BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Bridgewater’s governing body has just said “no” to recreational marijuana.

The Bridgewater Township Council approved a resolution April 16 to oppose the legalization of the recreational usage of cannabis within the township’s borders.

Council vice president Matthew Moench said the resolution continues a discussion that has taken place over the last several weeks and months. He said the resolution is an important first step on where the council stands on the recreational usage matter — that it opposes it, and could move toward ratifying an actual ordinance about it, depending on state law. 

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“Bridgewater should not allow recreational use of cannabis within its borders,” he said.

A number of individuals, almost all from out of town, attended recent council meetings in Bridgewater to plead with the council to legalize medical cannabis, or at least designate the municipality as the future site of a more centrally-located medical marijuana dispensary.

But no one from the audience spoke publicly on the resolution opposing recreational cannabis.

Councilman Howard Norgalis said the resolution does not pertain to medical marijuana, and added that he does not wish to have a “scourge” on the community whereby individuals would seek to come to Bridgewater to purchase recreational cannabis product.

Councilman Allen Kurdyla said he thought the council was going to wait on what the state said, as a guideline, regarding recreational cannabis use. He said he does not support recreational use, although he does back medical usage.

Township attorney William Savo said the township could wait on the state, and that passing the resolution would give information to state legislators.

“All authority comes from the state,” he said.

Councilman Filipe Pedroso said he believes the issue is “a lot to do about nothing,” in his opinion. He said he believes the governor won't care about Bridgewater passing a resolution, though he himself felt it should be passed.

The resolution was ultimately approved by a 4-1 vote, with the lone dissenting vote coming from council president Christine Henderson Rose.