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Paterson school board says it has zero tolerance for marijuana sales in city

Paterson Board of Education President Kenneth Simmons isn't mincing words when it comes to the school board's position on the sale of weed in Paterson.

News 12 Staff

Jul 15, 2021, 2:36 AM

Updated 1,008 days ago

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The fate of legal recreational marijuana sales in Paterson remains up in the air as one group of city officials has made it known it is against it.
Paterson Board of Education President Kenneth Simmons isn't mincing words when it comes to the school board's position on the sale of weed in Paterson.
"For us it's zero tolerance in this situation ... We don't want to see recreational or retail recreational cannabis sites," Simmons said.
The school board is asking the City Council to consider what they deem is the negative impact marijuana near schools would have on the school district. The extra $1.5 million for the town is small change when compared to the safety of the children of Paterson, the board says.
"Children are priceless. We can't make decisions that put children in jeopardy," Simmons said.
Paterson Mayor Andre Sayeh says the industry would bring jobs to the community and would attempt to right social justice wrongs, especially in a city like Paterson that has been disproportionately affected by the issue.
"It has precluded people in Paterson -- brown and Black individuals -- from gaining employment. This industry is offering employment," Sayeh said.
Paterson is no stranger to the sale of marijuana. The city already has a medical marijuana dispensary, which, the mayor says, gives Paterson experience. The school board, however, says that's just an added problem for a city already dealing with high numbers when it comes to drug and alcohol abuse
"If you drive down Broadway, you'll see folks who are addicted to drugs and our children have to walk through that every day," Simmons said.
The date for Paterson's final vote is unclear, but there is the Aug. 21 deadline for towns to opt in or out. Some towns in Passaic County have already made decisions.


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