Massachusetts residents torn over legalizing recreational marijuana

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Americans are torn on legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes. Thousands of supporters brought the issue out in the open quite literally on Saturday when they illegally smoked marijuana at Amherst’s Extravaganja.

“Anything that’s grown to me isn’t a drug. A drug to me is chemically made in a lab somewhere, but I don’t know. I don’t know why people would disagree with it. People have their beliefs,” said Preston Delvare of Chicopee.

Recreational marijuana is illegal in Massachusetts and that’s how some concerned mothers believe it should stay.

“I think, it’s illegal right now. It should stay illegal. If it’s used for medicinal purposes with people for cancer or whatever, that’s where it should be used,” Jen Anderson, a concerned mother of a college daughter, told 22News.

“You don’t want your kids impaired, but on the other hand, they’re impaired if they’re drinking alcohol, so I don’t know. Tough question,” said Cindy Beard, in regards to whether recreational marijuana should be allowed.

22News contacted Amherst police after we witnessed several people partaking in illegal activities on this common Saturday. Police told 22News there was no significant criminal activity to report. One man said he was surprised not to see any uniformed officers, but not surprised police allowed thousands to smoke weed in public.

“At Hempfest in Boston, they’re usually kind of around the Common on the outside but not kind of in it,” said Max Hamburger, who is from Boxford but was visiting Amherst for the Extravaganja.

An Amherst resident thought officers were near the common during the rally, but that they were in plain clothes.

“I’m sure they were watching. They’re quite vigilant and they’re good and there was no trouble that I could see,” said Normand Berlin. He said he supported legalizing marijuana to better the criminal justice system.

Massachusetts now allows marijuana for medical use, but residents can’t agree on whether that should extend to recreational use as well.

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