MILLBURN, NJ - After several meetings worth of discussion, the Millburn township committee has decided not to move forward for the time being on a marijuana ballot referendum.
Resolution 19-174 would have authorized the submission of a set of non-binding referendum questions to Millburn voters in the upcoming general election. The questions would have all revolved around different aspects of the state potentially legalizing the growth and sale of marijuana. the potential questions were as follows:
-Should the township committee of the Township of Millburn prohibit recreational marijuana retail facilities-meaning an operation that purchases cannabis from growers, processors or wholesalers, and sells these items to consumers from a retail store-to operate within Milburn Township?
-Should the Township of Millburn prohibit operation of facilities that engage in the growing of recreational marijuana-meaning an operation that grows, cultivates or produces cannabis, and sells the cannabis to other growers, processors, wholesalers or retailers, but not consumers-within Millburn Township?
-Should the Township of Millburn prohibit operation of facilities that engage in the processing of recreational marijuana-meaning an operation that purchases, manufactures, prepares and packages cannabis items and sells these items o other processors, wholesalers or retailers, but not consumers-within Millburn Township?
-Should the Township of Millburn prohibit operation of facilities that engage in the wholesale distribution of recreational marijuana-meaning an operation that sells cannabis items for the purpose of resale to either wholesalers or retailers-within Millburn Township?
The motion to remove 19-174 was introduced by Mayor Diane Eglow, seconded by committeewoman Tara Prupis, and approved by Eglow, Prupis and Committeewoman Cheryl Burstein. Deputy Mayor Jackie Lieberberg opposed tabling the measure, and Committeeman Sam Levy was absent from the meeting.
Lieberberg expressed her displeasure with seeing the measure removed at the meeting.
With respect to the non-binding referendum on marijuana, too often, previous administrations have chosen not to get ahead of key issues that will impact Millburn's future," Lieberberg said. "Traffic congestion, downtown viability and affordable housing, to name a few."
She continued, "They have chosen to take the path of expediency and kick the can down the road. I believe that it is critical to gauge the thoughts of our residents, by allowing them to share their opinions through a non-binding referendum on the ballot."
Some of the other reasons Lieberberg gave in favor of the measure were that it would be done at no cost to the taxpayers, and would give the township committee an idea of how its citizens were thinking on the subject.
Following Lieberberg's statement, the rest of the meeting's agenda was approved as amended. At press time, there is no formal discussion to re-institute the resolution as previously discussed.