Grow, Gift, Repair


In an interactive exhibit at the Hanover Mall, open for the second year and newly redesigned, called “Weeding Through the Myths: Marijuana in Massachusetts,” visitors can learn about the state of recreational marijuana in the Commonwealth and the legal consequences users may face, as well as vaping and e-cigarettes, the importance of good communication between parents and teenagers and how to deal with stress and anxiety without using drugs.

“We know we voted through that retail marijuana sales will be out, however, unlike other states, it didn’t have like that midnight opening or anything, so people are kind of like, ‘What’s happening?’ Well, we don’t know, the Cannabis Control Commission is in the process of providing all of the licensing for all of those establishments,” said Kim Noble, a registered nurse and the program coordinator for Youth Health Connection, “In the meantime, we just want to help people understand what is the law, that it’s 21 and over. How do we help parents educate their own kids about that? Everything, this is all new to us, so that’s really the thing that we just want to help people understand the law.”

At a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, attendees heard from Noble, as well as Dr. Barbara Green, the medical director for Youth Health Connection, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz, Antony Sheehan, the president and CEO of South Shore Mental Health, and Hanover Police Chief William Sweeney.

The exhibit itself opens to the public on Tuesday, Sept. 4 and runs through Saturday, Sept. 29. It is located inside the Hanover Mall and will be open from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 1-3 p.m. on Saturdays.

The purpose of the exhibit is not to just tell people to avoid using marijuana. Instead, it was designed to encourage educated decision making.

“As soon as you start telling lies or trying to tell people just to say no, it doesn’t work, so this is the antithesis of saying just say no, it’s about giving good information that helps people make good decisions,” said Sheehan, “I think the community, if they take some time to visit, to experience the exhibit, will learn some facts and they’ll be able to make some connections. How the brain develops, particularly in a younger age, the idea of delaying (marijuana use), the idea that very simple things can make a difference.”