Marijuana in MA: Is the Grass Greener?



How will the state’s new marijuana law affect you? Will your town have a marijuana store? Will you or others be able to smoke pot in public?

Legalized recreational marijuana sales to adults 21-plus begin this month in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Yet, there remain many questions about the new pot law — how it affects health, commerce, government, etc. For this reason, WGBY’s Connecting Point is hosting a televised town hall-style discussion, Marijuana in MA: Is the Grass Greener? to help viewers understand what to expect in the coming weeks and months.

“There are so many unknowns about the impact of legalized marijuana sales in Massachusetts — and decisions still to come from the state’s Cannabis Control Commission and by local municipalities,” says Connecting Point Executive Producer Tony Dunne. “There are also many viewpoints. This primetime special is designed to deliver the facts and to provide a forum for sharing and discourse.”

Marijuana in MA: Is the Grass Greener? features an expert panel representing a range of perspectives, from health care professionals to civil liberties advocates. Moderated by Connecting Point host Carrie Saldo, the panel will take questions from a live studio audience.

Viewers can contribute their own questions, too, via social media by using hashtag #wgbydialogue on Twitter or submitting a question on the WGBY Facebook page. Questions may also be submitted on the Connecting Point website.

Weighing in on the topic of recreational marijuana sales in western New England is an expert panel representing a broad range of community interests. Among the panelists are:

  • Marcos Marrero, Director of Economic Development, Holyoke
  • Norton Arbelaez, Director of Government Relations, New England Treatment Access
  • Kamani Jefferson, Massachusetts Consumer Recreation Council
  • Kameron Spaulding, Lenox Planning Board
  • Capt. Brian Keenen, Springfield Police Department
  • Jalil Johnson, Nurse Practioner

The Marijuana in MA: Is the Grass Greener? special is the fourth town hall-style panel discussion WGBY has hosted in two years. Past Community Dialogue topics of included the opioid crisis, institutional racism, and Vietnam veteran affairs.

“The role of public television—to provide trustworthy, unbiased information—is crucial in a democratic society. That’s what this Connecting Point Community Dialogue is all about,” says WGBY General Manager Anthony V. Hayes. “When there’s a big change in our culture or in our laws, it’s our role here at WGBY to better connect viewers with the ideas and policies directly affecting their lives.”

To see a collection of past Connecting Point segments on the topic of legalized marijuana in Massachusetts, visit