Barnegat Township Takes Stand Against Pot Legalization

Jun 15, 2018

Should marijuana be legalized in New Jersey, growers and sellers will not be able to do business in Barnegat Township. An ordinance introduced at the June 12 township committee meeting will forbid the “sale, manufacture and farming and marijuana paraphernalia.”

Deputy Mayor Alfonso Cirulli acknowledged that the ordinance could eventually be declared moot.

“Eventually, the state may not allow us to do this,” he said. “Whatever we do will be superseded by anything that the state does.”

Currently, marijuana use is criminalized for recreational use in New Jersey, but permitted for medical use. Gov. Phil Murphy had vowed to legalize recreational marijuana within the first 100 days of his administration.

“It still hasn’t passed in the state Assembly and Senate,” said Cirulli. “I think the governor thought this was going to be a shoo-in, but it’s taking a little longer than he thought it would. If it should pass in the Legislature, I’m sure he’ll be quick to sign it, and then we’ll take it from there. If anything, this ordinance is our way of taking a stand against legalizing marijuana, especially in the light of the opioid crisis throughout our county, the state and the country.”

Another ordinance introduced will donate a small strip of property to the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Fund for open space preservation. Township Engineer John Hess said the wooded parcel covers approximately three acres, and is located near the  Four Seasons at Mirage community.

“It never was going to be developed for Mirage,” said Hess. “It’s just sitting there doing nothing, so we’d like to have the area preserved so no one will ever build on it.”

A public hearing on both ordinances is scheduled for the next meeting, on Tuesday, July 3, at 10 a.m. —E.E. 

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