Home Police, Fire & Courts Couple in Viral Video Wants Medical Marijuana Legalized on Seaside Heights Boardwalk

Couple in Viral Video Wants Medical Marijuana Legalized on Seaside Heights Boardwalk


Edward "Lefty" Grimes addresses the Seaside Heights council (right). His friend was smoking medical marijuana on the boardwalk last weekend (left). (Grimes Photo: Daniel Nee)
Edward “Lefty” Grimes addresses the Seaside Heights council (right). His friend was smoking medical marijuana on the boardwalk last weekend (left). (Grimes Photo: Daniel Nee)

A couple who posted a video showing Seaside Heights police officers asking them to leave the boardwalk area to smoke medical marijuana told borough officials at a council meeting Wednesday that the substance should, indeed, be allowed along the oceanfront.

Edward “Lefty” Grimes, one of the men in the video, adorned a t-shirt with a marijuana leaf on the front and the slogan, “Don’t Shoot, I’m Running Away,” on the back, took out a bag of medical marijuana before the council members and asked why his friend, who he said suffers from multiple sclerosis, was asked to leave the boardwalk after lighting up a joint at the MS Walk over the weekend.


Neither Grimes nor his friend, Michele Burrows, were arrested or charged in the incident, in which code enforcement officers called police, who determined that medical marijuana was not allowed in a designated smoking area on the boardwalk.

“It’s not the police’s fault, they’re doing what they can,” Grimes admitted. “They said they didn’t know where you could use your medical cannabis, but we couldn’t use it on the boardwalk.”

The vide showed police officers asking the couple to use their marijuana in a private area, since it was not allowed on the boardwalk.

“If she falls down and has a seizure, where do we drag her body to?” Grimes asked council members. “It’s about having compassion for sick people.”

Borough Attorney Jean Cipriani said the state’s medical marijuana law, known as the Compassionate Use of Marijuana Act, or CUMA, sets guidelines for the use of the substance that includes a passage which prohibits its use in any “park, beach or recreation center.”

“The boardwalk is, in its entirety, a recreation center,” said Cipriani. “Borough code states the entire oceanfront and land owned by the municipality upon the oceanfront is in a recreational zone.”

Grimes said in a similar incident in Atlantic City, he was told the boardwalk was considered a park.

“Without the marijuana, I would not be able to walk your boardwalk,” Burrows, an MS patient, later said. “I give you guys business and I love the boardwalk, but without the cannabis, I can’t even walk there.”

Cipriani said officials understood the couple’s position, and may look into future policies that would more clearly set forth where medical marijuana could be used in town.

“This is really the first time this issue has come before council, and you’ve certainly presented it in a strong way, and it will be considered,” said Cipriani. “It’s really a new issue for us.”

  • Kimberleely

    Medical marijuana does not need to be smoked. It can be made into a oil. Which can easily be dispensed without causing any trouble in public.

    • Rowyn Capers

      Oil and edibles do not work the same as inhalation. Will not stop a seizure mid episode same For PTSD and painful spasms. For people with liver kidney or digestion issues medibles are a problem. Dosage is hard to control and the form of thc is altered.
      NJ limits are not enough to make enough feco for a month and how we choose to medicate is a patient’s decision. Yes it smells funny, so?

      • Bon Mot

        I disagree. Vaping is very similar and better for your lungs. Vaping oil has little to no smell. Compassionate Sciences Dispensary has edibles and vape oil. Edibles take a while to kick in so take them at regular intervals like any other medicine. They last much longer than smoked product.

    • Jeremy Gross

      it is much more expensive to purchase those oils. If we have to tolerate the smell of cigs on the boardwalk, even in a designated smoking area, it should be the same for weed smoke

      • RabbitEars

        Weed is a mind-altering drug, cigarettes aren’t. BIG difference.

  • Lefty Grimes

    Carrol Millman and Michelle Burns really were amazing at the end of this video.
    #SativaCross #IgnoranceIsNoExcuse #LoudChallenge


  • Beach N8iv

    If you watch the video in the article you will see that the cops were very polite and professional. I don’t think that they’re real Seaside cops.

  • Goodgrief

    Lefty could have dressed a little better to address the borough council. Even the shirt saying is insulting to cops he encounters. His looks represent what people do not like about accepting pot.

    • Bon Mot

      I agree. Some seriousness would have made a better impression.

  • JAZ

    This article fails to mention that the CUMMA (Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana) guidelines state that a medical cannabis patient in NJ is legally allowed to medicate (smoke cannabis) where ever, people can smoke tobacco. The police only highlighted the part that says no recreational area or be as discreet as possible, to make “their” lives easier. The police make it obvious it is the reefer madness of the public that may cause an issue. Either way, it’s a form of discrimination.


  • Barry Dugac

    Medical Marijuana should not be legalized on Seaside Heights Boardwalk. The smoking areas are for smoking not illegal drug usage. Seaside Heights boardwalk is becoming more geared to the family. Lets keep it that way! By legalizing medical marijuana will only create more problems for Seaside Heights boardwalk and Seaside Heights Police Department

  • KaayC

    Police were very professional.