SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — There is a debate growing about marijuana at the Jersey shore.
Governor-elect Phil Murphy has promised he will legalize pot.
Now, some shore towns are coming together to stop marijuana from being sold anywhere near the beach.
Taffy, kettlecorn, brownies, macaroons, and pot? Not if Seaside Heights, Mayor Tony Vaz has anything to do with it.
“I want to safeguard our community, our residents, and our visitors,” he told CBS2’s Meg Baker.
The mayor has been working hard to upgrade Seaside Heights and get it back to what it once was — a family resort town full of clean fun.
So, when it comes to Governor-elect Murphy’s plan to legalize and tax marijuana, Vaz said, ‘not on our boardwalk.’
“With this we have to be prepared,” he said.
The mayor and council are looking at local laws to ban or limit pot shops, and other towns are doing the same.
In Point Pleasant smoking is no longer allowed on the boardwalk. It’s one of several new ordinances crafted to keep legal marijuana out of the boro.
“Zoning ordinance says you can’t have dispensaries around school, churches, and so if you look at the size of the town, basically covers the whole town,” Mayor Reid said.
Some locals say marijuana is good for business.
“If it was here legally, be going up to the boardwalk, it would bring a lot of revenue to this town,” Dianne Allen said.
“You go out here in the summer, all you smell, ” Ares Spatakis said, “It’s been happening.”
Others say, let’s pass on the grass.
“It would be dangerous to the community,” Guy Hunt said.
“I’m totally against,” Michelle Cervone said, “I don’t think it’s good for our children.”
Mayor Reid added, it’s not about the money, it’s about people’s lives and the kind of message we’re sending to our children.
The mayor said most local businesses stand with them on keeping things family friendly.