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News (Media Awareness Project) - US NJ: LTE: Marijuana Facility Location Is Inappropriate
Title:US NJ: LTE: Marijuana Facility Location Is Inappropriate
Published On:2012-01-11
Source:Burlington County Times (NJ)
Fetched On:2012-01-12 06:02:33

The proposed location of a medical marijuana facility at 120 Hancock
Lane is inappropriate, as recently decided by Westampton's Land
Development Board.

Growing marijuana is not like growing corn. It is not an
"agricultural crop" to be sold at a roadside stand. Marijuana is a
federal and state Schedule I controlled substance, having "high
potential for abuse" with "lack of accepted safety for use ... under
medical supervision" (NJAC 8:65-10.1). Marijuana use or possession
under federal law is illegal.

In spite of assurances that the finished "product" cannot be misused
(what about the pure growing plants?), as has become evident in other
states, the criminal and drug-addicted element will gravitate toward
such a site. That transient crowd is already drawn to the nearby
hotels and restaurants -- witness Westampton police reports of
marijuana use and other offenses. Drug paraphernalia has been found
along the roadside. Break-ins have occurred at the age-restricted
residential development across the road. Bringing a marijuana growth
and distribution facility into this mixed-use area would
geometrically increase this threat.

Since medical insurance plans will not cover medical marijuana
acquisition, how long will it be before the armed robbery attempts
begin? Such a facility could make sense only in a single-use
environment; e.g., an industrial park (with no residences, hotels,
etc., nearby), where law enforcement personnel could properly isolate
and monitor who is coming and going.

Other relevant factors: The township engineer, as with the Hilton
project, should consider the impact of 100 additional vehicles per
day on a single-lane roadway; what of the school-age youth at the
Occupational Training Center who walk along Hancock Lane to Route 541
to catch buses?; what about patients and/or their caregivers
navigating roads while driving under the influence or "using" along
residential streets?

The Land Development Board decision must be upheld.

Stanley Tafil

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