March 23, 2022

To the Editor:

Did you know there are plans underway to add approximately 1,000 new residential units in Princeton? While a few of these units will replace existing residential units, the vast majority will not. In a town with just 31,000 residents, this planned development will have a broad and lasting impact that will be felt across all of Princeton. If each new residential unit houses, on average, three people, Princeton’s population will increase by about 10 percent. In addition, Princeton University is building two new residential colleges to house 1,000 undergraduate students and a new Lake Campus development to house 600 post doc and grad students, along with a 600-car garage. The current non-University residential construction plans require somewhere between one and two new parking spaces per unit.

Recently, the Princeton Coalition for Responsible Development (PCRD) conducted numerous conversations with residents throughout Princeton, and we realized that many aren’t aware of the developments being planned for our town. We are not opposed to new development per se and we certainly welcome new neighbors from near and far to our community. However, with projects being planned and approved piecemeal, it is difficult to get the full picture of what is happening. With the new construction season about to commence and with a number of projects about to break ground, we think this is a good time to bring attention to the real estate development projects currently underway or in active planning. more

To the Editor:

I recommend that everyone who is interested in the subject of cannabis dispensaries in Princeton read the Cannabis Task Force (CTF) report (tinyurl.com/5643pz7e), which I found to be well-researched, thorough, and balanced. I was surprised when a fervid opposition to the recommendations in the report emerged, given that Princeton voted overwhelmingly in support of legalization. I don’t see how cannabis dispensaries are qualitatively different from liquor stores, which are an accepted part of our community.

Like alcohol, cannabis is now a legal drug. Like alcohol, cannabis will be for sale to adults only. As with alcohol, adults will be personally responsible for consuming cannabis appropriately and safely. There is a potential for abuse, as there is with all drugs, but blocking cannabis dispensaries in Princeton will not obviate that potential any more than getting rid of liquor stores would.

Opponents argue that the presence of cannabis dispensaries in Princeton will increase children’s awareness of cannabis and encourage them to use it. But it is no more feasible to hide the existence and legal consumption of cannabis from children than it is to hide the existence and legal consumption of alcohol. It is the responsibility of parents to educate their children about the dangers and illegality of underage use of any drug, including alcohol. Talking with and educating children about cannabis would be of vastly more benefit to them than blocking the establishment of cannabis dispensaries in our town. more

To the Editor:

Many thanks to the Princeton Public Library for including the nascent Princeton Einstein Museum of Science in two Pi Day events on March 12 and 14. We saw lots of interest as we handed out space tattoos and activity sheets and let everyone try our black hole tabletop exhibit. More than a famous scientist, Albert Einstein was a man of exceptional humanitarianism, and it is fitting that we celebrate him on his birthday. 

Elizabeth Romanaux
Founder and Project Director, Princeton Einstein Museum of Science
Sycamore Place

To the Editor:
The Bryn Mawr-Wellesley Book Sale celebrated its 90th annual sale last week and earned the highest return in its history. Proceeds will be used for college scholarships in our region. Hundreds of book dealers from around the East Coast flocked to the opening and scooped up truckloads of books. The high pace of purchasing continued over the next three days as customers — many of whom we have come to know as friends — joined us.

We are grateful to our 150+ volunteers and offer our special gratitude to the staff of Stuart Country Day School where we held the event. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Kathryn Morris
President, Bryn Mawr-Wellesley Book Sale
Witherspoon Street

To the Editor:

If you’re not sure what to think about recreational cannabis dispensaries, consider information and lessons from other states. To locate many more credible resources that paint a sobering reality of cannabis, prepare to search beyond the paid Google content and filter through lots of “studies” funded by the wealthy and powerful cannabis industry. You’ll find that cannabis poses many risks to communities, this is why the majority of towns in states where cannabis was legalized opt out of retail dispensaries, including most of our neighbors, e.g. Montgomery, West Windsor, Plainsboro, Robbinsville, Cranbury, etc.

The main problem with cannabis is that THC levels — the key ingredient that makes a person feel high and drives addiction — aren’t regulated and there are no health guidelines for how much THC is too much, or whether the THC (or CBD) will negatively interact with other medications. According to wayofleaf.com, THC levels in marijuana have been increasing — from less than 4 percent in the early 1990s, to 20 percent and even over 30 percent today. In edibles — which aren’t yet available in New Jersey, but are under discussion and sold in other states — the THC potency can be as high as 90 percent. Who knowns what will happen to your kid when a friend — perhaps as a practical joke — hands him a bunch of THC-laced gummies.  more

To the Editor:

It is with dismay that I learned of the possibility recreational cannabis (RC) shops would open in Princeton. While we’re all well aware that RC has been legalized at the state level, which will rightfully address decriminalization, it need not imply we leverage the law to create our local pot paradise. We’re debating an intoxicant here, an established entry drug towards hard drugs.

While Princeton is a student town, the Council has always guarded that Princeton never became a party town, with a restricted number of alcohol licenses in place and an absence of nightclubs and the like. Licensing cannabis shops in town would be contrary to this overarching philosophy. Many of the surrounding townships have opted out. Do we wish Princeton to be the pivot of RC tourism for Central Jersey, the pervasive smell of cannabis enveloping Palmer Square and Witherspoon Street?  more

To the Editor:

I write to support one or more cannabis dispensaries in Princeton, for reasons beyond those that have already graced these pages.

For many decades continuing into my early seventies, I continued to participate in a very physically challenging sport and do my own home yardwork. Unfortunately, while these were good for me in many ways, I have had back issues for the last eight years. I tried everything for relief, including major spine surgery seven years ago. That provided relief from the worst pain, but in the last couple of years other symptoms have crept back. In the last six months I have consulted with numerous doctors and pain management specialists once again. They recommend that I try cannabis.

In my earlier years I must admit that I had a bit of marijuana a few times. And no, “I did not inhale.” Well — not much anyway. And I enjoyed it!

So for both medical and recreational purposes, I would like to try high quality marijuana. I don’t want to be driving all over the state to purchase it. Nor do I want to obtain product of unknown quality by mail order. I would like a local dispensary whose owners I can get to know and trust, and who have demonstrated knowledge of this product which for too long has been stigmatized and sold in the shadows.

I hear parents say, “marijuana is bad for my kids.” By state law it will not be sold to anyone under 21. Why is a cannabis dispensary any different in this regard from the 15 or so liquor stores in Princeton? Parents, please teach your children your values. more

To the Editor:

This personal opinion, which is not intended to reflect the view of my employer, is in response to recent concern about the safety of having a cannabis dispensary in town. As a family physician, it is my job to provide medical advice to my patients using the best clinical evidence available whenever possible. It has been more difficult to provide such advice for cannabis than either tobacco or alcohol. There are fewer clinical studies available to guide my advice on drug-drug interactions, disease-drug interactions, and the long-term impacts on physical and mental health from cannabis use. For nearly every other substance my adult patients are using recreationally or medicinally I have information on pharmokinetics, adverse effects, beneficial effects, which organs break down and secrete the drug and how that may impact the same process for other substances (prescription, over the counter, illicit or legal) being used by a patient.

Fortunately federal laws preventing quality clinical research on cannabis have been partially lifted in the last few years. This should be good news for those of us in clinical medicine struggling to stay informed enough to know when to advise against use or simply caution moderation in the use of cannabis products. My patients (who when asked about substance use answer me much more candidly now that the fear of criminal penalties have been lifted by legalization) have shown me that a sizeable portion of my practice has been and currently are using cannabis regardless of the concerns noted by medical organizations. The rising trend across the state of blocking cannabis dispensaries does nothing to stem the steady tide of cannabis use in our towns, but it does make it difficult for doctors to provide evidence-based guidance.

Not having a regulated market makes the question of the provenance and safety of the cannabis products people are using unknown, which could be problematic to people’s health and well-being. For example, someone might not know if the product they are using is real or is contaminated with toxins, nor might they know the chemical composition of that product, which greatly effects the complex plant chemistry and interaction with medications and preexisting conditions. Without secured, contaminant tested, component (CBD/G, THC, Terpenes) tested products, I am not able to give the most effective medical advice possible to my patients who have chosen to use cannabis.  more

March 16, 2022

TEMPTING TASTINGS:  “We are always planning to expand with new acquisitions and openings,” says Eben Copple, Genesis Hospitality Group’s director of hospitality. Proof Pizza on Nassau Street is one of Genesis’ popular eateries. Shown in the photo are such favorites as the Porky Pie (top left), Autostrada (top right), and Puglia Pie (bottom left). Both slices and pies are on the menu, and made with the freshest ingredients.

By Jean Stratton

New acquisitions, new ideas, and new concepts are the driving force behind Genesis Hospitality Group.

Headquartered in Hamilton, the company owns more than nine restaurants, bars, bakeries, inns, and boutique hotels in the area. In Princeton, the number includes The Peacock Inn, Chez Alice, Bread Boutique, and Proof Pizza.

Its first acquisition was the Washington Crossing Inn in 2009, followed by The Yardley Inn, Di Bartolo European Bakery in Haddonfield and Collingswood, and recently the Lambertville Station Restaurant and Inn.

A division of Genesis Biotechnology. which is also headquartered in Hamilton, Genesis Hospitality came about because of the intention of Genesis Biotechnology’s CEO Eli Mordechai, Ph.D., to offer diversity and explore new concepts. more

To the Editor:

I’ve lived in Princeton since 1971, and for the first time in 50+ years I am compelled to send a public letter in response to a concerning dynamic I’ve observed over the past months.

In 2020, along with nearly 80 percent of Princeton residents, I voted for the legalization of cannabis in our state. The reasons for strong support of the initiative have already been extensively documented in these pages and elsewhere, so there’s little need to re-visit the voters’ decision and re-hash the arguments here. Cannabis will soon be available for legal, recreational use in Princeton — whether over the counter at local dispensaries, or via delivery. Wherever one stands on this issue, it’s coming.

Meanwhile, it’s been impossible to ignore the recent response. Here, in Princeton of all places, I have been dismayed to see mis- and dis-information machines ratcheted up. Nefarious intentions have been insinuated and impugned. Data from inconclusive research have been cherry-picked to support points of view. Sadly, all signs of the times, all symptoms of a greater malaise in our body politic.

After receiving a mailer from a group opposed to dispensaries in town (including claims that simply didn’t ring true) I wondered: was I naive to believe that a civic-minded group of residents and subject-matter experts (the Cannabis Task Force) wouldn’t take their task seriously? So I read the report for which the CTF has spent nearly 11 months soliciting input and examining issues from every conceivable perspective.

I was extremely impressed: the report is well-researched, well-referenced, and well-reasoned. And easy to read. It’s thorough, while also identifying areas requiring further study. And it’s careful not to draw inferences from inconclusive data sets. I commend the group’s comprehensive work and thank them for their service to our town. more

To the Editor:

Council task forces were created with an admirable goal to help the municipal government solve problems by tapping into local volunteers instead of paying for outside consultants. The recent controversies surrounding permit parking and cannabis dispensaries, however, highlight the urgent need to establish robust governance policy, particularly in the following four areas.

First, there must be transparency in task force activities. Even though task forces are technically outside the purview of the Sunshine Law, their mandate to draft policy recommendations underlines their critical role in the policy making process and calls for adequate disclosure. Considering that most task force meetings were held in the middle of the day and practically impossible for residents with a full-time job to attend, the fact that the Permit Parking Task Force (PPTF) had no meeting minutes for the entire year of 2021 and the Cannabis Task Force (CTF) had no meeting minutes or voting records for its entire existence is beyond disappointing.

Second, task force membership needs fair representation from the broad community. While fair representation can sometimes be difficult to define, the opposite of fair representation is not when parts of the community that a reasonable person would expect to have an opinion of the underlying issue don’t have adequate representation on these task forces or their representation is nearly invisible in all the public meetings as were the case for the Board of Education, the Board of Health, Corner House and the Police Department on the CTF. Not surprisingly, this lack of fair representation shows up loudly in the rather one-sided CTF report. more

To the Editor:

As Princeton residents and professionals in medical/mental health, we feel it is important to share what we have learned and seen on the job.

I am Sara Popkin, M.D., board certified in adult psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry. Adolescents are highly vulnerable to marijuana’s many known adverse effects. Marijuana’s impact on the cognition, behavior, and brain development of adolescents has both immediate and long-term implications, including lasting decline in intelligence measures; academic failure; an increased incidence of psychotic, mood, anxiety, and substance use disorders; an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents; and sexual victimization. Retail cannabis dispensaries in our town, even if restricted to adults, will be associated with a reduction of adolescent’s perception of marijuana’s harmful effects. In turn, this increases rates of adolescent marijuana use and its associated problems. We must educate youth about the significant harm marijuana can inflict on their developing brains. This will be increasingly difficult if they see it being sold on Nassau Street.

I am Matt Bellace, Ph.D in clinical neuropsychology and national youth drug prevention speaker. I travel the country speaking at schools about substance abuse prevention and mental health.  Vaping, especially cannabis, is the number one concern of my clients. As adults, the best thing we can do to reduce teen substance abuse is role model healthy choices. I advocate sharing your natural highs (e.g., running, cooking, meditation) with teens. In addition, we can practice radical honesty. Opening cannabis dispensaries in town will increase the number of people who smoke and walk around.  The stink is pervasive and the message to young people is clear, we allowed it. more

To the Editor:

Princeton’s Cannabis Task Force issued a report recommending that Princeton allow up to three pot shops in our town. What costs would these shops impose on Princeton? The CTF Report does not even consider the question. But the costs would be substantial, including more traffic accidents, more crime, and higher taxes.

Pot shops would bring more drug-impaired drivers to our town, leading to more car accidents. A researcher at MIT, Theodore Caputi, analyzed fatal car crash data in every zip code where recreational pot shops were opened. He found that recreational pot shops increased the rate of fatal car crashes by approximately 6 percent relative to zip codes without dispensaries. Accidents are the leading cause of death for children and young adults — we can all agree that we do not want more fatal accidents in Princeton.

Pot shops would bring more crime to our town. The large amounts of cash and drugs on hand at pot shops make them attractive targets for criminals. Pot shops across the country have suffered an alarming number of armed robberies. In addition to being targets of crime, studies have found that opening pot shops increases property crimes in surrounding neighborhoods (“Marijuana Outlets and Crime in an Era of Changing Marijuana Legislation,” J Primary Prevent (2017); “The Criminogenic Effect of Marijuana Dispensaries in Denver, Colorado,” Justice Evaluation Journal (2019). more

To the Editor:

We need to have a democratic process for proposals affecting Princeton residents and businesses. One such proposal being reviewed by our town Council is whether to grant license to cannabis retail outlets to operate in our town. This is an important issue that will have ramifications to all Princetonians for many years to come. Hence I urge that our town Council embrace a transparent process to ensure all stakeholder groups are represented in the decision-making process. Listed below are some perspectives.

When access increases, so does its use: Legal access to marijuana increases chances of exposure to illegal substance abuse. It is naive to think the kids and youth that come across these pot shops will just ignore their presence. Younger minds are impressionable and will see these retail pot outlets as yet another stamp of approval that it’s safe to consume marijuana.

Starts with pot, ends with catastrophe: Pot shop presence will most likely attract more illegal drug dealing activity around the vicinity with more potent and lethal drugs. Our nation is reeling under an opioid crisis. Provisional data from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics estimated overdose deaths in the U.S. from opioids increased to 75,673 in the 12-month period ending in April 2021, up from 56,064 the year before. These are a staggering number of lives and families impacted irreversibly. more

To the Editor:

We who teach at Westminster Conservatory noted with approval the Town Topics article of March 2, “Rider Faculty and Students to Protest Outside Board Meeting,” which brought to light some of the challenges faced by our Westminster collegiate counterparts who now teach in Lawrenceville on the Rider campus.

In the final paragraph, however, the author in using the language “since the fall of 2020 … the Princeton campus has stood mostly empty,” betrays her ignorance of the continuing use of the Princeton campus by Westminster Conservatory, the community music school founded in 1970 as a division of Westminster Choir College (WCC). In-person Conservatory activity, involving over one hundred faculty members and nearly one thousand  students, resumed on the WCC campus in the fall of 2021. This activity includes weekly private music lessons, classes, ensemble rehearsals, and performances. Although some Conservatory programs remain virtual and we have not quite returned to pre-COVID levels, to say that the WCC campus is empty is a gross misrepresentation, and devalues the substantial contribution that Westminster Conservatory makes to the quality of life in the greater Princeton area.

Melissa bohl
Head, Wind Department, Westminster Conservatory
Hartley Avenue

Note: Town Topics thanks Melissa Bohl for pointing this out; we regret the misstatement.

To the Editor:

The decision of whether to open retail cannabis dispensaries in Princeton must be based on what’s best for Princeton. Period. Instead, vocal dispensary supporters have come out in force recently to throw mud at opponents. Rumors are being spread about neighbors – like us, involved in the grassroots noretailcannabishere.org movement — who’ve come together against retail dispensaries. They say we reached into our “deep pockets.” We have deep pockets? The U.S. cannabis market is projected to reach $28 billion in sales for 2022 (Headset, April 2021), whereas we have zero to gain from this decision financially. 

Let’s not forget that cannabis legalization was intended to stop punishing people, while pot commercialization makes people money, and some people have made a lot of it.  Meanwhile, please google how very few people were released from jail since cannabis legalization. Money can cloud judgement and distort quality of public information, as observed with the fall of Big Tobacco and Purdue Pharma.  more

To the Editor:

The people have spoken and we want a dog park in Princeton. For the past decade, there have been several attempts to establish a dog park in Princeton. Most recently, we presented at a town Council meeting in November 2021 and the mayor and Council members were all supportive of a dog park.  Now, we need action.

The Princeton Dog Park Alliance recently became an official nonprofit organization, and we have already raised over $1,500 to be used to help pay for the construction and maintenance of a dog park. We ask our fellow dog lovers to join our pack so we can finally see this through. Visit princetondogpark.org to become a member and donate to our cause.

Calvin Chin
President, Princeton Dog Park Alliance
Spruce Street

To the Editor:

It is with considerable incredulity that, as an addiction professional, I view the activity of the Cannabis Task Force and its seemingly intractable position on approving retail outlets in Princeton.  When one considers all the downsides of such a decision, given the knowledge we have about marijuana’s effect on the adolescent brain, the dramatic increase in pediatric emergencies in states that have legalized, increases in drugged driving cases, and a surge in black market activity in those “legalized” states, one can only assume that this task force has fallen, hook, line, and sinker for the marijuana industry’s aggressive marketing efforts to portray marijuana as a benign drug. Their campaign began by creating the myth of marijuana as a medicine and, while it may have beneficial effects for a small portion of the population, the marijuana lobby used this public health masquerade as a stepping-stone to its larger objective — mass commercialization of recreational marijuana.  Make no mistake, the bottom line is the emergence and dominance of the marijuana industry by corporate entities and big tobacco companies.  And this means, by definition, the need to expand markets and capture new customers.  What better market than young people who are clearly the target of the promotion and use of candy-like THC edibles?

The industry has also created a false narrative around “social equity,” suggesting that dispensaries will compensate for past injustices to minorities.  Yet, regarding minority access to the industry, nationally only 2 percent of cannabis businesses have minority ownership.  Even so, what kind of “social equity” advocates for wider availability of a drug that has been proven to reduce cognition and blunt ambition and motivation? more

March 9, 2022

To the Editor:

As a member of the Cannabis Task Force, as well as a former undergraduate and current graduate student at Princeton University, I strive to represent student opinions and highlight voices historically left out of drug policy conversations and considerations. I have spent time with the Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Drug Policy Alliance, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and Cannabis Advisory Group. My intention is not to rally for or against cannabis dispensaries in Princeton — my intention is to ensure that community members are informed and that we recognize how our policy decisions today necessarily impact historical and present injustices.

In recent months, there has been considerable concern regarding the harm of cannabis dispensaries to children. This concern should not be minimized, but it should be contextualized with information — not with fear.

A report in the Journal of Adolescent Health (Coley et al., 2021) recognizes that adolescents are uniquely susceptible to negative repercussions of marijuana use but concludes that there is no evidence of a correlation between legal adult-use markets and teen cannabis use. The American Medical Association (2021) concluded the same. A report in JAMA Pediatrics (Anderson et al., 2019) confirmed various prior research studies finding no evidence that legalization encourages marijuana use among youth. In fact, this report aligns with a separate report in JAMA Pediatrics (Dilley et al., 2019) which concludes that marijuana use among youth likely declines as licensed dispensaries — which require proof of age — make it more difficult for teenagers to obtain marijuana. Other reports confirm that product is not diverted to the underage market (Buller et al., 2016; Fell et al. 2021; Pettinger 2017; Shi and Pacula, 2021). more

To the Editor:

As a Princeton resident and loyal Town Topics reader for more than 20 years, I have always enjoyed browsing the annual summer camp issue. Having recently become a trustee for the Princeton-Blairstown Center (PBC), I notice how many opportunities there are for summer programs for the children of families in our community. But for so many families in communities not far from our own, there are limited resources and options for summer enrichment.

All of us have struggled in various ways as the pandemic has continued for more than two years, but young people from historically marginalized communities have had to face additional challenges as their families and neighbors were hardest hit physically and economically. In many cases, schools in these neighborhoods were closed for more than a year and students did not always have the resources to make the best of their remote learning situation. Their confidence in themselves and the world around them has been shaken and their ability to develop and maintain relationships with peers and adults has faltered. more

To the Editor:

As we await a pandemic “new normal” it may still be unwise to enjoy indoor dining in downtown Princeton for a few more weeks. The Princeton University COVID-19 Dashboard (covid.princeton.edu/dashboard) reports a recent rise in infections on campus starting on February 14. From 250 to 300 undergraduates, 5 percent, tested asymptomatically positive during each of the past three weeks ending March 5. That means that if 11 undergraduates enjoy an indoor dining establishment believing they are uninfected, there is a 50 percent chance that an elderly Princeton residents may place themselves at serious health risk by unmasking.

While Mercer County is seeing the infection rate continuously drop, something seems to have happened on campus three weeks ago leading to a sharp increase in infections. Hopefully the University will be able to control this recent outbreak and go back to being a positive contributor to the community, not a source of disease.

Peter Kramer
Prospect Avenue

To the Editor:

The possibility of cannabis dispensaries appearing in Princeton is fading fast. While local papers reported only weeks ago that the Cannabis Task Force was to recommend up to three dispensaries within the town, that possibility has apparently become upended. While 78 percent of Princetonians voted in November of 2020 to approve legalization in the state of New Jersey, a very vocal group in opposition to dispensaries in Princeton has apparently dominated the discussion at Cannabis Task Force meetings. I have heard that at those meetings upwards of 80 percent of voices are in opposition. Recently, we have all seen mailings from this group in an attempt to drum up support for their position. Overall, this has understandably created a lot of pressure on town leadership who might be reluctant to move ahead with dispensaries unless they hear more of a voice from people who heretofore have considered dispensaries in town a done deal.

I won’t reiterate the arguments on both sides. Frankly, it doesn’t matter what the evidence is. It doesn’t matter that marijuana was legalized in New Jersey. It doesn’t matter what the experience has been in states such as Colorado where recreational marijuana was legalized 10 years ago. It doesn’t matter that alcohol, with dispensaries in Princeton numbering in the double digits, accounts for much more morbidity and hospitalizations than marijuana. What matters is that the town Council also hears in a significant way from Princetonians in favor of dispensaries. They need to hear from the mostly “silent majority” who voted to legalize marijuana. This means writing letters to papers like this, writing to our Council members (princetonnj.gov/872/Mayor-Council), and showing up at the Council meeting on March 29 to advocate for this position. more

To the Editor:

In last week’s Town Topics, a group of letter writers argued that town Council should use “current scientific data that proves there are too many dangers and unknowns to opt-in” to cannabis dispensaries [“Opting Out of Cannabis Dispensaries is Not Prohibition,” Mailbox, March 2]. But in their letter they misrepresent the data they cite.

Specifically, they write that a January 2021 study by the NIH found that “recreational marijuana legalization and greater retail availability of recreational marijuana and alcohol were positively associated with alcohol and marijuana co-use among adolescents.”

Firstly, to clarify, the study, published in the journal Substance Use and Abuse, was funded by the NIH but not conducted by the NIH. It was also specific to one state and one age group, using data from Oregon in 2010-2015 (before legalization) compared with 2016-2018 (post legalization).

What was found? The researchers state, “There was an overall downward trend in the prevalence of past-30-day alcohol and marijuana co-use from 2010 to 2018.” In one of their regression models they found a small increase (1 percent) in past 30-day alcohol and marijuana co-use in areas with high outlet density. This was only true in 2016, not 2018 — suggesting a temporary increase. more

To the Editor:

Now is the time to create a well-regulated and intentional cannabis industry in Princeton. Our entire community, especially our children, will benefit from a thoughtfully considered cannabis dispensary in our beautiful town. I write this letter as a prospective cannabis business owner seeking to bring the therapeutic benefits of cannabis to my community.

I am a contributing member of our society: I am a wife, a mother of two, and a trained neuroscientist and educator. I earned my undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University. Importantly, I also personally know the power of cannabis having used cannabis off and on for 20+ years to supplement antidepressants and ADHD meds taken since I was a teen. 

Our endogenous cannabinoid system brings balance and homeostasis to most systems in our bodies. Consuming cannabis can often be helpful to rebalance our systems. Indeed, our earliest medical texts from China and India write of the many ailments that cannabis can treat, and more recent medical use has corroborated many of these uses. Cannabis contains a complex assortment of compounds that act on our brains and bodies. Different plant strains, extraction techniques, and methods of consumption can have or result in different combinations of bio-active compounds. Some combinations work better for some and others for others. Finding the optimal match is an art and science best suited to personalized, in-person assistance and care.  more

To the Editor:

We feel the need to respond to Richard Gulardo’s letter in a recent Town Topics [“Long Held ‘Rule’ of Pedestrian Right of Way in Town Needs to Be Addressed,” Mailbox, February 23]. It is difficult to understand his objections to the continuation of the “rule” that pedestrians have the right of way “not only at intersections, but at many other points along Nassau Street or Witherspoon Street.”

We would like to point out that motor vehicle laws establishing pedestrian right-of-way are enacted at the state level, and Princeton does not have the authority to change these laws. Since 2010 New Jersey state law has required that drivers must stop and remained stopped for pedestrians in marked crosswalks and yield to them in unmarked crosswalks, which exist by definition at every intersection (N.J.S.A. 39:4-36). Beginning March 1 the new NJ Safe Passing Law requires drivers to leave a safe zone — minimum 4 feet — when passing roadway users such as pedestrians, cyclists, and wheelchair users. When not possible to pass safely, motorists should slow to 25 mph and be prepared to stop until it is safe to pass with sufficient clearance.

Is Mr. Gulardo suggesting that pedestrians currently have, or think they have the right of way when crossing mid-block, or against a traffic light? If so, that is simply wrong, and we strongly condemn such behavior by pedestrians.  more