(note: the first of about 5 critical posts coming, on your toes)
You all knew it was coming. The On-Site consumption issue is going to be a fist fight. We of the Industry have know that the Lung Association and the Cancer Society and a number of other chaste organizations and individuals are going to be mustering their faithful to protest the devil weed forces that we represent to them. Need to be convinced?
Here is an excerpt from an email from the Lung Association:
"This is notification of a public hearing for AK’s Marijuana Control Board, our regulation setting body solely on proposed regulations to allow for onsite consumption in pot shops. As you know, we have been fighting inhaled onsite consumption for several years now through multiple rounds of written public comments including one that just closed. This is the first time it’s a hearing. It’s 12/19 from 1-4pm in Anchorage. We are looking for people who can testify, primarily on the front-end of the time period in Anchorage at the Crime Lab. There will also be telephonic testimony accepted, and if you aren’t able to be physically present that’s requested too, but we really need to fill the room with public health advocates, as the Marijuana Industry will be well represented, as they’ll be attending the meeting anyway. It’s a 2 minute time limit, and we can provide talking points. We can also plan to carpool.
Here is the link to proposed regs. https://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id=191144"
The people who want to stop On-Site are serious and organized. They are going to try and front load this to make it appear that there are more people who represent the forces opposed to the legalization of on-site than voted for legalized cannabis in Alaska. If you recall the elections to prohibit (OCT 2017) held the vote for cannabis was 70-30% in favor of keeping cannabis legal and regulated. But let's break this fight down briefly.
The people who are opposed to on-site don't want smoke any where. They don't want Girl Scouts making s'mores cause the marshmallows might burn, and that is not an exaggeration. Additionally the people who have been told for years that cannabis is a force put forward by satan are going to feel that they are fighting the forces of evil by denying Grandma a place to try out some Alaskan Indica while she is here on vacation.
There is an absolute need to allow legalized consumption of cannabis, but like alcohol, it needs to be off the street. The Industry does NOT want to make those people who are opposed to cannabis to walk through clouds of smoke while they are going to see a touring live musical of The Sound of Music. Which is a great musical btw. Those wishes are as important as the desires of us who chose to be a part of this emerging industry. If we don't create safe spaces for cannabis consumption just like bars provide a safe space for alcohol, where consumption can be monitored (and denied if necessary) , those shouting the arguments against legal consumption will begin to amplify. Just like bars got drinking off the streets, on-site consumption will move cannabis consumption from public view. We need a way for tourists, as well as Alaskans, to consume what is legally regulated in our state.
What the opposition wants is, literally, nothing. No consumption at all. These people rallying against us have a distinct agenda. I personally don't believe that these voices will tell you that the existing LEGAL cannabis marketplace is acceptable.They don't want the Industry to have a space inside the legally regulated businesses where consumption can happen for the reason that if we DON'T have place where tourists can consume and smoking in the open keeps happening, we are going end up at, "See this can't be done responsibly, the whole thing needs to go away!" The people who oppose cannabis are people who have heard the repetitive propaganda their whole lives, this has been going on for 80 years. It's only going to fade as we progress toward reasonable normalization. On-Site consumption is a reasonable step to the middle ground.
There is still an active contingent who cannot stand the fact that the majority of the population are OK with cannabis. Those people are trying to muster every warm body they can to protect Their Country, Their Children, and Their Morals from the evil that our industry represents to them. And they want them at the open meeting on the 19th to discuss On-Site. That is why it is absolutely essential that you are there too.
So where are you going to be when the hearing for on-site is called to order? I know where the opposition is going to be. I know I am going to be there fighting for you, and I need you to be present to take the industry's back with me.
Put it on the Calendar, now.
Date: December 19, 2018
Time: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Where: State of Alaska Crime Lab -
4805 Dr. MLK Jr. Ave, Anchorage
Telephonic: 1-800-315-6338 Access Code 69176