Legislature(2015 - 2016)CAPITOL 120

02/13/2015 01:00 PM House JUDICIARY

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        HB 79-MARIJUANA REG;CONT. SUBST;CRIMES;DEFENSES                                                                     
2:18:47 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE  CHAIR KELLER  announced that  the final  order of  business                                                               
would  be  HOUSE BILL  NO.  79  "An  Act relating  to  controlled                                                               
substances;  relating to  marijuana;  relating  to driving  motor                                                               
vehicles  when   there  is  an  open   marijuana  container;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
2:19:02 PM                                                                                                                    
PAMELA VAN HOUTEN suggested that  public cafes for consumption of                                                               
marijuana could  have darkening windows, high  window above seven                                                               
feet, or in rooms where there are  no windows, out of view of the                                                               
public.   She stated when  the [initiative] was passed,  the U.S.                                                               
Coast Guard advised  on the radio that it  would prosecute people                                                               
on marine  waters [for consumption  of marijuana],  and considers                                                               
it  illegal.   She  opined it  is  setting up  a  "huge" area  of                                                               
conflict  for  the voters  who  voted  for  the initiative.    To                                                               
protect  the public,  tourists,  travelers and  citizens, not  on                                                               
boats,  a  public cafe  offers  a  safe  location that  is  open,                                                               
friendly,  and  respectable,  where  people  can  congregate  for                                                               
public use and consumption.   In addition, she stated, bartenders                                                               
are  presently required  to  monitor patrons  at  their level  of                                                               
[alcohol]  intoxication and,  she opined,  it could  be the  café                                                               
owners'  responsibility  to monitor  people  so  when the  patron                                                               
leaves  the [marijuana  café] they  are  mobile and  functioning.                                                               
She offered that more research  should be performed into the café                                                               
model as they  have been successful in Amsterdam  and Holland, or                                                               
they would  have been closed down.   She would like  the state to                                                               
help  to  create  successful,  responsible  business  models  for                                                               
public distribution and usage.                                                                                                  
2:22:44 PM                                                                                                                    
KAREN  O'KEEFE,  Marijuana  Policy Project,  stated  the  current                                                               
draft is  a dramatic improvement  over previous drafts  in taking                                                               
marijuana  out of  controlled  substances.   With  regard to  the                                                               
removal of "Not  Withstanding any other Provision of  Law" at the                                                               
beginning each  of the protections for  both marijuana businesses                                                               
and adults using marijuana, she  opined, is in Alaska statutes in                                                               
a number  of places and the  intention of that phrase  is to make                                                               
it crystal clear  that these protections enacted  by voters trump                                                               
anything to  the contrary.  She  pointed out that there  are many                                                               
parts of the statutes in  Alaska, and possibly something may have                                                               
inadvertently not have been changed  to conform to Measure 2, and                                                               
that  phrase  is  paramount.    If there  were  a  decision  that                                                               
constitutionally makes amendments in  future, "except as provided                                                               
in ...."  could be added, and  cite a specific [provision].   She                                                               
stated the project  is hopeful the phrase is  reinserted and also                                                               
in keeping Sec. 17.38.020 for  adult's protection for possessing,                                                               
growing and giving marijuana away  to others, and that the limits                                                               
are not reduced in any manner.                                                                                                  
2:25:36 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHN  FARLEIGH,  read a  paragraph  from  the 2/13/15,  Anchorage                                                               
Dispatch  Publishing,  regarding Colorado's  experience  [article                                                               
title unknown]:                                                                                                                 
     Colorado  has  implemented   a  $700,000,000  marijuana                                                                    
     market  without  any  of  the  dire  consequences  that                                                                    
     legalization  upon  it  is warned  about.    Fatal  car                                                                    
     accidents  in the  state are  flat and  well below  the                                                                    
     past decade  average and  crime is  down in  Denver and                                                                    
     the surrounding  area.  While some  societal effects of                                                                    
     marijuana  legalization may  not make  themselves fully                                                                    
     known  until several  years down  the  line, the  first                                                                    
     year of legal weed in Colorado went smoothly.                                                                              
MR. FARLEIGH encouraged the committee  members to read the entire                                                               
front  page  article.    He  pointed to  page  17,  Sec.  24.  AS                                                               
11.71.900  and  objected to  the  drafter  deleting the  sentence                                                               
"However,  the  growing of  marijuana  for  personal use  is  not                                                               
manufacturing."  He opined there  should be a distinction between                                                               
someone  growing   for  their  own   use  at  home   and  someone                                                               
manufacturing for sale.   With regard to Sec.  45-48, relating to                                                               
seizure or  forfeiture and, he  opined, there  has been a  typo -                                                               
"bases" should be "basis".   Mr. Farleigh then related a personal                                                               
incident  with the  state troopers  due to  being at  a residence                                                               
where unbeknownst  to him,  his friend  was growing  marijuana in                                                               
his crawl space.   Mr. Farleigh had $900 in  his pocket which was                                                               
confiscated  because   the  troopers  believed  he   was  at  the                                                               
residence  to buy  marijuana, but  he wasn't.   He  said that  he                                                               
shouted "So,  how much money can  you have before the  police rob                                                               
you?"  The  police officer did not answer his  question but after                                                               
a period  of time  did give  back his money.   He  suggested that                                                               
there are several  aspects to the forfeiture law that  need to be                                                               
addressed as police  have been known to abuse that  law and seize                                                               
property "just  because they get  to keep  it."  He  opined there                                                               
should be a provision that property  seized could in no manner go                                                               
to  the law  enforcement agency  that  seized it.   He  suggested                                                               
seizure should  be appropriate  only when ordered  by a  judge as                                                               
part of the sentencing.  He expressed  it is not fair for the law                                                               
enforcement officer to be "judge, jury and executioner."                                                                        
VICE CHAIR  KELLER related that  it sounds like Mr.  Farleigh has                                                               
an appreciation for the task  before the House Judiciary Standing                                                               
Committee,  in that  regulating marijuana  at the  same level  as                                                               
alcohol is a  tall order.  He noted that  Mr. Farleigh's input is                                                               
taken  seriously and  the committee  does  not want  to create  a                                                               
situation where law enforcement is inappropriate.                                                                               
2:36:11 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG explained that  "bases" is the plural of                                                               
"basis," and is grammatically correct.                                                                                          
2:36:39 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. FARLEIGH  referred to  possession in  the third  degree, page                                                               
31, line  27, subsection  (4) on his  draft, and  read "knowingly                                                               
possesses marijuana  with an  aggregate weight  or more  than one                                                               
ounce  and  less than  four  ounces  ..."    He stated  that  the                                                               
language does  not "line up"  with Ravin  v. State, 537  P.2d 494                                                             
(Alaska 1975),  decision allowing four ounces  in an individual's                                                               
home.  He stated it should  not be possession in the third degree                                                               
to  be consistent  with other  court rulings.   He  remarked that                                                               
when Washington State opened their  stores, there was not a legal                                                               
supply to  sell and  recommends that  licenses for  production be                                                               
issued  approximately three  months before  licensed for  sale as                                                               
that is approximately  how long it takes to grow  and process the                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER recommends  Mr.  Farleigh  check with  the                                                               
Anchorage LIO on Monday for a new CS.                                                                                           
2:38:57 PM                                                                                                                    
GEORGE PIERCE  stated that cannabis is  not physically addictive,                                                               
which he  noted is not  true for tobacco users,  heroin, alcohol,                                                               
and  pharmaceutical  users.   He  surmised  there is  nothing  in                                                               
cannabis programing the brain to  crave harder drugs, it does not                                                               
cause brain  damage, and it  does suppress violence.   Marijuana,                                                               
he remarked, should  be regulated like alcohol  and nothing more.                                                               
He then referred  to a study by the U.S.  National Highway Safety                                                               
Administration  regarding marijuana  and  driving performance  in                                                               
which the study concluded that  intoxication in drivers does have                                                               
some effect but  unlike alcohol which appears  to encourage risky                                                               
driving,  cannabis appears  to produce  caution in  drivers.   He                                                               
surmised  that  cannabis  may  provide  a  safer  substitute  for                                                               
alcohol and other harmful drugs.   He said that police should not                                                               
perform  blood testing,  as they  are not  doctors, and  lawsuits                                                               
will come.   There are too many restrictions  in that legislators                                                               
are trying  to punish, yet it  is less dangerous than  alcohol or                                                               
harder drugs.   He further said legislators are  trying to change                                                               
the  referendum "to  do  how  they want,  regulate  it and  don't                                                               
change it  your way.   Educate yourselves  and stop  listening to                                                               
the  people who  do  not know  anything about  it."   Mr.  Pierce                                                               
stated he  disagrees with  Senator Wielechowski's  statement that                                                               
"alcohol,  heroin, and  cocaine have  no medicinal  purposes," as                                                               
"they"  use  all  of  those for  medicinal  purposes.    Governor                                                               
Walker, he  noted, said  that marijuana could  be developed  by a                                                               
new  marijuana board  that shares  resources  with the  Alcoholic                                                               
Beverage Control Board.                                                                                                         
2:43:45 PM                                                                                                                    
MYSTIEK  LOCKERY said  that a  close  look should  be taken  with                                                               
regard to the forfeiture laws  and recommends that for businesses                                                               
to be prepared  for opening it requires four months  or longer of                                                               
growth.   Sec  17.38.020,  must  not be  repealed  and the  legal                                                               
protections  must  stay   intact.    She  pointed   out  that  an                                                               
individual is allowed,  under the initiative, to  grow six plants                                                               
including the [harvest] of those plants  in a person's home as it                                                               
would  be  wrong  to  make  it a  crime  to  grow  healthy,  well                                                               
producing plants.  She described  it as underhanded to attempt to                                                               
legislate away  Ravin.   She pointed out  that a  privately owned                                                             
business  chooses  to  allow  marijuana on  its  premises,  or  a                                                               
business set up  to include that purpose should be  allowed to do                                                               
so, she  expressed.   The smoke  of marijuana  does not  have the                                                               
same harmful effects as cigarette smoke  and it does not pose the                                                               
same danger  to patrons or employees.   She said that  Dr. Donald                                                               
P.  Tashkin, the  lead pulmonologist  research scientist  for the                                                               
federal government over 30 years,  proved that marijuana does not                                                               
cause  lung  cancer and  does  not  lead to  chronic  obstructive                                                               
pulmonary disease  (COPD).   She mentioned that  THC and  CBD and                                                               
many  other useful  compounds  of marijuana  can  be absorbed  in                                                               
several ways  and it  is important  to let people  use it  in the                                                               
best manner  for them.   Whether  it is  being used  medically or                                                               
recreationally,  edibles  should  in  no   manner  be  kept  from                                                               
individuals.   She opined  it is  unreasonable to  keep something                                                               
from  adults because  you  don't  want children  to  have it  and                                                               
mentioned she  heard that Cynthia Franklin,  director, ABC board,                                                               
said  she would  be  able to  have  regulations ready,  including                                                               
edibles,  in a  timely manner  causing  no delays.   Ms.  Lockery                                                               
remarked it is not THC that stays  in the body for 60-90 days, it                                                               
is leftover residue waiting to leave the body.                                                                                  
2:50:05 PM                                                                                                                    
MARY  JANE PETERSON  advised she  has been  an activist  for this                                                               
cause  for many  years and  encouraged the  committee to  support                                                               
CSHB 79.   She  further stated that  legislators must  not repeal                                                               
voter  enacted legal  protections for  personal possession,  use,                                                               
and cultivating.                                                                                                                
2:50:53 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  read  Dr.  George  L.  Stewart's  2/13/15                                                               
opinion into the record (original punctuation included):                                                                        
     HB  79 is  Critically Needed  !   Marijuana is  a toxic                                                                  
     substance with known  effects on cognitive performance.                                                                  
     Its use must be regulated in  the same way alcohol is -                                                                    
     no driving,  flying airplane or other  activities which                                                                    
     require   a  high   level  of   cognitive  performance.                                                                    
     Although use of marijuana  is a personal choice, people                                                                    
     using it should not put  others at risk.  Police should                                                                    
     be able to arrest those  driving under the influence of                                                                    
     marijuana,  just as  they do  those  driving under  the                                                                    
     influence  of  alcohol.   HB  79  clarifies  the  legal                                                                    
     issues   related  to   arrests  and   court  procedures                                                                    
     resulting from marijuana  consumption and is critically                                                                    
     needed  to  protect  the  safety  of  non-consumers  in                                                                    
     PLEASE - VOTE YES on HB 79.                                                                                                
[HB 79 was held over.]                                                                                                          
2:52:10 PM                                                                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB08 Fiscal Note - DHSS.pdf HJUD 2/13/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 8
HB08 Section Analysis-Power of Attorney.pdf HJUD 2/13/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 8
HB08 Sponsor Statement - Power of Attorney.pdf HJUD 2/13/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 8
HB08 Supporting Documents - AARP letter.pdf HJUD 2/13/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 8
HB08 Supporting Documents-Article AARP summary report.pdf HJUD 2/13/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 8
HB08 Supporting Documents-Article Remedying Financial Abuse by Agents Under a POA for Finances.pdf HJUD 2/13/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 8
HB08 Supporting Documents-Article Uniform Law Commission.pdf HJUD 2/13/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 8
HB08 ver A Powers of Attorney.pdf HJUD 2/13/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 8
HB08 Supporting Documents-Articles multiple articles.pdf HJUD 2/13/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 8