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Freeholders Oppose Medical Marijuana Growth on Preserved Farmland

The board voted 4-1 on a resolution opposing a recent SADC statement.

Members of the Monmouth County Freeholder Board want decisions on medical marijuana growth to rest with the local governing bodies.

During the board’s meeting at the building in Freehold on Thursday, Dec. 22, the freeholders voted 4-1 on a resolution opposing a State Agricultural Development Committee (SADC) statement indicating medical marijuana could be grown on preserved farmland.

Freeholder Amy Mallet, who said she supports towns having a say on local medical marijuana facilities but felt the resolution created a blanket statement on the issue, cast the dissenting vote.

Freeholder Lillian Burry said the board should consider an expanded resolution opposing medical marijuana growth on all farmland.

“I don’t think it should end with this. I think the threat is just as great on an unpreserved farm,” Burry said. “I do believe the decision should rest with the municipalities and their zoning boards as to whether it’s an appropriate use of the property in question. I do not object to the program if it is dispensed according to regulations.”

Monmouth County may potentially house one of six medical marijuana facilities in the state under the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. Upper Freehold officials are fighting plans by Breakwater Alternative Treatment Center to establish a facility in town, according to a report in The Star-Ledger. Several Upper Freehold residents spoke at a Dec. 8 meeting of the freeholder board to voice opposition to Breakwater’s proposal.

Burry said the decision to draft a resolution on the SADC statement came as a result of the events in Upper Freehold.

“The same thing can happen in Millstone, in Middletown, or in Colts Neck,” Burry said.

Freehold Deputy Director John Curley said he was not opposed to the state’s medical marijuana act but believed municipalities should be able to determine whether or not a facility belongs in a town.

“I think home rule is the omnipotent point here. Municipalities have their own planning and zoning boards and we have seen the literal destruction when the state steps in and attempts an overall program. We do have to protect our local communities,” Curley said.

Malcolm Kyle December 26, 2011 at 10:23 PM
Due to Prohibition, far more people end up in prison or jail than would normally be the case. Apart from the fact that those extra prisoners are not then contributing economically to society, it also costs 50,000 dollars to incarcerate them. Additionally their families often go on government assistance, and it's again the average tax payer who has to pick up the bill. Their kids may be taken into care or raised by foster parents, again with tax payer money. Now add to all this the court costs, jail costs, and the salaries of all those people that have to deal with the enforcement of prohibition, like police officers, judges and public defenders and you'll start to get a fair idea of why "Black Thursday", October 24, 1929 happened during the period of another of our great experiments - Alcohol Prohibition. * The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. * 743 adults incarcerated per 100,000 population at year-end 2009. * 2,292,133 adults were incarcerated federal and state prisons, and county jails at year-end 2009, that's approx. 1% of US adults. * Additionally, 4,933,667 adults at year-end 2009 were on probation or parole. * In total, 7,225,800 adults were under correctional supervision (probation,parole, or incarcerated) in 2009 — about 3.1% of adults in the U.S. resident population. Prohibition is nothing less than a grotesque dystopian nightmare; if you support it you must be either ignorant, stupid, brainwashed, insane or corrupt.
Cjd December 27, 2011 at 12:30 AM
They should be ashamed peddling pills to us like candy when there is plenty of information on the attributes of hemp and cannabis a link to medical independence to a degree. We are dying from thier drugs not the herb scandilous government
keep n bear December 27, 2011 at 01:58 AM
preserved land is just that for a reason and should remain preserved..not just preserved until such time those with wealth or political connections decide they know how best to use it for thier own personal gain or glory......if the growers need land, let them compete with builders for available land....one poster is upset jailed users are soaking up tax payer money, okay then; why should these growers be allowed to use land paid for by tax payers....

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