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Marijuana Referendum Added to Unalaska Ballot

Jul 11, 2016

Credit Jennifer Martin via Wikimedia Commons

Unalaskans can overturn the city's ban on commercial pot businesses — if enough of them vote for a new referendum in October.

The referendum earned a spot on the city ballot last week after a petition by local marijuana supporters gathered more than double the signatures required.

Supporters started the petition in February after the City Council narrowly passed a ban on all types of state-licensed marijuana businesses.

By the time the petition was submitted last Tuesday, it had more than 160 valid names, according to Deputy City Clerk Roxanna Winters. She said the proposal only needed 77, or a quarter of the votes cast in the last regular election.

Winters said the referendum will pass or fail with a simple majority in the October election. If Unalaskans do vote to repeal the commercial pot ban, the City Council will be responsible for deciding local regulations, because the petition does not specify any rules for the industry.