BOSTON (WWLP) - Marijuana has been decriminalized in Massachusetts, but addiction experts told 22News how they want more to be done to protect kids from the drug's harmful effects.
State lawmakers, law enforcement officers and addiction experts are supporting a bill that makes it illegal for minors to use marijuana and offers them treatment.
Youth under 21-years-old will be fined up to $100 for their first offense and be offered treatment.
If they refuse treatment, they'll have to go to court and be placed on probation where law enforcement officers can offer them treatment.
If they successfully complete their probation, their case will be dismissed and their records sealed.
According to Mary Minott, Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator at Brookline, “Right now, alcohol is illegal for people under 21; this bill would make marijuana on par with alcohol so that people under 21, it would be illegal for them to use marijuana.”
Marijuana was decriminalized in Massachusetts in 2009, which means you can't go to jail for possession, but you can receive a civil fine, which is like receiving a parking ticket.
Law enforcement officials say this has created an attitude among kids where they don't see any risk in smoking pot.