Legislature(2015 - 2016)BUTROVICH 205

02/09/2015 01:30 PM Senate JUDICIARY

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

Audio Topic
01:34:11 PM Start
01:36:48 PM SB35
01:55:19 PM Confirmation Hearings: Select Committee on Legislative Ethics
02:07:49 PM SB30
02:35:57 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ SB 35 Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Confirmation of Public Members to the Select
Committee on Legislative Ethics:
Dennis "Skip" Cook and Herman G. Walker
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled:
Heard & Held
        SB  30-MARIJUANA REG;CONT. SUBST;CRIMES;DEFENSES                                                                    
2:07:49 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCGUIRE announced the consideration of SB 30.                                                                             
2:08:06 PM                                                                                                                    
JEFF PICKETT,  Contract Attorney, informed the  committee that he                                                               
graduated from  the University of  Washington Law School  in 1996                                                               
and has  practiced law  in Alaska  since 1998.  He said  he looks                                                               
forward to assisting the committee.                                                                                             
CHAIR MCGUIRE  asked Mr. Pickett  to comment on the  two versions                                                               
of SB 30.                                                                                                                       
MR.  PICKETT  explained  that  the   previous  draft  provided  a                                                               
[defense]  to a  charge for  conduct that  Ballot Measure  2 made                                                               
legal. That raised  concern among sponsors of  the ballot measure                                                               
because  that  structure places  the  onus  on the  defendant  to                                                               
assert a [defense].  The current version I  changes the structure                                                               
and makes legal the conduct that the initiative addressed.                                                                      
CHAIR  MCGUIRE  agreed  with  the  summary  and  noted  that  the                                                               
previous version was described as  being drafted according to the                                                               
Napoleonic Code as  opposed to Angelo Saxon law.  The conduct was                                                               
prohibited but  a person  could mount  a defense.  The initiative                                                               
sponsors said it placed a  burden on individual Alaskans that was                                                               
not intended. The committee members  in both the House and Senate                                                               
agreed unanimously there  was a problem with  that structure. The                                                               
current  draft  allows Alaskans  who  are  age  21 and  older  to                                                               
possess one ounce of marijuana.                                                                                                 
She  highlighted  that the  current  draft  does not  change  the                                                               
marijuana definition.  It does retain  the references  to driving                                                               
while impaired and the committee has  agreed that it will use the                                                               
definition of  impaired driving in  current Alaska  statutes. She                                                               
clarified for  the watching public  that on February 24,  2015 it                                                               
will  not be  legal to  buy marijuana  because there  will be  no                                                               
licensed establishments from  which to buy it.  Licensing will be                                                               
addressed in a separate piece of legislation.                                                                                   
CHAIR  MCGUIRE solicited  a  motion to  adopt  the proposed  work                                                               
draft committee substitute (CS) for SB 30.                                                                                      
2:16:06 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO  moved to  adopt the  work draft  CS for  SB 30,                                                               
labeled 29-LS0231\I.                                                                                                            
CHAIR MCGUIRE  found no  objection and version  I was  before the                                                               
2:16:31 PM                                                                                                                    
HILARY MARTIN, Drafting Attorney,  Legislative Legal and Research                                                               
Services, Legislative  Affairs Agency, explained that  this draft                                                               
removes  marijuana,  hash,  and  hash  oil  from  the  controlled                                                               
substance schedule  so marijuana  is no longer  included anyplace                                                               
the  term  "controlled  substance" appears.  She  suggested  that                                                               
another important change that members  should carefully review is                                                               
Section 50, which creates new marijuana crimes.                                                                                 
SENATOR  COSTELLO  noted that  the  title  of  the bill  has  not                                                               
MS.  MARTIN said  she  looked at  the title  and  believes it  is                                                               
fairly  descriptive. She  offered to  look at  it again  if there                                                               
were any questions.                                                                                                             
SENATOR COSTELLO responded that she  raised the point as a matter                                                               
of record.                                                                                                                      
CHAIR MCGUIRE  thanked Ms. Martin  for her  work on the  bill and                                                               
welcomed Mr. Pickett to the team.                                                                                               
SENATOR COGHILL said that at some  point he would like Ms. Martin                                                               
or Mr.  Pickett to  discuss the  levels of  proof in  Section 50.                                                               
That is where he would start to review the bill.                                                                                
CHAIR  MCGUIRE said  she likes  the  idea of  starting with  that                                                               
section because  that is where  marijuana starts to  be regulated                                                               
like  alcohol.  She  said  she would  also  like  the  initiative                                                               
sponsors to  offer their  perspective. She  asked the  members to                                                               
think about whether the crimes  and penalties are appropriate and                                                               
if  they see  problems  arising because  marijuana  is no  longer                                                               
classified as a controlled substance.                                                                                           
SENATOR MICCICHE  recommended the  public review  the legislation                                                               
because  it is  a reminder  of the  conduct a  person should  not                                                               
engage  in  when  consuming  either  alcohol  or  marijuana.  For                                                               
example,  it is  not  legal to  move uphill  on  a tramway  while                                                               
impaired  by  alcohol or  marijuana;  a  nursing license  may  be                                                               
denied, suspended,  or revoked for  a person who  habitually uses                                                               
alcoholic beverages or marijuana;  a pawnbroker may not knowingly                                                               
complete  a  transaction  with someone  under  the  influence  of                                                               
alcohol or marijuana.                                                                                                           
2:28:05 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCGUIRE  said the current draft  is an attempt to  tell the                                                               
public where marijuana use fits in society.                                                                                     
SENATOR  MICCICHE commented  that the  bill appears  to meet  the                                                               
voters' intent to  legalize the possession of up to  one ounce of                                                               
marijuana,  but Ravin  still governs  for securing  marijuana. It                                                               
has  to  magically appear  until  the  licensing regulations  are                                                               
CHAIR MCGUIRE agreed.                                                                                                           
SENATOR MICCICHE  restated that on  February 24 it will  be legal                                                               
to possess  marijuana, but it  will still be illegal  to purchase                                                               
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  suggested that the committee  would benefit                                                               
from input  from the public  about the use of  medical marijuana;                                                               
giving  police   officers  with  probable  cause   the  right  to                                                               
administer  a  somewhat  invasive  test for  marijuana;  and  the                                                               
notion  of criminalizing  children's conduct  when the  trend has                                                               
been rehabilitation and lesser penalties.                                                                                       
2:32:48 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MICCICHE  said  he  has  heard  from  the  public  about                                                               
establishing  better options  for  youths who  use marijuana.  He                                                               
asked if changes  to the alcohol laws could be  included in SB 30                                                               
or if it would require separate legislation.                                                                                    
SENATOR MCGUIRE replied anything can be  put in a bill as long as                                                               
it does  not violate the  single subject rule. However,  if there                                                               
are  political  ramifications it  may  be  better  in a  bill  by                                                               
SENATOR COGHILL  offered his opinion  that adding alcohol  to the                                                               
title  would  cause  problems. He  acknowledged  that  the  minor                                                               
consuming issues  and the penalties  and requirements in  Title 4                                                               
don't always fit well.                                                                                                          
SENATOR MICCICHE  suggested it would  be a  good idea to  keep an                                                               
eye on  the progress of  the administration's rewrite of  Title 4                                                               
to ensure that there is consistency.                                                                                            
CHAIR MCGUIRE announced she would hold SB 30 in committee.                                                                      

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
2_9_2015 CS SB30.pdf SJUD 2/9/2015 1:30:00 PM
SB 30