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In Communities With Retail Pot, Public Consumption Citations Not A Hot Item

Downtown Northampton, Massachusetts.
Carol Lollis
The Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com
Northampton, Massachusetts, is host to a retail marijuana shop. Consuming pot in public is illegal in the state.

Northampton, Massachusetts, has had a retail marijuana shop for more than six months, but the city's police have written just one ticket for public consumption.

It is illegal in Massachusetts to use marijuana in public. In the six months before New England Treatment Access opened its retail pot shop, police didn't write any such citations.

Chief Jody Kasper said while they are seeing pot use in public, officers have been taking this approach:

"They're working on just educating people," Kasper said. "When they go on calls for reports of people smoking in public places, they're just telling them, 'Hey, you can't do that.' "

Kasper said it isn't always easy to figure out who is responsible.

"Unless we're seeing who was smoking, it's very challenging to identify the person who was using," Kasper said. 

And in Easthampton, which also has a pot shop, police say they haven't issued any public consumption tickets there since it opened late last year.

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