Some on city council seem to think they know better than the electorate

There is a tradition in this country, and this state, of a certain group of people believing that they know better than the general population what is best for all, particularly when it comes to intoxicants and private recreation. Prohibition gave us the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This proved to be such a bad idea that the 18th is the only amendment that has ever had to be repealed, by the 21st.

In 1975, Homer attorney Irwin Ravin brought about the Ravin Decision, making possession of small amounts of marijuana by an adult for personal consumption legal in Alaska. While 1990 saw the recriminalization of pot by ballot initiative, its constitutionality was found lacking by the Alaska Court of Appeals (Noy v. State). Finally in 2014, possession, consumption and transportation were embraced by the electorate, both statewide and locally, with details to be worked out later.

Now, the Homer City Council is considering making everything else concerning pot illegal within city limits. No buying, selling, cultivation or manufacture. No collecting of taxes. If this ordinance passes, it may be that Homerites will have to go all the way to Anchorage to buy legal, controlled, certified and taxed marijuana products. 

Illegal, uncontrolled, uncertified and untaxed pot will of course continue to be as available as always. Making pot illegal to purchase in Homer will in no way diminish its use or availability; it will, however, waste scarce police and judicial resources. It will continue the culture of contraband. It will in a real sense confound the expressed will of the electorate. The majority of those who voted surely did not intend to make pot difficult to acquire legally; and those who didn’t vote, as always, gave up any right to complain.

What is the point of making consumption and possession legal if it cannot be acquired readily and legally? Of course, anyone can grow their own, but not everyone is adept at or inclined toward cultivation. It’s akin to suggesting that you may consume alcohol, but only if you brew, ferment or distill it yourself, or drive for hours to buy it.

A certain majority of the Homer City Council thinks they know what is best for you, and are determined that their will supersede that of the majority of the voters. I think they’re wrong.

I say: Buy Local.

Ken Landfield