EATONTOWN: The borough council is looking to decide whether or not marijuana will be a part of it's future if/when it is legalized.
Mayor Dennis Connelly says he is not opposed to medical marijuana but says he doesn't want to see stores selling it for recreational uses. He said it is a topic the council must prepare for in the coming months.
"With the possibility that marijuana is going to be legalized in the state of New Jersey in the near future, I think it's time that we begin a conversation here and find out the direction the council is looking to go in Eatontown," Connelly said at the Feb. 14 Eatontown Council meeting.
The rest of the council did not offer many thoughts on the subject and Borough Attorney Gene Anthony said he believes taking any action on the subject is "a little premature" at this point in time, but that the council could still look into it and begin to examine zoning restrictions.
However, Councilman Anthony Talerico said the council's ordinance committee will look to possibly craft a resolution regarding recreational marijuana use.
Connelly said the council should also consult with the borough police department and Eatontown School District Superintendent Scott McCue involved in the process.
A number of residents attended the meeting including Jeff King who called recreational marijuana a "complicated topic" but said the council should visit dispensaries to see how they operate.
Resident Sara Breslow said the council should hold public hearings to gauge residents' feelings as well.
Towns such as Oceanport, West Long and Middletown are taking similar steps at this time, but have already said they want to prohibit marijuana-related businesses if weed is legalized.
Gov. Phil Murphy is a proponent of legalizing marijuana, but the state legislature has not yet crafted a bill that would allow that to happen.