- Associated Press - Friday, April 14, 2017

SOLDOTNA, Alaska (AP) - Officials in one Alaska city have taken steps to keep commercial marijuana out of Soldotna.

Soldotna City Council voted 4-2 Wednesday to direct city administrators to draft legislation that would ban marijuana establishments from operating within city limits, the Peninsula Clarion reported (https://bit.ly/2oH3qvt).

The council had previously placed a two-year suspension on pot businesses, which temporarily prohibited them until Jan. 1, 2018. With this vote, city administrators will start to draft legislation to ban them, present it to the Planning and Zoning Commission and have it go through the public process, Mayor Pete Sprague said.

Council members Lisa Parker and Tyson Cox voted against the measure.

“I’m certainly not trying to control people’s lives or what they choose to do,” Cashman said. “I just think Soldotna is pretty much, you know, a postage stamp, very small community.”



Before the vote, Council member Tim Cashman argued that the city already has enough issues with its budget and a sweeping state alcohol rewrite, and said adding marijuana regulations to the list of things to do would be overwhelming.

“I don’t think that this town really needs it,” he said. “I look at a couple of vacant buildings in town and . I drive by and . I would hate to see a sign that said, you know, ‘Get High at the Y.’ . I just don’t think that’s necessarily what Soldotna needs to be.”

Other council members say residents interested in marijuana can still purchase it throughout the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

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This story is corrected to show that council members voted to direct city staff to draft legislation that would ban pot, not that members voted to ban marijuana.

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Information from: (Kenai, Alaska) Peninsula Clarion, https://www.peninsulaclarion.com

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