ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) – Now that recreational marijuana is legal in New Jersey, some shore towns are taking action to ban it from certain public areas in their communities. They say allowing recreational marijuana goes against the family-friendly image they want to be known for, but in Atlantic City, the mayor says he’s all in.
Medical marijuana dispensary “The Botanist” on the Atlantic City boardwalk could soon be allowed to convert to a recreational cannabis shop.READ MORE: Pink Offering To Pay Norwegian Women's Beach Handball Team's Fine For Wearing Shorts
And Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small welcomes what he calls “a new industry in the area.”
“If it’s gonna benefit the great city of Atlantic City, provide jobs, another revenue stream, I’m all for it,” Small said. “I think people have the wrong perception. I think people think that people just gonna be walking up and down the street anyway smoking. That’s not what’s gonna happen. We will have world-class dispensaries.”
Small is embracing recreational cannabis and hoping it will bring the area additional revenue through a sales tax.
“We look at it as an exciting new industry,” Small said.
But other shore town mayors are opposed to it, including in Wildwood Crest.
“Whatever you do on your own private property, your rental property, that’s totally your business. But from our standpoint, from a zoning perspective, we don’t want to see it in any of our business district, hotel districts, what have you,” Wildwood Crest Mayor Don Cabrera said.READ MORE: 1 Person Trapped After Wall Partially Collapses In North Philadelphia, Officials Say
The Wildwood Crest mayor is now working to introduce an ordinance that if passed would ban recreational marijuana in public areas in his community, something other shore towns are also looking to do.
“We don’t think it’s a good fit for a family-friendly vacation resort,” Cabrera said.
Meantime, both visitors to the Jersey Shore and those who live there have mixed reactions.
“I think it’s OK to legalize it,” one person said.
Another added, “They gonna smoke it anyway so what difference does it make?”
“It’s already tough over here. That’ll just make it even worse,” someone else added.MORE NEWS: CDC To Recommend Vaccinated People In Certain Areas Resume Wearing Masks
New Jersey state laws passed this year allow municipalities communities until August to pass laws to keep dispensaries out of their towns. Otherwise, state law says they’ll have to wait another five years to consider banning it.