Stephen Reid is the mayor of Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey. In December 2017, below Mayor Reid’s leadership, Point Pleasant became the very first New Jersey city to preemptively ban any cannabis business operations, need to the state legalize them. The Point Pleasant Beach ban kicked off a statewide trend, major to additional than 10 % of all New Jersey towns, representing practically every single county, passing resolutions restricting, banning or opposing cannabis business operations and adult-use legalization.
Currently, the total quantity of towns that have opted out has topped 60, and Mayor Reid continues to be a major voice in the work to oppose marijuana reform — in reality, he gets paid to do so. Thanks to the investigative efforts of blogger Patrick Duff, we now know that Point Pleasant Beach Mayor Stephen Reid is on the payroll of an influential anti-marijuana lobbying group.
Mayor of Initial New Jersey Town to Ban Weed Is on the Payroll of an Anti-Cannabis Lobby
In late November 2018, New Jersey lawmakers in each the Assembly and Senate voted to advance an adult-use bill, marking the very first official legislative action on the problem given that pro-legalization Gov. Phil Murphy assumed workplace in 2018. But given that their 2016 takeover of the New Jersey legislature, Democrats have expanded qualifying situations for health-related cannabis remedies, licensed additional dispensaries and centered criminal justice reform.
At the exact same time, opposition to the adult-use business dug in, and a groundswell of anti-cannabis advocacy prompted a quantity of cities to opt out of any legal-weed future. Point Pleasant Beach mayor Stephen Reid has been at the heart of that movement. Immediately after producing his city the very first to ban the retail cannabis business in late 2017, Reid has traveled about the state advising other towns to join Point Pleasant’s policy of prohibition.
But given that at least May possibly 2018, Reid has been pushing prohibition on the payroll of the prominent anti-marijuana lobby group New Jersey Accountable Approaches to Marijuana Policy. Now, that connection and its prospective conflict of interest are the topic of a lawsuit filed against Point Pleasant Beach.
Mayor Reid is not just on NJ RAMP’s payroll. Because May possibly 2018, he has been the group’s executive director. Blogger Patrick Duff revealed the connection just after suing Point Pleasant Beach himself, to acquire records of Reid’s emails with the group. Reid has himself never ever been upfront about his connection with RAMP. In reality, he failed to effectively register his lobbying activity on behalf of RAMP with the state till October, 5 months just after taking the job.
Lawsuit Targets Point Pleasant Beach Mayor’s Connection with Anti-Cannabis Lobby
As mayor of Point Pleasant Beach, Stephen Reid banned the cannabis business prior to he started getting checks from NJ RAMP. But in his public statements about marijuana policy just after May possibly 2018, Reid has never ever totally disclosed he was getting compensation from the anti-cannabis group.
And that compensation is substantial. Getting mayor of Point Pleasant Beach pays just $six,500 annually. NJ RAMP has been paying Mayor Reid $three,000 month-to-month given that May possibly. Duff’s lawsuit against the city alleges Reid improperly mixed his perform as RAMP executive director with his duties as mayor. Duff referred to as the mayor’s undisclosed lobbying efforts “the ultimate misuse of workplace.”
Reid acknowledges that he didn’t effectively register his lobbying activities with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission. But he denies any conflict of interest. “I do not see it as a conflict I see it as a complement,” Reid told NJ.com. Reid then doubled down on his denial, accusing the marijuana business of coming just after him.
New Jersey law may perhaps be on Reid’s side. According to the director of the state’s election commission, Joseph Donohue, the agency has no particular laws stopping regional government officials from operating as lobbyists.