Community Forum: Weed is Here. Now What?

Print Story | Email Story
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — A community forum is being held to discuss the wide-ranging implications of the legal sale of marijuana for recreational purposes on Wednesday, March 13, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.
Community leaders representing law enforcement, youth services, local government and the drug treatment community will discuss the changing landscape of marijuana's place in Southern Berkshire County with an extended question-and-answer period from the audience. 
"The goal is to learn about what the changes in the laws are and how they are being enforced, and to start to understand how it impacts our community," said Erik Bruun, co-chairman of the South Berkshire Community Health Coalition, which is sponsoring the event with the Railroad Street Youth Project and The Berkshire Edge. "This is a complicated topic. Before you could go to jail for two years if you sold marijuana in downtown Great Barrington, and maybe you still can if you don't have a license.
"Today selling marijuana represents tax revenue for the town. It is the hottest sector in the Berkshire economy. Off-duty police officers are paid to make sure customers are safe as they stay in line to purchase recreational pot. What are the new guardrails? What does it mean for who we are as a community?"
Panelists will include Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington, Great Barrington Selectman Ed Abrahams, RSYP Deputy Director Chris Tucci, Center for Motivation and Change Clinical Director Dr. David Lane, and representatives from the Great Barrington and Sheffield police departments. RSYP Executive Director Ananda Timpane will be the moderator. 
The event is part of a series of forums and events initiated by the coalition and RSYP to inform and support parents on the challenges of helping their children navigate issues related to substance use and other risky behaviors. 
The next event will be "Good Science for Good Parenting" on how to use science to talk to teenagers about drugs and alcohol on April 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Berkshire South Regional Community Center.  
Railroad Street Youth Project is home to the South Berkshire Community Health Coalition, made up of community agencies including RSYP, the Southern Berkshire and Berkshire Hills regional school districts, state Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli's office, Multicultural BRIDGE, Berkshire Opioid Abuse Prevention Coalition/Berkshire Regional Planning Agency, The Brien Center, the Police Departments of Great Barrington, Sheffield, Egremont and Stockbridge, Fairview Hospital, Berkshire South Community Center, and the towns of Great Barrington, Egremont, Stockbridge and Sheffield.

Tags: community forum,   marijuana,   

0 Comments welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to

Authorities Investigating Bomb Threat at Bard College at Simon's Rock

Staff Reports
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Bard College at Simon's Rock was on lockdown Thursday after an anonymous bomb threat was emailed to the campus. 
The all-clear was given at 1:30 p.m. after the grounds were searched by local first responders and the state police bomb squad.
According to Police Chief Paul Storti, the college notified police shortly after 7:15 a.m. of the threat and the college campus was locked down. Great Barrington Police also posted a notification on its Facebook page alerting the community of the situation, stating "appropriate emergency and investigative personnel are on scene. Further information will be released at a later time."
"The school immediately initiated their safety protocols while the Great Barrington Police Department investigated the threat," according to a release from the Police Department. "Great Barrington Fire Department, Officers from Egremont and Sheffield, Massachusetts State Police, MSP Detectives assigned to the District Attorney's Office, as well as the Massachusetts State Police Bomb Unit assisted on scene. The campus was thoroughly searched and deemed safe."
View Full Story

More South Berkshire Stories