Brigantine debates whether to ban recreational marijuana
BRIGANTINE — Residents and cannabis activists debated a proposed recreational marijuana ban in the city May 2 at City Hall.
City Council introduced an ordinance last month that would prevent recreational marijuana shops from popping up on the island because it classifies the sale of recreational marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia as “prohibited uses” in the Land Use chapter of the city’s code.
The ordinance was introduced to get ahead of state legislation that would legalize the possession and personal use of small amounts of marijuana for people 21 and older.
Introduced in January by state Sen. Nicholas P. Scutari, D-Middlesex, Somerset, Union, the bill is still pending technical review by legislative counsel.
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Those who support the city’s ordinance said they believe a ban in Brigantine will protect children from gaining access to an intoxicating substance.
Former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who moved from Rhode Island to Brigantine, expressed concern at the meeting that recreational marijuana sales will increase the amount of underage cannabis users.
Kennedy, a father of five, argued marijuana retailers will emulate big tobacco companies and use marketing techniques to target children.
“An industry that has a profit motive will target young users because they know that they’re the next generation of consumers of their product,” he said.
Kennedy also highlighted the other forms recreational marijuana can take, including edibles and elixirs.
He provided photos that depicted the packaging of certain THC-infused products sold in other states, which had names that refer to popular breakfast cereals such as “Chronic Toast Crunch” and “Captain Munch.”
“I don’t want our children to have to be bombarded by the kind