersey potentially legalizes it.

Earlier this month, Brigantine City Council approved an ordinance preemptively banning the sale of the drug. The ordinance states "there is no area of the City which can safely house a business selling recreational marijuana" or paraphernalia. 

The move is in response to legislation introduced in January by state Sen. Nicholas P. Scutari that would legalize the possession and use of small amounts of marijuana for people 21 and older.

The bill hasn't yet moved in the state legislature, but newly-elected Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy has indicated he wants to legalize recreational weed by the end of 2018, despite shaky support in the legislature, according to NJ.com. Medical marijuana is already legal in the Garden State.

Scutari's bill allows for local governments to enact ordinances to stop marijuana retailers from setting up shop in their municipalities.

Mayor Phil Guenther told ShoreNewsToday that he thinks Brigantine isn't the "type of community that wants or needs this type of activity in our town." As the website notes, Brigantine is the first municipality in Atlantic County to pass such an ordinance.

Community members echoed that sentiment to NBC10. But one resident of neighboring Atlantic City told the news station that he'd welcome the sale of the drug to help the resort town financially.

"Prohibition doesn't work. We tried it with alcohol, it didn't work," another A.C. resident said to NBC10.

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