‘It’s going to be a disaster.’ Paterson mayor vetoes recreational marijuana business ban ordinance. | Paterson Times

‘It’s going to be a disaster.’ Paterson mayor vetoes recreational marijuana business ban ordinance.


Mayor Andre Sayegh vetoed the City Council’s ordinance barring marijuana businesses in Paterson late Friday afternoon.

Sayegh issued the veto minutes before City Hall closed for business. Council members had passed the opt out ordinance ahead of the state’s August 21 deadline to act in order to buy time to devise a better plan to regulate marijuana businesses.

“Patersonians have overwhelmingly voted in favor of legal cannabis and I have a duty to honor their wishes,” read a memo issued by Sayegh in vetoing the ordinance.

Some council members denounced the mayor for his veto.

“Why didn’t he veto it yesterday? He had the document,” said councilman Luis Velez. He called the mayor’s last-minute veto “cowardly” and a display of “poor leadership.”

Velez said the mayor issued his veto at 4:28 p.m. City Hall closes for business at 4:30 p.m. He said Sayegh could have worked with the City Council to put together a plan to regulate marijuana businesses that’s acceptable to all sides.

“The consequences are going to be devastating,” said councilman Alex Mendez. He said the mayor’s veto means marijuana businesses can locate in commercial and industrial areas throughout Paterson. “It’s going to be a disaster.”

Both Velez and Mendez want council president Maritza Davila to hold an emergency meeting to take a vote on overriding the mayor’s veto.

“I am not going to call an emergency meeting,” said the council president. She had called for an emergency meeting three weeks ago to try to resolve the impasse between the mayor and council members, but some of her colleagues told her they did not view the situation as an emergency.

Davila was the sole vote against the opt out ordinance earlier in the week.

“I took a stance. I didn’t want the city to be behind the eight ball,” said the council president. “This will bring in revenue.”

Davila said the new industry will also create jobs for residents.

Sayegh could not immediately be reached for comments.

“All he is thinking about is the money it is going to bring into his budget to do what he has been doing — helping his friends and giving jobs to his friends. That’s not going to help us,” said Mendez speaking of Sayegh.

Updated 7:30 p.m.

Related posts

  • John

    Approve everything in Paterson. This way Paterson could be known as the drug capital if America. This way all druggies. Even more druggies will come to Paterson. Perhaps Paterson can charge entrance fee to enter Paterson like a big drug use amusement park. SHAME

    • J. Brown.

      It's already that. Minus the Fee.

    • Ablej

      They are allready here. All these people from out of town are allready in paterson. The drug addicts don't care about Marijuana.

    • Resident41

      This is great news for all the towns around paterson though. People could just drive to Paterson Eastside or Westside park and do their business there and they don’t have to worry about a thing. Feel sorry for the kids though.

  • Thetentman Thetentman

    Hooray. Finally the will of the people is being heard.

  • baggman744

    It's already a lawless city, so why not? West side Park, once a clean, quite place for kids to play, is a filthy, drug infested refuge for all kinds of derelicts, trash, alcohol, and noise. Have you no shame Sayegh? Forget Mexico, we need a wall around Paterson to keep the crime in that's spilling outward.

    • Ablej

      If you build a wall it will help. how will all the rich drug addicts from other towns get in?

      • baggman744

        They'll have to get it delivered. A boom for delivery services maybe.

        • Ablej

          You see like I said it will help no more garbage from other towns coming in.

  • Resident41

    Does this mean that people could now use Eastside park to Smoke more freely and not worry about being bothered. How would this improve the quality of life.

    • Thetentman Thetentman

      You can smoke weed anywhere where you can smoke cigarettes. If the park is 'Smoke Free' you can not.
      And how if I'm am minding my own business smoking a J (if it were legal and I don't think it is) in the park does it effect the quality of your life? And are the ? marks on your keyboard broken?

    • baggman744

      LOL, as if they don't now.


    When will Mendez be going to trial for election fraud?

  • MarquinhoGaucho

    People are going smoke anyway. MIght as well try the Amsterdam model.

  • John

    The low lifes of Paterson will get their wish. Paterson the ultimate drug den

    • baggman744

      It already is, between the shootings, burglaries, and other crimes that is.

    • Ablej

      You mean the low lifes of clifton, Wayne, and all those other city's with wealthier people who bring in the money right?