Phish, Laxer Marijuana Laws Welcomed By Boston Concertgoers

By Rya Backer

How do you know when the newly reunited jam band Phish is in your neighborhood? Well, to quote the old saying, just follow your nose.

The Burlington, Vermont, foursome kicked off their summer tour last night at Boston's Fenway Park. In addition to starting their sold-out nationwide trek in a most legendary venue, they also happened to be in a state with newly lax marijuana laws.

Earlier this year, Massachusetts decriminalized the herb to a point. Being caught with under an ounce of the stuff will cost the user a $100 fine, and those under 18 face the same punishment along with community service and a drug-awareness program.

Unless you've never been in the vicinity of any liberal arts college in America, you'll know that the band and weed have a very... symbiotic relationship, so the doling out of fines was in order before, during and after the concert. It's worth noting that the Dave Matthews Band, who also just played in Boston and share a similar reputation, did not garner as much attention from law enforcement.

CBS spoke with some concertgoers before the show (which the band opened with an a cappella rendition of the national anthem from the pitcher's mound) about how the state's new law would affect their experience. "That's fantastic for a lot of people," one proclaimed.


When a reporter asked another fan if he was worried about the fine, he explained, "Oh no, I think it's made everything much better." He furthered his statement with "I think everybody here's going to be smoking pot and going to be loving it. It's their first show back in a long time and we just like to unwind."

Then he presumably walked into the ballpark and unwound some more.