Governor Dunleavy’s anti-marijuana stance becoming more obvious
When Alaskans agreed to allow marijuana use, the taxes collected would be used, in part, to cover the funding of a new Marijuana Control Board (MCB). It makes little sense, then, that the state’s governor, Mike Dunleavy, now feels it necessary to remove the board under a revised budget to cut expenses. The move seems to add more evidence that Governor Dunleavy could be trying to stall recreational marijuana.
Dunleavy wants to get rid of the boards that govern both the marijuana and the alcohol industries. Many are becoming concerned that the move could severely restrict licensing and enforcement efforts, leading to a stagnant marijuana economy. The move, according to the governor, is necessary to solve a budget gap of $1.6 billion.
The boards would have their responsibilities transferred to a commissioner. While the move has not yet been officially introduced, there already seems to be indication that Dunleavy has begun to make the necessary changes. The director of the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office, Erika McConnell, has reported that access to records maintained by the state’s Department of Public Safety has already been cut off, making it difficult for her office to follow through on investigations. She adds, “With no access to these databases, the investigators may go to interview someone who is subject to a warrant or possibly armed and dangerous, without having any warning or information.”
This seems like a major setback in what was otherwise a forward-moving process and could be a setback to the entire Alaskan marijuana industry. It makes one wonder if someone has gotten to Dunleavy, who seems to be willing to ignore the wishes of those who put him in office.