The regulatory body in charge of marijuana policy in Alaska has just taken steps to become the first state to allow on-site consumption at retail marijuana stores.
Alaska Dispatch News reports:
At the Alaska Marijuana Control Board's meeting held Wednesday through Friday this week in Fairbanks, board members approved 3-2 a proposal to set up rules for on-site marijuana consumption at retail stores.
The proposal includes a draft of specific rules for everything from ventilation and location of these consumption areas to how much marijuana can be used there, and much more. Citizens will have 60 days to comment on the proposal before the draft rules come back to the board, likely at the November meeting.
In November 2015, the board voted to allow on-site consumption at marijuana stores. Alaska Dispatch News reported at the time that the amendment passed to allow such consumption would function "as a placeholder," pending more specific rules. In February, Alaska Dispatch News reported the board abandoned a regulatory project that had been in the works since May 2016. But then, in March, the body decided it would take another stab at it.
The Alaska Dispatch News reports that a group of more than two-dozen concerned parents from across Alaska have formed a coalition in support of Ballot Measure 2, the statewide initiative on the November ballot to regulate marijuana like alcohol. They believe that regulating marijuana like alcohol will be a more effective means of keeping it out of the hands of their children, noting that marijuana prohibition has failed to prevent teens from accessing marijuana, and illegal dealers are not limiting their sales to adults over 21.
The chair of Parents for Ballot Measure 2, Kim Kole, an Anchorage high school teacher and mother of two teenage girls, made the following statement in a news release:
“I’m voting yes on Ballot Measure 2 because marijuana prohibition has failed miserably at preventing teen access to marijuana. Keeping marijuana in an illegal market guarantees that sales will be entirely unregulated and that those selling it will not ask for ID. It’s time to control the sale of marijuana, and that’s what this will do. Arresting thousands of Alaskan adults has done nothing to keep marijuana out of the hands of teens. It’s time for a more sensible approach. As a high school teacher — and as a mom – I feel that regulating marijuana like alcohol is critical to protecting the health and safety of Alaska teens. Parents need to think critically about this issue, because what we are doing now clearly isn’t working. Marijuana is already here in Alaska and it’s not going away. By passing Ballot Measure 2, we can make sure that it is regulated and that the market is managed by responsible businesses governed by strict regulations to protect our kids."
Kole is the face of an online ad campaign launching today throughout the state that will educate parents about the benefits of regulating marijuana to keep it away from teens. Please support the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol by passing the message on to your friends and relatives!