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Wasilla officials propose changes to city's strict new marijuana law

  • Author: Zaz Hollander
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published March 2, 2015

WASILLA -- Citing concerns about the legality of strict new marijuana regulations -- including a ban on homemade pot brownies -- passed just before recreational use of the drug became legal in Alaska last week, two Wasilla City Council members want an overhaul on the manufacturing and transport sections of the regulations.

The proposal from council members Brandon Wall and Colleen Sullivan-Leonard would make it legal to cook brownies and other edibles, extracts or concentrates, but not for sale. It would also be legal for caregivers and others to provide such products to qualified medical marijuana card carriers.

It would also eliminate a limit of 2 ounces of marijuana in a vehicle, changing it to the amount allowed by state law unless someone is licensed by the state to transport marijuana in greater quantities. Under state law, adults can possess 1 ounce of marijuana per person.

Wall and Sullivan-Leonard voted against the city's new marijuana regulations, enacted last week.

Their proposed ordinance is scheduled for introduction at a special meeting Wednesday starting at 6 p.m. The city council last Monday voted 4-2 in favor of local regulations that ban manufacturing brownies and any other kind of edible, as well as concentrates or extracts, within a private dwelling. Wasilla's regulations make it legal to smoke marijuana on private property but not if it "bothers" other residents or neighbors.

The new law's limits "pose a hardship" to medical marijuana patients who avoid smoking by using extractions or edibles, according to the proposed ordinance.

The current 2-ounce-per-vehicle limit would also block future marijuana businesses from transporting larger amounts of pot through Wasilla, the proposed ordinance says. The Parks Highway, the main artery between Anchorage and Fairbanks, bisects Wasilla.

Manufacturing and transport sections also conflict with constitutional protections against vetoing or repealing provisions of an initiative like the one authorized by Alaskan voters in November that legalized recreational marijuana use, the ordinance says. The transport limits conflict with Ballot Measure 2, the initiative legalizing marijuana that says it's legal to transport up to six plants, which would weigh more than 2 ounces.

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