A Central New Jersey community has rejected a greenhouse that would have grown medical marijuana under the state's fairly new compassionate-use law.
The 5-0 vote at the Upper Freehold Township meeting Thursday effectively bans a medical marijuana growing facility in the community. The ordinance specially bans any township approval of any permitting or zoning of an activity in violation of federal law.
"We owe it to our country to protect our country, and that means prohibiting any activity that violates federal law," said committee member Robert Frascella.
Supporters of medical marijuana thought they had settled the issue two years ago when the legislature approved what was called the toughest medical marijuana law in the nation. But since one of the state-approved operators started eyeing the farm-rich community in Upper Freehold for a medical marijuana greenhouse, many residents, including the mayor, have just said no.
Even appeals from residents like Richard Edgar, whose sister-in-law used illegal medical marijuana before she died last summer, got nowhere.
"She found it to be the only drug that worked," said Edgar. "All the other drugs made her ill."
A lawsuit is possible, but medical marijuana advocates say opponents are swimming upstream.
"Medical marijuana is coming," said Ken. "It's a force that will not be stopped."
This was a "bump in the road," he said. "It's an unfortunate situation for the patients in New Jersey."