- Associated Press - Saturday, December 5, 2015

KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) - Retail marijuana shops will not be able to open within Ketchikan city limits.

Thursday’s 5-2 vote came after public comment and a 20-minute discussion, The Ketchikan Daily News reported (http://bit.ly/1OMCkI2).

Councilman Dick Coose voted in favor of the measure. He said residents can still grow and share their own marijuana if they are at least 21 years old, but that the city does not need to make the substance readily available by allowing shops.

“I recognize the voters did it to themselves,” he said. ” … Well sometimes, the voters don’t always get it right, and this is one of them. I think it’s wrong, because there’s too many dangers out there. If the people are going to smoke it, they’ve got that opportunity.”

Officials also expressed concern over state regulations and questioned the expectations for government revenue from taxing marijuana.

Council members Judy Zenge and KJ Harris dissented. Zenge said unlike with home growers who share their marijuana crop, consumers know what they’re getting from regulated retailers.

“We tell people (that) if they want to effect change, you need to vote, so they did,” she said. “And so, I don’t think we get to pick and choose. They voted, let’s do it.”

Harris said prohibiting pot shops means a potential loss of tax revenue.

“It’s OK for us to sell all the booze in the world and sell all the jewelry in the world … but a new product just scares the hell out of us,” Harris said.

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Information from: Ketchikan (Alaska) Daily News, http://www.ketchikandailynews.com

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