Opponents of marijuana are primarily concerned with stoned driving and people under 21 obtaining easier access to pot. But another concern among officials is a fear that marijuana dispensaries will attract unwanted visitors to their town.
“Woodcliff Lake is a quaint little town, and it's not a place for dispensaries to open up,” said Mayor Carlos Rendo. He fears dispensaries will put a strain on social services and increase rates of homelessness, though he acknowledged that homelessness is not an issue in Woodcliff Lake currently.
Another fear is that marijuana dispensaries will attract drug dealers from neighboring areas who would want to undercut the legal market. Ringwood Police Chief Joe Walker is also concerned that recreational marijuana would have a negative impact on the opioid crisis, which has hit towns like Ringwood especially hard. “I’ve been to opioid overdoses eight times since I’ve been chief,” Walker said. “Every time there’s marijuana present. And every drug counselor would say that everyone started with marijuana.”