Christie: Allowing medical marijuana centers up to N.J. towns

New Jersey’s Gov. Chris Christie says he won’t force towns to allow facilities to grow and dispense medical marijuana.

At least four New Jersey towns have rejected proposals to allow a marijuana farm or dispensary in their community.

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, plans to introduce legislation that would extend the Right to Farm Act to prevent local zoning laws from being used to block those facilities.

Christie is adamant that the determination should be up to local officials.

“Whether it was a Republican or a Democratic legislator suggesting it, I am not going to force this down the throats of municipalities,” said Christie. “Their local elected officials should be able to make this determination on their town through their appropriate zoning and planning laws.”

As part of the stalled 2-year-old law allowing the production and dispensing of medical marijuana, the state has designated nonprofit organizations to operate a total of six medical marijuana sites. So far, only one in Montclair has received local approval, but no state permits have been granted.

Christie says the law is flawed because its architects never anticipated what would happen if communities didn’t want the facilities to grow and dispense the drug.

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