JUNEAU (AP) — The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board plans to meet next week to decide whether to consider an emergency regulation defining what constitutes a public place for purposes of the new marijuana law. The board plans to meet Feb. 24, the day the voter-backed initiative to legalize recreational use of pot takes effect.
The initiative bans public consumption but does not define “public.” The board’s director, Cynthia Franklin, said the board reviewed the initiative to see if any other area absolutely needed to be addressed to avoid confusion or chaos as the law takes effect. She said that issue stood out.
The board will decide if that constitutes an emergency for writing a rule that would be in effect for 120 days, she said. If it decides that, she said she expects the board will look at the definition for public that’s already included in state law for criminal offenses.
Under the initiative, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board is in charge of writing regulations for the industry unless the Legislature creates a new board. Franklin said the alcohol board doesn’t have the technical authority to make rules related to marijuana until Feb. 24.
Lawmakers have been working on legislation to update state laws in line with the initiative, but Senate Majority Leader John Coghill, R-North Pole, said he didn’t see a bill passing both houses by Feb. 24. A rewrite of a bill is expected this week in the Senate Judiciary Committee, he said Monday during the Senate majority’s weekly news conference.