Pubdate: Wed, 28 Jan 2015
Source: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (AK)
Copyright: 2015 Fairbanks Publishing Company, Inc.
Author: Amanda Bohman


FAIRBANKS - A panel to discuss local marijuana regulations convenes 
Wednesday at the Fairbanks North Star Borough Administrative Center at 10 a.m.

Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins invited about 20 people to sit on the 
panel, which will advise him on local issues surrounding marijuana, 
such as where it can be used or sold.

Hopkins plans to eventually sponsor an ordinance and hold an open 
house so the community can examine his ideas about what direction the 
borough should take when it comes to marijuana.

The city of North Pole has started similar discussions. A spokeswoman 
for the city of Fairbanks said the city has yet to take up the issue.

On Feb. 24, more-permissive marijuana laws take effect allowing 
people over 21 to grow, carry and trade it. Pot sales will be 
permitted later after the state creates regulations. It remains 
unlawful to consume marijuana in public.

The agenda for the Mayor's Marijuana Working Group, the official name 
for the panel, includes an overview of the voter-approved ballot 
initiative on pot, a discussion of zoning in the borough, a summary 
of how Colorado dealt with new marijuana laws and a roundtable discussion.

Hopkins invited leaders from multiple facets of the community to help 
him form marijuana regulations.

The list of invitees includes Jennifer Imus, chairwoman of the 
Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce board of directors; Col. Sydney 
C. Zemp, garrison commander at Fort Wainwright; Col. Michael Winkler, 
wing commander at Eielson Air Force Base; Alaska State Troopers Capt. 
Burke Barrick; Fairbanks Mayor John Eberhart; Fairbanks Police Chief 
Randall Aragon; Mike Powers, chief executive officer of Fairbanks 
Memorial Hospital; and University of Alaska Fairbanks Chancellor Brian Rogers.

Also invited to the panel are Audrey Ranstead, owner of Bruegger's 
Bagels; Gunnar Ebbesson, an addiction counselor; Heidi Haas, 
president of the Fairbanks school board; Karen Gaborik, Fairbanks 
schools superintendent; Victor Joseph, president of the Tanana Chiefs 
Conference; Shawn Evans of Alaska Commercial Properties; Lt. Chad 
Rathbun of the North Pole Police Department; psychiatrist Mikki 
Barker; Brandon Emmett of the Citizens for Responsible Cannabis 
Legislation; and Borough Assemblywoman Diane Hutchison.

The meeting is open to the public, but testimony will not be 
accepted, Hopkins said.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom