Pubdate: Fri, 28 Aug 2015
Source: Alaska Dispatch News (AK)
Copyright: 2015 Alaska Dispatch Publishing
Note: Anchorage Daily News until July '14
Author: John A. Farleigh


That's what was on the campaign signs said and that's what Alaskans 
voted for. The Anchorage Assembly is not respecting the voters' will 
with it's "open container" requirement that marijuana be carried 
outside the passenger compartment (in the trunk). Alcohol can be 
carried inside a car as long as the seal is not broken. This law 
assures that alcohol is not being used by the driver. Thus the term 
"open container." Open containers must be carried in the trunk or in 
a locked glove box. Too bad there isn't a way to tell if marijuana is 
being used by the driver. Oh wait, there is! Unburnt marijuana is 
marijuana that is not currently being used. The open container law 
should define burnt marijuana as an "open container" and treat it 
like alcohol. Burnt and unburnt marijuana have strong and vastly 
different smells making this an easy ordinance to enforce. An unlit 
joint or bag of weed should be treated like an unopened bottle.

Sometimes when lawmakers don't like a law and they can't repeal it, 
they pass restrictions that make no sense other than trying to end 
the activity allowed by the law that they don't support. A recent 
example is Texas passing restrictions on abortion clinics that forced 
most of them to close (laws later rejected by courts). If they can't 
change the law, at least they can try to sabotage it. Mayor Berkowitz 
should veto this ordinance and send the Assembly back to the drawing 
board to pass an ordinance that is not excessively restrictive and 
respects the will of the voters.

Legislators, Assembly members and regulators that don't support legal 
marijuana should get over their rare loss and respect the vote. Quit 
passing overly restrictive or expensive laws aimed at marijuana users 
and businesses that are designed to thwart the voters will. By the 
way, I've never been limited to purchasing one case of beer or one 
bottle of rum at a liquor store. Why the limits on how much marijuana 
I can buy or possess?

- - John A. Farleigh

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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom