BARNEGAT - Barnegat Township Mayor Al Cirulli has come out and shared his displeasure with the legalization of marijuana in New Jersey. Cirulli made his statements at the February 5 Barnegat Township Committee meeting.

The Barnegat Township Committe passed a resolution opposing legalizing recreational use of marijuana. Copies of the resolution have been sent to local legislators and Trenton.

Cirulli has worked many years as a public school teacher and vice principal.  He spent 35 years in education and retired as Vice Principal at Pinelands Regional High School.  His experience in education is the key reason he encouraged the township committee to take a stand against he legalization of pot. 

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The following statement was followed with a petition circulated to local churches and organizations reading:

 “We the undersigned are against Gov. Murphy’s proposal to legalize recreational marijuana. Marijuana is a gateway drug which will have a devastating effect on our youth and society in general. The nation is battling an opioid addiction which is claiming 72,000 lives a year.”

At the February 5 meeting, Cirulli had 900 petitions signed by Barnegat residents. 

Cirullli also added that "the marijuana being sold today is 20 to 40 times stronger than what was around 40 or 50 years ago."

At a recent NJ Mayors conference many speakers and mayors are in support of the legalization of marijuana because the State of New Jersey needs the money to overcome financial deficits. The legalization of marijuana is hoped to resolve financial problems by taxing growers, distributors, retailers and consumers."

“A far as I’m concerned, that’s blood money,” said Cirulli. “There will be a huge cost to society.”

Cirulli is concerned that recreational marijuana will only worsen the problem.  He believes that the NJ legislators are not taking into account the impact on society and children. 

The committee is not opposed to the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes

Cirulli stood up to state legislators at the Mayors conference and he placed information about the negative effects of marijuana on adults and children on a table at the summit.  The table was removed by organizers. 

He also presented his petition from Barnegat residents and that was not allowed either.  

Barnegat joins Berkeley, Seaside Heights, Toms River and Point Pleasant Beach in working the ban marijuana in their towns.