- Associated Press - Sunday, February 1, 2015

KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) - The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly is considering whether or not to pursue a ban on commercial marijuana while regulations are developed by the state.

The assembly is set to discuss the issue Monday, the Ketchikan Daily News (https://is.gd/LE3iNq) reported.

Recreational marijuana becomes legalized this month under a ballot initiative approved by voters in November. Ballot Measure 2 decriminalizes the possession, use and non-sale transfer of up to an ounce of marijuana when the new law takes effect Feb. 24. The initiative also set in motion the legalization and permitting of marijuana sales.

For now, the sale of marijuana remains illegal, with the state not accepting business applications until February 2016.

In Ketchikan, assembly member John Harrington requested the discussion, saying residents worried that local regulation would be showing consent for marijuana use.

Similar local proposals have been considered, but not adopted, by the Anchorage Assembly and the North Pole City Council.

In Ketchikan, there has been little discussion among assembly members. Most have been either silent on prohibition or would opt for regulation.

“It’s not a good idea to have something so powerful underground,” said assembly member Bill Rotecki, who favors closely regulating marijuana sales.

“Let’s assume we do have the sale of marijuana in the borough,” Rotecki said. “I would like to ensure the products are safe and labeled - just like alcohol.”

Regardless of decisions by local government, limited personal use and growth of marijuana will remain legal after Feb. 24. So will the sale and possession of drug paraphernalia, which until now has been banned in the borough.

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


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