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News (Media Awareness Project) - US NJ: Where There's Smoke
Title:US NJ: Where There's Smoke
Published On:2012-01-26
Source:Examiner, The (NJ)
Fetched On:2012-01-27 06:01:17

Has Pot Issue Prompted Proposed Millstone Law?

Law Would Underscore That Officials' Oaths of Office Prohibit
Violating Federal Statutes

MILLSTONE - Although township officials aren't admitting that it has
anything to do with medical marijuana, the timing of a proposed
ordinance regarding faithful adherence to the oath of office raises
the question of its actual intent.

The Township Committee introduced the ordinance by a 4-0 vote at its
Jan. 18 meeting. A public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for Feb. 15.

Neighboring Upper Freehold Township passed an ordinance in
mid-December prohibiting any activity noncompliant with federal law
from going before the zoning, planning or other applicable entities
in the township.

On Jan. 19, Upper Freehold passed an ordinance stating that the
township shall not expend or commit township or other public funds
for preservation unless the property owner provides to the township,
prior to acquisition, a signed and notarized affidavit stating that
he or she will not rent, lease or conduct any farming operations that
grow and cultivate crops in violation of federal law.

All of this comes as the result of the Ocean Township-based
Breakwater Alternative Treatment Center's proposal to establish a
facility to grow medical marijuana in the town.

Although medical marijuana use is permitted in New Jersey, it is
still illegal on the federal level.

Plumsted and Howell townships passed similar ordinances.

Millstone Mayor Nancy Grbelja said no one has proposed any type of
medical marijuana facility inMillstone.

The proposed ordinance states that New Jersey statutes prescribe an
oath of office for elected and appointed public officials that
pledges that officials will faithfully uphold the laws of the state
of New Jersey and the law of the United States. It notes that
potential conflicts with the oath of office may arise for local
officials if the state, through the enactment of civil laws, provides
and allows for actions by third parties that may be in clear
violation of the criminal laws of the United States.

"This conflict can impact local officials in those circumstances
where regulatory laws require local approval to be received from
local officials so that third parties may undertake actions or engage
in conduct which may be consistent with New Jersey civil law; but in
violation of the criminal laws of the United States," the proposed
ordinance states.

The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act was signed
into law in January 2010.

"It is the intention, indeed the obligation, of the government of the
township of Millstone to not take any action in furtherance of or to
promote the violation of the criminal laws of the United States," the
ordinance states.
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