Summit Common Council on Cannabis

Earlier this week, the Common Council voted to pass an ordinance to ban the sale of cannabis in Summit. This ordinance was met with a lot of public disapproval, and I was so taken aback that I devoted a large portion of time during my busy finals week to raise awareness and promote a petition on this ordinance which surpassed 600 signatures in two days. I have had multiple conversations with members of our community and it is clear to me that citizens from both sides of the political aisle disapprove of this DRO ordinance. Both the signatures and the emails sent reflect that much of the community is not in favor of this ordinance.

Councilman David Naidu, who introduced this ordinance, emphasized that the goal was to allow “breathing room” for the Council to decide which regulations they seek to impose. He placed emphasis on the uncertainty on how a dispensary in town would affect home values. He warned, “We cannot tell you definitively if having a marijuana store on, for example Springfield Avenue, would increase or decrease value. No one can, but we are not willing to take the risk on the value of our or our neighbors’ homes without thoughtful or extensive dialogue with the community which we have not had to date”. Despite these claims, the council did not seek to reach out to the community and engage in the aforementioned dialogue. It seems disingenuous to bring up housing values when there are no clear facts on how the ordinance will affect housing. Later in the meeting a member of the community cites a study that shows housing value rise in areas with dispensaries. Naidu expanded on the idea that they are unsure if they are forgoing revenue. Due to the uncertainty of the State bill, it is still not decided if the 2% municipal tax on the sale of marijuana will be part of the bill, or how that 2% tax would be allocated. It can be said however, the Common Council was willing to forego the potential of that revenue, especially during the fiscal hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic. Naidu also mentioned that Summit should be united as a town saying, “If we are one town, we should not burden one section of the town with any particular business”. It seems that Naidu sees dispensaries as a burden for communities despite the fact that much good could come from them including: access to recreational marijuana for health purposes, creation of jobs, and helping fight the stigma against cannabis. The potential municipal tax revenue could help our community, especially marginalized groups. Common Council we elected you to represent us, not the interest of property values.

Patrick Duff, owner of dispensaries across the country, sees dispensaries as a benefit to the community. He equates it to a local brewery that helps spur business. Duff also emphasizes that it would help reverse the stigma that has contributed to racial inequality. He urged the Council to wait to see until the regulations are proposed by the state legislature.

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Annette Dwyer, a concerned citizen of Summit, also expressed her support for the ordinance. Despite saying that her support is not fully researched, she goes on to explain some of her worries. She mentions that there “could be exponential risks of propagation of cannabis … product, device, and usage by persons, including persons at a developmentally young age”. While concerns about the developmental effects of cannabis on young people are important, part of the justification for legalization is that the illegality of marijuana fuels the illegal sale of the product on unregulated black markets. Such sales mean that the young people of our community are consuming an unregulated product which has been shown to have far more detrimental effects than its recreational usage. While underage use of cannabis may continue to be a problem, the risk of consumption of laced cannabis goes down significantly, as does the crime that comes along with its sale. Dwyer’s last point is an echo of the first one, speaking on the potential of increased use in community gatherings, homes, and neighborhoods. Again, this would still exist within the framework of legalization. In the same article Dwyer referred to, The Risks of Another Epidemic: Teenage Vaping, Jane Brody highlights many of the issues of black market THC devices and an outright ban. Brody links the black market THC devices to the “outbreak of severe lung injuries, which were subsequently linked to vitamin E acetate”. Brody also cites a health economist who believes that “bans can push people into the black market looking for something that can be acutely dangerous”. As a first responder, I think that black market cannabis presents a real medical danger to high school students, and we must try to combat the creation of that black market.

Many medical marijuana patients from neighboring towns expressed their concern with the ordinance. One member in particular was at a loss for words with the council’s lack of empathy towards its citizens who might reap the medical benefits of legalized marijuana. They explained that patients must go to extreme lengths to find their medicine and finding out that their neighboring town is proposing to ban dispensaries makes them feel as though their representatives are not working towards their best interests. .

Giovanni Sce pointed out a couple of hypocritical points related to the ordinance. Due to a large majority of Summit citizens voting in favor, he believes that the city shouldn’t prohibit the implementation of the outcome of the referendum. Furthermore, Sce called the approach of “let’s see first what happens in other towns” hypocritical to the tone of “Summit is special/better”. If every town takes Summit’s approach, no sales will ever happen.

Representing recreational and medical marijuana workers, Hugo Giordano spoke on the labor side of a dispensary. He asserts that veterans and ex-police will receive jobs through opening a dispensary in Summit. Other workers will benefit from earning a livable wage and receiving medical coverage through employment. Giordano mentions that this is an anti-worker ordinance and the council should gather more information on the community’s perspective before passing an ordinance as harsh as the proposed.

City Clerk Rosemary Licatese stated that 28 emails were received with only one in favor and all other 27 opposed the ordinance. Representing all 27 other emails, Jozi Coates asked in her email if Summit will accept state funding from the state tax on recreational marijuana. She also expressed her concerns of public transportation as a means to obtain recreational marijuna especially during the COVID-19 epidemic.

According to the City Clerk, the following people wrote expressing similar sentiments:

Eduardo Henrique Chassot Agostinho, Bella Anidjar, Freddy A., Pat Bauman, James Bowe, Yuliza Brenes, Sam Carlinar, Laura Coates, Alexa Diaz, Iria Diaz, Sarai Diaz, Ryan Felmet, Christina Guo, Christopher Helmer, Jenna Kolvenic, Kathleen Landis, Jeffrey Alexander Lopez, Sophia Lusardi, Matthew Nicolini, Reid Phillips, Diego Pinzon, Cameron Regner, Ben Schacter, Victor Torres and Ally Westdyk.

Jo Anne Zito, an advocate for medical cannabis, spoke about the many factors in which the legal sale of cannabis can benefit communities. She specifically highlighted cannabis’ use as an alternative to opioids and alcohol. Zito also revealed a Cato institute study that showed an 8.4% increase in property values when the property is located near a dispensary.

I spoke on the idea that despite this ordinance not officially limiting medical marijuana, it limits access to recreational marijuana for medical reasons. Members of our community should have access to cannabis in order to help with minor aches, muscle pains, and anxiety while not having a medical marijuana license. These licenses are expensive and are usually not covered by insurance. I have seen this outright as a volunteer first responder here in Summit for over 5 years.

After the public comments, Mayor Nora Radest wished to address a concern she had. She expressed that the members who do not live in Summit do not “know Summit”. They however had stated that they are often in Summit or have worked in Summit. She felt personally offended by alleged accusations by aforementioned members. Due to their frustrations, some members pleaded with the council to do more research. Radest also mentioned that this is a “wait and see” vote in which we will wait for the state. The mayor was glad to have 40 people voice their opinions but wants to see the community have an open dialogue. Personally, I think that passing this ordinance would directly contradict the councilman’s notion that postponing the installation of this dispensary is justified by the council’s “finding out about what the rest of the community feels.” Will most of New Jersey not be in the same regulatory boat as we are?

Later in the night, Naidu shifted some of the blame onto Trenton and advocated for the community to reach out to their representative in Trenton to ask them what they have been doing. Naidu proposes to wait for the parameters to come from Trenton before moving forward, still advocating for banning dispensaries in our town. Naidu seeks a highly engaged community, yet he still introduced and voted on the issue within just two weeks of voter approval of NJ Ballot Public Question 1 Marijuana Legalization Amendment.

Council President Marjorie Fox gave examples of some of the other businesses not allowed like adult entertainment, fast food, strip malls, and other things that are not “consistent with the character of our community”. Councilmember Susan Hairston agreed with Fox’s comments. Fox clarified that this is to “preserve the zoning of our community until we have enough information”. Fox mentions that a decision cannot be made rationally until we have more information, but still voted to ban dispensaries outright.

All members of the Common Council besides Greg Vartan voted in favor.

I was very disappointed to see the Common Council voting for this measure while making attempts to advocate for community discussion. If we do not repeal this ordnance, no dispensary or business will be interested in setting up shop in our town. By choosing to take an absolute approach, potential dispensaries will see Summit as an unwelcoming community to their business and stunt the potential growth of the market.

Jeffrey Alexander Lopez

*Attached below are a few of the many letters NOT read out loud during the meeting.

1)

Hello, my name is Fredy and I live on Springfield Ave. in Summit. I am emailing to submit a public comment on the DRO ordinance. I do not support this ordinance because I strongly believe that having a dispensary in Summit could benefit our town. It is too early to put this limiting ordinance on our town and I believe that the people should have a say in it. We the people voted for legalization and should be able to decide if we want this ordinance. It is a lot harder to overturn an ordinance than it is to prevent it from being passed. The language in the ordinance also limits personal freedoms by not allowing growth of cannabis. It also places a limit on personal recreational usage by limiting sale of smoking devices like pipes etc. By making citizens have to go to another town to obtain cannabis, we are disenfranchising people who may not be able to afford a car or are unable to take the day off in order to obtain what they voted for. This ordinance also opens up the potential of a black market for cannabis and paraphernalia. Black market cannabis and paraphernalia can be very dangerous without regulation and will hurt our community more than a dispensary would. The proposed 2% tax municipal tax could go to a fund to help communities in Summit affected by drugs and addiction. I urge the Common Council not to pass this ordinance.

2)

Hello there,

Hope you are doing well and had a great Thanksgiving.

I’m reaching out to submit comment regarding the proposed ban on the sale of marijuana in Summit. I have been a proud resident of Summit since ’07 and was a Summit HS graduate in 2018!

I believe the sale of marijuana in Summit should not be banned for the following reasons:

  1. Marijuana usage is going to happen regardless, and legal marijuana sale in Summit would allow regulation of “safe” marijuana. In the same way that many unsafe abortions were performed in dark basements before Roe v. Wade, banning the sale of marijuana in Summit would essentially throw oversight out the window; it’s turning a blind eye to what’s happening already and has been happening for years under the radar instead of stepping up to best accommodate for it.

  2. Tax revenue and ripple effect. When asked if tax revenue was a factor in this decision, Mayor Radest said it was not but rather a community policy decision. I don’t believe these are mutually exclusive. Particularly after COVID-19, Summit businesses need any foot traffic they can get. The absolute worst possible scenario is to be surrounded by other municipalities that have legalized the sale of marijuana and lose out on the additional spending they would’ve done in Summit – while still letting adults drive 15 minutes to another city to purchase marijuana and drive back to use it in Summit? New Jersey has voted overwhelmingly for this measure, and if Summit is the odd city out there will inevitably be severe economic implications.

Proponents of the ban will likely use a lot of rhetoric involving morality or ethics. I’d invite them to take a look at the wealth of studies regarding the states that have already legalized the sale of marijuana before making such stipulations and consider the morality of putting Summit small businesses in a more precarious position than COVID-19 already has just so that residents can simply drive to Berkeley Heights to buy their marijuana instead.

Thanks for your time.

Christina Guo

3)

My name is Diego Pinzon and I live on Ascot Way in Summit. I am emailing to submit a public comment on the DRO ordinance.

It has long been known that Black and brown communities in our country have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs, including enforcement of laws prohibiting the use of Marijuana. Simply put, the DRO ordinance looks to uphold negative stigma surrounding the use of Marijuana, which would only continue to perpetuate this issue. It ignores the unfortunate truth that with excess regulation and enforcement, non-white communities will be the ones most impacted, and given that the DRO ordinance simply adds additional barriers for the LEGAL consumption of Marijuana, it’s only true impact would be to uphold the negative stigma previously mentioned. Additionally, the proposed 2% tax municipal tax could go to a fund to help communities in Summit affected by drugs and addiction.

I urge the Common Council not to pass this ordinance.

Thanks,

Diego Pinzon

4)

Hi,

I’m emailing to voice my concern about Summit’s proposal to ban the sale of marijuana. New Jersey has a great opportunity to uplift its economy now that marijuana has been made legal, and I believe fighting this new policy rather than embracing it is unnecessary and counterproductive to the interests of the NJ community. I trust that my concern will be taken into consideration.

Best,

Sam Carliner

5)

Hello, my name is Yuliza Brenes and I live on Orchard Street in Summit. I am emailing to submit a public comment on the DRO ordinance.

I do not support this ordinance and It is too early to put this limiting ordinance on our town. We the people voted for legalization and should be able to decide if we want this ordinance. It is a lot harder to overturn an ordinance than it is to prevent it from being passed.

Passing an ordinance to prohibit the sale and distribution of marijuanna Summit will be a tremendous loss at a great opportunity to expand potential and necessary business we need within our community and neighboring cities. (Very important in these times!!)

We can use this great opportunity to help fix our marginalized communities in summit!

Considering that 70% of the citizens in the city of summit have agreed with legalization, passing the ordinance will be ignoring the needs and the voice of the people in this community.

The people of New Jersey HAVE VOTED for legalization and it is NOW YOUR DUTY to make it locally and safely accessible. Do not discriminate against dispensaries and the needs of your people!!

I, Yuliza Brenes, as a resident of Summit for 17 years have watched the same kind of stores take over town’s market. (Pizzerias nail/hair salons and liquor stores.)

It’s time for a change that meets our current time and the majority of the people’s needs/demands.

I urge the summit council not to pass this ordinance.

6)

Reject this foolishness. Marijuana, whether it can be sold legally in the city of Summit, will be sold and consumed by many people of many walks of life. Banning a storefront will only draw customers and tax dollars to neighboring towns without such laws and increase dependence on black market providers.

Ben Schachter

7)

Hi, my name is Sarai Diaz and I live on Broad Street. As a Summit resident, I am against the proposed ban on the distribution of marijuana because I believe it should be as easily accessible as other legal substances in our town.

8)

1. Ordinance 20-3225, Introduced on 11/16 for direct hearing on 12/1.

I strongly urge the Common Council to abstain, delay, or vote no to this ordinance which bans the sale, growth, and distribution of recreational mairjuanna for several reasons.

Public Opinion -has already decided YES: the residents of the City of Summit have already voted in favor of the Constitutional Amendment on the New Jersey State ballot.

State Law – Regulation of the entire Constitutional Amendment has not even been approved in the NJ State Legislature on ANY level.

Other Municipalities – The majority of other municipalities that already have ordinances banning recreational marijuanna were put in more than two years ago, when there was much less know about the positive impacts that cannabis has and the dispelled rumors of potential negative impacts on the drugs

Black Market – In my opinion and widely noted is that Marijuanna is highly accessible already for almost any group of people. It is a matter of selling it at the right cost, regulating soundly, and setting appropriate boundaries that will avoid any conflicts of a distribution centers location in proximity to places such as schools or houses of worship. If our kids or neighbors can get it regardless of the legal market, it is counterproductive to avoid the sale in our City

Decriminalization “Only” is not what we voted for, and if that’s what the City leaders want, re-poll the City – Decriminalization of marijuanna possession is a significant benefit to the referendum but is only half of what the voters decided. The referendum did not say to only vote for decriminalization and it is a hypocritical and narrow view to look at the widespread use and distribution of cannabis in this country. For example, those who do not want to engage with recreational cannabis regularly will not all of a sudden feel the necessity just by walking by a dispensary, similarly to those that do not drink and do not do the same when walking by a liquor store or a bar which are prevalent in NJ and surrounding areas

Safety, Home Values, Law – Summit has the opportunity to contribute in leading the state and how to do it the right way, andin a safe and smart environment with a seamless transition. Aspen Colorado is not known for its dispensaries or it’s crime and Summit New Jersey does not have to be either. This is business as usual and accepting a change in a thoughtful manner. It will bake into the society without significant notice if it done right.

Conclusion – Executing an ordinance to ban the growth and sale of cannabis without even taking further input from residents is not the job of a public servant which is instead to represent all its constituents. The “not in my backyard” stance sends a message that Summit is acting on old data, incorrect fact patterns, avoiding public opinion, and doing absolutely nothing to engage in the full spirit of the referendum to endure recreational marijuanna in a smart and safe way in New Jersey. To put it another way, if you are voting against portions of recreational use such s banning the sale and growth in Summit, and you believe Summit is the best community for families to reside in across the state of New Jersey, you are would also vote NO for ALL other municipalities, who may be at different socioeconomic places within their status in the state. “Rules for thee, but not for me”, is not the way to go and will not save the City of Summit anything if this ordinance is passed, especially right now, when legislation is not even close to final in the NJ State legislature. Please instead, take a step back and listen to the residents who voted and do more due diligence on the subject.

Ryan Felmet

9)

Dear Summit Common Council,

I am writing to voice my concern on the proposed ordinance to ban the future opening of recreational cannabis dispensaries in the city of Summit. As a former student at oratory and a member of the Summit community I must say that this proposed ordinance is not only a classist attempt to disenfranchise Summit residents who can’t afford to leave town for a legal substance but is also knowingly losing out on possible thousands of dollars in the form of a 2% tax. Make the right choice and vote to support a future for dispensaries in Summit.

From,

James Bowe

10)

Hello, my name is Dulce and I live in Summit. I am emailing to submit a public comment on the DRO ordinance. I do not support this ordinance because I strongly believe that having a dispensary in Summit could benefit our town. It is too early to put this limiting ordinance on our town and I believe that the people should have a say in it. We the people voted for legalization and should be able to decide if we want this ordinance. It is a lot harder to overturn an ordinance than it is to prevent it from being passed. The language in the ordinance also limits personal freedoms by not allowing growth of cannabis. It also places a limit on personal recreational usage by limiting sale of smoking devices like pipes etc. By making citizens have to go to another town to obtain cannabis, we are disenfranchising people who may not be able to afford a car or are unable to take the day off in order to obtain what they voted for. This ordinance also opens up the potential of a black market for cannabis and paraphernalia. Black market cannabis and paraphernalia can be very dangerous without regulation and will hurt our community more than a dispensary would. The proposed 2% tax municipal tax could go to a fund to help communities in Summit affected by drugs and addiction. I urge the Common Council not to pass this ordinance.

11)

Hello. I am writing this email as a comment for the Common Council Meeting tomorrow night (Dec. 1)

My message is as follows: I think the proposed ban on the sale of marijuana in Summit is not in the best interest of the public. I believe that it should not be passed. My reasoning is that if other surrounding towns pass similar legislature, than the tax revenue made from selling marijuana in Summit will be much higher due to external traffic. The revenue made will far surpass anyone concerned about “undesirables” and unpleasant smells.

If this bill is passed, Summit residents will merely continue purchasing weed in the illegal manner that already takes place within our community. Having dispensaries in Summit is one thing, but denying one is something else.

Regards,

Summit Resident,

Pat Bauman

12)

Hello, my name is ■■■■ and I live on/at ■■■■ in Summit. I am emailing to submit a public comment on the DRO ordinance. I do not support this ordinance because I strongly believe that having a dispensary in Summit could benefit our town. It is too early to put this limiting ordinance on our town and I believe that the people should have a say in it. We the people voted for legalization and should be able to decide if we want this ordinance. It is a lot harder to overturn an ordinance than it is to prevent it from being passed. The language in the ordinance also limits personal freedoms by not allowing growth of cannabis. It also places a limit on personal recreational usage by limiting sale of smoking devices like pipes etc. By making citizens have to go to another town to obtain cannabis, we are disenfranchising people who may not be able to afford a car or are unable to take the day off in order to obtain what they voted for. This ordinance also opens up the potential of a black market for cannabis and paraphernalia. Black market cannabis and paraphernalia can be very dangerous without regulation and will hurt our community more than a dispensary would. The proposed 2% tax municipal tax could go to a fund to help communities in Summit affected by drugs and addiction. I urge the Common Council not to pass this ordinance.

(This citizen asked me not to include their name or address)

13)

Earlier this month, the citizens of New Jersey voted in favor of the legalization of marijuana. An approximate 70% of Summit voters agreed with legalization. The Summit Common Council is seeking to pass an ordinance to prohibit the sale and distribution of marijuana. This ordinance seeks to not allow any dispensaries in the town of Summit. By doing so, Summit would forego the opportunity to gain a 2% tax on what is sold. This tax, while seeming small, could fund many programs, especially one that helps the marginalized communities in Summit. Additionally, it would lose the potential business that would come from neighboring towns visiting Summit. There are many empty windows and buildings throughout our community. This could be a solution to bring about a new market and new life into our town.

The idea that people can just “go to another town” or “drive to Rt.22” disenfranchises the people who do not have access to a car or cannot afford to go out of their way. Summit’s community should serve its citizens and give access to what they voted for. The Summit Common Council should not put an ordinance that limits the market and prevents the growth of a potential new industry.

As a first responder here in town, I have seen first hand the dangers of black market cannabis and the debilitating nature of addiction. Having a dispensary in town would allow regulated cannabis in our community that will be safer than the black market cannabis that is already in our community. We are still in an opioid crisis and cannabis seems to cushion the reliance on opioids.

This ordinance also plans to ban the right to “home-grow” your own cannabis which is not unlike home-brewing your own beer. If recreational cannabis is legal, should citizens not have the right to grow their own? Why is this ordinance pushing to encroach on our personal rights as well.

This ordnance seeks to kill an idea that has not even had a chance to grow. It is true there are many things that need to be planned out before opening a dispensary in Summit, but to pass an ordinance banning the idea is not the correct route. As a community we should see the legislation passed before taking such an absolute turn.

Common Council, I urge you not to pass this ordinance.

Common Council, we urge you not to pass this ordinance.

Thanks,

Jeffrey Alexander

14)

Hello, my name is Iria Diaz and I live on Broad street in Summit. I am emailing to submit a public comment on the DRO ordinance. I do not support this ordinance because I strongly believe that having a dispensary in Summit could benefit our town. It is too early to put this limiting ordinance on our town and I believe that the people should have a say in it. We the people voted for legalization and should be able to decide if we want this ordinance. It is a lot harder to overturn an ordinance than it is to prevent it from being passed. The language in the ordinance also limits personal freedoms by not allowing growth of cannabis. It also places a limit on personal recreational usage by limiting sale of smoking devices like pipes etc. By making citizens have to go to another town to obtain cannabis, we are disenfranchising people who may not be able to afford a car or are unable to take the day off in order to obtain what they voted for. This ordinance also opens up the potential of a black market for cannabis and paraphernalia. Black market cannabis and paraphernalia can be very dangerous without regulation and will hurt our community more than a dispensary would. The proposed 2% tax municipal tax could go to a fund to help communities in Summit affected by drugs and addiction. I urge the Common Council not to pass this ordinance.

15)

Hello,

My name is Jozi Coates and I live on Elm St, in Summit. I’m writing to you today to submit a public comment on the amendment to the Development Regulations Ordinance pertaining to sale, growth, and distribution of recreational marijuana. I fervently believe having a dispensary in our town would benefit its residents. New Jersey residents from this town voted Yes on the first ballot proposition, and voting on the ban on sale, growth, and distribution of marijuana at this time is too early.

Given that there will be state taxes on the sale of recreational marijuana, if Summit decides to ban any business in that industry, will the City of Summit also refuse to accept any funding from the state that comes from recreational marijuana sales?

People who wish to purchase marijuana from dispensaries (and there are people in Summit who will) will have to go to a nearby town to purchase it, and those local taxes will go to help support the other town. Not everyone has a car, and with COVID-19, public transportation is not as safe as it used to be. This is disenfranchising people who voted for safe and legal access to recreational marijuana.

In addition, by not allowing growth of cannabis, this is making excessive demands upon people who are in pain or have other chronic ailments, such as glaucoma, to have to buy marijuana from dispensaries, which is a financial burden.

For those who are concerned about the moral aspect of drugs in this community, make sure to acknowledge Merck and Celgene and Bristol-Myers-Squibb, who have been operating in this town for decades, synthesizing drugs and delivering them to the public.

The City of Summit could be greatly improved by opening up a dispensary. Jobs would be created during this recession, and the town would have more diverse businesses than just the vast collection of liquor stores, nail salons, and pizza joints.

Without a safe and legal way to access recreational marijuana by residents 21 years and older, a black market could develop and be extremely dangerous to the health of this community. The local tax on dispensary purchases could go towards drug education and addiction rehabilitation, and help keep our communities safe from overdose and drug abuse.

I urge the Common Council to not pass this ordinance.

Thank you,

Jozi Coates

Summit, NJ

16)

Hello, my name is Julia Pestalozzi. I am emailing to submit a public comment on the DRO ordinance. I do not support this ordinance because I strongly believe that having a dispensary in Summit could benefit our town. It is too early to put this limiting ordinance on our town and I believe that the people should have a say in it. We the people voted for legalization and should be able to decide if we want this ordinance. It is a lot harder to overturn an ordinance than it is to prevent it from being passed. The language in the ordinance also limits personal freedoms by not allowing growth of cannabis. It also places a limit on personal recreational usage by limiting sale of smoking devices like pipes etc. By making citizens have to go to another town to obtain cannabis, we are disenfranchising people who may not be able to afford a car or are unable to take the day off in order to obtain what they voted for. This ordinance also opens up the potential of a black market for cannabis and paraphernalia. Black market cannabis and paraphernalia can be very dangerous without regulation and will hurt our community more than a dispensary would. The proposed 2% tax municipal tax could go to a fund to help communities in Summit affected by drugs and addiction. I urge the Common Council not to pass this ordinance.

17)

Hello, my name is Matthew Nicolini and I live on Montrose Ave in Summit. I am emailing to submit a public comment on the DRO ordinance. I do not support this ordinance because I strongly believe that having a dispensary in Summit could benefit our town. It is too early to put this limiting ordinance on our town and I believe that the people should have a say in it. We the people voted for legalization and should be able to decide if we want this ordinance. It is a lot harder to overturn an ordinance than it is to prevent it from being passed. The language in the ordinance also limits personal freedoms by not allowing growth of cannabis. It also places a limit on personal recreational usage by limiting sale of smoking devices like pipes etc. By making citizens have to go to another town to obtain cannabis, we are disenfranchising people who may not be able to afford a car or are unable to take the day off in order to obtain what they voted for. This ordinance also opens up the potential of a black market for cannabis and paraphernalia. Black market cannabis and paraphernalia can be very dangerous without regulation and will hurt our community more than a dispensary would. The proposed 2% tax municipal tax could go to a fund to help communities in Summit affected by drugs and addiction. I urge the Common Council not to pass this ordinance.

18)

My name is Allie Westdyk and I am writing concerning the ban on the sale of marijuana in Summit. As a Summit resident, I am very opposed to this ban. This ordinance seeks to eliminate the opportunity for the town to gain a 2% tax on what is sold. This tax, while seeming small, could fund many programs, especially one that helps the marginalized communities in Summit. This could be a solution to bring about a new market and new life into our town. The sale of marijuana should be managed in the same way that the sale of liquor is. The city of Summit should reflect the voice of the people of New Jersey that has voted to decriminalize marijuana. Your help on this issue will be greatly appreciated by the voters affected by the sale of marijuana.

Sincerely,

Allie Westdyk

19)

I am writing as a citizen of Summit, NJ urging you to say NO to the proposed ban on sale of marijuana in Summit.

This past election cycle, New Jerseyans voted overwhelmingly to legalize the sale of marijuana. Banning the sale of marijuana in Summit, therefore, seems to go against the wishes (and the votes) of the people.

Further, Summit has always been, and should continue to strive to be, a forward-thinking town which does not cower from change, but embraces it. A dispensary in Summit, then, is the logical next step. It would bring business into the town, and the tax collected from sales of marijuana is money that will be funnelled back into the community.

This proposed ban is nothing but a thinly veiled attempt to further demonize a substance which has helped and will continue to help many people suffering from ailments such as anxiety, PTSD, and chronic pain.

It is for these reasons that I once again urge you to say NO to this proposed ban.

Best,

Bella Anidjar (she/her/hers)

20)

Hello, my name is Daniel Merritt and I live in Summit. I am emailing to submit a public comment on the DRO ordinance. I do not support this ordinance because I strongly believe that having a dispensary in Summit could benefit our town. It is too early to put this limiting ordinance on our town and I believe that the people should have a say in it. We the people voted for legalization and should be able to decide if we want this ordinance. It is a lot harder to overturn an ordinance than it is to prevent it from being passed. The language in the ordinance also limits personal freedoms by not allowing growth of cannabis. It also places a limit on personal recreational usage by limiting sale of smoking devices like pipes etc. By making citizens have to go to another town to obtain cannabis, we are disenfranchising people who may not be able to afford a car or are unable to take the day off in order to obtain what they voted for. This ordinance also opens up the potential of a black market for cannabis and paraphernalia. Black market cannabis and paraphernalia can be very dangerous without regulation and will hurt our community more than a dispensary would. The proposed 2% tax municipal tax could go to a fund to help communities in Summit affected by drugs and addiction. I urge the Common Council not to pass this ordinance.

21)

Hello,

My name is Reid Phillips and I live on Norwood Avenue in Summit.

I am reaching out in regards to the DRO ordinance. I do not support this ordinance because I strongly believe that having a dispensary in Summit could highly benefit our town. I also believe that we the people, who passed the ballot measure legalizing marijuana, should have a say in how it is implemented.

The language in the ordinance limits personal freedoms by not allowing growth of cannabis. It also places a limit on personal recreational usage by limiting sale of smoking devices like pipes etc. By making citizens have to go to another town to obtain cannabis, we are disenfranchising people who may not be able to afford a car or are unable to take the day off in order to obtain what they voted for.

Additionally, proposed 2% tax municipal tax could go to a fund to help communities in Summit affected by drugs and addiction. I urge the moon Common Council not to pass this ordinance.

Best Regards,

Reid Phillips

22)

Hello, my name is Sylas Yarad and I live in Summit. I am emailing to submit a public comment on the DRO ordinance. I do not support this ordinance because I strongly believe that having a dispensary in Summit could benefit our town. It is too early to put this limiting ordinance on our town and I believe that the people should have a say in it. We the people voted for legalization and should be able to decide if we want this ordinance. It is a lot harder to overturn an ordinance than it is to prevent it from being passed. The language in the ordinance also limits personal freedoms by not allowing growth of cannabis. It also places a limit on personal recreational usage by limiting sale of smoking devices like pipes etc. By making citizens have to go to another town to obtain cannabis, we are disenfranchising people who may not be able to afford a car or are unable to take the day off in order to obtain what they voted for. This ordinance also opens up the potential of a black market for cannabis and paraphernalia. Black market cannabis and paraphernalia can be very dangerous without regulation and will hurt our community more than a dispensary would. The proposed 2% tax municipal tax could go to a fund to help communities in Summit affected by drugs and addiction. I urge the Common Council not to pass this ordinance.

23)

Hello,

Hope you are well and safe. I’m writing this comment on behalf of my household in Summit.

I do not support this ordinance and would like to see the votes of making Marijuana and its use (recreational and medicinal), as manifested in the last public manifestation, available anywhere in the state.

The ordinance’s goals are not objective, discriminatory and completely biased. Without any data ou solid arguments, it tries to create a shield to a long debunked issue and maintain the hypocrite puritanism status quo stopped in time.

As with any substance where their abuse may be dangerous for the users and others, the only (tried and tested) efficient way to safely manage its sales and consumption is through knowledge and transparency. Discrimination and prejudice must not be the norm and dictate rules for this great community.

I urge the common council not to pass this ordinance.

Best regards,

Eduardo

24)

Hello, my name is Jenna Kolenovic and I live on New England Avenue in Summit. I am emailing to submit a public comment on the DRO ordinance. I do not support this ordinance because I strongly believe that having a dispensary in Summit could benefit our town. It is too early to put this limiting ordinance on our town and I believe that the people should have a say in it. We the people voted for legalization and should be able to decide if we want this ordinance. It is a lot harder to overturn an ordinance than it is to prevent it from being passed. The language in the ordinance also limits personal freedoms by not allowing growth of cannabis. It also places a limit on personal recreational usage by limiting sale of smoking devices like pipes etc. By making citizens have to go to another town to obtain cannabis, we are disenfranchising people who may not be able to afford a car or are unable to take the day off in order to obtain what they voted for. This ordinance also opens up the potential of a black market for cannabis and paraphernalia. Black market cannabis and paraphernalia can be very dangerous without regulation and will hurt our community more than a dispensary would. The proposed 2% tax municipal tax could go to a fund to help communities in Summit affected by drugs and addiction. I urge the Common Council not to pass this ordinance.

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