Washington and Colorado have already legalized recreational marijuana, and Alaska is on its way to be the next state to follow the act. Twenty other states already allow medical marijuana use, and President Obama has talked of letting states regulate themselves in this matter, though pot still hasn’t been declassified as an illegal drug federally.
With plenty of signatures to put the initiative before legislators, the law would allow anyone 21 years or older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to six Cannabis plants, paving the way for cancer treatments, muscular dystrophy symptom relief, and recreational use – but also a veritable treasure trove of tax revenue for the state.
Gail Fenumiai, director of the Alaska’s Division of Elections has commented that the state requirements for signatures has been met, and now “ It’s a matter of officially getting the certification documents signed by the lieutenant governor.”
If Alaska gets this initiative passed, then it would become part of the growing effort to end prohibition of Cannabis across the country.
46,000 signatures were submitted and more than 6,000 have yet to be reviewed. The requirement to put the initiative before legislation was 30,169 signatures. The signers also had to meet geographic diversity requirements to put it before an August 19th preliminary ballot.
In 1975 the state supreme court of Alaska ruled that individuals had a constitutional right to possess modest quantities of the drug, but it currently is illegal under the state statute. Just as with other states that have passed pot laws – marijuana possession would be heavily regulated.
With a proposed $50-per-ounce tax on wholesale marijuana, if legalized, the state could anticipate enormously increased income.
“Voters are quickly coming to realize that marijuana is not nearly as harmful as they were once led to believe,” said Marijuana Policy Project spokesman Mason Tvert, whose group is a major player in marijuana legalization efforts.