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VILLAS – At its April 5 meeting, Lower Township Council introduced an ordinance banning public marijuana smoking.

During public comment, Diamond Beach resident James Sanford questioned whether the ordinance would include private beaches owned by hotels or residents.

Lower Township Solicitor Richard Belasco clarified the law, at the April 19 meeting. 

“The law states that any privately owned place is not subject to the municipal ban. The property owners are responsible for enacting their own rules regarding the use of marijuana on their property. It is not on the municipality to enforce or regulate those rules,” Belasco said.

Violating Lower Township's ordinance would include a written warning for the first offense, a $250 to $500 fine for a second offense, and a $500 to $1,000 fine for a third offense if adopted.

The second reading and possible adoption of the ordinance is scheduled for the May 3 council meeting, at Town Hall, 2600 Bayshore Rd., Villas, at 5 p.m.

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