Legislature(2015 - 2016)SENATE FINANCE 532

03/05/2015 09:00 AM Senate FINANCE

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09:03:13 AM Start
09:04:30 AM SB30
02:12:32 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Presentation: Overview FY17 Operating Budget
+= SB 30 Departments: Environmental Conservation and TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
SENATE BILL NO. 30                                                                                                            
     "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."                                                                                                    
9:04:30 AM                                                                                                                    
JORDAN SHILLING,  STAFF, SENATOR JOHN COGHILL,  continued to                                                                    
discuss the Sectional  Analysis for bill version  F (copy on                                                                    
file). He began with Section 53: Definitions.                                                                                   
     Establishes the definition for "marijuana" as defined                                                                      
     in the ballot initiative.                                                                                                  
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  shared  that  there  was  some  concern                                                                    
regarding the Tetrahydrocannabinol  (THC) content in various                                                                    
types  of  marijuana,  and  the   THC  content  level  in  a                                                                    
marijuana leaf  versus extract. She remarked  that there may                                                                    
be  a difference  between a  substance  definition versus  a                                                                    
scientific  definition  of  marijuana. She  asked  for  more                                                                    
information   about   discussion   of  the   definition   of                                                                    
marijuana. Mr.  Shilling replied with an  explanation of the                                                                    
definition and  how it was  constructed. He stated  that the                                                                    
current definition  of marijuana included  concentrates that                                                                    
were not  traditionally "marijuana."  It included  more than                                                                    
the plant  material. The  current definition  included hash,                                                                    
hash  oil, and  other  extracts. He  stated  that one  could                                                                    
possess  up  to  one  ounce   of  hash,  under  the  current                                                                    
definition.  He  remarked  that   content  of  THC  was  not                                                                    
equitable  within the  current  definition.  He shared  that                                                                    
there  were  some  conversations  in  the  Senate  Judiciary                                                                    
Committee that  removed some words  from the  definition. He                                                                    
noted  that  the word  "salt"  was  removed from  the  voter                                                                    
approved  definition.  There  was some  question  about  the                                                                    
makeup  of  a  "marijuana  salt."  The  initiative  sponsors                                                                    
shared  that  they did  not  understand  why the  definition                                                                    
included "marijuana  salt", because they could  not identify                                                                    
a "marijuana  salt." He looked  at line 21, and  shared that                                                                    
there was  discussion regarding a comma  following the word,                                                                    
"oil."  He  stated  that there  was  some  contention  about                                                                    
whether  the comma  would  inadvertently exclude  "marijuana                                                                    
concentrate oil", rather than oil  derived from the stock of                                                                    
the plant.  He stated  that Mr.  Kopp could  further explain                                                                    
the impact of the comma.                                                                                                        
Co-Chair MacKinnon looked  at page 37, line 31  of the bill.                                                                    
She  shared  that  the  comma  was  currently  litigated  in                                                                    
Colorado. She  asked for  further explanation  regarding the                                                                    
punctuation and grammar.                                                                                                        
CHUCK KOPP,  STAFF, SENATOR  PETER MICCICHE,  explained that                                                                    
if  the comma,  it would  speak specifically  to the  oil or                                                                    
cake from the seeds of the  plant. If the comma remained, it                                                                    
spoke to  oil standing alone  that could come from  any part                                                                    
of the  plant. The oil  could be potent, depending  on where                                                                    
on the plant it was derived.                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Kelly  wondered if  it was safer  or less  safe for                                                                    
children to keep  the comma in the  legislation. He wondered                                                                    
if there would  be more or fewer concentrates  in the state.                                                                    
Mr. Kopp  replied that removal  of the comma gave  the state                                                                    
better  authority  to  regulate  the plant  on  its  various                                                                    
degrees of potency.                                                                                                             
Co-Chair   MacKinnon  surmised   that   opposition  to   the                                                                    
distribution  of  a THC  or  marijuana  product via  an  oil                                                                    
conducted from  the substance  also reflected  opposition to                                                                    
removing the comma. Mr. Kopp agreed.                                                                                            
9:10:57 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
9:12:32 AM                                                                                                                    
9:12:38 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon  stated that the Department  of Law would                                                                    
be available to discuss the comma at a later date.                                                                              
Mr. Shilling looked at Section 54:                                                                                              
     Defines "criminal negligence", "deliver", "established                                                                     
     village",   "knowingly",    "manufacture",   "marijuana                                                                    
     concentrate", "public place" and "usable marijuana."                                                                       
Co-Chair MacKinnon looked at page  38 line 13, and asked for                                                                    
more  information  about  "public  place."  She  recalled  a                                                                    
question  from   Senator  Dunleavy  regarding   the  federal                                                                    
description of  "public place", and whether  the consumption                                                                    
or  use  of  marijuana  inside   a  federal  park  would  be                                                                    
inconsistent with  Alaska state  law. Mr.  Shilling deferred                                                                    
to the  Department of Law.  He opined that the  federal land                                                                    
would fall under federal law.                                                                                                   
Mr. Kopp  furthered that there  weapons laws and  knife laws                                                                    
were deferred to  the state from the  federal government. He                                                                    
stated  that someone  from the  large land-holding  entities                                                                    
should speak to the issue of marijuana use on their lands.                                                                      
Vice-Chair  Micciche remarked  that  there was  a memo  that                                                                    
provided guidance  to federal prosecutors  regarding federal                                                                    
enforcements in  the states that legalized  marijuana. As of                                                                    
August 29, 2013,  there was a list of eight  items. Number 8                                                                    
was preventing marijuana use on federal property.                                                                               
Co-Chair MacKinnon queried the specific reference.                                                                              
Vice-Chair Micciche looked at  a document from Department of                                                                    
Law  dated  March 3,  2015.  He  stated that  the  supremacy                                                                    
clause  may cause  the state  law to  be stricken.  The memo                                                                    
announced that  if state law  satisfied the items,  that the                                                                    
law would likely stand. He listed the eight items:                                                                              
    Preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors;                                                                         
     Preventing  revenue from  the  sale  of marijuana  from                                                                    
    going to criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels;                                                                          
     Preventing  the  diversion  of  marijuana  from  states                                                                    
     where  it is  legal under  state  law in  some form  to                                                                    
     other states;                                                                                                              
     Preventing  state-authorized  marijuana  activity  from                                                                    
     being used  as a cover  or pretext for  the trafficking                                                                    
     of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity;                                                                          
     Preventing  violence and  the  use of  firearms in  the                                                                    
     cultivation and distribution of marijuana;                                                                                 
     Preventing  drugged  driving  and the  exacerbation  of                                                                    
     other  adverse  public health  consequences  associated                                                                    
     with marijuana use;                                                                                                        
     Preventing  the growing  of marijuana  on public  lands                                                                    
     and  the accompanying  public safety  and environmental                                                                    
     dangers posed by marijuana production on public lands;                                                                     
     Preventing  marijuana  possession  or  use  on  federal                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon  shared that there would  be a discussion                                                                    
on the issue at a later time.                                                                                                   
9:17:44 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Shilling continued to discuss Section 54.                                                                                   
Mr. Kopp looked at Section 103:                                                                                                 
     AS 28.35.029(a). Open container.                                                                                           
     Provides that  a person may  not drive a  motor vehicle                                                                    
     when  there  is  an  open marijuana  container  in  the                                                                    
     passenger  compartment  with  the  exceptions  provided                                                                    
     below (b.)                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair MacKinnon looked at page  60, line 29, Section 103,                                                                    
and announced  that Mr. Kopp  was speaking to  that location                                                                    
in the legislation.                                                                                                             
Mr. Kopp looked at Section 105:                                                                                                 
     AS 28.35.029(c). Open container.                                                                                           
     Defines  "open  marijuana  container" as  a  receptacle                                                                    
     that contains marijuana,  is open or has  a broken seal                                                                    
     and there  is evidence  marijuana has been  consumed in                                                                    
     the vehicle.                                                                                                               
Senator  Bishop asked  for  more  information regarding  the                                                                    
"open container",  specifically on  a charter bus.  Mr. Kopp                                                                    
responded  that  one  could  have an  open  container  on  a                                                                    
charter bus with 12 or more passengers.                                                                                         
Senator Olson queried the definition  of "motor vehicle." He                                                                    
specifically wondered if four-wheelers  and other small off-                                                                    
road vehicles  were identified as  motor vehicles.  Mr. Kopp                                                                    
responded that the definition was on  line 8, page 61 of the                                                                    
bill, which stated that an open  container may be on a motor                                                                    
driven cycle. He  stated that the definition  was in current                                                                    
law since the 1980s. The  legislature had never prescribed a                                                                    
further restriction.                                                                                                            
Co-Chair MacKinnon looked at Sections  126 and 127. Mr. Kopp                                                                    
addressed the sections:                                                                                                         
     AS 29.10.200; AS 29.35. Limitation of home rule                                                                            
     powers. Municipal powers and duties.                                                                                       
     Provides the right to limit  marijuana to the state and                                                                    
     municipalities  cannot enact  or  enforce an  ordinance                                                                    
     inconsistent   with  17.38,   except  as   specifically                                                                    
     provided by state statute. The  section applies to home                                                                    
     rule and general law municipalities.                                                                                       
9:23:57 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon  remarked that there were  some resources                                                                    
on  line that  could discuss  some items  as related  to the                                                                    
sectional analysis.                                                                                                             
Vice-Chair  Micciche  wondered if  it  was  best to  include                                                                    
"ATVs" in the definition of  "motor driven cycles." Mr. Kopp                                                                    
replied that  an ATV  was already a  motor driven  cycle. He                                                                    
agreed to  look further into  the definition under  the law.                                                                    
He  remarked that  marijuana  would be  allowed  on a  motor                                                                    
driven cycle, it must be enclosed in another container.                                                                         
9:26:04 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon looked at page 88 of the legislation.                                                                        
Mr. Kopp looked at Sections 158, 159, and 160:                                                                                  
     Repeals the enumerated statutes                                                                                            
     Applicability provisions.                                                                                                  
     Provides for an immediate effective date.                                                                                  
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  remarked  that  the  initiative  had  a                                                                    
separation  clause.  She  wondered  if the  act  required  a                                                                    
severability clause. Mr. Kopp  deferred to the Department of                                                                    
Law,  but  opined that  it  would  not  be required  in  the                                                                    
9:28:18 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
9:29:00 AM                                                                                                                    
9:29:10 AM                                                                                                                    
RICHARD   SVOBODNY,   DEPUTY  ATTORNEY   GENERAL,   CRIMINAL                                                                    
DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF LAW, introduced himself.                                                                                
KACI   SCHROEDER,  ASSISTANT   ATTORNEY  GENERAL,   CRIMINAL                                                                    
DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF LAW, introduced herself.                                                                                
Mr.  Svobodny  explained that  he  and  Ms. Schroeder  would                                                                    
divide  their  testimony.  He  would  address  some  of  the                                                                    
federal  issues.  He  furthered  that  Ms.  Schroeder  would                                                                    
present  a   list  of  policy  questions,   that  should  be                                                                    
addressed  by the  legislature. He  began with  the oath  of                                                                    
office.  He  stated that  the  oath  was not  restricted  to                                                                    
legislators, because  if also included cabinet  members, the                                                                    
governor, and the judges. With  the oath, the state official                                                                    
swears to uphold the constitution  of the United States; and                                                                    
to uphold  the constitution of  the State of Alaska;  and to                                                                    
faithfully discharge the  duties. The oath did  not say that                                                                    
it was the  responsibility to uphold individual  laws of the                                                                    
federal  government.  There   was  no  federal  constitution                                                                    
provision that  dealt with marijuana.  He shared  that there                                                                    
was an interpretation of the  Alaska constitution's right of                                                                    
privacy, which related to marijuana.                                                                                            
Vice-Chair Micciche  queried the limit of  protected illegal                                                                    
activity  under the  privacy laws.  Mr.  Svobodny asked  for                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Micciche wondered  what other  types of  illegal                                                                    
activities  were protected  under  the  privacy clause.  Mr.                                                                    
Svobodny replied that he could  not answer that question. He                                                                    
stated that there was no  legislative history for regulating                                                                    
what a person can do in their own home.                                                                                         
Vice-Chair Micciche wondered what  types of child protection                                                                    
measures should be taken,  while facing possible second-hand                                                                    
marijuana inhalation.  Mr. Svobodny  replied that  the court                                                                    
would examine  the social  values in  protecting the  use of                                                                    
marijuana  in  the  home;  and  public  safety  reasons  for                                                                    
restricting marijuana  smoking with  children in  the house.                                                                    
The  legislature  had findings  related  to  the changes  in                                                                    
marijuana use  from 1975 and  2006 for the  20-fold increase                                                                    
in the amount of THC and  the effects on youth in Alaska. He                                                                    
felt the legislative  history supported regulating marijuana                                                                    
in locations with children.                                                                                                     
9:37:50 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Kelly did  not know how limitations  in the privacy                                                                    
clause.  He shared  that the  establishment  of the  privacy                                                                    
clause which  declared that the legislature  shall implement                                                                    
the section.  He felt that  the courts never  recognized the                                                                    
legislature  implementation,  and  rather  the  courts  only                                                                    
acknowledged the broad right to  privacy applied to whatever                                                                    
the  courts  deemed appropriate.  He  felt  that the  courts                                                                    
consistently   declined   the  legislature's   attempts   at                                                                    
implementing the privacy clause.                                                                                                
Mr.  Svobodny  shared  that  there   was  a  question  about                                                                    
litigation  immunity  for  members of  the  legislature.  He                                                                    
stressed that  there was  no immunity  from being  sued. The                                                                    
court   dismisses  lawsuits   after   the   member  of   the                                                                    
legislature  declares immunity.  He shared  that there  were                                                                    
very strong  Alaska cases that  dealt with immunity  for the                                                                    
9:42:31 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  MacKinnon stated  that she  submitted a  series of                                                                    
questions from  Alaskans that  were against  the initiative.                                                                    
She felt that  a legislator who voted on the  issue could be                                                                    
held liable.  She stated that  there was a concern  with the                                                                    
assertion   that  the   initiative  did   not  require   any                                                                    
individual or entity  to violate federal law,  or exempt any                                                                    
individual or  entity from federal  law. She hoped  that the                                                                    
discussion would move in that direction.                                                                                        
Mr.  Svobodny  announced that  federal  law  would still  be                                                                    
enforced, regardless of the legislation.                                                                                        
9:47:44 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Kelly stressed that marijuana  was still illegal on                                                                    
the federal level.                                                                                                              
Co-Chair   MacKinnon  remarked   that   the  committee   was                                                                    
concerned  with   the  investment  of  time   and  money  on                                                                    
litigation  to obtain  the right  to produce  and distribute                                                                    
marijuana.  Mr. Svobodny  stated that  the supremacy  clause                                                                    
was part of  the United States Constitution.  He shared that                                                                    
each state  agreed that conflicts between  state and federal                                                                    
law would allow for the federal law to trump the state law.                                                                     
Senator Bishop  surmised that,  under the  supremacy clause,                                                                    
the state  could move forward  in attempting to  respect the                                                                    
initiative's   intent.   He   also   understood   that   the                                                                    
legislature  could not  be held  liable under  the supremacy                                                                    
clause. Mr. Svobodny agreed.                                                                                                    
Senator Bishop  surmised that  the federal  government could                                                                    
supersede  the  state law.  Mr.  Svobodny  replied that  the                                                                    
federal  government  could  prosecute an  individual  for  a                                                                    
violation of the federal laws that related to marijuana.                                                                        
Senator  Dunleavy wondered  if Mr.  Svobodny understood  why                                                                    
some  Alaskans were  confused by  this  issue. Mr.  Svobodny                                                                    
replied in the affirmative.                                                                                                     
Senator  Dunleavy  felt that  the  law  was subjective.  Mr.                                                                    
Svobodny replied that he did not understand the question.                                                                       
9:53:03 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Dunleavy  remarked that  the enforcement of  the law                                                                    
was subjective,  because it seemed  to violate  federal law.                                                                    
He remarked  that Alaska should  take advantage of  the lack                                                                    
of  enforcement by  the federal  government,  and wanted  to                                                                    
extend it  to other  aspects of  federal overreach  like the                                                                    
Environmental Protection  Agency (EPA). He referred  to page                                                                    
3 of  the memo dated  March 3,  2015, which stated  that one                                                                    
could never  guarantee the federal government's  actions. He                                                                    
remarked  that  individuals   in  Washington  were  recently                                                                    
prosecuted  for  growing  medical  marijuana.  Mr.  Svobodny                                                                    
Senator Dunleavy  felt that  "it was  a guessing  game." Mr.                                                                    
Svobodny indicated uncertainty.                                                                                                 
Senator  Dunleavy   stressed  that  the  issue   was  either                                                                    
subjective  or  objective.  Mr. Svobodny  replied  that  the                                                                    
issue  was   not  guaranteed.  He  explained   that  medical                                                                    
marijuana was  allowed under Alaska  law since 1998,  and he                                                                    
was not aware  of any person that had  been prosecuted under                                                                    
federal law Alaska's medical marijuana statutes.                                                                                
Senator  Dunleavy   wondered  if  the  concept   was  called                                                                    
"prosecutorial  discretion." Mr.  Svobodny responded  in the                                                                    
Senator Dunleavy stated  that "prosecutorial discretion" was                                                                    
subjective. Mr. Svobodny agreed.                                                                                                
Senator Dunleavy looked at the  final paragraph of the memo,                                                                    
and felt  that the  state would be  in violation  of federal                                                                    
law.  He wondered  if  the  "law" referred  to  what was  on                                                                    
paper, or rather the subjective  application of the law. Mr.                                                                    
Svobodny responded that he was  referring to what was passed                                                                    
by  initiative, by  the legislature,  or interpreted  by the                                                                    
courts either in the state or on the federal level.                                                                             
Senator  Dunleavy restated  that  it would  be a  subjective                                                                    
9:57:38 AM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Micciche  queried the  standing of  the guidance.                                                                    
He  wondered if  the guidance  had any  legal standing.  Mr.                                                                    
Svobodny replied  that a new  administration may  change the                                                                    
Vice-Chair Micciche wondered if  the guidance was similar to                                                                    
other models. He asked if  the current guidance had standing                                                                    
with the  current attorney  general. Mr.  Svobodny responded                                                                    
that the current attorney generals  across the country would                                                                    
follow the guidance.                                                                                                            
Vice-Chair Micciche  shared that he was  against all federal                                                                    
overreach, even  on laws  of which disagreed.  He was  not a                                                                    
supporter of  the initiative. He  shared that the  state was                                                                    
rarely  provided a  memo that  defined the  areas which  the                                                                    
federal government would  protect. He looked at  page 3, and                                                                    
noted that  the federal  government might choose  to enforce                                                                    
the   supremacy   clause,   if  state   efforts   were   not                                                                    
sufficiently robust to protect  against the harms set forth.                                                                    
He  felt that  the state  was  given a  rare opportunity  to                                                                    
satisfy  the eight  outlines, as  long as  the memo  stands.                                                                    
Mr. Svobodny could not determine  if that statement was true                                                                    
or false. He  explained that he had used the  Cole Memo as a                                                                    
devise  to show  that one  could  argue the  meaning of  the                                                                    
supremacy clause.                                                                                                               
10:03:40 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Kelly  felt that the  federal government  would not                                                                    
prosecute  someone  that  was  smoking  marijuana  in  their                                                                    
living  room.  The federal  government  may  attempt to  add                                                                    
marijuana possession onto another federal violation.                                                                            
Co-Chair MacKinnon  remarked that there was  a concern about                                                                    
the implementation of the production  and sale of marijuana.                                                                    
She  stressed that  the initiative  was law.  She wanted  to                                                                    
define  and protect  Alaskans inside  the  existing body  of                                                                    
law.  She  stressed  that the  federal  government  had  the                                                                    
ability to use, enforce, and defend its own laws.                                                                               
Senator   Dunleavy  surmised   that  marijuana   users  were                                                                    
protected, but  marijuana producers  and sellers  could face                                                                    
federal prosecution. Mr. Svobodny agreed/                                                                                       
Mr.  Svobodny looked  at  Article 11,  of  the Alaska  State                                                                    
Constitution. Article 11 referred  to initiatives. He shared                                                                    
that  in  1998, there  was  a  medical marijuana  initiative                                                                    
passed. There were substantive legislative changes.                                                                             
10:14:22 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Dunleavy  wondered if the  memo from James  Cole was                                                                    
intended to say  that it encompassed all  aspects of federal                                                                    
law as it  pertains to marijuana. Mr.  Svobodny replied that                                                                    
the  memo was  designed  to inform  states  that the  states                                                                    
activities would not result in enforcement.                                                                                     
Senator   Dunleavy  wondered   what  would   occur  if   the                                                                    
legislation failed to pass.                                                                                                     
Co-Chair MacKinnon asked for a question restatement.                                                                            
Senator  Dunleavy  wondered what  would  occur  if the  bill                                                                    
passed, but the fiscal note were removed.                                                                                       
Vice-Chair  Micciche remarked  that  the federal  government                                                                    
was not alone in "liberty  and justice issues." He felt that                                                                    
the  state  was  not  completely  innocent  either  in  that                                                                    
respect. He felt that there still  needed to be a warning to                                                                    
Alaskans about possible federal prosecution.                                                                                    
Ms.  Schroeder highlighted  some proposed  policy decisions.                                                                    
She looked at the issue of promoting contraband.                                                                                
10:20:53 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  wondered  if  there  was  a  memo  that                                                                    
outlined  the  information  about  potential  conflicts  and                                                                    
policy  calls.   Ms.  Schroeder   agreed  to   provide  that                                                                    
Ms.  Schroeder stated  that possession  of marijuana  within                                                                    
500 feet of  a school was currently a Class  C felony. There                                                                    
was no  similar provision for  alcohol, so the  question was                                                                    
whether that issue should be dealt in a different manner.                                                                       
Mr. Svobodny  stated that  the Department  of Law  needed to                                                                    
determine  whether the  state would  lose money  by changing                                                                    
that part of the bill.                                                                                                          
Co-Chair   MacKinnon  remarked   that  there   were  several                                                                    
sections that  superseded several aspects of  state law. Mr.                                                                    
Svobodny  replied  that  he  had   concern  with  the  word,                                                                    
Co-Chair  MacKinnon stated  that the  language removed  some                                                                    
sensitivity,  by placing  the law  above all  other laws  in                                                                    
statute. Ms. Schroeder stated that  the issue was dealt with                                                                    
on page 14 of the bill.                                                                                                         
Ms.  Schroeder   addressed  the  local  option   issue.  She                                                                    
explained   that  the   initiative  allowed   certain  local                                                                    
government to  opt-out of marijuana establishments  in order                                                                    
to prevent  those establishments  from operating  within the                                                                    
communities.  The definition  of "local  government" in  the                                                                    
initiative  was somewhat  problematic,  because  if left  of                                                                    
villages. The legislation faced  that issue by incorporating                                                                    
established villages into the opt-out provision.                                                                                
Co-Chair  Kelly  queried  the  page  number.  Ms.  Schroeder                                                                    
replied that it was on page 35.                                                                                                 
10:26:38 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair MacKinnon asked how the  initiative would deal with                                                                    
the unincorporated villages to impose  or change laws in the                                                                    
communities. Ms. Schroeder replied  that the language in the                                                                    
bill  was   similar  to  the   alcohol  provision,   so  the                                                                    
legislature  already allowed  for  the  communities to  make                                                                    
their own decisions.                                                                                                            
Co-Chair Kelly wondered if the  initiative mandated that the                                                                    
opt-out decision could  only be determined by a  vote of the                                                                    
people.  Ms. Schroeder  replied that  the initiative  states                                                                    
that the local communities have the opportunity to opt out.                                                                     
Co-Chair  Kelly wondered  if there  was any  other place  in                                                                    
state law that  required that a community  have an election,                                                                    
rather than using their elected  individuals to create local                                                                    
ordinances. Mr.  Svobodny replied that  he did not  know the                                                                    
answer, and may not understand the question.                                                                                    
Co-Chair Kelly  wondered if the  communities could  only opt                                                                    
out through  a vote of  the people.  He also asked  if there                                                                    
were other  state laws that  required that  communities only                                                                    
use a  vote of  the people  to enact  or remove  law, rather                                                                    
than through  their elected  officials. Mr.  Svobodny agreed                                                                    
to provide that information.                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Kelly stressed that the issue was a local option.                                                                      
Co-Chair  MacKinnon noted  that the  initiative specifically                                                                    
required  communities to  vote  to opt  into something.  She                                                                    
stressed  that   the  unincorporated   communities  normally                                                                    
provided  grievances to  the  legislature. She  specifically                                                                    
wondered if  those unincorporated communities to  opt out on                                                                    
their   behalf.  Mr.   Svobodny  agreed   to  provide   that                                                                    
10:33:22 AM                                                                                                                   
Ms.  Schroeder   remarked  that   there  was   some  concern                                                                    
regarding   whether  the   hash   oil   should  be   treated                                                                    
differently that  the leafy marijuana substance.  She shared                                                                    
that the THC  content would be different  in each substance.                                                                    
She  felt  that  the  legislature   should  also  take  into                                                                    
consideration how the substances should be weighed.                                                                             
Ms.  Schroeder  announced  that  the  initiative  allowed  a                                                                    
person to  have six plants  would be  well over an  ounce of                                                                    
marijuana,  and there  was  no way  for  law enforcement  to                                                                    
determine where the leaves came from.                                                                                           
Ms. Schroeder  shared that the  Driving Under  the Influence                                                                    
(DUI) appeared in the bill.  Other states provided allowable                                                                    
thresholds in the human body similar to alcohol.                                                                                
10:38:09 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Bishop  wondered if someone could  have marijuana on                                                                    
an  aircraft that  stops in  a dry  village.   Ms. Schroeder                                                                    
replied that a person was  allowed one ounce of marijuana in                                                                    
public.  She felt  that the  person would  be protected,  as                                                                    
long  as they  remained on  the plane.  Once they  leave the                                                                    
aircraft  and  move  through  the  airport,  they  could  be                                                                    
prosecuted for importing marijuana.                                                                                             
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  surmised  that a  federal  agent  could                                                                    
prosecute  that  person  on   the  aircraft.  Ms.  Schroeder                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon looked  at page 8, line  31, and wondered                                                                    
if  there  was a  follow  up  regarding the  phrase  "public                                                                    
place."  Mr.  Svobodny  replied   that  the  "public  place"                                                                    
definition  was  in criminal  statute.  He  opined that  the                                                                    
retail floor  of Nordstrom  would be  a "public  place", and                                                                    
the restrooms  would also  be a public  place. He  felt that                                                                    
there may never  be a definition that all  would agree upon.                                                                    
The bill  uses the language  that had been in  statute since                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon looked at page  61, line 8, regarding the                                                                    
open container law in different  kinds of motorized vehicles                                                                    
like ATVs.                                                                                                                      
Senator Olson stated that his question was answered.                                                                            
10:43:32 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator   Bishop  wondered   if  "motorcycle   driven"  only                                                                    
referred to  two wheels.  Co-Chair MacKinnon  clarified that                                                                    
it said "motor driven cycle."                                                                                                   
Co-Chair MacKinnon  wondered if the transportation  in rural                                                                    
Alaska was in the  marijuana container section. Mr. Svobodny                                                                    
replied that he would provide information at a later date.                                                                      
Co-Chair MacKinnon  looked at  the severability  clause. She                                                                    
remarked  that  those  who voted  for  the  initiative  were                                                                    
concerned about how the bill  and various aspects would take                                                                    
effect.  Mr.  Svobodny  replied   that  there  were  general                                                                    
clauses, and agreed to provide further information.                                                                             
Co-Chair Kelly  looked at an  article about a "weed  bus" in                                                                    
Seattle.  It  was  a  tour  that  allowed  people  to  smoke                                                                    
marijuana in  the bus. He  asked how this  legislation would                                                                    
impact  a  possible weed  bus  industry  in the  state.  Mr.                                                                    
Svobodny  replied that  the issue  was more  directed toward                                                                    
Senator Bishop asked if  the legislation addressed marijuana                                                                    
on  boats. Mr.  Svobodny responded  that  it may  be in  the                                                                    
Senator Dunleavy  announced that boats were  included in the                                                                    
legislation under "watercrafts."                                                                                                
10:47:59 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Kelly wondered  if there could be a  boat tour that                                                                    
would  provide   marijuana  for  passengers.   Mr.  Svobodny                                                                    
responded that it would be a regulatory issue.                                                                                  
Co-Chair  Kelly felt  that there  were dangerous  aspects of                                                                    
the   legislation,   which   deal   with   more   than   the                                                                    
decriminalization  of marijuana.  He  felt  that there  were                                                                    
health  and safety  issues that  should be  addressed within                                                                    
the legislation.                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   MacKinnon  felt   that  a   pharmacist  testimony                                                                    
regarding the chemical composite  would be helpful to moving                                                                    
the  conversation forward.  She  remarked  that the  overall                                                                    
approach  to the  legislation was  the final  consideration.                                                                    
She stated  that there  over 160 sections  of Alaska  law in                                                                    
the  current  bill.   Mr.  Svobodny  replied that  he  would                                                                    
consider what it would take to reduce the size of the bill.                                                                     
Co-Chair MacKinnon wondered what  would happen if individual                                                                    
law   agencies  were   left  with   what   the  public   had                                                                    
recommended.  Mr.  Svobodny   replied  that  the  regulation                                                                    
aspect of the initiative would  be addressed in a regulatory                                                                    
10:57:27 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Dunleavy asked  if there was a  possibility that the                                                                    
executive  in   the  state   would  rely   on  prosecutorial                                                                    
discretion,  and  inform  public  safety  officials  to  not                                                                    
respond to  a marijuana  issue. Mr. Svobodny  responded that                                                                    
he wanted to share an example.  He announced that he did not                                                                    
want to  say who  he would  prosecute and  who he  would not                                                                    
Senator  Dunleavy wondered  if the  state executive  respond                                                                    
exactly  how the  federal government  was responding  to the                                                                    
marijuana issue. Mr. Svobodny  replied that the people voted                                                                    
for  the initiative,  in part,  because of  the people  that                                                                    
were in  jail for marijuana  possession. He shared  that the                                                                    
number of  people in jail for  strictly marijuana possession                                                                    
was  zero.  He shared  that  there  were approximately  four                                                                    
people  in  jail  for  the   next  step  up  from  marijuana                                                                    
possession.  He  stressed  that prosecutors  were  currently                                                                    
using their  discretion, and that discretion  was used since                                                                    
the legislature last changed the marijuana laws in 2006.                                                                        
Co-Chair  MacKinnon asked  that amendments  be submitted  to                                                                    
her  office  by  Tuesday,  March 10,  2015  at  12noon.  She                                                                    
announced that  public testimony  would not be  taken before                                                                    
Wednesday, March 11 at 1:30pm.                                                                                                  
11:02:01 AM                                                                                                                   
1:37:11 PM                                                                                                                    
1:38:19 PM                                                                                                                    
QUINLAN   STEINER,   DIRECTOR,   PUBLIC   DEFENDER   AGENCY,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT  OF ADMINISTRATION  (via teleconference),  looked                                                                    
at page 19,  line 27 regarding bail  release for violations.                                                                    
He stated  that the section  allowed the court to  order the                                                                    
condition of pretrial release. He  stated that bail releases                                                                    
such  as blood  and urine  require probable  cause, and  are                                                                    
bound  to violate  the  constitution. He  felt  that it  was                                                                    
worth consideration  for changes. He also  expressed concern                                                                    
on  page  32,  line  27,  which  was  the  section  defining                                                                    
marijuana  misconduct in  the third  degree. He  stated that                                                                    
the section  prohibited an  individual under  the age  of 21                                                                    
into  entering a  premises,  except at  the  direction of  a                                                                    
peace  officer.  He  felt that  an  exception  like  alcohol                                                                    
should be considered  that allowed someone as  a function of                                                                    
their employment  to go on  premises, for example  a plumber                                                                    
or  delivery  person. He  also  suggested  an exception  for                                                                    
individuals  under 21  who are  with their  parent or  legal                                                                    
Co-Chair  MacKinnon wondered  if the  remainder of  the bill                                                                    
would be  enough, and  whether it was  possible to  defend a                                                                    
person who would be accused  of a crime. Mr. Steiner replied                                                                    
that  the   bill  generally  followed  the   intent  of  the                                                                    
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  wondered  if  there  was  a  sufficient                                                                    
definition of  the word, "marijuana." Mr.  Steiner felt that                                                                    
the  discussion  of the  definition  was  mostly related  to                                                                    
marijuana concentrate.                                                                                                          
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  remarked   that  there  was  discussion                                                                    
regarding  how  the  law would  supersede  laws  related  to                                                                    
school drug-free  zones. Mr. Steiner replied  that there may                                                                    
be an issue, if someone lived within that zone.                                                                                 
Co-Chair  MacKinnon wondered  if  there  was any  additional                                                                    
information about  the Public  Defender Agency  fiscal note.                                                                    
Mr.  Steiner responded  that there  would be  no anticipated                                                                    
impact on the agency.                                                                                                           
1:46:09 PM                                                                                                                    
NANCY MEADE, GENERAL COUNSEL,  ALASKA COURT SYSTEM, stressed                                                                    
that the  Court System was  neutral on the  legislation. She                                                                    
looked at  page 29, line  16 of  the bill. The  section held                                                                    
the   language   that   outlined  the   criminalization   of                                                                    
marijuana.  She looked  at  page 33,  lines  23 through  25,                                                                    
which dealt with bail forfeiture schedules.                                                                                     
Ms.  Meade looked  at  page  35, lines  6  through 9,  which                                                                    
referred   to  court   records  of   violations  by   minors                                                                    
1:54:14 PM                                                                                                                    
DENNIS CASANOVAS,  MAJOR, ALASKA STATE  TROOPERS, DEPARTMENT                                                                    
OF PUBLIC  SAFETY (via teleconference), addressed  the issue                                                                    
of  the definition  of "marijuana."  He looked  at page  37,                                                                    
Section 53,  line 21.  He understood that  the word  oil and                                                                    
the comma related  to it would make the oil  not a component                                                                    
of marijuana. He  remarked that the bill  also addressed the                                                                    
resins from  the plant. He  felt that law  enforcement would                                                                    
find  it  difficult  to  distinguish   the  resins  and  the                                                                    
concentrates generated  from the plant, when  the word "oil"                                                                    
was not  considered part of  "marijuana." He also  looked at                                                                    
page 88  of the bill,  Section 158, line 7,  which addressed                                                                    
sections of the current statutes  that would be removed. One                                                                    
of those statutes  was AS 11.71.160(f1), which  was the word                                                                    
"hashish."  He   also  looked  that  the   (f2),  which  was                                                                    
currently "hash  oil or hashish  oil." It was  proposed that                                                                    
the   two   sections   of  statute,   which   classify   the                                                                    
concentrates  as schedule  3A,  be removed.  He pointed  out                                                                    
that (f3) was not removed  from statute. He shared that (f3)                                                                    
was  "tetrahydrocannabinols" (THC),  which  was the  primary                                                                    
psychoactive ingredient of a cannabis  plant. He shared that                                                                    
the definition in  ballot measure 2, the  proposed bill, and                                                                    
current statutes held different definitions of marijuana.                                                                       
Co-Chair MacKinnon  asked that  the remarks  be sent  to her                                                                    
office. Mr. Casanovas agreed to provide that information.                                                                       
1:58:51 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Casanovas looked at page 38,  lines 4 through 10. He was                                                                    
concerned about  the definition  of "manufacturer."  He felt                                                                    
that  the  word, "cultivation"  should  be  included in  the                                                                    
Section. He  remarked that cultivation was  addressed in the                                                                    
medical  use  section. He  urged  the  committee to  include                                                                    
"cultivation" in the definition of the word "manufacturer."                                                                     
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  asked for  a  restatement  of the  line                                                                    
numbers that  were cause for concern.  Mr. Casanovas replied                                                                    
that he referred to page 25, Section 43, line 22.                                                                               
Mr. Casanovas  looked at pages  60 and 61. He  remarked that                                                                    
there was  some testimony about  Sections 103, 104,  and 105                                                                    
as it pertains  to an open marijuana  container. He remarked                                                                    
that he  did not see a  description of where a  person would                                                                    
be expected  to transport live marijuana  plants. Keeping in                                                                    
mind  that  the possession  of  marijuana  plants in  public                                                                    
could be  six plants,  and potentially may  not be  the best                                                                    
for immediate  smoking. He  expressed concern  regarding the                                                                    
live  plants   versus  the  open  marijuana   container  and                                                                    
2:03:23 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Casanovas   felt  that  the  bill   focused  on  moving                                                                    
marijuana from  a controlled  substance classification  to a                                                                    
title 17 substance. He stressed  that many statutes would be                                                                    
affected,  and would  affect many  regulations. He  proposed                                                                    
that there  were a  fair number  of regulations,  and policy                                                                    
and procedure would need to  be refined to include the word,                                                                    
Mr.  Casanovas  addressed  the  issue  of  moving  marijuana                                                                    
offenses  to  five  separate categories.  He  remarked  that                                                                    
there were  no provisions for  people that violate  in large                                                                    
offenses.  He remarked  that an  unlicensed or  unregistered                                                                    
cultivator  could  sell  high quantities  of  marijuana.  He                                                                    
suggested that                                                                                                                  
Co-Chair MacKinnon  wanted more information about  the comma                                                                    
on page  37, line 16.  Ms. Schroeder replied that  the comma                                                                    
after  oil  created  an  argument that  oil  should  not  be                                                                    
included  in the  definition of  the  word, "marijuana."  It                                                                    
makes  oil look  like a  standalone substance.  It could  be                                                                    
considered  a marijuana  concentrate. She  suggested further                                                                    
definition of the definition of "concentrate."                                                                                  
SB  30  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB30 Leg Legal - Fed Enforcement Memo and 2-14-14 and 8-29-13 Cole Memos.pdf SFIN 3/5/2015 9:00:00 AM
SB 30
SB30 Dept of Law - Supremacy Clause Letter and 6-29-11 Cole Memo.pdf SFIN 3/5/2015 9:00:00 AM
SB 30