Governor smokes out chair of Marijuana Control Board - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, February 25, 2020
HomePoliticsGovernor smokes out chair of Marijuana Control Board

Governor smokes out chair of Marijuana Control Board

Gov. Mike Dunleavy is ending the reign of Mark Springer, chairman of the Marijuana Control Board. Springer’s term ends on March 1.

While showing Springer the door, the governor reappointed Christopher Jaime, a State Trooper from Soldotna. And he added Casey Dschaak of Dillingham to the rural seat that is held by Springer for a few more weeks.

Springer, of Bethel, is a vocal opponent of the governor’s overall agenda and, critics say he loathes Dunleavy’s very existence.

In addition to signing the recall petition, he has used his time during board meetings to express his hostility toward the Administration and brags about the Recall Dunleavy sticker on his coffee mug.

Springer has been at odds with his fellow board members as well as the governor. When the matter of whether to retain former alcohol and marijuana agency director Erika McConnell came up, Springer, as chairman, refused to put it on the agenda until he was forced to by other board members.

McConnell had already been “fired” by the Alcohol Beverage Control Board, to whom she also reported, but it took a vote of the Marijuana Control Board to remove her. Springer voted against her removal, but she was fired anyway by a majority of the board, with only one other vote, from board member Loren Jones, favoring McConnell’s retention.

Dschaak, the incoming member of the board, he served in the U.S. Army and works in the field of logistics in Dillingham.

The Marijuana Control Board meets next week in Juneau and will select a new chair from the members.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • I remember Mark Springer back in the 1980’s while at UAF, and let’s just say that Mark was a huge advocate of marijuana back then….decades before a marijuana control board was in existence. Mark had a remarkably unkept appearance, with shaggy long red hair and a self-embarrassing habit of interrupting and arguing over the Political Science professor. Mark lived in Tok at the time, a fitting location for a guy chasing the weed. Mark wasn’t dumb, but his long history of marijuana advocacy, and presumably, his lengthy indulgence, had taken a toll on the old cerebrum long before Dunleavy showed him the door with his size 15 1/2 boot. My guess is that Mark will open up a store and teach new customers how to sign their names on a recall petition, and how to spell Murkowski.

    • Great story, Judie. After 40 years of smoking pot there will be some shrinkage (of the brain) and some conscious (departure). Medicine has proven that. Our governor has caused an intervention and hopefully Mr. Springer can get the help he needs in his retirement years.

  • Seems like yet another case of failing to “kiss the ring” in Alaska.

    • Or failure to read the tea leaf’s of public direction for government. I will remind you that we had an election and Big Mike was elected with a large percentage of the vote. Sometimes it hasn’t anything to do with “kissing the ring” but respecting the will of the people.

  • Libby Bakalar was supposed to be a warning rather than a how-to guide. Cheers –

  • How a guy like Springer ever comes to any position of semi importance is a true mystery to me.

    • No kidding, J. Russell. Would the governor appoint an old, unkept, bumbling alcoholic to the ABC Board?

      • It’s not like Mark Springer is the next Tommy Chong. He wasn’t for or against weed he just helped put the rules into place. He has served the communities he has lived in quite well when. He isn’t a
        “Pot-head”.

  • You would have to be unfathomably dense to rally others into believing your boss needs to be fired and not expect to be fired yourself. That a number of our government employees and benefactors might exhibit this level of astonishment when they find that they’re held accountable for their lack of intellect is a clear indication that there are likely many of them yet that ought to be culled from the payroll.

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