Pubdate: Fri, 22 May 2015
Source: Alaska Dispatch News (AK)
Copyright: 2015 Alaska Dispatch Publishing
Note: Anchorage Daily News until July '14
Author: Devin Kelly


Anchorage Assembly Chair Dick Traini is proposing to treat marijuana 
smoke like tobacco smoke when it comes to public facilities, 
workplaces and schools.

A measure that Traini plans to introduce next week at the Assembly 
meeting would incorporate marijuana and marijuana products into the 
city's secondhand smoking law. That means smoking marijuana would not 
be allowed in public places, workplaces, child care centers, outdoor 
arenas, stadiums and amphitheaters and municipal facilities, including schools.

People also would not be allowed to smoke within 5 feet of the 
entrance to a place licensed to serve alcohol, or within 50 feet of a 
hospital or medical clinic entrance.

"If things go the way they are now, you could not smoke tobacco 
within 5 feet of a building, but you could smoke marijuana there," 
Traini said. "We want to treat smoke as smoke."

A memo submitted to the Assembly cites uncertainty about the health 
impacts of secondhand marijuana smoke. It also noted that many of the 
facilities in question are already covered by a city ban on public 
consumption, which defines a public place as "a place to which the 
public or a substantial group of persons has access" and includes 
streets, highways, sidewalks, alleys, transportation facilities and 
parks and playgrounds.

Traini's proposal sidesteps, however, the more controversial question 
of marijuana smoke in private clubs, bars or bingo halls. In 2007, 
voters approved a ban on smoking in those facilities and other indoor spaces.

"We'd have to look at that," Traini said. "This is the first step in 
a long process."

His measure also incorporates a $100 fine for consuming marijuana in 
a public place.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom