Alaska Legalization Law Takes Effect

Legislation enacted by voters in November legalizing the personal use and cultivation of marijuana takes effect today.

Fifty-three percent of Alaska voters approved Ballot Measure 2 on Election Day, permitting those over the age of 21 to lawfully possess up to one ounce of marijuana and/or to grow up to six marijuana plants (no more than three mature) for non-commercial purposes. Sharing or gifting personal use quantities of marijuana is also permitted under the new law; however the consumption of cannabis in public remains an offense.

Lawmakers will now begin the process of establishing licensing requirements for those who wish to commercially produce cannabis and/or engage in the plant’s retail sale. State regulators have up to nine months to enact rules to govern these commercial entities and are expected to begin granting operator permits by February 2016.

Since 1975, Alaskans have enjoyed personal privacy protections based on a state Supreme Court decision allowing for the possession and cultivation of personal use amounts of cannabis in one’s home. However, state lawmakers had never before codified these protections into law or permitted a legal market for marijuana production and sales.

Alaska is the third state – following Colorado and Washington – to legalize the personal possession of marijuana by adults and to license the plant’s retail production and sales. Oregon voters in November approved similar legislation (Measure 91), which is scheduled to go into effect later this year.

18 thoughts

  1. Oregon will on July 1, 2015, not so later this year. Also in Portland, Oregon’s biggest city, the Police have already said they will act as if the law is already in effect(last year!) and not arrest anyone…pretty amazing..once California goes…so goes them all I think…Hollywood anyone? peace.

  2. Did anyone else just hear the report from NPR on Alaska’s legalization?
    “At the lowest level Alaska would be raking in $5 million in sales profit for recreational marijuana. But with a 5 billion dollar deficit from falling oil prices the average Alaskan would have to smoke 9 pounds of marijuana each to pay for the deficit…”

    IS that a CHALLENGE?

    You hear that Alaska? Better break out the frisby golf and tie vaporizers to your necks, it ‘s time to BALANCE the BUDGET!

    Seriously, while NPR’s report does a great job of explaining Alaska’s exemplary privacy laws, it never ceases to Amaze me when reporters only account for recreational marijuana sales and leave out innovative patenting and investment for commercial operations or industrial hemp products.
    The NPR reporter says, “Well, we don’t have demand from bordering states,” (was that a jab at Colorado?) but thanks to our privacy clause we could always grow 6 plants.”

    Uhmmm… Alaska, did it ever occur to you that your friendly neighboring Canadanian banks are already investing in major grow operations?

    While Alaska’s state Congress is still “drafting legislation,” how about writing in some rules for banking and commercial operations? How long will we need the investment from Canada? Until the Feds end prohibition? Can’t we write legislation with pending stipulations?

  3. Or just go Jamaican and throw a bale in the fireplace and shut all the windows. THAT oughta balance the Alaskan State budget!

  4. Completing @Julian’s point about innovative patenting and investment, vaping 25-mg tokes of the herb itself instigates more innovation than anything– beyond “medical” and “recreational” there’s “inspirational” and “occupational”, especially if your occupation is invention and solving big technoeconomic problems. Anyone who “uses” it learns more ways to use it (Canadanians, this includes you).

  5. So, I have a question that covers every state that has regulated this miracle plant. How can we say anyone is trying to regulate it like alcohol? I can walk into any watering hole I wish and get snot-puking drunk, but I can’t order a joint and smoke it with my friends at our table? Regulated like alcohol it is not.

  6. Nunya, when will the lies end? It should be regulated to 10% of the regulations alcohol is burdened with. It should regulated similar to alcohol, which means you should be able to imbibe marijuana where ever alcohol is welcome. At issue though, is smoke doesn’t stay at your table and in a cup like an alcoholic drink does. Hence why smoking in public could result in children being exposed to marijuana smoke. However, as long as an establishment takes reasonable precautions to avoid children being exposed to marijuana smoke, then that is all the regulation that should be required.

  7. Dave Evans, very good point about the smoke not staying in the glass (that’s nifty). However, there are things like brownies (forgive me) and the sodas. Also, Tennessee’s smoking ban gives exemptions for establishments that have a “21 and over” policy. Also, I’m not saying allow it where alcohol can be bought and consumed, just that there should be more of an uproar about allowing bar-type businesses that serve pot, like the cafes in Amsterdam.

  8. One more inquiry here…I thought that Alaska’s constitution covered more plants and weight that their new law allows. Which policy covers the home? Does this new law invalidate their previous protections? If so, then why aren’t we hearing more of a stink being raised by the people from this marvelous state?

  9. Alaska is the third on the roster to have legalization implemented and it feels great.
    July 1 of this year for us here in Oregon and D.C. at 12:01am will also be joining the party. The movement is gaining real ground and we need to keep pushing. California, Vermont, and Maine all look very promising to legalize in 2016, with Vermont maybe doing it through the legislature this year. Keep supporting and keep watching for your turn to help!

  10. Not sure if anyone caught my question before, but what happens now with the privacy stipulation in Alaska’s constitution? I know that it permits more plants and more weight…does the new law invalidate that provision? If it did and I lived I your gorgeous part of the world, i would be royally irate.

  11. A long time coming. So far yet to go. Acceptance is a vision. Tolerance is an ideal. Our children will pay for this ignorance also.

  12. Nunya, the only way to “enforce” the new numbers is by violating the 4th Amendment, so no, the question you’re asking is the new amounts only apply if you’re making illegal sales–as that is the only legal way for police to follow the marijuana back to your house.

  13. Dave Evans, thanks a bunch for the info, very insightful. It just states 6 plants and I think one ounce in the home. If a situation like an unwanted guest is there and you call a cop to get them gone, and the cop was to see three ounces on the coffee table.Is that police officer supposed to do something?

  14. Well, I suppose it depends on the situation and the officer’s disposition. Certainly, you could be charged, but if it doesn’t seem “helpful” to the officer then they may just ignore it.

    Sounds like a good way to play Russian Roulette. “Lets put three ounces on the table and call 911.” How about, lets not?

  15. Oregon didn’t arrest people for possession(<1 oz.) or smoking in public, since the 1970s.

    So the Portland police have just stopped ticketing people.

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