Joint venture in Monroe County seeks ordinance to decriminalize marijuana

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STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A borough in Monroe County is working towards decriminalizing possession of marijuana.

Over four years ago, Governor Wolf legalized medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. Since then, anyone with an anxiety disorder, Parkinson’s disease, or any of its listed medical conditions is qualified for the program.

Beyond/Hello, a medical marijuana dispensary, celebrated its grand opening last week at its newest location on North 9th Street.

“I definitely feel a sense of community here. I feel like the Stroudsburg area has really embraced us. Everyone that comes in is so happy we’re here. We’ve got nothing but great feedback,” said Jennifer Freeby, general manager of Beyond/Hello dispensary.

The opening now marks two medical marijuana dispensaries in Stroud Township.

Stroudsburg borough council president pro-tem Erica McCabe says it’s a step in the right direction.

“As a council, what we’re doing is creating an ordinance to decriminalize possession of marijuana. Whether it’s legal or not, we want to decriminalize it because we are using our criminal justice system to its capacity,” said McCabe.

That ordinance is in draft mode, meaning once it’s approved in the borough, it will be enforced by Stroud Area Regional Police.

“So many other illicit drugs that are killing people on a daily basis. Medical marijuana would lessen the use of say heroin or fentanyl,” said McCabe.

McCabe says because Stroud Area Regional Police serves the borough, Stroud Township, and Middle Smithfield Township, it would be easier for police and residents to have the same ordinance.

Recreational marijuana is legal in both New Jersey and New York. McCabe says that if passed in the borough, she hopes the county and commonwealth would then follow suit.

“Because they have a disagreement with it doesn’t mean that we should just ignore what other states are doing around us,” McCabe said.

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