Last Friday, the Marijuana Control Board, the group in charge of writing rules for the Alaskan recreational cannabis industry, voted in favor of making it legal for citizens to consume cannabis at some legal retail dispensaries.
Although none of the shops are currently open, the 3-2 vote altered the definition of “in public” in order to make it possible for people to smoke in these certain areas, even though the law states that public use is banned. Colorado, Oregon and Washington have all legalized recreational cannabis as well, but have not approved any form of public use.
The vote to legalize cannabis consumption for citizens 21 years or older was approved last November, but no shops have been issued licenses to distribute yet. The state is prepared to begin accepting applications in February. Many supporters have come out publicly to express their belief that the definition of “in public” restricted their ability to consume cannabis outside of their homes.
The regulations must still be approved by the Department of Law and Lt. Gov. Mallot. If fully approved, the amendment would eliminate cannabis retailers from falling into the category of a public space.
With the consideration and approved initial vote for this amendment, Alaska seems to be working towards being the leader for other states who have yet to create public areas for cannabis users to legally consume.