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Alaska closer to becoming 3rd state to legalize recreational marijuana

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ALASKA — Marijuana prohibition laws are slowly going up in smoke.

An Alaska citizens’ group is pushing to legalize recreational marijuana, which would make it the third state to do so after Colorado and Washington.

Driven by growing public support, Campaign to Regulate Marijuana submitted more than 45,000 signatures Wednesday to Alaska election officials. It needs about 30,000 verified signatures to qualify for the August state ballot.

“The proposed initiative will take marijuana sales out of the underground market and put them in legitimate, taxpaying businesses,” said Tim Hinterberger, one of the initiative’s sponsors. “Replacing marijuana prohibition with a system of taxation and sensible regulation will bolster Alaska’s economy by creating jobs and generating revenue for the state.”

The proposal similar to one passed in Colorado legalizes the growing, buying and consumption of marijuana for adults ages 21 or older, CNN affiliate KTUU reported.

Alaska law currently allows those with a medicinal marijuana prescription to legally grow up to six plants or have up to one ounce, according to the affiliate.

The proposal will not only open doors for recreational use, it provides more options for medicinal marijuana users with limited access, Hinterberger told the affiliate.

But marijuana legalization opponents say there are serious health consequences, and argue the drug is often a gateway to harmful, addictive substances.

Washington and Colorado legalized recreational marijuana last year, but the latter became the first state to commence sales this month. Sales in Washington have not started yet.

In addition to Colorado and Washington, 18 other states and the District of Columbia allow some legal use of marijuana, primarily for medicinal purposes.

Pro-recreational marijuana Initiatives are expected in various states in 2016, including Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana and Nevada, according to Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project.


  • Nancy Chymicheal

    I doubt that. Roy Cooper wants to lead this state. He will end up running on a Pot Curios platform. As a fan of liberty I see NO foundation for a law against pot now. Recognize you rights!!

  • JT

    Colorado is reporting $5 million in the first week of recreational legalization; $1 million of that was generated on the FIRST DAY it was legal. But I agree, BB–this is why it won’t be legal here in the Bible-beating South. Sure, part of it is the fact that a huge number of us subscribe to a 2000 year-old supersitition that somehow attaches a moral precedence to a substance that is amoral (alcohol is a fine example). But here’s the real thing–Neocons followed Reagan’s lead, and this man had been fighting those pot-smoking hippies since he was governor of California. But if there is one thing we know about Republicans, they LOVE money. Now, by their own doing, they have shut themselves out of a business that generates millions, so they have to stick to their guns (pun intended) in order to keep from having to admit they were wrong, wrong, and terribly wrong for nearly a century on this issue. With that said, IF their greed overcomes their reluctance to admit they have been stupid on this issue, or IF they can get Beck, Limbaugh or any of those other right-wing windbags to spin it to where they don’t have to admit defeat and can then get big business into this, or IF the ol’ hippies who have been lovingly growing and experimenting with their own strains of this plant for decades can bring themselves to rub elbows with the likes of Palin and our own Governor Weaselface, it MAY pass here. But I tend to agree–it’s a long shot. But we can dream…

  • JT

    Guess they’ll have to stop harassing black/Latino kids and go after rapists, murderers, etc., Ben. I know–it’s a drag.

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