AK: Fairbanks City Council To Discuss Medical Marijuana Collective

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    Sam Friedman | 1.13.2013

    FAIRBANKS — A woman hoping to open the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary has persuaded Fairbanks City Council to discuss the issue at a future meeting.

    Mystiek Lockery is a massage therapist, Taco Bell employee and fierce advocate for marijuana legalization. She has come to the past two City Council meetings to promote her ambition to open a dispensary and has generated some discussion among council members about the logistics and security of that kind of business. At Monday’s meeting, Councilman Lloyd Hilling said he would ask the city attorney to look at drafting a law that would allow for a dispensary in Fairbanks.

    According to the city attorney, it is far from clear whether the city has such power.

    Lockery owns the business Eden Massage, which used to have a storefront on Illinois Street but is now without a clinic. She always has been interested in holistic health remedies and has seen friends benefit from medical marijuana, she said.

    “I wanted to get into this because I realized there is a large number of people who need it for a variety of ailments, either physical or mental,” she said. “But even though it’s been legal in this state, those people have no way to get it.”

    Lockery had plenty of time to think about marijuana laws last winter. She spent 3 1/2 months at Fairbanks Correctional Center after the Drug Enforcement Administration accused her of growing more than 100 marijuana plants at a home in the Aurora subdivision and at another home downtown.

    The case didn’t go to trial, and prosecutors dismissed charges against her in April. Charges were dropped because prosecutors failed to try the case in the time limit set by the court deadline for a speedy trial, she said. Speaking about the case a year after her arrest, Lockery said the charges against her were false, though she did not want to discuss them in more detail because the government still has the option to indict her again, she said.

    Hilling, the Fairbanks city councilman who said he’d look into a city ordinance for a marijuana dispensary, said he’s on board with the idea because he’s opposed to laws that make weed illegal, or at least illegal for adults. If a dispensary opened, he said he hoped the city would take some kind of action to make it difficult for marijuana from the dispensary to fall into the hands of children, he said.

    Fairbanks city attorney Paul Ewers said he’s researching whether there’s a way for the city to write an ordinance to allow for a dispensary. Based on his current understanding, there’s not much a city can do to legalize a dispensary, but he has put in a call to the Fairbanks district attorney to clarify.

    “Absent something I’m missing, the medical marijuana section of the Alaska statues doesn’t reference anything about local option,” he said. “I know with alcohol it’s ‘wet’ and ‘dry.’ I don’t know what this would be called.”

    According to Michael Smith, owner of The Healing Center Medical Clinic, a Seattle-based business that’s written about 1,200 medical marijuana prescriptions at clinics in Alaska, dispensaries are illegal under Alaska law — no matter what local governments say on the subject. Someone who had an inventory of marijuana at a retail store would risk being charged with felony drug possession, he said.

    The preferred way to transfer medical marijuana in the state is through delivery networks, such as the Wasilla-based SugarGreen.net, he said. The marijuana in such networks, which he stressed should not be considered for-profit businesses, is grown legally by a medical marijuana patient. The grower can’t sell the product to other patients but can give it away and charge for delivery, Smith said.

    Source - Newsminer

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