PARSIPPANY — Parsippany-Troy Hills Township Councilman Michael dePierro is distributing a petition to oppose marijuana distribution centers in Parsippany.
dePierro states “New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy recently expanded access to the state’s medical marijuana programs and reiterated his desire to legalize marijuana for recreational use. In support of his efforts, the Governor issued “Executive Order 6″ which expedites and relaxes the permitting process for new Distribution Centers. The Executive order also permits the manufacture, processing and sale of edible cannabis products. In support of the Governor’s Executive Order 6, the Parsippany Mayor and a majority of the Township Council passed a resolution volunteering Parsippany to host Distribution Centers.”
He continues “We acknowledge that a significant number of residents are not opposed to medical marijuana use since it is dispensed by prescription for many types of ailments. Medical marijuana is generally carefully controlled for the amount of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (generally referred to as THC) in each dose; recreational marijuana, on the other hand, is specifically designed to have as much THC as possible.”
Parsippany resident Edward Forchion said “I live between Mt. Tabor and Trenton. I like it that these suburban towns are rejecting this cash flow and tax base! Great towns like Trenton, Camden, Newark and Atlantic City should get them anyway since our communities have been harmed the most by the racist reefer laws of the last 70 years. Put them in our communities, include us as owners and operators of these dispensaries and consider it reefer reparations.”
“We are aware that, even though the Distribution Centers will initially be dispensing medical marijuana, the character of these distribution centers, and those who are attracted to them, will completely change when the Governor successfully legalizes recreational marijuana. Parsippany-Troy Hills Township is a suburban community with 14 Public Schools, several Private Schools, Day Care Centers and 18 parks where our children play. We are a diverse community with many houses of worship, and residential areas are abundant throughout our Township,” said dePierro.
Councilwoman Emily Peterson stated “It is important for the voters to know that at the local level we can’t legislate marijuana access, legality, morality, etc. Those feelings need to be brought to directly to Trenton and Washington DC. Attempts at local-level legislation will open the door for lawsuits against the town, which it’s been made clear, the taxpayers are not in favor of fighting frivolously. I do hope this petition gets enough signatures to become a ballot issue. Then, we the representatives can hear directly from the voters of Parsippany. The voices we have already heard, including from my fellow council members, are of compassion for our neighbors in serious medical circumstances, and not voices asking for a perpetuation of prohibition which we know beyond the shadow of any doubt, does not work. The residents understand the role of municipal governance in this matter and I look forward to the well-defined civic engagement.”
“We are concerned about preserving and enhancing the quality of life in our Township. Our children will be exposed to the “Edible Cannabis Products” which can take many forms and shapes i.e., gummies, brownies, cookies, etc. In States where recreational marijuana is legal, there has been a significant increase in calls to poison centers regarding young children who have accidentally ingested Edible Cannabis Products, as well as raw marijuana. Parsippany has been ranked as one of the “Best Places to Live”, one of the “Safest Places to Live”, and we recently received an A+ rating. We do not need or want marijuana distribution centers in our Township. This is not a good location for them. If you agree, please sign this petition,” said Parsippany-Troy Hills Councilman Michael dePierro.
“The petition language promotes a misconception about Medical Dispensaries. These are highly regulated secure facilities providing access to “high quality, medical grade cannabis” to patients suffering from debilitating diseases like, chronic pain, cancer, Parkinson’s in a professional environment. The more facilities that are available improve patient access and lower patient costs. Before passing judgment, I encourage the legislators to visit a dispensary and understand the professional environment and complex structure of these facilities that provide support and counseling to relieve patient suffering. Why would we reject that as a society? Additionally the petition improperly and unfairly claims that a medical dispensary and recreational (adult use) facility operate in one facility under the same regulations which mischaracterizes them both. The petition infers dispensaries would lead to easy access to marijuana and expose children to it, but easy access is on the corner of every town and city in the country not in secured, regulated facilities. I welcome the opportunity for residents to express their voice but encourage them to learn more about the operation of these medical facilities and the role they play in patients lives before making their decision,” said Councilwoman Janice McCarthy.
For additional information contact Councilman Michael J. dePierro, P.O. Box 5682, Parsippany, NJ 07054. You can email Mr. dePierro at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (973) 263-3333.