Home Seaside Heights & Seaside Park Government Seaside Heights the Latest Town to Consider Marijuana Sale Ban

Seaside Heights the Latest Town to Consider Marijuana Sale Ban

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The entrance to Seaside Heights from the north. (Photo: Daniel Nee)
The entrance to Seaside Heights from the north. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

Seaside Heights Mayor Anthony Vaz first expressed his concern over the legal sale of marijuana the day after Phil Murphy was elected New Jersey governor, and now he is the latest in a string of Shore area leaders who want dispensaries banned in their communities.

Vaz, who has spearheaded an effort to redevelop Seaside Heights into a family-oriented resort and shed its hard-partying image, said Wednesday that he and the borough council are looking crafting regulations that would either ban or severely limit the sale of marijuana, should it become legal statewide. Murphy, a Democrat, campaigned on the plant’s legalization. Vaz, a Republican who is also a former schools superintendent in Spotswood, said he is against legalization because he has seen youngsters graduate to harder drugs after trying it.

“I can understand medical use, but I am against using it recreationally,” Vaz said.

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Point Pleasant Beach has already developed an ordinance banning its sale and Lavallette has expressed an interest in a ban as well. For Seaside Heights, even more is at stake, as the borough is trying to lure investors and business owners to help develop a family-friendly reputation.

Vaz said plans under consideration include an all-out ban, if it is allowed by law, or a regulatory system that could license just one dispensary in town.

“We’ve seen the beautiful city of Denver Colorado – even though they’re making plenty of money – go downhill,” said Vaz, referencing an increase in homelessness and traffic accidents. “As a community that has focused our attention to families, we don’t want this.”

Borough Attorney Jean Cipriani did not offer any opinions on the ban at Wednesday’s meeting. Lavallette’s borough attorney, Philip George, advised officials there to wait until a legalization measure is passed before responding with a local ordinance.

“I might be jumping the gun, but I want to be ahead of the game,” he said.

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  • Tom Messner

    Keep up the good work Mr. Mayor.

    No dispensary in Seaside Heights.
    I wonder if Governor Elect Murphy’s home town is okay with having a dispensary there?

    • Mac

      I doubt it’s much of a concern there. After all, they have the time to take in order to make a more informed decision when, and if, these dispensaries are given the go-ahead to legally operate. However, those in areas worried about their pasts being more associated with drug use, spreading illusions that needle users are all of a sudden going to take up rolling papers instead is just plain desperate misinformation.

      • Tom Messner

        I would argue that I am very informed and not desperate in any way. What is the big rush to legalize marijuana in NJ, tax revenue I guess. Why not wait and see how it plays out elsewhere is all I ask.
        The law if passed should certainly prohibit dispensaries in areas of low income or high representation of minority populations. “Social Justice”

        • Mac

          There’s no rush to legalize marijuana in NJ. It’s an issue that’s been kicked around for years. Some have addressed it with some intelligence while others have treated it as another orange cone of ‘politically-correct’ social ignorance. No one is trying to rush it through the backdoor in secret, backroom deals of deceit like the current federal tax overhaul is currently undergoing.

          As for dispensaries and ‘social justice,’ pot, like liquor, doesn’t discriminate according to the social standing of the community.

          • Chris Pluemacher

            I believe there’s defiinetly some rush to legalize it as soon as possible. Its in new jerseys best interest to do so. We dont have to wait and see how it plays out elsewhere because we already know. State law makers have visited the other states were its legalized, spoke to police officers, the citizens and elected officials. They came to the conclusion that there’s very little downside. The legislation has already been prepared we were just waiting for Christie too be out of office so they could move forward. The rush i would say is, you want to have it legalized before NY and PENN do it. Eventually all 3 states are going to end up at the same party, might as well be the first one to show up. Being the first out of the 3 states would have a significant economic impact for us. We would be the first state to legilize it through legislation which could pave the way for more states doing it. It also will create New Jersey around 35,000 jobs and a couple hundred million in tax revenue. New Jersey is the garden state is about time we states growing some stuff. The onlly reason its illegal is because of greedy politicians being influenced by corporations tghat are

          • Chris Pluemacher
          • Mac

            Well done. Now even the far right can’t say they weren’t given the opportunity to read up on this event.

          • Tom Messner

            Just like gambling helped AC. Ok I give up the left never listens to reason

  • Peter James Smith

    Yes, but there will certainly be dispensaries in surrounding towns and people will bring their own.

  • Carl McKay

    amazing you don’t even look into it…. cause section 8 housing is so much better for the area !