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More towns getting ahead of NJ legalization. Clifton could be latest to ban pot sales

Clifton voted unanimously to prohibit the selling and growing of recreational marijuana within city limits.

If Wednesday's ordinance is adopted on second reading, Clifton would join an expanding cadre of communities that have voted to prohibit the sale of recreational marijuana within their boundaries.

For the past several months, the city's council has examined how other municipalities approached the banning of legal pot sales.

During its Wednesday night work session, at the behest of Councilman Peter Eagler, his colleagues decided to model the new ordinance on the one adopted last December by Point Pleasant.

Point Pleasant's ordinance, and not Clifton's, proscribes the sale of recreational marijuana within a quarter mile of schools, houses of worship and playgrounds. The city proposes to add to this ban the growing of marijuana as well.

Eagler said the way the ordinance is worded, it essentially prohibits the sale of legal recreational marijuana from anywhere in the city.
Marijuana use, Eagler noted, "is not the same experience people had 30 years ago." He said it is now added to "gummy worms."

New Jersey has not made the use of recreational marijuana legal, and city officials said the state doesn't have the votes needed to do so. Officials said the ordinance is a result of a request made by Clifton Against Substance Abuse (CASA) committee.

The council's decision was welcomed by almost a dozen residents in attendance there to ask the council to pass the ordinance.
CASA President Tom Whittles thanked the council following the vote.

"I don't know if (the state legislature) has the votes and I don't care," Whittles said. "I care what happens in Clifton."

Tom Whittles, president Clifton Against Substance Abuse
Matt Fagan

Whittles said CASA had been after the council to take action for several months.

Clifton joins Carlstadt, East Rutherford, Woodcliff Lake, Lodi, Mahwah, Hasbrouck Heights, Garfield and Washington Township, which have approved similar ordinances.

[source: / published: August 9. 2018]


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