Stop demonizing adult cannabis use; it will be a benefit to Montclair (letter)


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After reading from former Montclair Police Chief Thomas J. Russo, latest talk against cannabis In Montclair Local’s letters to the editorial staff, I feel compelled to respond to his ongoing propaganda about adult cannabis use.

New Jersey voters overwhelmingly voted 2 to 1 to legalize adult cannabis use, with Montclair residents voting 4 to 1 in case Russo overlooked this minor fact.

That he chooses to criticize the negative effects and raise a red flag when children see their parents responsibly consuming cannabis – while neglecting to acknowledge that it is okay for children to have their parents and friends out on a weekend- BBQ consume enormous amounts of alcohol sloppily drunk and then get in the car to drive home and endanger everyone on the street – shows that he lives in the “Reefer Madness” world rather than in reality.

Nor does it point to the number of opiate-dependent parents whose children are taking OxyContin, Percocet, or other pain relievers that endanger not only them but their children as well.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 2018 data showed that 128 people died each day from opiate overdoses, many of whom were respected professionals and parents; Research also shows that no one has ever died from an overdose from using cannabis.

As a subscriber and member of Montclair Local, I ask you not to give the former police chief this platform to continue his fake news about cannabis. July 13th is the Local council introduced regulations that allow legal cannabis companies to open their doors once the state has issued licenses to retail and other affiliates. We should use Montclair Local’s pages to educate its readers and the community about the many benefits of using legal cannabis and medicinal cannabis to help people improve their lives.

I would be happy to provide my services in this capacity on a voluntary basis. I run my own PR firm based in the city with a large cannabis practice and am a well-known lawyer. I also write regularly about cannabis for Rolling Stone and Munkey Biz, so I’m very connected in this area and would appreciate the opportunity to bring voices that explain in an understandable way everything you need to know in order to make an informed decision about how to use it.

Stu Zakim
President, Bridge Strategic Communications

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