Alaska’s marijuana legalization efforts are taking one step further than some states, calling not only for legal weed but also for pot growing.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, both Florida and Tennessee are trying for medical marijuana but under strict conditions. New York is the same, with only certain hospitals able to act as dispensaries.
Colorado and Washington State now have one more thing in common with Alaska besides cold weather: they all want recreational marijuana. Alaska is also mimicking Colorado’s legal language in order to insure a greater chance at success. But in this case, there’s also some prior legal precedent since the Alaska Supreme Court declared in 1975 that residents had a constitutional right to privacy when it came to laws banning the home use and possession of small amounts of cannabis.
In 1982, the decision was extended to say Alaskans could posses four ounces of personal marijuana — which was reduced to one ounce later — as long as there wasn’t evidence they were a distributor. Unfortunately for legal weed supporters, Alaska’s marijuana laws were changed once again in 2006 to re-criminalize owning pot at home, which was reaffirmed by Alaska’s Supreme Court that time around.
Supporters of Alaska’s marijuana legalization petition believe the law is currently ambiguous and they’ve gathered 46,000 qualified signatures, which is far more than the 30,000 necessary. If the signatures are accepted then voters will be able to decide at the 2014 primaries whether Alaska will allow recreational marijuana or not.
If passed, Alaska’s marijuana laws would allow the possession of one ounce and six plants for growing. The manufacture, sale and possession of marijuana accessories would also become legal and as such would be regulated by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Alaska will also collect an excise tax of $50 per ounce and marijuana retail stores, cultivation facilities, infused-product manufacturers, and marijuana testing facilities will be officially established. But legal weed in Alaska will have some limitations. The minimum age is 21, and anyone caught publicly smoking weed will be fined $100. Local government can also prohibit marijuana usage and employers can impose restrictions as well.