- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - The mayor of North Pole has proposed an ordinance aimed at keeping the use of marijuana inside homes.

Alaska’s new voter-approved state law decriminalizing marijuana prohibits pot use in “public places.” An ordinance proposed by Mayor Bryce Ward defines a public place as just about everywhere in North Pole outside a home, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported (http://bit.ly/1DtW6Bb ).

“We are saying that the only place it’s allowed, if this ordinance passes, is in your home,” Ward said of marijuana use.

The state law takes effect Feb. 24. It specifies that adults no longer will be arrested under state law for possessing up to an ounce of pot outside their homes. Adults also no longer will be prosecuted for growing up to six plants.

Ward introduced his measure Monday. It defines a public place in North Pole as streets, sidewalks, alleys, transportation facilities, parking areas, arenas, schools, businesses, parks, playgrounds and prisons.

Hallways, lobbies and doorways of apartment houses and hotels also fall under the definition of a public place.

The ordinance was advanced, along with other marijuana ordinances, for a vote Feb. 17.

The fine for using marijuana in public in North Pole would be $100.

The proposed ordinance would allow marijuana businesses to apply for a permit allowing customers to use pot on business premises. Brandon Emmett, executive director of the Coalition for Responsible Cannabis Legislation, said he supports the ordinance because of that provision.

“This could open the door to establishments, such as cannabis-themed coffee shops, being allowed to have marijuana consumed on premises,” Emmett said by email.

Another ordinance proposed by Ward bans the extraction of marijuana oil using flammable substances.

He also sponsored a resolution asking the state to clarify certain marijuana questions, such as whether limits on possession of pot apply to a household or each person within a household, and whether a vehicle is considered a public place.

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Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com

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