Anchorage Lawmakers Shoot Down Proposal to Ban Marijuana Sales

Citing concerns over city finances and being disconnected from conversations regarding legal marijuana at the state level, the Anchorage Assembly voted 9-2 against a proposal that would have banned marijuana sales in Alaska’s largest city.

The proposal was introduced by Assembly member and mayoral candidate Amy Demboski as a “wait and see” approach to commercial cannabis. After four hours of public testimony and debate, even the proposal’s co-sponsor Dick Triani ultimately voted against it. In the end, Demboski and Assemblyman Paul Honeman were the only votes in support of the proposal.

Demboski said her proposal was not a move to stifle the push for legal marijuana, but was an attempt to spark conversation about overarching local, state, and federal concerns over marijuana’s regulation.

Voicing his concerns over the proposal, Assemblyman Bill Starr explained, “I’m fearful the message on ‘opt out’ will send key legislators in Anchorage to the sidelines. That will make my work harder.”

In November, 53 percent of Alaskan voters decided to approve Ballot Measure 2, which legalizes recreational marijuana and calls for the establishment of a regulated market for the substance across the nation’s largest state.


Photo Credit: Paxson Woelber

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