WEST CALDWELL, NJ — As the state continues to consider legalizing marijuana, allowing for the distribution and consumption of the drug within New Jersey’s borders, West Caldwell Councilman Stanley Hladik, legal and personnel liaison for the township, introduced an amendment to a zoning ordinance on Tuesday that would prohibit the growth and sale of recreational marijuana within the township.

The council unanimously passed the ordinance on a first reading, agreeing that “businesses selling recreational marijuana create special concerns for security, safety and location,” as stated in the ordinance. Mayor Joseph Tempesta announced that a public hearing of the ordinance will be held at the next council meeting on Sept. 11.

“Due to the aforementioned concerns, the Township of West Caldwell has deemed it in the best interest of the community to prohibit the growing and selling of recreational marijuana within its borders,” the ordinance states.

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In other news, the council also adopted an amendment to the township’s ordinance establishing the West Caldwell Volunteer Fire Department.

One such change made to the ordinance includes an addition that allows a prior firefighter to be reappointed to the department so long as the member “resigned in good standing.” According to the amended ordinance, a reappointed member is eligible to be elected and appointed as fire chief if he or she served on the department for a minimum of five consecutive years immediately preceding his or her resignation.

All members of the council voted in favor of this amended ordinance with the exception of Councilman Joseph Cecere, who abstained from the vote.

The Sept. 11 meeting will begin at 7:15 p.m. at the township’s municipal building.

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