SPARTA, NJ — The Sparta Township Council tabled the ordinance to ban marijuana at the meeting on Tuesday. Deputy Mayor Christine Quinn read a statement from Mayor Josh Hertzberg who could not attend because of an “unanticipated family obligation.”

All of the council members present approved the motion to table the ordinance that had a first reading on September 25. 

In Hertzberg’s statement he said the council agreed to have the proposed ordinance reviewed by “various township boards” for their input. He said the purpose of a first reading was to stimulate discussion and that was the reason for tabling Ordinance 18-15.

Quinn said they would seek input from the Municipal Alliance, the Planning Board and the Economic Development Committee and the police department.

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She said there had not been any “push back” from the community but they wanted to make sure the ordinance did not conflict with legislation anticipated from Trenton. Councilman Jerry Murphy was the only member who did not vote to support the first reading of the proposed ordinance at the September 25 meeting.

There was no comment from the public on the topic at the meeting on Tuesday. 

Councilwoman Molly Whilesmith said “all council member wanted to be present for the vote.”

Quinn said from comments they had received, it appeared there was some confusion about how medical marijuana would be handled under this ordinance. She did say the township attorney, Tom Ryan, had reviewed similar ordinances passed in other New Jersey towns and counties.

Approximately 40 towns have banned marijuana to get in front of Governor Murphy’s initiative to legalize recreational use of the drug.

The towns voting to ban marijuana including; Barnegat, Berkeley, Bridgewater, Brigantine, Carlstadt, Chatham, Clifton, Cranbury, East Rutherford, Franklin Lakes, Garfield, Hasbrouck Heights, Hawthorne, Hazlet, Lodi, Mahwah, Manville, Midland Park, North Caldwell, North Haledon, Ocean Port, Old Bridge, Parsippany-Troy Hills, Pleasantville, Point Pleasant Beach, Secaucus, Spotswood, Surf City, Union City, Upper Freehold, Upper Saddle River, Wall, Weehawken, West Long Branch, Woodcliff Lake, Wyckoff.

Cape May County, Monmouth County and Ocean County Freeholders have also voted to approve a countywide ban.

The next township council meeting is scheduled for October 23.

#Sparta #NJmarijuanaban

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