Alaska Pot Petition Makes It To BallotBy: Ellisha Rader Mannering - February 5, 2014
A petition to legalize marijuana in Alaska has gotten enough signatures to make the ballot. The lieutenant governor’s office was able to verify that all of the signatures came from registered voters and found a total of 31,500 legitimate signatures. There are still 6,000 signatures to verity, but the 31,500 that have already been verified are more than enough to allow the petition to make the Aug. 19 primary ballot.
Last year voters in Colorado and Washington were able to get marijuana legalized. While many people were upset with the legalization, it has recently proven to be beneficial to both states’ economies and may even lower crime rates.
If Alaskan voters are able to get marijuana legalized, it would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and up to six plants. It would also legalize the manufacture, sale and possession of marijuana accessories in the state of Alaska.
While it would be legal for residents to buy, sell and posses the drug, it doesn’t mean they can smoke it wherever or whenever they want. There will still be laws about smoking weed and it would not be legal to do so in public. Those who get caught smoking pot in public could face a fine of up to $100 per incident.
Many Alaskans are excited at the possibility of legalizing marijuana, but Senator Charlie Huggins, president of the Alaska Senate said that he was surprised to learn about the initiative making the ballot and didn’t see it as a good thing.
“I’ve never used marijuana in my life, but why we would invite the state or the federal government or whatever form it is, to come and in say, we’re going to tax it,” he said. “We don’t like taxes around here.”
What do you think of the Alaskan pot initiative?
Image via Wikimedia Commons.