Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini, R-Monmouth, said she will introduce legislation that will make it illegal to grow and harvest medical marijuana on preserved farmland. On Thursday, the State Agriculture Department Committee (SADC) released a statement indicating medical marijuana is considered an agricultural crop and could be grown on a preserved farm after the issue was raised by residents of Upper Freehold Township.
SADC’s stated position on the matter is not considered to be an action by the committee, which could be vetoed by Governor Christie.
“As I have previously stated, the implications of the medical marijuana law will be far-reaching, and the statement issued by the SADC on Thursday is a prime example,” said Angelini. “The federal government says marijuana is illegal while we have a state statute that would permit its growth on protected farmland. A community that has focused on preserving open space should not have their efforts countermanded. We are experiencing many twists and turns as to how this law will be executed.
“I believe Upper Freehold Township has raised an important public policy question that is a by-product of the new law,” continued Angelini, who serves as executive director of a nonprofit agency that provides substance abuse prevention programs to youth in Monmouth County. “This legislation will ensure that a municipality’s goal to preserve and protect open space can be achieved and maintained and that we continue to make every effort to control how medical marijuana is manufactured.”