The Kodiak City Council last night advanced to public hearing two ordinances, one of which deals with edible marijuana products, and the other, online sales tax.
KMXT’s Maggie Wall has more.
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The two ordinances will now go to public hearing, where at least the marijuana edibles one, is expected to draw a number of comments from both sides of the issue.
The first, would advance the City of Kodiak a few steps closer to collecting sales tax on online purchases. The city and other local governments are working together to form a single body for on-line tax collection purposes.
The other ordinance would allow the sale of marijuana edibles within the city limits. While there was no official public hearing, two audience members took advantage of the Citizens Comments period near the beginning of the meeting to express their concern about the measure.
Kent Cross said he is concerned about health issues related to marijuana.
“Marijuana is bad for the individual and it’s bad for the community, the use of it, and you don’t take my word for it. Go to the National Institute of Health, their nonpartisan government agency read what they have to say just google marijuana, edible safety and all kinds of information will come up.”
He added that he has no problem with people using marijuana for medicinal purposes with a doctor’s prescription.
Before voting to advance the ordinance, Council Member John Whiddon said he has no issue with adults smoking pot or eating edible marijuana products, but he is concerned that kids, especially young ones, could end up ingesting edibles by mistaking it for food or candy.
“And I’ve had that concern voiced me by numerous people. I did do some research I’ve visited the marijuana retail shops here in Kodiak and I also went to one in Juneau and looked at what they sell. And you know, there’s nothing that looks like a known brand known product the name product, we would sell the set at a candy store however, I think to somebody who’s younger food is food. And if it’s in a readily accessible I think they’re probably going to grab ahold of it.”
Whiddon suggested that if the council ultimately allows the sale of edibles that the city consider an educational campaign to help children understand what they look like and why they should be avoided.
Council Member Terry Haines said he supported the measure.
“I’d like to point out that we shouldn’t hold marijuana to a higher standard than anything else is legal. Because the fact is, it is legal. And I think that people like my mother should be able to have access to things that treat her pain in a way that’s much less has many fewer side effects and everything else she’s ever used.
“The other thing I’d like to point out is that folks say, “Well, if you want to have that edibles you can make your own. But the fact is that if you make your own edibles, you don’t know what that dosage is now. And edibles right now are made [with a tested] system where you know exactly how much is in.
“You know, if it’s legal, it’s your responsibility to keep it out of the reach of children, whether it’s pills, alcohol or any other thing that’s legal and on our shelves already.”
The final vote on whether or not to allow selling marijuana edibles in the city is expected to come up for a vote following a public hearing at the next council meeting.