Wildwood Crest beaches ban smoking of tobacco — and marijuana
You'll no longer be able to smoke 'em if you got 'em, tobacco or otherwise, in Wildwood Crest starting on June 7 after a vote by the Board of Commissioners on Wednesday.
Smoking of tobacco had been permitted in designated areas on borough beaches under the state's 2018 no-smoking law signed by Gov. Phil Murphy in 2018 that allowed it on up to 15% of a beach, according to Wildwood Crest Mayor Don Cabrera.
"It's always been on our radar to keep looking at it and make that change. I think with the legalization of cannabis it had us take another look at it and just from an enforcement standpoint from our police department, beach patrol and our recreation department we just want to make sure if you decide to light up in any form it's not permitted in our parks or beaches," Cabrera told New Jersey 101.5.
Cabrera said that idea for smoke-free beaches had support from the public but wanted to see if allowing beach visitors to smoke in certain areas would work but the commissioners decided the time was right to make the change.
The only other beach that still allows smoking in New Jersey is Cape May, according to New Jersey New Jersey Global Advisors on Smokefree Policy (GASP) Executive Director Karen Blumenfeld, adding that the state does not keep track.
Wildwood Crest joins Ocean City in rejecting the sale and distribution of marijuana under New Jersey's new law which made previous ordinances on the matter null and void. Communities must implement their ban by Aug. 21, according to the law.
Many shore towns including Cape May, Toms River, North Wildwood, Sea Isle City, Stone Harbor, West Cape May and Wildwood are considering the ban.
Cabrera said said the borough is not passing judgement on those who use cannabis.
"Anyone that uses cannabis that's their prerogative. We're not looking at it from the standpoint of 'if you use it you're a bad person.' We're just saying it's not a family resort type image. People are smoking on the beaches and park whether or not its cigarettes or cannabis. It's just not good for the kids, it's not good for their health or anyone's heath. I think from that standpoint that's the reason why," Cabrera said.
Both ordinances take effect on June 7.