Anti-Smoking Bill Would Kill Cannabis Cafes

Contributed by Tim Hinterberger, Chairman of Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

Contact your representative and ask for an amendment to SB 1.

A bill designed to protect Alaskans from the harmful effects of tobacco smoke is being hijacked as a way to shut down cannabis cafés before they are given a chance. If SB 1 passes in its current form, adult consumers would once again be limited to consumption in their homes. It would include not only smoking, but also vaporization. State visitors would have no place to go.

Reach out to your representative and let him or her know SB 1 needs to be amended so cannabis cafés can operate.

Last November, Alaska made history when the Marijuana Control Board established a category for retail businesses that would allow on-site cannabis consumption. This forward-thinking rule bypassed the long and costly struggles other states have had, which are still looking for a solution to problems associated with public consumption. The board recognized that by allowing adults to consume marijuana legally inside regulated businesses, Alaska would reduce the likelihood that they consume illegally on the street, in vehicles, on sidewalks, and in parks.

But some lawmakers are trying to move Alaska backwards. This undermines the current regulatory system, overlooks the value such places would bring, and pushes Alaska into the same public use problems other states have. The program should be allowed to function before lawmakers find ways to undermine it.