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. Jon says:

      Million Man Marijuana March

      Coming Soon!!!

      NORML and family let’s make this a reality for 2014.

    2. Ray Walker Jr. says:

      Excellent! This is what happens when people have access to direct democracy. Here in Mississippi we do not. We Americans in Mississippi and many southeastern states are shackled. It should be a fundemental right for every American to have direct democracy. As it stands right now in Mississippi if we want to have a ballot vote for something it is only done with the permission of our legislators.


      “The state’s process is an indirect initiative, meaning that proposals go to the legislature before the voters, The process for qualifying a measure is one of the most difficult in the country. As a result, only two initiatives have qualified for the ballot in the two decades since adoption, in 1995 and 1999. Both measures proposed to limit the terms of elected officials, and both were defeated by about 10 percent margins.”

      If anyone thinks that the oppression of people doesn’t still exist in the south, I invite you to come to Mississippi. The Civil Rights movement may have brought great change, but it didn’t bring equal rights. The bigotry of government still lives. In 2010, Mississippi had the highest proportion of African Americans in the United States. Today at 37%, African Americans are a voting base that are held at bay by backward political thinking. Citizens shold have the absolute and unobstucted power as to the laws that directly effect them. Not all people are free. We applaud you Alaska. Hold on to what you have, it is of great value.


    3. Don B. says:

      “…and that its sales should be taxed and regulated similarly to alcohol.”

      “Similarly” seems to take on a new meaning with marijuana laws. If this was actually how it ends up working it would mean no one-ounce limits and marijuana would be available wherever alcohol is available–every corner market, Walgreens, Walmart and grocery store as well as at the cannabis equivalent of liquor stores.

    4. bongstar420 says:

      I wouldn’t get into that. Do you want other drugs that are comparable to Ethanol in toxicity issues to be distributed similarly? I might, but I seriously doubt that most people want Amphetamine, Mescaline, Psilocybin, Khat, Opium, Lysergic acid diethylamide, and Methadone (to name a few) to be distributed in a fashion similar to Ethanol.


    5. TheOracle says:

      I’ve always wanted to take an Alaska Cruise at least once, but if you can buy weed in Washington and Alaska, that is fantastic! It’s one more reason for me to put the cruise on my Bucket List, and save up for such a vacation. Sample something before getting on the ship in Washington, and then sample some in Alaska. (I don’t know if they’ll allow it on the ship, but in the Netherlands there are some cruises where you can consume cannabis on the cruise around and off the coast of Holland.) Maybe they’ll sell it on the ship!

    6. Sean says:

      Wow, Red state Alaska is about to beat California to adult use legalization. Tick tock tick tock, California.

    7. Miles says:

      I really hate cold weather! However, I’d rather live in Alaska if they legalize instead of where I am now; Nazi Virginia…

    8. w says:

      No I think we have much better control over all drugs by keeping the criminal in charge. They tend to be very concerned about who consumes their product and certainly do not want to sell any large quantities.

    9. Dave Evans says:

      Bongstar, the guy that put that chart together isn’t working with a full deck! Sure some of the rankings are accurate, but others don’t make any sense, like how does Cannabis perform damage to society??? And they also state Cannabis is more dangerous to the user than are butane, anabolic steroids and methadone which is ludicrous.

      And I also suspect several of the “drugs” at the bottom are not even being counted right… How people have cops shot because they are using steroids??? I’m sure this “cost” was left off the data completely. LSD and mushroom both hard to test for–and somehow magically have no cost to society–maybe because their costs were put in the marijuana category BY MISTAKE?