LETTER: I’m opposed to installing 6 Hoboken cannabis dispensaries in ‘dense, residential areas’


In a letter to the editor, Hoboken resident Diane Imus explains why she is opposed to having six cannabis dispensaries in “dense, residential areas.”

Photo via Hobokennj.gov.

Dear Editor,

I’m writing to voice deep concern about Hoboken’s recreational marijuana dispensary plan. I write through a lens that not many can comprehend – and that’s of a parent who lost their child to a drug overdose.

My son died in Hoboken in 2018. His sustained marijuana use as a teen affected him while his brain was maturing. As he used more, he needed more, and eventually, he turned to other drugs.

Cannabis is a drug and any community plan that allows recreational drug sales while simultaneously eliminating public use penalties must be carefully executed.

I’m not opposed to dispensaries — I’m opposed to installing six of them in dense, residential areas next to parks, the waterfront, schools, and Pier 13.

Hoboken is setting itself up for something it may not be able to control. As a family-oriented town, we’ve been asked to open our doors to many visitors who will affect our quality of life, and there’s no exit strategy if it turns out that having six dispensaries is a disaster.

Hoboken should have one or two dispensaries located on the periphery, perhaps in the new business park where there’ll be parking. We don’t need six in the center of town.

For those who have never been to a dispensary, they generate traffic and crowds. In the Berkshires, Las Vegas, and Denver I’ve seen cars lined up with parking attendants managing the flow of people who drive long distances to buy, and people standing outside, waiting to be admitted.

We’re making it too easy for all of New Jersey and Manhattan to think of Hoboken as the region’s ‘pot destination’ by offering six locations in our town of 60,000 – more than six times the national average.

Our streets by the proposed locations will become crowded with waiting buyers. Kids walking home from school, to grab a slice or go to the park will be exposed on a regular basis to this normalized acceptance of recreational drug use.

Kids who might not have considered using marijuana will see it’s no longer a big deal. But the marijuana of today is nothing like it was twenty years ago in terms of strength– so it IS a big deal.

Neighboring towns have opted out – they have considered the implications and demonstrated their duty of care for their residents.

This means the entire marijuana buying populations of Weehawken, Union City, and Manhattan will be coming into Hoboken to buy marijuana. Hoboken can barely handle the traffic and parking now.

And our police have been asked to enforce ‘no smoking’ on the waterfront or in the parks. How will they enforce edibles?

What’s to stop someone from popping a couple of 10mg gummies before heading over to Pier 13 for a few beers? And then, totally impaired, they’ll get back into their cars.

The Hoboken City Council, mayor and planning board should reconsider the plans. Had all the facts of today been laid out before Hoboken residents and the city council voted to allow recreational marijuana sales, plans may have been made differently.

Profits of a few would not be prioritized over the welfare of the larger community.

In addition to the quality of life and safety issues, it’s unacceptable that the wife of Jersey City mayor, is a landlord in a hotly contested application. Jersey City will not allow dispensaries in residential areas, so the question top of mind is why is it acceptable in Hoboken?

There is no downside to proceeding more cautiously and altering and limiting the plan to ensure it is the right approach for Hoboken.

Diane Imus
Hoboken Resident

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  1. Seems you are making this just about you. So many people lost there children to drugs which is a tragedy in and of itself. How about the opioid pandemic which has ruined countless more families than cannabus. Have you written a strong stance on that topic as well? Im handicapped and can only walk a few blocks at a time on a good day. How about the people who cant physically make it to a dispensary located in the out skirts of town? Has anyone ever overdosed of cannabis? To create hypothetical scenarios in your letter dosent move this very important conversation forward. We need to come together with logic opposed to raw emotions which can lead to retrograding to acting like semians inhibiting our communities evolution which is communication.

      • nice to know this. though with cannabis already being highly taxed and adding extra for delivery fees can easily price out people living on disability checks. yes there are many variables thats not going to be perfect for all. we need to meet in the middle.

      • To have other views is fine, though lets be thoughtful and articulate. For example may I introduce you to read/watch the origins of cannabis propaganda in America 1930’s Harry Anslinger, the first Commissioner of federal bureau of narcotics. “Reefer Madness”.
        We educate our children at a young age over alcohol consumption, the same should be done by the parents on the benefits and potential pitfalls of abuse on any product. Overall we should be able to agree that increasing availability for mental health awareness and counselling for our children’s malleable minds. Lets not live in a fear based one sided perspective.

    • Everyone is missing the point. Ravi held a cannabis vendor event at the Jubilee Center years ago. It was a celebration of weed coming to Hoboken although it wasn’t legal.

      People need to understand, Ravi has to get paid! Russo too.

  2. There are some valid points in this and some not so valid points in this. I respect the desire to not want 6 dispensaries on and around washington st. Washington st is already a problem for parking with popular food places. However, i’m not sure how this is much different other than that it’s adding more traffic. Some of the stores have already all mentioned they would be pre order / appointment only in order to mitigate that issue. I can agree with other Jersey towns flocking to Hoboken perhaps, but not masses from Manhattan. These stores, if accepted, will not be open until 2023 most likely which is also when Manhattan will have dispensaries by then as well. To the point of smoking, drinking and then driving- Hoboken is a huge party and drinking destination already. If someone is going to drink and drive, they’re going to drink and drive. If we are worried about that, than we shouldn’t have bars. What this does for local residents is give them access to local safe and equitable cannabis.

    • politicians are infamous with corruption, for sure….lets not conflate one thing with another. Registered nurse also has application in approval. We cant take one example and blame the entire group of people looking to make a business decision. Im sure the nurse has seen the tragedy of opioid overdoses. Alongside how no meds have help epilepsy children have been helped by leaps and bounds by cannabis. Lets look at the whole picture holistically opposed the myopically. We all need to find a middle ground.

      • Not blaming an entire group unless you are suggesting the Mayor of Hoboken and his rubber stamps on the Hoboken City Council who might benefit from helping their powerful political friend and his wife.

        Again the very small percentage who would have a real medical need to have access to cannabis could be served by a single distribution outlet.

        • suggestion are just suggestions. when you commented on the persons post about “equitable cannabis” you only mentioned your displeasure about 14th st. there are other locations with people whom have various professions, “non political” applying as well. are they not equitable? what is the reason for them not being approved in your mind? if there is real proof of foul play throughout in every applicant, im with you in lock step all the way.

          this doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be multiple locations.
          how would just one location help with all the traffic that people are saying is a going to be major issue. If there is just one in town the bottle neck in town would be catastrophic, correct.
          with multiple locations this would disperse the “masses flocking from far and wide”, making things more manageable.
          what are the tiny statistics of the amount of people in NJ whom need and consume cannabis that you speak of? if your going to give stats they should be sighted.

    • one square mile
      over 120 alcohol onsite consuming establishments
      over 20 liquor stores
      sounds like cherry picking… maybe hoboken might not be the place for you .

      • Congrats, you win the award for dumbest comment of the week!

        I moved here in 1987, so don’t even dream that you know more about Hoboken than I do. and what does the number of “alcohol onsite consuming establishments” have to do with anything? who cares?

  3. you know exactly my point. unfortunately you aren’t capable of a thoughtful response, so your resort to name calling . projecting your incomprehension onto me. arrogance + ignorance = retrograting to acting like semians inhibiting the process of evolution, which is communication.

    i chose not to communicate with your anger issues no longer.

  4. Misinformation right here… blaming a plant for your sons death is the lamest thing I’ve ever heard. Ever think it was poor parenting? Go get educated instead of crying on the internet. Sad stuff right here!