New Jersey towns at odds over marijuana legalization

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ASBURY PARK -

Recreational marijuana could soon be legal in New Jersey. 

Gov.-elect Phil Murphy made marijuana legalization a large part of his campaign while running for governor. And Democratic state Sen. Nicholas Scutari introduced legislation Tuesday to legalize recreational marijuana for those 21 years old or older.

But there are officials in many towns in the Garden State that say that they do not want any recreational marijuana dispensaries within their borders. 

One such town is Point Pleasant Beach. Mayor Stephen Reid and the town council have already passed a lot preemptively banning marijuana sales in the town.

“The cities that have come out for it, that’s good. That’s a nice fit for them. For us, it’s not,” Reid says.

Towns like Garfield and Linden have also made or discussed similar movies. Mayor Reid said that he has even gotten some calls from other mayors who are looking to copy his ordinance.

But there are other towns that are welcoming the thought of legalized recreational marijuana – towns like Asbury Park.

Officials in Asbury Park indicated this week that they are open to the idea of selling marijuana in town.

An Asbury Park resident tells News 12 New Jersey that cannabis business specialists have already come to town to look for locations to open up their shops. The resident says that he is opposed to having dispensaries in Asbury Park.

“They're looking to make this a quirky city. Quirky? How about criminal. We don't want it. We want families here. A lot of us were born here. This is not what we're interested in,” he says.

There are 565 municipalities in New Jersey so each may decide to allow or ban the sale of legalized marijuana.

Gov.-elect Murphy assumes office Jan. 16.

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