Pubdate: Sat, 17 Jan 2015
Source: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (AK)
Copyright: 2015 Fairbanks Publishing Company, Inc.
Author: Amanda Bohman


FAIRBANKS - The North Pole City Council will soon be considering a 
ban on the sale of marijuana in city limits.

Marijuana retail stores do not reflect the values of the 
Christmas-themed community, a draft ordinance states.

North Pole Councilwoman Sharron Hunter is behind the measure, which 
will be the subject of a workshop at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at North Pole 
City Hall. The workshop is a public meeting, but public testimony 
won't be accepted at that time, City Clerk Kathy Weber said.

The ordinance is a draft and has not yet been formally introduced 
before the City Council.

Hunter, who has worked with youths as a drug prevention specialist, 
said she wants to avoid sending a message to young people that using 
marijuana is OK.

"It's a subtle message that happens when you have a retail store," she said.

Hunter also said she is concerned that marijuana enforcement might 
cost the city more than it could recuperate from a tax on sales of 
marijuana products.

Under the new state law, approved by the voters and going into effect 
on Feb. 24, communities can opt out of the marijuana industry.

The draft ordinance says marijuana sales would be prohibited in North 
Pole but that personal use of marijuana would not be affected.

North Pole Mayor Bryce Ward said he is still considering the proposed 
ban on marijuana sales and looks forward to discussing the matter 
with other local leaders next week.

In the Fairbanks North Star Borough, Mayor Luke Hopkins is convening 
a task force to discuss marijuana policy for the borough.

While the initiative legalizing recreational marijuana use passed 
statewide and in the borough, the measure failed in voting precincts 
in North Pole.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom