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Following a sweeping win at the ballot box in November, recreational marijuana officially became legal in Alaska on Tuesday, making it the third state in the country—behind Washington and Colorado—to allow adults over 21 to smoke, possess, grow, and transport pot.
Alaska voters passed their legalization bill 53-47 percent in the midterm elections. In addition to making private use legal for adults, the legislation will create a marketplace to tax and regulate the sale of marijuana, though that portion is not expected to be put in place until 2016 at the earliest.
Oregon and Washington, D.C. also voted to legalize recreational marijuana in November. Oregon will make the law official in July, while D.C. faces ongoing obstruction from Congress.
Beginning Tuesday, Alaska now has nine months to create regulations for the sale and distribution of marijuana. Commercial farming will also be under consideration next year. For now, buying or bartering for marijuana remains illegal.
“First Colorado and Washington, now Alaska and Oregon—and all with levels of support higher than the winning candidates for governor and U.S. Senate achieved in those states,”said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “Legalizing marijuana just makes sense now to voters across the political spectrum and—as we’ll likely see in 2016—across the country.”
Some complex legal matters remain. The Alaska Dispatch News this month unveiled a new column, Highly Informed, to help residents cull important information about the law, from basic awareness to rules for renters who want to grow their own plants.
As the ADN details, the state’s new state pot law stipulates:
- You can’t drive while stoned. You can’t sell pot. You can’t consume marijuana in public.
- Drive high and you could get a DUI. Sell marijuana and you could get arrested. Smoke in public—or flaunt an edible, vape pen, etc. to the point where you grab the attention of police—and you could get ticketed for a fine up to $100.
- Landlords can write marijuana prohibitions into a lease, as private property owners can prohibit or regulate marijuana on their property, but they may have difficulty enforcing them.
- Companies that prohibit marijuana use can (and will likely) continue that practice. Nothing in the law prohibits workplace drug testing.
While future legislation and pending regulation remain under review, organizers called on legalization supporters to celebrate cautiously. “[D]on’t do anything to give your neighbors reason to feel uneasy about this new law,” wrote bill co-sponsor Dr. Tim Hinterberger and Coalition for Responsible Cannabis Legislation spokesperson Bruce Schulte in an op-ed for the ADN last week. “We’re in the midst of an enormous social and legal shift. Please do your part to make it as successful as possible by consuming responsibly.”
Overall, as ADN noted, Tuesday, February 24, 2015 will go down as “a historic day in the Last Frontier.”
From Radical Russ, by way of the Rude One himself:
Pot’s been made legal
In four US states, and yet
Sky remains in place.
Marijuana companies in Colorado must use cash and take the risks inherent in dealing with large amounts of paper money because banks won’t do business with them. State officials hope a new credit union can change that.
States Rights: Oregon will soon qualify as the third U.S. state to ask voters in November to legalize marijuana for recreational use in a move that could put the state on a collision course with the federal government, proponents said on Friday.
Backers of the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act said they have collected 165,000 signatures on petitions seeking to put the measure on the ballot, nearly double the 87,000 they were required to submit by Friday’s deadline to qualify.
“We believe we’re going to make it easily,” said Paul Stanford, the chief petitioner and founder of the Hemp and Cannabis Foundation, which runs medical marijuana clinics in several states.
Outside the Beltway: Obama smoked pot. So what?
A new Rasmussen poll indicates that 56 percent of Americans are now in favor of legalizing marijuana and regulating its use and sale in a similar fashion to the way states control alcohol and tobacco sales. Just 36 percent of respondents voiced opposition to the proposal, a new low.
Overall, 53 percent of Americans say gay marriage should be legal, hitting a high mark in support while showing a dramatic turnaround from just six years ago, when just 36 percent thought it should be legal. Thirty-nine percent, a new low, say gay marriage should be illegal.
I’m still waiting for some rational explanation as to why your Justice Department is going after medical marijuana providers – and their patients:
SAN FRANCISCO – April 27 – The San Francisco Democratic Party adopted a resolution yesterday demanding that President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, and U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag “cease all Federal actions in San Francisco immediately, respect State and local laws, and stop the closure of City-permitted medical cannabis facilities.” The resolution was co-sponsored by 21 members of the party’s Central Committee (DCCC) including: its author Gabriel Haaland, Assembly member Tom Ammiano, State Senator Leland Yee, Supervisor David Campos, Supervisor David Chiu, former State Senator Carole Migden, and former Supervisor Aaron Peskin.
The DCCC argues that, “the U. S. Attorneys in California are not targeting individuals and organizations that are operating outside of the law, but instead are aggressively persecuting a peaceful and regulated community, wasting Federal resources in using a series of threatening tactics to shut down regulated access to medical cannabis across the state of California.” The DCCC also accuses the federal government of “depriving…the State of California much needed tax revenue.”
It’s almost as if you don’t want our vote. Or you’re just another sock-puppet.
Marijuana Prohibition Costs Billions, Legalization Would Earn Billions Over 300 economists, including three Nobel Laureates, recently signed a petition that encourages the president, Congress, governors and state legislatures to carefully consider marijuana legalization in America. The petition draws attention to an article by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron, whose findings highlight the substantial cost-savings our government could incur if it were to tax and regulate marijuana, rather than needlessly spending billions of dollars enforcing its prohibition…
I’m sure we could find something better to spend 13.7 Billion dollars a year on, or over the past forty years the “national debt” the bedwetters have their panties in a twist over – 1 Trillion dollars. Roads anyone? Power grid? Education? Healthcare…