Alaska: Election Officials Affirm Legalization Measure Has Enough Signatures To Qualify For The 2014 Ballot

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director February 5, 2014

    State election officials have affirmed that a proposed initiative to regulate the production and retail sale of cannabis to adults has obtained the necessary number of signatures from registered voters to appear on 2014 ballot.

    The initiative’s proponents, The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana in Alaska, gathered more than 45,000 signatures from registered Alaska voters. On Tuesday, the director of the Alaska’s Division of Elections confirmed that of those signatures, 31,593 have been verified, thus qualifying the measure for a public vote. The lieutenant governor’s office is expected to certify the measure for the 2014 ballot in the coming days, once all of the remaining signatures have been counted and verified.

    Once certified, the initiative will be placed on the August 19 primary election ballot, as is required by Alaska election law.

    If approved by voters, the measure would legalize the adult possession of up to one ounce of cannabis as well as the cultivation of up to six-plants (three flowering) for personal consumption. The measure would also allow for the establishment of licensed, commercial cannabis production and retail sales of marijuana and marijuana-infused products to those over the age of 21. Commercial production and retail sales of cannabis would be subject to taxation, but no taxes would be imposed upon those who choose to engage in non-commercial activities (e.g., growing small quantities of marijuana for personal use and/or engaging in not-for-profit transfers of limited quantities of cannabis.) Public consumption of cannabis would be subject to a civil fine.

    The measure neither amends the state’s existing medical marijuana law, which was approved by voters in 1998, nor does it diminish any privacy rights established by the state’s Supreme Court in its 1975 ruling Ravin v State.

    Under present state law, the possession of marijuana not in one’s residence is classified as a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to 90-days in jail and a $2,000 fine.

    According to the results of a statewide Public Policy Polling survey, released today, 55 percent of registered voters “think (that) marijuana should be legally allowed for recreational use, that stores should be allowed to sell it, and that its sales should be taxed and regulated similarly to alcohol.” Only 39 percent of respondents oppose the idea. The survey possesses a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percent.

    Additional information about the campaign is available here.

    29 Responses to “Alaska: Election Officials Affirm Legalization Measure Has Enough Signatures To Qualify For The 2014 Ballot”

    1. scott says:

      college students and housewives rejoice. Drug testing will keep legal status a moot point for people who have to work.

    2. somedood says:

      ugh this story is getting old. FASTER PLEASE!!!

    3. Mark I says:

      California is still stealing their cannabis customer’s children to maintain their state’s child protection apparatus. Law Enforcement will continue to manipulate the letter of the law the follow their own agendas.

    4. Julian says:

      Vote for Hugh Fitzimmons for Texas Dem. Agricultural Commisioner. He was my College History professor. I can vouch that he’s not only cannabis friendly, his experience and approach to water conservation will help Texas progress in a similar manner that Ag. Comm. James Comer did for Kentucky. Kinky Friedman may be running on a marijuana platform, but he lacks the credentials for the job.
      Watch out everyone; just because someone is jumping on the cannabis train to get a vote doesnt always mean they can do the job. If there’s more than one candidate in your state competing for a cannabis vote, (as wonderful a dilemma as this may be compared to only a few years ago) dig a little deeper to understand each strategy. Of course legalization is better than decriminalisation. But what is the candidate’s priorities? Backround? Experience? Do they know you can’t get high from smoking hemp? We earned our degree from NORML University. Its time to vet our candidates on hemp and marijuana policy.

    5. Miracle says:

      IT WAS ALL STARTED ON RACISM!!!! Therefore the DEA and all the other branches of our government are RACIST!!! It should have never been illegal in the first place! The government creates cartels through prohibition! Prohibition and racist arms of government is the problem!
      Finally some representatives are using facts!

    6. Eddie says:

      As soon as I heard about this petition in Juneau I went straight to the DMV and registered to vote then right downtown to sign it

    7. mexweed says:

      “…what about job lock because of a piss test or can’t get a job because of a piss test. It stifles mobility of the workforce, and it stifles people who use cannabis to be creative.”–@TheOracle

      Thanks for bringing this up, there is much talk about “medical” and “Recreational” MJ but not enough about Occupation and Creativity. At stake are “yes sir” jobs in the tobacco $igarette, alcohol and pHARMa and many other “provide what the market will pay for” industries, to be sure. Cannabis users are at “risk” to figure out ways to avoid spending money. Accordingly, they can meet the risk of “job lock” by taking a pass on “yes sir” jobs and turning to entrepreneurism instead.

      Creative use of cannabis certainly implies millions of citizens learning how to do or make for themselves (and for their families, their neighborhoods, their environment) many things and services which they are presently urged to obediently, habitually pay obsequious “industries” to provide for them.

      I think while a good thing in some ways, “division of labor” is out of hand and it would be healthier if each individual, instead of hyperspecializing and “concentrating” on a narrow focus area, had a more DIVERSIFIED mind, and mastered at least a bit here, a bit there of a wider range of work and thought subject matters. That is what occurs after one or two gentle tokes (no sledgehammer H-ot B-urning O-verdose M-onoxide bogartism i.e. rolling (ruling) papers needed). For DIY info search “Long Drawtube One-Hitter”.

      In pioneering locations like Alaska do-everything, learn-everything minds thrive and that is one reason cannabis is more appreciated there.

    8. Anonymous says:

      As soon as I found out the petition was going around Juneau I went straight to the DMV and registered to vote then right downtown to sign it soooo glad we get to vote keep your fingers crossed

    9. James says:

      It’s only a matter of time. You just need to put 2 and 2 together. We have legalization in two states, and Alaska apparently on its way. President Obama unprecedentedly admitted that marijuana is less harmful than a multi billion dollar industry: alcohol. It’s not often when a sitting president completely contradicts an agency’s rhetoric on their own topic. He had no choice at this point. Federal law will change, which will remove the last excuse for prohibition that’s being used by state representatives. This, combined with more states legalizing, will provide the realization for remaining states that they are missing out on a huge channel of tax revenue. Especially in poor states like mine, Kentucky, which would reap huge benefits. Speaking of KY, the existing laws are actually unlike any I’ve seen, as up to EIGHT ounces is only a misdemeanor. That’s a huge amount.

      Again, it’s only a matter of time at this point.

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