Cashman: Prospects for family fun on Common go up in smoke


The city of Boston is sending a strong message and smell to local families: you’re not welcome on the Common this weekend while thousands of potheads gather together to toke up en masse during the Hub’s annual weed festival.

Of course, local cannabis lovers would prefer we call it the 28th annual “Boston Freedom Rally.”

Little kids whose parents will take them out for a family day trip this weekend to enjoy the Common carousel or Frog Pond playground will probably add “contact high” to their list of fond memories from a day spent visiting the city with their folks. And considering this is one of the last warm weekends of the year, it’s a real shame that many parents find themselves forced to avoid the area altogether.

What’s more disturbing is the pot-smoking free-for-all is taking place just days after police officials vowed to crack down on drug use — including marijuana — on the Common. Despite their tough talk, which came on the heels of a brazen daylight shooting near the Parkman Bandstand Tuesday, thousands of weed aficionados were out there smoking joints and puffing on bowls as parents, children and tourists looked on in disbelief.

Just because Bay State voters legalized pot for recreational use doesn’t mean you should have to inhale it on every street corner and public space. Like drinking alcohol, it’s still very much illegal to smoke marijuana in public — though the festivalgoers who gathered yesterday didn’t seem to get the memo.

Local officials can’t pretend to care about the next generation while turning a blind eye to the fact that the air on the Common is filled with pot smoke.

And before pot shops start popping up around the city, our lawmakers need to drop this laissez-faire attitude and condemn smoking weed in public.

This weekend’s rally is a perfect opportunity for our local law enforcement to make good on their vow to take a hard-line stance on the drug dealing, drug use and the all-too-common sight of addicts either under the influence or passed out as little kids pass by on their scooters.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh, who was infuriated by the possibility that a bystander could have been hit by a stray bullet Tuesday night, has promised to make a multimillion-dollar renovation to the area next year. But it’s clear officials need to improve the culture of the public park before making cosmetic changes.

New benches and playgrounds won’t make a difference if our kids are sharing the new seats with…



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