Dear Editor:

On Tuesday, July 16, 2019, the Township Council endorsed an application by Chillin' Out located at 2006 Route 22 East, Scotch Plains, to the State to become a medical marijuana dispensary.

I voted in favor of that application, and I support medical marijuana and Chillin' Out's application to the state to dispense medical marijuana at their location in Scotch Plains on Route 22. Cancer patients, people suffering from anxiety and chronic pain, and veterans suffering from PTSD should have access to medical marijuana. I support providing a location in Scotch Plains to support these patients.

However, I am opposed and extremely disappointed that the state has decided to impose a sales tax on medical marijuana. Governor Murphy said he will phase out the sales tax on medical marijuana in 2022.

Sign Up for Scotch Plains/Fanwood Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

But my question is why tax it in the first place?

And you know as well as I do that when politicians promise to phase out a tax, it rarely ever happens. 



Medical marijuana is not covered by any prescription plan or any subsidy. It comes right out of patient's pockets. That means poor people, working people, cancer patients, and veterans who need medical marijuana have to pay more in cash. We don't tax any other legal medicine. It's immoral to tax medical marijuana. The cost of the sales tax could buy patients a day and half more of medicine. 

My message to the Governor and the Democratic Majority in Trenton is this: stop taxing us, especially our most vulnerable. Where is the compassion in that?

I hope Chillin' Out's application is successful and they receive state approval. But I will be lobbying our state legislators to repeal the sales tax on medical marijuana now, not in 2022.   



Al Smith
Scotch Plains Mayor