Last night the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights banned the sale of marijuana within its borders. We had several residents speak on the topic with the overarching concern being less about the sale of legal marijuana and more about the need to do more to combat alcoholism and substance abuse in our community. 

As we have learned over the years many families have been touched by the disease of addiction, including my own family. In the past, most families had to deal with alcoholism and the horrors that stem from its abuse on their own due to poor education around addiction and a lack of viable resources. Now, many families in Hasbrouck Heights, and throughout New Jersey, have felt the tragic repercussions of the opioid epidemic and have had to deal with the loss of loved ones before their time. 

Not allowing the sale of marijuana in Hasbrouck Heights does absolutely nothing to help our residents who struggle with this disease and does nothing to protect those who may encounter addiction later in life. That is why I proposed that we reestablish our municipal alliance program. The municipal alliance program is funded by grants from the County and gives us a dedicated pool of money to combat the abuse of drugs and alcohol. 

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While our town does still participate in DARE, this has been proven to be not enough when it comes to preventing, reducing and, eliminating substance abuse. The time is now to start focusing our resources on methods of combating abuse that have been proven to be effective. I hope that our Mayor and Council will join me in calling for the reestablishment of the Hasbrouck Heights Municipal Alliance. Together we can do more to stop substance abuse and save lives.

Councilman Chris Hillmann
Hasbrouck Heights