In December of 2017 the Borough of Point Pleasant Beach voted to ban any type of marijuana dispensaries, whether medicinal or recreational. They were the first municipality to enforce a ban and since then more than fifty other municipalities have joined in. The driving force behind the ban was Mayor Stephen D. Reid, who even though he has been claiming he is not, he also just happens to be a paid Lobbyist for an anti-legalization group called RAMP, which reeks of ethics violations.
What also reeked at last weeks council meeting was the marijuana that several patients had brought with them and left open so the council chambers smelled like an unwanted dispensary. This group calls themselves the Ignorance Is No Excuse Tour and they travel around the state advocating for medical cannabis patients and also wheelchair access. Mike Vintzileos brought a legal jar of some fine fragrant cannabis and left it open during the council meeting.
As Vintzileos approached the microphone to make a public comment Mayor Reid said “Umm, gentleman, this guy here has got some marijuana, he’s been leaving it open so this whole place smells like marijuana” Reid continued “I don’t really appreciate you coming to my town and making it smell like marijuana, but if you’d like to speak..(speaking to the other members of the council) You’se guys don’t need to be here, this is, ahh ahh, that they’re upset with me about”.
Well that’s pretty odd, why would Mayor Reid tell the rest of the council they can leave before the comments section is over? What is it he is trying to hide? Could it be that the rest of the council didn’t know he was being paid by RAMP to put on a reefer madness show? Does Mr Reid really care that much about the smell of marijuana or was he trying to cover up the stink from his ethics violations.
I can tell you that back in the 1990’s Reid didn’t care about what the residents of Manchester and Dover thought about smell, because he was and still is the PR Lobbyist for the Ocean County Landfill. When hundreds of residents showed up to complain about the smell of methane, not marijuana, Reid was a no show at a meeting he had promised to appear at. Instead of trying to ban the landfill, as he did for dispensaries in his town, he stumped for the landfill to increase in size and impede upon the residents even further.
He also represented Home Depot and NJDOT, and when people had concerns over arsenic and late night noise Reid said that they were not doing anything illegal so the residents would just have to live with it. What is illegal though is being a paid lobbyist and not disclosing it on your financial disclosure statement you file every year with the state, as it looks like Reid has done. Banning dispensaries in your town while you are working for an anti-legalization group proves that you are promoting the agenda of the organization you are being paid to represent and is in direct violation of NJ ethics laws.
40A:9-22.5 Code of ethics for local government officers or employees under jurisdiction of Local Finance Board
d. No local government officer or employee shall act in his official capacity in any matter where he, a member of his immediate family, or a business organization in which he has an interest, has a direct or indirect financial or personal involvement that might reasonably be expected to impair his objectivity or independence of judgment.
I can find dozens of examples of where Reid was promoting the anti-legalization agenda for RAMP as the Mayor of Point Pleasant Beach, not the executive director of RAMP. It is clear that Reid is a paid shill and has been for most of his life and has no ethics when it comes to working as a public servant. Just take a look at the video below and see Reid try and double talk but finally admit he is a paid lobbyist.