By Michael J. dePierro
With the Governor and a contingency of Legislators in Trenton about to legalize recreational marijuana in New Jersey, we must address this issue in Parsippany. How do we protect our quality of life, how do we protect our children? What action is best for our Township?
An article in the Daily Record dated March 12, 2019 points out that illicit marijuana locations already exist, will continue to exist, and will definitely expand when New Jersey legalizes recreational marijuana. The article describes “tables overflowing with marijuana products in every form imaginable. Huge jars are half-filled with dried marijuana flowers. Eight-ounces of pot are sold in vacuum-sealed, professionally packaged, odor-proof bags. There are chocolate bars with spoof ‘“Wonka”’ packaging, and home-made rice cereal and Marshmallow treats – some with colorful cereal pieces, some with cookie dough, all with weed baked into them”.
One woman in New Jersey is quoted as saying that she bakes nearly three hundred brownies per month. As she sees it, she will always have customers. She, and others in this business, anticipate that their illicit businesses will flourish when New Jersey legalizes recreational marijuana. People will be flocking to New Jersey from every direction.
While I don’t object to strictly regulated medical marijuana, I strenuously oppose legalizing recreational drugs and allowing its sale in our community. Parsippany is the cross-roads of northern New Jersey and intersects multiple interstate highways. Given our abundance of quiet, peaceful neighborhoods and parks where our children play, do we want people from out of town, or out of state traveling to our township to frequent dispensaries here?
The health and safety of our Township will be at risk and our quality of life will suffer with impaired drivers and additional traffic on our roads, an additional burden to our emergency units, more police action, and possibly more court activity. Many towns have wisely “Opted Out”, to protect their towns.
I would like to introduce an ordinance in Parsippany that would Opt Out of all phases of Marijuana … No growing, No processing, No distributing, and No dispensaries. Before I introduce an ordinance, I would like to hear from our residents.
Councilman Michael J. DePierro is serving his ninth 4-year term on the township council of Parsippany-Troy Hills.