ALASKA: An ordinance that would have banned commercial marijuana in Anchorage failed after four hours of public testimony and debate in Assembly chambers Tuesday night.
The Assembly voted 9-2 just after 10 p.m. to kill the measure. Only members Amy Demboski and Paul Honeman supported the measure. Demboski introduced the proposal last month, hoping the city would take a “wait and see approach” as state lawmakers craft marijuana regulations.
But several Assembly members expressed concern that a ban would disconnect them from conversations regarding marijuana regulations at the state level. “I’m fearful the message on ‘opt out’ will send key legislators in Anchorage to the sidelines,” said Assemblyman Bill Starr. “That will make my work harder.”
Demboski said her goal in bringing the legislation forward was not to stifle pot in Anchorage, but to begin to move the conversation forward on big topics dealing with the substance, including potential issues at the federal level. She noted it will especially be important to engage with Alaska’s congressional delegation on how to mitigate potential federal impacts.
“It’s bringing the conversation forward,” Demboski said.