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May is an extraordinary month in Ketchikan. We transform overnight from a quiet town in April to become host to thousands of visitors each day by mid-May. Local waters see commercial troll fishermen take advantage of spring fishery opportunities while the commercial net fleets begin preparing for their season. Sport anglers are readying their gear for the May 28 start of the Ketchikan CHARR Educational Fund King Salmon Derby.

State agencies and the University of Alaska spent $343 million outside of Alaska for goods and services for government operations in 2015.

Ginny Gisse, 69, died April 5, 2016, at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
Don’t legalize it

It can be better to let the other guy go first.

After seeing how it goes for him, we might not want to go at all.

Such is the case with the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Colorado went first; Washington state followed. An effort is underway for Alaska to be one of the next.

But, wait a minute.

A Denver park served as the site of a pot holiday over the Easter Day weekend. Tens of thousands of people with joints, pipes and vaporizer devices showed up. Clearly, Coloradans with an affection for pot had their day.

What should be noted by Alaskans considering a similar change in the law is that police had to show up. Between arrests and citations, they totaled 130. Ninety-two of the police-related incidents were a result of marijuana consumption.

It still isn't legal to consume marijuana in public in Colorado.

It just goes to show that some of those who favor legalizing pot won't be satisfied with the OK for only recreational marijuana. Some of them won't follow any limitation.

It would be the same way in Alaska.

An initiative on Alaska's general election ballot, if passed, would allow Alaskans over the age of 21 to keep up to one ounce of marijuana and to possess up to six plants, including three flowering. It also would legalize the sale of marijuana and marijuana accessories in licensed shops.

Alaskans can see — because Colorado went first in relaxing its marijuana-related law — that if the initiative passes voter approval, it would be only the beginning of the road toward greater law enforcement activities and related costs and ultimately further relaxing of marijuana law.

Alaska doesn't want to go there.