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Ocean County passes resolution against legalizing marijuana

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Ocean County has joined Monmouth and a dozen other municipalities in New Jersey in voicing its opposition to legalized recreational marijuana.

The Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders voted in favor of a resolution stating their opposition to legalized marijuana. The resolution referenced a recent poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University that showed legalized recreational marijuana did not have majority support, as well as statistics indicating there are increased traffic deaths in states that had a legalized cannabis industry.

Monmouth County freeholders voted on a similar resolution in January. Neither resolution has a tangible effect on the law, but other municipalities have taken further steps against legalized marijuana.

Point Pleasant Beach was the first to ban recreational sales and others have taken similar steps, including Berkeley Township, Brick Township, Old Bridge Township, Seaside Heights Borough and Toms River.

“Not every community views cannabis as a positive, so as a way to please the majority, certain provisions must remain in place,” said Brian Staffa, founder and chief operator of BSC Group, a company that provides management services for cannabis businesses, in an email to NJBIZ.

Staffa said he was “surprised” entire counties are considering a ban on recreational marijuana and referenced Verona Township’s approach to wait and see what legalized legislation looks like before taking a stance.

“The best plan for any municipality in New Jersey … is to wait to make an informed decision that supports its constituency, once all the information becomes available,” Staffa said.

Calls to representatives of Ocean County were not returned at press time.

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Arthur Augustyn

Arthur Augustyn

Arthur Augustyn grew up in Massachusetts and previously covered the video game industry in Los Angeles, city politics in Malibu, California, and local news in Bergen County before working at NJBIZ. He currently covers cannabis, government and tech.

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