Alaskans will get conflicting messages on what legalized cannabis would mean for the state this weekend.
A two-day course on how to run a retail store or grow operation and many other ins and outs of launching a marijuana business kicks off Saturday and will be hosted by the Alaska Cannabis Institute.
If voters approve Proposition 2, there will be an opportunity to create a new industry in the Last Frontier, but a newly-formed group argues legalization would promote harmful drug use.
The group Big marijuana, Big mistake, Vote No On 2 said it plans to debut its website on Friday. The group argues that stores and businesses will promote the drug use in a harmful way and wants people to look at states like Colorado and Washington where marijuana was recently legalized.
“Public health science is clear,” said Deborah Williams of Big Marijuana. Big Mistake. Vote No On Two. “If you legalize a substance use will go up by children there will be more use by children if marijuana is commercialized, advertised, industrialized, and legalized.”
"What's actually shown in Washington and Colorado is it's actually the opposite,” said Peter Carris with Canatonic Society in Washington. “It's taking it off the street and put it into a legalized regulated marketplace um one of the big factors is it's regulated from seed to sale.”
The vote for broader legalization of marijuana in Alaska will be on the ballot in the November general election.