The Kenai City Council last night bucked the emerging trend around the state and decided not to allow on-site consumption of cannabis products inside city limits. The vote was five to one on the ordinance to ban the practice outright after a motion to replace it with a two-year moratorium instead failed to get a second.
City councilmembers Jim Glendenning and Glenese Petty introduced the original.
"That was because of our concern for the safety of our community," said Petty. "After speaking with professionals, ordinary moms and dads, teachers, public safety officers, they too were concerned about the safety of our community if the onsite consumption opportunity was allowed in our city."
After the vote, resident Sherry Innes thanked the council for its vote.
"You have been elected by the residents to preserve and protect our community, especially from those whose only motive and goal is to make money. On-site consumption in retail marijuana stores with put more impaired drivers on our two highways. Marijuana slows the reflexes. This is a fact," Innes said. "If someone wants to use marijuana to mellow out, the safest place for that to take place is at home or in the home of a friend. Not in a car on the highways where some family is coming home from a little league baseball game."
Voting in favor of the ban were Petty and Glendenning, along with Councilmen Tim Navarre and Henry Knackstedt, and Mayor Brian Gabriel. Councilman Robert Peterkin voted against it.