Current weather

  • Clear sky
  • 21°
    Clear sky
  • Comment

Considering cannabis

Residents talk THC during Tuesday chamber luncheon

Posted: July 29, 2014 - 9:44pm  |  Updated: July 29, 2014 - 9:52pm
Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion Tom Tougas, a representative from Big Marijuana. Big Mistake, talks about the marketing of marijuana "edibles" Tuesday July 29, 2014 at the Soldotna Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. Tougas, whose organization opposes ballot measure no. 2 which would legalize and regulate marijuana use in the state, said the marketing of "edibles" using cartoon characters and candy could be interpreted as targeting children.
Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion Tom Tougas, a representative from Big Marijuana. Big Mistake, talks about the marketing of marijuana "edibles" Tuesday July 29, 2014 at the Soldotna Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. Tougas, whose organization opposes ballot measure no. 2 which would legalize and regulate marijuana use in the state, said the marketing of "edibles" using cartoon characters and candy could be interpreted as targeting children.

A joint Kenai and Soldotna chamber luncheon was awash in marijuana slang and fresh-baked brownies Tuesday as the merits of a ballot measure to legalize the substance in Alaska were debated.

About 30 people gathered to hear Taylor Bickford, a representative from the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol and Tom Tougas, of Big Marijuana. Big Mistake, discuss Ballot Measure 2, which will allow voters to decide in November whether Alaska should become the latest state to legalize marijuana.

The ballot measure is labeled as an act to tax and regulate the production, sale and use of marijuana in the state and would make use of the substance legal for Alaskans who are at least 21 years old.

During his presentation, Bickford likened the criminalization of marijuana use to the failed attempt to ban alcohol during America’s Prohibition.

“Alcohol prohibition was an abject failure in this country, it lasted for 13-years and it stopped nothing,” Bickford said. “What it did was it criminalized otherwise law-abiding adults for using alcohol … it was extremely wasteful. Our federal government spent millions of dollars trying to fight a war that couldn’t be won.”

Bickford said smoking marijuana was “objectively safer” than drinking alcohol — yet being caught with pot could have long-lasting detrimental affects on Alaskans.

“When you get arrested on a marijuana offense in this state, good luck finding a job, good luck getting a college scholarship, it puts your life on hold and we know that people who have an interaction like this with the criminal justice system are much more likely to become repeat offenders, they’re much more likely to end up in prison.”

Tougas said the issue was not whether people could smoke the substance, rather that the ballot initiative would create a commercialized pot industry in the state, one that promoted the message that smoking pot was a normal and accepted part of life.

“We oppose the initiative because we’ve read it,” Tougas said. “I’ve read every word of the initiative, we oppose the initiative because it’s extreme. We oppose this initiative because it legalizes the industrialization and commercialization industry at the expense of our children, our employees and our state.”

Tougas’ presentation focused primarily on the marketing of marijuana in states that had legalized the substance, and on the consequences of legalization and the resulting commercial marijuana-selling industry’s affect on Alaska’s workforce and youth.

After the dueling presentations, several residents asked questions of the two debaters including Robyn Sullens, of Kenai, who asked Tougas several questions.

“Sir, have you ever used marijuana?” Sullens said.

“No, I have not,” Tougas said.

“OK,” Sullens said. “If your wife or child was on their death bed and marijuana could save them, Would you allow them to take marijuana, yes or no?” Sullens said.

“Yes,” Tougas said. “And this is not about medical marijuana.”

Sullens said she was asking “yes” or “no” questions.

“Does your group believe that there are professionals that are responsible and have been using marijuana for years, yes or no?” Sullens said.

“I can’t speak for the group,” Tougas said. “I’m a volunteer, all I can do is speak for myself and I’m sure there are professional people that use marijuana and they’re doing it legally now and I don’t have any objection to that.”

Sullens said she took issue with a portion of Tougas’ presentation during which he said that the marketing of various pot edibles in other states using cartoon characters and candy, were primarily targeted at children.

“Sir, I like lollipops and suckers. I still watch cartoons. So if you’re saying that they’re marketing toward kids, that’s not true because I like lollipops. I’m 45 years old,” she said.

Soldotna-resident Patricia Patterson said she had to delve into the process of buying marijuana after her son got sick.

“Once I got it on my property, I was OK to give to my son when he was getting very, very, very ill from chemotherapy,” she said. “During the process of buying marijuana … I thought I was committing a crime.”

Alaska’s voters will get a chance to weigh in on Ballot Measure 2 on Nov. 4.

 

Reach Rashah McChesney at rashah.mcchesney@peninsulaclarion.com

 

 

 

 

  • Comment

Comments (16) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
beaverlooper
3096
Points
beaverlooper 08/01/14 - 09:30 pm
0
0
That's really funny

Do you REALLY think that there isn't a commercial cannabis industry in Alaska already. If I was a pot grower I'd vote against legalization, the price would go down and take all of the money out of the business. No risk, no bucks.
Oh, but we could tax the c$@p out of it and even up the playing field.Maybe if we could even use the extra money to give the oil companies a tax break.
Illegal pot is really just a jobs program any way,just think of how many cops, guards,bailiffs, court clerks and D.A.s lawyers ,corporations that design, engineer and build prisons and maybe even a judge or two would be out of work.
Vote no on legalized pot.
No, I Don't grow, but I have worked on prison construction jobs.Waiting for the next one.

Suss
3912
Points
Suss 08/01/14 - 10:41 pm
1
1
Half baked

Joint Chamber luncheon, baked brownies, chronic pot issues.

Decriminalize yes, full on sales and grow for all, think not.

Quite a few are not passing employment drug screens now.

Even if legal your employer can say not in my shop.

This well funded pot ballot measure will most likely pass by a few points margin.

Look for the law to change for mandatory blood testing for driving while smelling like pot.

beaverlooper
3096
Points
beaverlooper 08/01/14 - 11:24 pm
0
0
feds

It will still be against federal law .
Good on the blood test though at least they show that you are actually impaired as opposed to having smoked 3 weeks ago.
The pee cup is not going to go away pass or fail.

Suss
3912
Points
Suss 08/02/14 - 09:11 am
1
2
Blood test

Zero tolerance states like Arizona, it does not matter how many nanograms, zero or else, you are charged with driving under the influence. DUID and Per Se driving.

http://www.mpp.org/assets/pdfs/library/Zero-Tolerance-and-Per-Se-Driving...

Some wiggle room for medical marijuana card holders.

leewaytooo
2015
Points
leewaytooo 08/02/14 - 05:07 am
3
1
which is worse alcohol or pot

which is worse

alcohol or pot or drug free?

it would seem that from reading, that people that are

"drug free" cause the most accidents.

pot usage accounts for such a small amount of accidents.

still.. no accidents would be best.

http://norml.org/library/item/marijuana-and-driving-a-review-of-the-scie...

"DRIVING SIMULATOR STUDIES

“Overall, it is possible to conclude that cannabis has a measurable effect on psychomotor performance, particularly tracking ability. Its effect on higher cognitive functions, for example divided attention tasks associated with driving, appear not to be as critical. Drivers under the influence of cannabis seem aware that they are impaired, and attempt to compensate for this impairment by reducing the difficulty of the driving task, for example by driving more slowly.

In terms of road safety, it cannot be concluded that driving under the influence of cannabis is not a hazard, as the effects of various aspects of driver performance are unpredictable. However, in comparison with alcohol, the severe effects of alcohol on the higher cognitive processes of driving are likely to make this more of a hazard, particularly at higher blood alcohol levels.”

people make mistakes no matter sober or not.

if you are going to drink, smoke or pop pills.

stay home, it would be in yours and my best interest.

Suss
3912
Points
Suss 08/02/14 - 12:46 pm
1
1
Pot and Alcohol

The true data on drugged driving only happens when a blood serum test is done.

These tests for drugs usually only happens in serious injury or fatal car crashes.

Alcohol tops the list but drugs are found with alcohol in many of the fatalities.

To say that there is such a small amount of accidents that are pot related is not supported by reality or facts or true statistical data.

These statistics are only for fatalities.

With 12% of drivers tested positive with marijuana in fatal crashes.

This compares with 40% for alcohol.

28% for any drugs found in fatal accidents.

Many or most drunk drivers are never tested for drugs because the alcohol level sufficed for an arrest.

If there was a blood test for drugs for every drunk driver arrested what would be the true data about drugged driving?

"If a driver is under the influence of alcohol, their risk of a fatal crash is 13 times higher than the risk of the driver who is not under the influence of alcohol," Li said. "But if the driver is under the influence of both alcohol and marijuana, their risk increases to 24 times that of a sober person."

http://consumer.healthday.com/public-health-information-30/marijuana-new...

http://www.stopdruggeddriving.org/pdfs/IBHCommentaryMarijuanaandDruggedD...

http://www2.potsdam.edu/alcohol/files/Marijuana-Use-Increases-Risk-of-Tr...

http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/research/job185drugs/cannabis.htm

There will be new laws that will require mandatory blood testing for any drug if a driver is suspected of DUID.

This is already taking place after obtaining a search warrant, with the police using the DRE exam results as their probable cause. This usually only happens when there is a low or negative alcohol reading.

Will Alaska become a Zero Tolerance Per Se state or will it find a nanogram value for an impairment threshold for DUID?

I bet on Zero, with our current legislative body.

Raoulduke
3055
Points
Raoulduke 08/02/14 - 09:57 am
0
2
Some states

There are some states that check for marijuana by the use of a swab.This is performed in the field similar to any field sobriety test.Maybe Alaska should adopt this on all traffic stops.A traffic stop is justification for such testing. The changes if any should come from the voters.

Raoulduke
3055
Points
Raoulduke 08/02/14 - 10:02 am
0
0
Price

The states that have legal medicinal,or recreational use of marijuana.Have discovered.The price is equal to,or higher than the Black Market prices. Go figure!

beaverlooper
3096
Points
beaverlooper 08/02/14 - 12:57 pm
0
0
legal

The drugs most abused in the Kenai area and probably most places are drugs prescribed by doctors,or so I was told by a Kenai Police Officer.They also require a blood test to verify for DUID.

leewaytooo
2015
Points
leewaytooo 08/03/14 - 04:15 am
2
1
"The study found that, in

"The study found that, in 2011, the proportion of drivers in fatal crashes in Colorado testing positive for marijuana had risen to 10 percent — up from 5.9 percent in early 2009. In states without medical marijuana laws, 4.1 percent of fatal-crash drivers tested positive in 2011 — almost identical to the numbers from early 2009. Overall traffic fatalities in Colorado fell slightly during that period. "

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_25770838/more-colorado-drivers-fatal-c...

"One study shows more drivers involved in fatal car accidents in Colorado are testing positive for marijuana — and that Colorado has a higher percentage of such drivers testing positive for pot than other states even when controlled for several variables. But the data the researchers use does not reveal whether those drivers were impaired at the time of the crash or whether they were at fault."

the data is suspect.... mainly because they do not give the

level of THC found in the blood. a simple trace found

puts you into the "user" category. that trace could be from

days before.

try again.........

it is still a small amount... and given that the data is

incomplete.... means that it is even less...

try again.

Suss
3912
Points
Suss 08/03/14 - 09:12 am
1
2
"Study Finds"

Try, try, again.

"Fatal Car Crashes Involving Pot Use Have Tripled in U.S., Study Finds."

"Researchers note that increase included men and women, and all age groups."

There are more studies that are more current.

You can use older data, discount the data, ignore the data or find contradictory data.

Dead is dead.... Injury crashes are just as devastating and they are not included in the study.

More fatalities with drivers testing positive for marijuana is increasing and it is likely that this trend will continue upward with more testing.

http://consumer.healthday.com/public-health-information-30/marijuana-new...

"Fatal Car Crashes Involving Pot Use Have Tripled in U.S., Study Finds."

"Researchers note that increase included men and women, and all age groups."

For more information on driving under the influence of marijuana, visit the Pew Charitable Trusts.

SOURCES: Guohua Li, M.D., Dr.PH, professor, epidemiology and anesthesiology, and director, Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention, Columbia University, New York City; Jan Withers, national president, Mothers Against Drunk Driving; Jonathan Adkins, deputy executive director, Governors Highway Safety Association; Jan. 29, 2014, American Journal of Epidemiology, online

leewaytooo
2015
Points
leewaytooo 08/04/14 - 04:41 am
2
1
spin spin spin you avoid the

spin spin spin

you avoid the fact that none of the "studies"

give "levels" of thc or are able to

determine when the pot was consumed.

"trace" is not the same thing as saying that your

bac is .08 or higher. trace doesn't even mean

that the person was "high" at the time.

keep trying you might actually get it right once you

move that nose out of truth's way.

try again

corinnep
288
Points
corinnep 08/04/14 - 04:49 pm
3
0
No More People Going To Jail For Smoking Pot

“I’ve read every word of the initiative, we oppose the initiative because it’s extreme." That's what the "no"s say everytime this comes up on the ballot. There will never be a perfect ballot intitiative for pot prohibitionists.

I am voting for this ballot measure because I do not want one single more person going to jail for possessing marijuana.

Suss
3912
Points
Suss 08/04/14 - 11:25 pm
2
1
Meh, Jail for Pot

Most people caught with pot get a summons, small fine, probation.

Cops can, and sometimes do take them to jail for small amounts.

Attitude of cop and attitude of pot holder makes the difference.

Yes it is stupid. Make pot a violation, $100.00 ticket and call it good.

No court appearance unless you want to fight it. No jail. No appointed attorney, no major deal.

California went that way and saved millions.

Even if pot were to be legal, use in public will probably be still outlawed, but not worth the effort to write a ticket.

Driving and pot is going to be the new enforcement money train.

DUID will bring in a lot of money and there will be concentrated efforts to make as many cases as they can dream up.

The law of secondary unintended consequences will bring about a massive shift in arrests for driving while green.

"They looked stoned", a quick swab and it is off to the blood draw, then jail.

It will take years to settle all the court cases in the Court of Appeals, Supreme Court before the reasonable standards are worked out.

Raoulduke
3055
Points
Raoulduke 08/04/14 - 08:44 pm
2
0
Studies?

Queen Victoria started the "Indian Hemp Commission" to study the affects of marijuana.Since! She was a smoker of the plant.She said it curbed her menstrual cramping.This was in the mid 1890's. This has got to be the most studied plant in history.

AKPot
3
Points
AKPot 08/10/14 - 09:54 pm
1
0
Where is the common sense?

Has anyone who is against the total legalization done their due diligence? Do you have any idea why is was outlawed in the first place.
Do you know who stands to lose Billions? The real drug pushers of the world................The Pharmaceutical Company's.
Then we have the argument.........What about the children? I am not worried nor should you be,...if you were a good parent and raised your children correctly. My children know the proper care and use of firearms,the dangers of smoking as well as what drugs are and there proper place in society.
Ask yourself this, What is a drug? The answer I come up with is simple. Something that makes you feel better. It could be physical or mental. A heroin addict didn't start doing heroin because it made them feel bad, nor did the alcoholic start drinking in hopes of being an alcoholic.
What about coffee? I like this one as you can have the same argument here as for Marijuana in some aspects. It's much more potent than 20 years ago and is not the same stuff now days. Say that slowly while you sip your quad mocha.
Educate yourself. Pot has been around for a long time. The last 3 leaders of the free world have openly admitted using marijuana as well as 10's of 1000's of people of position. If it's not for you, that's cool. But don't bash something just out of ignorance. If you feel the need to take up cause for something that is out of control with kids and adults alike, ban cell phones and driving. The short time they have been around they have caused more death to innocent people than Marijuana has since the beginning of time.

Back to Top

Spotted

Please Note: You may have disabled JavaScript and/or CSS. Although this news content will be accessible, certain functionality is unavailable.

Skip to News

« back

next »

  • title http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321268/ http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321253/ http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321248/
  • title http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321243/ http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321208/ http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/320593/
  • title http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321173/ http://spotted.peninsulaclarion.com/galleries/321163/
My Gallery

CONTACT US

  • 150 Trading Bay Rd, Kenai, AK 99611
  • Switchboard: 907-283-7551
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-283-3584
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-283-3299
  • Business Fax: 907-283-3299
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-335-1257
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES

SOCIAL NETWORKING

MORRIS ALASKA NEWS