Brick adopts marijuana ban as state legalization advances

Advocates for the legalization of marijuana made their support known during the Brick Towship Council meeting at which council members voted to ban marijuana facilities in the township. [Daniella Heminghaus]

BRICK TOWNSHIP — The Township Council voted unanimously Tuesday for a local ban on the sale, cultivation, manufacturing and testing of recreational marijuana, just as the New Jersey Legislature was announcing March 25 a plan for statewide legalization.

The March 12 township council meeting was jam-packed as residents from Brick and neighboring municipalities turned out to voice their opinions to the council.

The ordinance continued to be a hot issue during the session, at one point causing two individuals to be escorted out by police officers after a verbal altercation.

Proponents of the ban cited concerns over increased access to marijuana for the community’s youth, potential dangers on township roads and an inadequate revenue stream the bill would provide for the municipality.

Each member of the council voted in favor of the ban, with the exception of Councilwoman Marianna Pontoriero who was not present at the meeting.

Council President Andrea Zapcic, said this is not the right time to allow commercial marijuana facilities in the township, citing skepticism of the cannabis industry’s involvement in the state legalization bill.

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