SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions


By David G Hanger  

March 19, 2015
Thursday PM

Looking at the names on this so-called local marijuana committee I detect a strong whiff of alcohol but no tokers or smokers. And what can one expect from such a one-dimensional, one-sided bunch of liquid refreshers? A result that is really, really stupid!

Now granted, the law itself is really, really stupid. We now have a legal product that you cannot transport, cannot sell, whatever……. And a product we do not tax, again really, really stupid.

Since no rational solution is likely from this silly bunch I have perused Ketchikan history to see if somewhere there might be something with which we could concoct something of a solution, and lo, it is there, for some of your antecedents were wittier than you know.

Back in the late 1970s one local established a chapter of the “Universal Life Church,” for which a mail-order “Doctor of Divinity” certificate was provided. I am sure this is all done by internet today. And charitable contributions were accepted, and lo, as one left the “church” a bag of marijuana miraculously appeared. So any number of local folks were writing off “church” contributions on their tax returns and the U.S. government was paying for 10% to 20% of certain locals’ marijuana consumption.

When first presented with this I laughed heartily, then kyboshed it quickly, pointing out the numerous prospective illegalities. But it was imaginative.

Now, however, marijuana is legal but exchanging it for cash technically is not. How absolutely stupid! You can give it to someone else in amounts up to an ounce, so……………… If the boneheads don’t want to tax it, I reckon it is quite appropriate to slap them upside the head with their foolishness, so I’m thinkin’ maybe it’s time for a bunch of chapters of the “Church of the Enlightened Herb.” I will leave it to the lawyers to play with this one, but it seems to me if the “minister” reports his “church” earnings, you might actually have a legal way of transacting business. Have fun.

David G Hanger
Ketchikan, Alaska


Received March 19, 2015 - Published March 19, 2015


Editor's Note: Listed below are those appointed to the Marijuana Advisory Committee

Ketchikan Borough Assembly (2 members - selected by the Borough Mayor)
Glen Thompson
Alan Bailey

Ketchikan City Council (2 members - selected by the City Mayor)
KJ Harris
Bob Sivertsen

Saxman City Council (2 members - selected by the Saxman Mayor)
Mayor Sylvia Banie
Vice Mayor Woodrow Watson

Ketchikan School Board (1 member - selected by the School Board President)
David Timmerman

Additional Information: Mayor Landis' report to the Assembly March 12, 2015


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