Pro-pot group announces support from some parents

JUNEAU (AP) — A group supporting the legalization of recreational use of marijuana in Alaska has announced what it calls a statewide coalition of moms and dads supporting the initiative.

 

The coalition was announced last week as part of an online ad launch by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol aimed at educating parents “about the benefits of regulating marijuana to keep it away from teens.”

The list of supporters includes Juneau Assembly member Jesse Kiehl and former state House Majority Leader Kyle Johansen.

Kiehl told KTOO that he would rather see public safety dollars spent on preventing domestic violence or on cracking down on drugs such as heroin.

In August, Police Chief Bryce Johnson told the Juneau Chamber of Commerce enforcement of driving under the influence laws could be a challenge if the initiative passes. Johnson also expressed concern that marijuana-related DUI cases could increase.

A group opposing the initiative, “Big Marijuana. Big Mistake,” said a number of organizations across the state, including the Alaska Association of Chiefs of Police, Alaska Conference of Mayors and Alaska Academy of Family Physicians, also are against the measure.

Voters will decide in November whether to legalize and regulate the recreational use of marijuana for those 21 years of age and older.

Kiehl, who works as an aide to Democratic state Sen. Dennis Egan, said the measure isn’t perfect but said the Legislature can fix any problems with it.

“And the first thing I plan to do is talk to legislators about child resistant containers,” Kiehl said. “I think that’s important, it’s not in there now. But there’s never been an initiative that didn’t need some tweaks.”


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