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Keller @ Large: Legal Marijuana A Real Test For Massachusetts

BOSTON (CBS) - It's official - as of 12:01 this morning, it is legal in Massachusetts for adults over 21 to possess up to ten ounces of marijuana in their home and grow up to twelve pot plants per household.

You can't smoke or consume it in public or while driving, and there won't be a legal way to buy it until 2018 at the earliest.

The politicians and lawyers will be sorting out the details of this new law for awhile, and good luck to the police trying to figure out how to enforce it. But for those of you trying to dope out what the new pot law means to you and yours, try thinking about it the way we think about booze.

Anyone who's raised a teenager or been one themselves knows that the law against selling alcohol to minors is barely an impediment to them getting it. Ask a teenager you know if they think they'd have any trouble scoring some weed. So the key is to educate kids on why marijuana poses a risk.

Studies have shown the best deterrent to drug or alcohol use by kids is to show them how an arrest, accident or addiction would devastate the people they care most about. If you haven't had that talk before with your kid, now is a good time to do it.

As for adult use, this may also be a good time for all of us to reflect on how rights come with responsibilities.

Are we mature enough to handle this new right without negative consequences? Or are we about to prove all the skeptics right?

Here in Massachusetts, we pride ourselves on being a relatively enlightened culture. Here's our chance to prove we're also real live grown-ups.

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