Several towns and cities in New Jersey – the long-time home of the American Mafia DeCavalcante family on whom the HBO based its famous Sopranos series – have adopted a significantly pious attitude towards legalized marijuana.
And now pro-cannabis residents of Mahwah can also be forgiven for crying “mah-wah” tears about the ban on legal weed sales by their Township Council.
Mahwah is now one of fourBergen County towns to join the anti-weed brigade, following in the footsteps of Carlstadt, Garfield and Hasbrouck Heights.
The prohibition was unanimously adopted by the Township Council and its president, Robert Hermansen, said after the vote that it was “the right message to send” to the residents of Mahwah. Hermansen said Mahwah had worked hard over the last 20 years to educate its younger population about drug usage.
The Township Council’s decision effectively bans the marijuana industry from operating within its township limits. There will dispensaries, weed cultivation or manufacturing plants operating in Mahwah.The decision by the Mahwah Township Council has elicited little in the way of public response and cements the town’s reputation of being opposed to drugs.
However, prescribed medical cannabis is legal in New Jersey, so Mahwah Township Council cannot veto those operations.
But there is a ray of hope forMahwah residents who favor legalizing recreational use – the Township Council’s prohibition has what is known as a Sunset Clause that will negate the ban if the U.S. Congress passes a federal law legalizing marijuana.
New Governor fights for legal weed
Meanwhile, Phil Murphy was elected as governor of New Jersey in January on a pro-cannabis ticket, replacing the iron-fisted anti-pot former governor of eight years, Chris Christie. Christie built a reputation as a no-nonsense federal prosecutor opposed to drug trafficking and organized crime.
A few years back, a poll conducted by the Rutgers University-Eagleton Institute revealed that 58 percent of New Jersey residents supported legalizing weed.
This sentiment is shared by the new governor and Murphy is continuing his goal of making New Jersey the 10th State to approve marijuana for adult recreational use. The State Legislature is expected to make a final decision by no later than the 30th June 2018.
According to experts, if marijuana is legalized in New Jersey, the industry will reach $850 million annually by 2022. This represents about 2.4 percent of the total sales of weed on the U.S. market.
New Jersey legalization is not without opposition
But Murphy’s pro-cannabis campaign is not without opposition. Republicans and a handful of his fellow-Democrats are totally against legalization. This is particularly apparent among members of the Legislative Black Caucus. Murphy has publicly admitted that the process of legalizing marijuana has not progressed as quickly as he had hoped.Murphy, a diplomat, financier and politician, is New Jersey’s 56th Governor.
Philip Dunton Murphy is an American financier, diplomat, and politician serving as the 56th Governor of New Jersey. Murphy, a Democrat.
The first New Jersey town to ban the sale of weed, other than those in Bergen County, was Point Pleasant Beach. Since then, more than 24 New Jersey towns have also vetoed legalization attempts. Others include Shrewsbury and Berkeley Township. Other antagonists include freeholders in Monmouth and Ocean counties who have appealed to their local municipalities to join the anti-weed brigade. In the Garden State, only a handful of municipalities, such as Asbury Park, have publicly announced their support for legalized marijuana.
Historically, New Jersey’s reputation as a haven for families of organized crime dates back to just after the Civil War when immigrants from countries all over Europe arrived to work in factories and on the railroads during the industrial revolution. By 1910, 50 percent of New Jersey’s population was comprised of immigrants or the offspring of immigrants, a large number of who came from Italy.
The DeCavalcante’s is an Italian-American organized crime family operating in Elizabeth and other areas of the State.Its illicit activities are legendary and drug trafficking.