City to take action on synthetic cannabinoids

Posted: Monday, February 28, 2011

Striking down fake marijuana is on the table for the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly today.

Assemblyman Merrill Sanford and City Attorney John Hartle researched synthetic cannabinoids, and Sanford asked the Assembly to consider banning the substances, ahead of a similar effort currently underway in the Legislature. The city law would likely include a clause repealing the ordinance when a superseding state law goes into effect. Senate Bill 17, which is making its way through committee, would make synthetic cannabinoids illegal statewide.

Juneau, prior to the legislative session, wanted to see something done more quickly in town about banning the products.

Sanford had said at a January meeting his concern with the drug is it’s unregulated and can be very dangerous.

The Assembly is modeling its ordinance after Anchorage’s ban, and will prohibit the manufacture, assembly, distribution, marketing, sale, use or possession of all substances containing synthetic cannabinoids.

Also today, the Assembly is expected to take action transferring $104,000 to the Open Space Waterfront Land Acquisition capital improvement project from Marine Passenger fees.

These funds were scheduled last fiscal year to be used on sidewalk maintenance, foot and bike patrol, an ambassador program, downtown historic district development design and a Juneau Convention and Visitor’s Bureau crossing guard program. They were not spent.

The Assembly also will consider a resolution that will help the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council receive grant funds from the National Endowment of the Arts. With the grant, it can plan for a cultural/arts facility in $50,000 increments up to $250,000.

JAHC wants to partner with the city for a $50,000 grant for concept development of a mid-sized performing arts theater between the JACC and Centennial Hall.

The preliminary cost of the project is estimated at $20 million, down from the full-scale performance hall originally proposed of $60 million.

The Assembly meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Assembly Chambers.

• Contact reporter Sarah Day at 523-2279 or at

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