In November of 2017 Phil Murphy won in a landslide election and one of the main platforms he ran on was the legalization of Cannabis for recreational purposes, even prommising to have it done within his first 100 days. Many polls show a majority of the people in NJ and the country support the legalization of cannabis and want to end the war on people who choose to use cannabis, yet one group has been very active in trying to stop that from happening, NJ-RAMP.
In our last installment about NJ-RAMP we looked into the suspicious timing of the founding of the website and the first ban implemented by Point Pleasant Beach, where we found a very telling quote uttered by the new age Harry Anslinger, Mayor Stephen Reid. Reid said that the ban was “not politically motivated” and “other towns will follow”, as if predicting the future that he himself would help to implement through his unregistered lobbying he did to kill NJ Senate Bill 2703. Since the Governor and the stacked legislature all seemed to want to legalize cannabis for recreational use, Mayor Reid used his official capacity as Mayor to help influence other towns to circumvent the will of the majority of the people of NJ to have recreational cannabis.
Sample ordinances were sent from the Mayor’s email and the Borough Clerk to other municipalities showing them how they could create their own ordinances banning dispensaries. The Mayor then personally went out to many of these towns himself and spoke at their council meetings on behalf of NJ-RAMP’s agenda, which is to stop SB 2703. The Mayor and NJ-RAMP are subverting the will of the voters and the will of the legislature to legalize cannabis by using loosely written local lobbying laws to influence State legislation by getting a large enough percentage of “other towns” to join the ban, which make the new law much more difficult to implement.
More than 12% of NJ municipalities have now joined Point Pleasant Beach in banning dispensaries, and a legalization law hasn’t even been passed yet, so why? Jersey City voted to decriminalize cannabis and the Mayor was told by the AG that the city could not subvert State laws and that they could not decriminalize cannabis, yet Stephen D Reid is preemptively subverting the will of the legislature by lobbying municipalities to create restrictive ordinances on behalf of his client, NJ-RAMP, and not in the best interests of the people of Point Pleasant Beach or the State of NJ. If what Reid and NJ-RAMP are doing is not illegal by using local councils as pawns to make enacting new laws in the state more difficult, it sure should be.