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Fairbanks borough allows people to smoke pot in public view on their private property

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska — Fairbanks North Star Borough residents will be allowed to smoke marijuana anywhere on their private property, including in their yards. But the borough's assembly has prohibited smoking at lakes and rivers.

The assembly on Thursday approved most general guidelines set by the state and the cities of Fairbanks and North Pole.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports (http://is.gd/KJNilC) those governments prohibit public smoking at schools, parks, highways, bus stops, business and apartment buildings. The borough went one step further and added rivers and lakes to places where people can't smoke.

Assembly member Lance Roberts said that was important because they are used for transportation. "You could end up with snowmachiners going out and consuming," Roberts said.

Mayor Luke Hopkins wanted to keep marijuana out of the public view, even on private property.

But assembly member Christopher Quist amended Hopkins' motion to include a definition of public place that doesn't include private property. "I am strongly of the opinion that if you can drink a beer on your front lawn, you should be able to use cannabis on your front lawn," Quist said.

Assembly member Diane Hutchinson said marijuana isn't allowed in public view in either Washington state and Colorado, other states where the drug is legal. Pot also became legal in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

"The people who voted yes can still use their marijuana," Hutchison said. "But you are not thinking about the people who voted no. It's not good for our kids. It's not good for our community."

Others assembly members said they believe alcohol does more harm than marijuana. "I think marijuana has far fewer affects on the public and public welfare than does alcohol," member Van Lawrence said.


Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com

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