CHATHAM, NJ - Bob Weber warned that the state legislature and Gov. Phil Murphy are about to legalize recreational marijuana use in the state and urged fellow Borough of Council members to take action at Tuesday's regular meeting.
Weber said that he was prompted to bring up the issue for discussion because the legal counsel for a marijuana shop has made inquiries.
"What has propelled me at this point to bring this forward, and for the council to take action in the immediate future, is that the borough has actually received an inquiry from a company that runs dispensaries," Weber said. "They have inquired about setting up shop here in Chatham. As a father, a scout leader, an educator, and a 25-year-plus resident of Chatham, that scares me and I hope it scares the residents of Chatham.
"I believe the time for us to act is now. I don't think we should wait to see what comes out of Trenton. I was a drug prosecutor for 18 years and I've seen the horror and the ruined lives that come out of drug use. I don't think, based on the arguments being made in favor of the the recreational use of marijuana, justifies the risk to our communities."
Weber strongly advocated for a ban on marijuana sales in Chatham in the video below
Vincent DeNave, a Chatham zoning board official, offered that a marijuana shop would be considered a retail store, similar to a pharmacy.
"If someone came in today it would be considered permitted use," DeNave said.
Last February, a group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting to ask the council members to support the opening of a medical marijuana dispensary in town.
"I have absolutely no problem with medical marijuana but to promote this as being okay is a bad message to the children," Len Resto, council president, said. "I think we need to do everything we can to protect them."
Len Resto weighs in the on the issue of marijuana possibly being sold in Chatham
"I don't like to have the government tell me what to do, but in this particular instance, I think this is a real threat," James Collander, Council member, said. "Frankly, I don't understand where some of our elected officials at the state level are going. I really think we need to get a sense of where the community is on this."
Council member James Collander urged the public to voice their opinion in the video below
Last April, the Chatham Township Committee unanimously adopted an ordinance that bans the retail sale of marijuana in the township.
Chatham resident Rozella Clyde (see video below) asked the council not to follow the lead of the Chatham Township Committee, but to wait and see what laws actually pass.