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Borough Assembly Approves Ordinance Restricting Public Marijuana Consumption

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The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly has unanimously approved an ordinance to regulate marijuana use. Assembly member John Davies says the intent is to clarify the evolving state law legalizing recreational marijuana.

“Clearly, what we’re trying to do is to keep the peace by having clear rules, so the referee knows when to blow the while and when not to blow the whistle,” Davies said.

The borough is now the third local government to adopt an ordinance regulating marijuana use. Like the city councils of Fairbanks and North Pole, the Assembly struggled with the definition of “public places” where marijuana consumption is banned.  Assembly member Christopher Quist successfully fought a provision banning marijuana use any place it can be seen by the public.

“I’m strongly of the opinion that if you can drink a beer on your front lawn, you should be able to use cannabis on your front lawn,” Quist said.

The borough’s definition of public places includes roads, sidewalks, schools, parks, businesses,  sports arenas, watercraft and numerous others locations.

Tim has worked in the news business for over three decades, mainly as a newspaper reporter and editor in southern Arizona. Tim first came to Alaska with his family in 1967, and grew up in Delta Junction before emigrating to the Lower 48 in 1977 to get a college education and see the world.