FAIRBANKS — On-site consumption of cannabis is currently prohibited by Fairbanks General Code, even if allowed by state law. But an ordinance proposes changing that, and the Fairbanks City Council has scheduled a work session to discuss the proposal.
The work session will be at 7 a.m. on April 4. Work sessions are open to the public, but public comment is not allowed without council action.
At Monday’s council meeting the ordinance was advanced to the next meeting of April 8 for second reading and a vote.
Currently, Fairbanks General Code bans on-site consumption “even if authorized by state law.”
Councilwoman Shoshana Kun introduced the ordinance seeking changes, which would amend the code to read, “No on-site consumption of marijuana at any marijuana establishment is allowed in the city, unless authorized by state law and regulated by the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office.”
Earlier this month Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer signed and filed rules allowing for the recreational use of marijuana at authorized shops, making Alaska poised to be the first state in the nation allowing people to use pot at certain stores.
“All this (ordinance) is asking is that we respect the state at this point,” Kun said.
Councilman David Pruhs made the first call for a work session, which was echoed by all the remaining council members.
“If we’re going to do this, let’s do it right the first time,” Pruhs said, adding he would like to hear from building and legal departments, and better understand how on-site consumption may interact with Alaska’s anti-smoking laws.
Councilwomen June Rogers and Valerie Therrien noted how the ordinance would completely change the city’s position regarding on-site consumption.
“I don’t think this is just a matter of crossing out a few words and adding a couple words, I think this is a very significant step,” Rogers said.
Therrien noted that “this would 100 percent change our position of the City Council.”
Councilwoman Kathryn Ottersten asked to be added to the ordinance as a co-sponsor.
Contact staff writer Robin Wood at 459-7510. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMcity.