Public consumption of marijuana
At recent town meetings Norwood and Walpole adopted bylaws banning the public consumption of marijuana including by those who are authorized to use medical marijuana under the state law adopted by voters last year. Violators would be subject to a $300 fine under the Norwood bylaw, and fine of $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second, and $300 for the third and subsequent offenses under the Walpole law. Both measures require approval by the state Attorney General's office. The two towns seek to join 76 other communities with approved bans.
“I think most people would agree that someone sitting on a park bench smoking marijuana is probably a bad idea, just from a public order perspective,” said Norwood Police Chief William G. Brooks, who proposed the bylaw in his town.
But Bill Downing, treasurer of the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition, which supports legalization of marijuana, said local bans on public consumption of the drug go against the expressed wishes of the voting public.
“People have now twice had the opportunity to tell the state what they want regarding the regulation of marijuana . . . and both times they told the state they want them to moderate the regulation of marijuana,” he said. “Some people just don’t get it.”