NJ Zoning Boards Reject Medical Marijuana Vendors
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NJ Zoning Boards Reject Medical Marijuana Vendors
Posted by CN Staff on November 25, 2011 at 19:35:09 PT
By  Geoff Mulvihill, The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press 
Trenton, N.J. -- It took years for advocates of medical marijuana to sell New Jersey lawmakers on the idea of allowing certain patients to legally use pot. Some advocates are now finding that an even bigger task may be persuading towns to approve places for them to do business.Eight months after being selected by the state, only two of six groups approved to grow and sell marijuana to qualifying patients have firm sites. Others have run into stiff local opposition.
Ken Wolski, executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana of New Jersey, watched residents of Upper Freehold rally against a proposed legal pot farm in their town at a meeting Tuesday."It struck me as townsfolk with torches and pitchforks chasing them out of town," Wolski said.The two groups that have announced zoning approvals are several months from opening to patients because they still need final permits from the state's Department of Health and Senior Services before they can plant their first crops, which would take about four months to grow.And two that have had public hearings on their plans have met stiff objections from people who said the facility would hurt property values in the area, send a message to young people that illegal drugs are acceptable and could pose a security risk.The Upper Freehold committee meeting provided a forum to discuss the issue, but there was no vote on the Breakwater Alternative Treatment Center's plan to put greenhouses on a farm in the central New Jersey town. The drug would be sold to customers elsewhere; the group has not disclosed the dispensary location.A lawyer for Breakwater said the group would move ahead with its zoning board application, though township committee members said they would try to pass an ordinance that would bar the town from allowing anything contrary to federal law.Therein lies one of the main difficulties with medical marijuana. Though 16 states and the District of Columbia have laws allowing it, pot remains illegal in the eyes of the federal government.New Jersey's law, adopted in January 2010, is considered to be the nation's most stringent, limiting the drug to patients with certain conditions, including multiple sclerosis, glaucoma and terminal cancer — and only letting them have recommendations to use it from doctors they have been seeing for at least a year. Advocates say the drug can help ease conditions such as nausea and pain.The state government is still working on its regulations for the upstart industry. There have not been any legal marijuana sales in the state yet. The regulations are scheduled to be finalized Dec. 19.Last month, the zoning board in Maple Shade Township — one of southern New Jersey's Philadelphia suburbs — ruled that a combination growing facility and dispensary was not an appropriate use for a vacant building that once housed a furniture store.Andrei Bogolubov, a spokesman for the group that was denied, Compassionate Sciences Alternative Treatment Center, said the group would prefer to find a site in a community where zoning officials can rule that their facility is an allowed use — and sidestep a zoning board. But he also said the group has seen from the angry residents that it faced that not everyone is informed about medical marijuana.The group launched a new website this week with information about how medical marijuana is used and how doctors and patients can begin enrolling in the program.Bogolubov also said the group would be better prepared if it has another public hearing. It would try to line up patients to talk about how they might benefit from the drug in an attempt to counter opponents.An entrepreneur in Camden who has not been approved to grow and sell pot wants to help out a group that has. Ilan Zaken wants to lease two building he owns in Camden to an approved marijuana licensee.Zaken, who owns the clothing retailer Dr. Denim and the hip-hop shirt company Miskeen Originals, is trying to get city approval so a licensee could use the space, said Frank Fulbrook, a Camden community activist who is a consultant on the project.Fulbrook said the enterprise, if approved, could bring dozens of jobs to one of the nation's most impoverished cities.Fulbrook said the buildings Zaken is targeting are a few blocks from the Campbell Soup Co.'s headquarters. But neither is the former Sears store that Zaken owns and says he wants to preserve over the objections of Campbell officials, who want it razed."If we get the zoning approval, we would have exactly what the tenants need but don't have," Fulbrook said. "That would put us in a strong bargaining position."The matter is expected to be before Camden's zoning board on Dec. 5.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Geoff Mulvihill, The Associated PressPublished: November 25, 2011Copyright: 2011 The Associated PressCannabisNews  Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #5 posted by Oleg the Tumor on November 29, 2011 at 03:04:23 PT:
From Hunter S Thompson, September 1986
""But things are different now: this time the war is on drugs, and as the Reagan era winds down it is taking on all the trappings of a holy war.On Sunday, the president and his wife will make an unprecedented joint TV appearance, from the White House, for the purpose of "ridding the nation of drugs". 
It will be an extremely major statement, according to presidential spokesman Larry Speakes, perhaps the heaviest thing since John F. Kennedy's grim speech on the Cuban missile crisis.Well, maybe so. We can only wait and see. 
They have been trying to shut down the opium dens in Singapore for 3000 years. Every government since the Chiang Dynasty has sworn to crush the opium trade, but nobody has ever made a dent in it. The price of opium is relatively the same today as it was in the year 900 BC.
Kingdoms fall, empires crumble, powerful nations come and go…… But the opium market remains as stable as rice or gold nobody questions it; nobody asks why.
It is a crop that grows every year and half of the known world and a lot of people want it."" – September 8, 1986
(excerpt from "Generation of Swine" by Hunter S Thompson
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Comment #4 posted by Oleg the Tumor on November 28, 2011 at 03:54:59 PT:
Vincent – some thoughts on the 80s -the Reagan era
When we saw Nixon "doing the helicopter" into the sunset most of us thought his policies and anything else connected to him would be piled high on the National Mall and set ablaze. We had every reason to expect real change, but you're right, nothing happened, perhaps because the demographic mix wasn't quite right. The impetus (as to marijuana) was still a "bottom-up" initiative consisting mostly of younger people.
Because of the "baby boomer generation" it is turning into a "top – down" issue as more older adults understand how to use marijuana.
So it really is a question of demographics, though we did not know all that in the 70s.It is the Reagan Era where we see the corporations unleashed in a massive pro-business, pro-prosperity, pro-America, orgy of professional "swine" so well chronicled by Hunter S Thompson. 
His "Generation of Swine - Gonzo Papers Volume 2: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the 80s" is a must read for anyone trying to make sense of the 80s.Fast forward to today. People pump their own gas because the oil companies have successfully outsourced their labor costs to the consumer. People accepted this, so the corporations realized that they could to outsource all their costs to countries where life itself is cheap.
CEOs are still breaking their arms patting themselves on the back over this. And receiving huge bonuses.The result so far?
Some huge American outfits crowding the landscape with merchandise from foreign lands so cheap that Americans are all but locked out of manufacturing completely. Photovoltaic cell production is a good example. The Chinese already had that market locked up when the decision was made to invest in Solyndra. People are protesting not just in America but all over the world because they can't tell the difference between the corporations that are trying to soak consumers and the governments that are supposed to protect the citizenry. 
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on November 26, 2011 at 16:02:59 PT
I agree with you.
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Comment #2 posted by Vincent on November 26, 2011 at 14:06:59 PT:
   I do not understand what happened to this country after the Reagan, uh, "revolution", if you want to call it that. In the 1970s, everyone around our age was pretty much on our side when it comes to smoking herb. The only ones against it were the older generation, the WW II Generation. But, for some reason, after that B-Movie actor and his army of mindless machines came to town, things were never the same again.Why did so many members of our generation get brainwashed by those nincmpoops? That Anti-Marijuana hysteria of the 1980s, was the same Anti-Marijuana garbage that bombarded us in the 1960s. We didn't believe it then so why should we believe it twenty years later? I thought that we knew better, but apparently, some of us didn't. Not just regarding drugs, by the way. Prejudice, Chauvanism, Greed, Ignorance, Religious fanaticism, WAR, Xenophobia, Intolerance...PROHIBITION...all of these ugly things that we should've outgrown in 1969, all came rushing back after that, uh, "wonderful" revolution of the uh, "Compassionate" Conservatives.  Thank God I never succombed to that foolishness. I always saw right through the bull that these Prohibitionist animals would try to impose on us. That's why I feel some pride when I see the Occupy Wall Street protestors. At least some of us are fighting back against injustice. Maybe this time, we'll win!
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Comment #1 posted by museman on November 26, 2011 at 10:04:44 PT
Problems and solutions..
"...the group has seen from the angry residents that it faced that not everyone is informed about medical marijuana."That there is an indicator folks. It indicates the level of higher consciousness existent in a community.Fear based, government and religious propaganda, bigotry, prejudice, and judgmentalism exist there in high degrees -or there is a very loud minority of unconsciousness getting exaggerated support from the malignant intent of media and governmental agencies. One should know their neighbors well enough to tell. If not, they should move.The fear-based systems are collapsing. Those of us who are going on to a New Earth and a new global community based on principles of collective responsibility, instead of dictatorial rule, have been gathering in community enclaves all over the planet for years. Some have known for a while, and did it consciously, but many have just been led to be where they are supposed to be.Thus, whenever the 'Big Shoe' drops most of those who have been exploring, discovering, and attempting systems of cooperation, faith, and belief, will not have to suffer as much as those who will be in denial until the last moment, when their fake reality suddenly becomes real in ways they could have been prepared for but were too busy consuming for fun and profit to make the space and time.The only hope I can see for the cities, is if they start right now rebuilding their infrastructure and reinstall local based resource to replace the corporate toxicity that is destroying our environment, our food supply, our water resource, and our health and welfare. Cannabis on the rooftops, and gardens everywhere.The longer the 1% are allowed to maintain their power and control, the greater the need will be when their fakery collapses.Maybe, just maybe, this current movement will change enough minds to make that possible.Everyone needs to stop giving credence to those who worship this failed system, and focus on replacing it, and them.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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