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The possibility of legal marijuana brings controversy

Legal marijuana could become a reality in New Jersey in 2018; however, some towns in the state are not entirely excited about the idea. In fact, Point Pleasant Beach has already expressed that it will not allow the sale of recreational or medicinal marijuana within its city limits. The borough council banned the possibility of all kinds of marijuana sales in late December 2017.

According to the ordinance, businesses may not sell marijuana if they are within a fourth of a mile of a church, school, certain business districts and residential areas. As it happens, this means that the entire borough will be off-limits to marijuana-selling businesses. The beach town also banned the sale of marijuana-related paraphernalia via the same zoning criteria.

Will more New Jersey towns say "not in my backyard" to marijuana businesses?

The legalization of marijuana will force New Jersey towns to make a decision about permitting sales in their neck of the woods. That's because the marijuana legislation will give towns the choice of whether or not to host marijuana-selling businesses. At this point, it's not clear if other areas of New Jersey will join Point Pleasant Beach in creating barriers to marijuana sales inside their city limits.

That said, there will be a very big hangup for any town that refuses to allow marijuana sales. These towns and cities will not be allowed to receive their share of the approximately $300,000 in revenues to be collected from the marijuana industry in the state.

It appears that legal marijuana could become a reality

With New Jersey's recent election of Gov. Phil Murphy, we may see legal pot sales coming to New Jersey in 2018. The governor campaigned heavily with a pro-pot agenda, and said that he wanted to pass a legalization bill during his first 100 days as governor.

Don't forget: Marijuana is still illegal in New Jersey

Marijuana continues to be illegal in the state of New Jersey unless you're one of the few who can qualify to take it for a limited number of medical conditions. In the meantime, if police catch you in possession of the marijuana plant or other pot products and paraphernalia, you could face arrest and criminal charges. If you've been charged with a marijuana crime, make sure to learn about your legal rights and options to defend yourself during your criminal proceedings.

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The possibility of legal marijuana brings controversy | The Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo