It may be the worst thing to happen to the North Pole since the Abominable Snowman. In an effort to keep Alaska’s newly implemented legal cannabis market at bay, the town of North Pole has passed Proposition 7, a bill that will ban the sale of marijuana inside city limits. But that law won’t stand if a bearded guy who legally changed his name to Santa Claus has anything to say about it.

To be clear, the town of North Pole, being in Alaska, obviously isn’t at the actual North Pole. It’s actually a suburb of Fairbanks that changed its name in 1953 in the hopes that, according to the town’s official website, “some toy manufacturer might be induced to locate a factory there so their products could be advertised as being made in North Pole. Also, someone might start a Santa Land which would become a northern version of Disneyland.”

Neither of those things came to pass, but something about equally bizarre did. A resident legally changed his name to Santa Claus and became a political force in the town.This man listed his credentials for NBC 4: “Director of the Terrorism Research Communication Center from ’78 to ’86, and was Chief of Safety and Security for the US Virgin Islands Port Authority, was a member of FEMA’s National Defense Executive Reserve,” though one thing he does not reveal in that news piece is his birth name.

Claus says he’s also worked in law enforcement, served on the North Pole city council, and is currently a deeply religious monk and child advocate. His philosophical take on life is part of the reason why he opposes the city’s ban on selling cannabis. “I think they are not in this particular instance… embracing the spirit of love,” he says. “I think what they’re doing is engendering hate, which comes from fear.”

Santa is not only a proponent of recreational cannabis, but a practitioner of medical marijuana as well. A cancer patient, he uses cannabis to treat his symptoms. He says there’s nothing about using marijuana that would put someone on the naughty list. “Cannabis users will not be getting coal in their stocking unless they’ve done some other thing that might be considered egregious,” he says.

Luckily for Santa and other North Pole cannabis users, they can still legally grow their own pot and travel to Fairbanks (once the legal pot shops open) to get their supply.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons