Voters will have the final say next year on whether people can smoke or inhale marijuana at certain licensed pot shops in Anchorage.

Assembly members decided late Tuesday night to put the measure on the April 7 municipal election ballot.

Their decision capped off nearly two hours of debate, mostly from the community.

"Really I guess what I'm asking is to put it out for the public and allow the people to decide, rather than choosing not to allow them to decide at all on how we can have a responsible way to consume a legal product that we can legally purchase," resident Caleb Saunders said.

The proposal also saw its opponents.

"Smoke is smoke. It makes absolutely no sense to degrade and diminish our smoke-free laws by allowing onsite smoking of marijuana," Julie Hasquet said.

People can currently consume edible marijuana products at licensed pot shops.

Also at the meeting members decided to eliminate the 10 cent fee charged for paper bags at restaurants and drive-thrus. 

It's gone, effective immediately.

"At McDonald's, you're not going to be handing your personal shopping bag through the window and them putting their products into your bag and then handing it back. It didn't make sense," said assemblyman Christopher Constant, who spearheaded the proposed ordinance change. "And so we've eliminated the charge. You'll just get the paper bag at the window like you always did."

Farmers markets and other temporary merchants will also no longer charge for paper bags.

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