Initiative Underway to Legalize Marijuana in Alaska
Alaska has one of the more liberal marijuana possession laws in the U.S., with possession of an ounce decriminalized, but advocates are taking it a step forward and have begun an initiative drive to legalize the possession, personal cultivation and state-licensed sale of marijuana to adults. Voters in Alasaka rejected a similar measure in 2004 with a 44%-56% vote, but the conversation surrounding marijuana has shifted greatly in those past 9 years – for example, support for legalization on the national level in that time frame has gone from under forty percent, to above fifty.
Today, activists took the first major step in putting an initiative to the vote of the people, but submitting draft language, along with 100 signatures, to the state’s lieutenant governor. The state has 2 months to review the measure, making sure the signatures are valid and the draft language is legally sound.
State Representative Don Young, the only representative in the State of Alaska, has recently came out in strong support ofnew federal legislation which would force the feds to respect the rights of states that legalize marijuana.
If everything goes smoothly, advocates will have until January to collect 30,169 signatures, which will put the measure to a vote in the 2014 election.