Alaskan marijuana activists are working toward making it legal for people to purchase and consume marijuana on-site at recreational dispensaries.
On-site consumption exists in other parts of the world, like Amsterdam and Spain, for example, and are generally known as “coffee shops.” They provide a place for locals and tourists to buy and use marijuana, and then hang out – just like a bar, except for marijuana.
David Straub, an Alaskan marijuana grower, said, “We just know when tourists show up, that will be one of the first questions.”
Alaska would be the first state in the U.S. to allow on-site consumption, News Miner confirms. The Marijuana Control Board will consider draft rules in an upcoming meeting. Dispensary licenses will not be issued until September.
Brandon Emmett, a member of the Marijuana Control Board, said, “I think that we would be doing a disservice to the public if we did not have cannabis cafes.”
Emmett also said, “If other cities around the planet – like Amsterdam, some places in Spain and Morocco where consumption is legal – they haven’t seen the sort of social ills that have been associated with alcohol. Here in Alaska, we’ll be able to implement that policy responsibly.”
Several potential retail shop owners show support for on-site consumption. Some believe it would help address the stigma associated with marijuana use, helping rectify the ill-perception that a good portion of society still has.
Brandon Emmett commented on federal legalization, saying, “I think federal legalization is going to happen in the next five years. I think when we look back on this in 15 years, people will wonder what all the fuss was about.”