New Jersey’s 2 year fight for medical marijuana just hit another bump in the road after getting the go-ahead from Governor Christie. It seems public opposition is keeping one of the 6 companies allowed to grow and sell marijuana from being allowed to set up shop. Compassionate Sciences Inc. was hoping to open a dispensary at a former office furniture store on Route 73. Unfortunately the Maple Shade Zoning Board decided that a New Jersey medical marijuana dispensary was not an appropriate use for that site.
Although the zoning for the building permitted retail and medical uses, the board unanimously voted against their applications stating that medical marijuana was too intense a use and that the group would be better off looking for a location near a hospital. Even though Compassionate Sciences Inc. assured the board and those in attendance that their site would be safe and secure, residents of Maple Shade seemed to think otherwise. Others said they were in favor of medical marijuana but didn’t want a dispensary in their town. One such resident Justin Kirk said at the meeting, “I do believe in alternative treatment. I just don’t believe in alternative treatment on Route 73 in Maple Shade.”
Compassionate Sciences Inc. spokesman Andrei Bogolubov said the group wasn’t giving up on Maple Shade implying that while an appeal is unlikely, the group may look into other areas within the township. Bogolubov was quoted a saying: “We’re not going to take any options off the table, but I doubt we’ll go in the direction of an appeal. We want to be in a community that welcomes us,” sadly it seems finding a community like that is harder than anticipated.
Even though New Jersey has the strictest medical marijuana laws out of any medical state, communities seem to look down on the patients. New Jersey laws allow for only those with debilitating diseases to get their New Jersey medical marijuana card and then they still must register with the state. While many residents seem to think that those getting their medical card are just people wanting to get high, NJ’s laws have been set up to not be abused like in some other states. These card-holders are those suffering with terminal diseases such as cancer and aids, they aren’t a bunch of people hoping to get high legally. If only more people would take a minute to read and understand the truth behind medical marijuana instead of believing the lies we were all spoon fed from the government we may see a change in heart.
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