October 19, 2015

Proposed Ban On Marijuana Clubs Is Bad For Alaska

October 19, 2015
alaska marijuana legalization

alaska marijuana legalizationThere is a place near my house that is extremely popular. It’s basically a recreation center for marijuana consumers. It started out just being for Oregon medical marijuana patients, but with the implementation of Measure 91, anyone over 21 years old with a valid ID can get in now. The place has ping pong, Foosball, board games, karaoke night, bingo night, and just about everything else that you could imagine other than arcade games. The place was very popular prior to Oregon Measure 91 taking effect, and is exponentially more popular now.

I think part of it is that people can’t consume marijuana in their rental properties, and part of it is the need to socialize. Just as someone can sit at home and consume alcohol but they like to sometimes go out to a bar, club, pub, or tavern, so too do people like to consume marijuana around other people in a social environment. Unfortunately, there is a proposed ban on such businesses in Alaska, which has a lot of people understandably upset. Per Marijuana Business Daily:

The state’s proposed regulations on recreational marijuana call for a ban on clubs that allow consumers to consume marijuana, nixing a potential business opportunity for entrepreneurs.

That means the only legally protected place to consume marijuana is inside a private home. Many landlords, however, don’t allow that. Marijuana consumers face a similar dilemma in other states that have legalized recreational cannabis.

It’s unclear if the state will look to revise its proposal on the issue. But it seems doubtful, as lawyers have advised the five-member Alaska Marijuana Control Board that it doesn’t have the authority to authorize the clubs because the ballot measure doesn’t explicitly allow them.

Just because the ballot measure didn’t explicitly state that these types of businesses are allowed shouldn’t mean that they should be banned. Did the ballot measure specifically outlaw them? Because it’s my understanding that the intent of the measure was to regulate marijuana like alcohol, and if you can possess and consume in private, I don’t see why these types of businesses should be banned. They are a great idea, would generate jobs, and cause way less problems than bars, which are littered all over Alaska.


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