Drugs On Our Beaches, Shame Of The City

Pictured: A young Chevy Chase as undercover reporter Irwin M. Fletcher investigating a clandestine beach-based drug ring in the 1985 comedy Fletch

Rhode Island authorities attempt to prevent people from getting high in the sand

Anybody who has been to any beach in the past 50 years has likely raked up a few cigarette butts with their toes, or maybe even had their kid return from seashell searching with a few old filters mixed into their pile.

The problem of littering and smoke from cigarettes on beaches has been addressed in various ways, mostly over the last couple of decades. Maine banned smoking in state parks including many beaches in 2009, while in Massachusetts, it’s been a town-by-town progression. Municipalities across Cape Cod, for example, have butt bans, leaving just a few beaches where you can still legally light up.

Meanwhile, in Rhode Island, pearls are being clutched over the prospect of people getting high on the beach now that weed is legal there. WJAR reports this week that “new signs went up this weekend as a reminder” that “no smoking of any kind is allowed on town beaches in Narragansett, including marijuana.”

“We’ve had some complaints in the past and we knew it was going to happen, so we want to get some awareness so people realize just because it’s legal doesn’t mean you can do it wherever you want to, and you have to be considerate of your fellow citizens,” the local police chief told reporters.

They even recruited new wannabe narcs: “We have some officers that are around the beach, and we have interns as well who are young people in college, who are looking to become police officers, who are community service officers for us. So, they’re kind of like our watchers out there.”

It’s absurd, sure. But if you’re looking to get stoned in Narragansett this summer, just keep an eye out for the guy with the shaved head walking the beach in bright white sneakers.