Borough Assembly Approves Ordinance Restricting Public Marijuana Consumption

Feb 27, 2015

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.