- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 4, 2015

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The Juneau Assembly has defined “public places” in the city where marijuana cannot be used under the state’s new voter-approved recreational pot law.

The assembly Monday also added marijuana to its secondhand smoke rules, adding pot to tobacco on the list of substances that cannot be smoked in “bars, private clubs, and any other enclosed space where marijuana or alcoholic beverages are sold, or food is offered for sale.”

The assembly could reconsider public use regulations when the state sets guidelines for marijuana establishments, the Juneau Empire (http://bit.ly/1F6qFyh) reported.

Voters in November approved legalizing recreational use of marijuana. 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.

Under the new law, the state has nine months from Feb. 24 to set guidelines for marijuana retail outlets, growers and testing establishments.

The state law bans using pot in public but did not define public places. Under the Juneau ordinance, public places will include streets, sidewalks, trails, parking lots, schools, businesses, parks and “the common areas of public or private buildings and facilities.”

Giono Barrett, who has announced his intention to open a marijuana establishment with his brother, and possibly document the experience in a TV series, said they needed a better definition of public space. A fenced-in porch for marijuana use by legal adults should be allowed for public celebrations, he said.

Benjamin Wilcox said some of the thousands of Juneau summer visitors likely will want to consume marijuana instead of alcohol if they have a safe place to do so.

“It seems kind of odd that you might want to offer a substance to purchase, collect the taxes happily and then turn them into a criminal,” he said. “They have bars to consume alcohol, they need a place to now consume this legal substance.”

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Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, http://www.juneauempire.com

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