When New Jersey voters approved a 2020 referendum to make recreational marijuana legal, the residents of Princeton emerged as some of legalization’s biggest champions.
Seventy-five percent of voters in this progressive college town gave legal weed a thumbs-up, compared to 68% of voters statewide.
But nearly two years later, as talk turns to where to put a marijuana dispensary amid the artisan eateries and designer clothiers lining Princeton’s leafy streets, critics of plans to allow sales locally are drowning out supporters of legal weed.
“It smells terrible,” said Paige Randall.
“Why would we bring pot shops into Princeton knowing they are uniquely attractive targets to criminals?” said Gabe Saltarelli.
“Having this available within a walking distance is not a benefit, especially for an addictive substance,” said James Hong.
The three Princeton residents were among nearly 350 people who tuned in to a hearing public officials hosted last week after Princeton’s Cannabis Task Force recommended opening three dispensaries in the 18-square-mile town of 30,000 people. More than 50 people sounded off for over four hours — and most of those who spoke want weed nowhere nearby.
Princeton is the latest town where cannabis critics are mobilizing to limit the sale of a substance