No Marijuana in Manville


Alexis Abbott

The Manville Borough Council unanimously agreed to an ordinance blocking all marijuana businesses from setting up shop here. This includes dispensaries, cultivators, manufacturers, and wholesalers. The delivery of marijuana from outside of town, however, is permitted. Concerns about how close a potential dispensary would be to churches, schools, public parks, and swimming pools was cited. This seems a bit contradictory coming from a town that has 4 bars and 2 liquor stores within it’s two mile radius. If this ordinance was not passed, the borough would not be able to forbid marijuana businesses from operating here for the next five years.

I believe this is a knee jerk reaction coming from a mostly conservative council, due to unfair preconceptions about marijuana and marijuana users. While there is no such thing as a harmless substance, Manville is far from a dry town, and there exists a double standard between alcohol and marijuana despite the latter being considered far less dangerous both to the individual and the community.  An article from Business West titled, “Cannabis Businesses Benefit Communities In More Ways Than One,” boasts about how recreational marijuana legalization in Massachusetts has had an almost entirely positive outcome. The article embraces the solid tax benefits and lack of any real community disruption. A quote from the article reads, “When we held our public meetings, we had a few folks who thought we were going to destroy the world and everything would come crashing down once we opened. But the opposite has been true.”  We are forfeiting a great opportunity unity to create small businesses here in the name of a long outdated fear.