Alaska Initiative Would Legalize Pot Sales


A citizens' initiative headed for a vote Nov. 2 would push Alaska further than any other state toward legalizing marijuana, says The measure would condone the possession, purchase, or sale of hemp products by adults 21 years and older. It would enable the state to tax and regulate marijuana along the lines of alcohol and tobacco. Alaska already gives more legal blessing to marijuana than any other state. Like eight other states, it approves of marijuana for medical use under a 1998 voter-passed initiative, and the state set up a registry for citizens who want the drug prescribed.

Recent court rulings declared possession of up to four ounces of marijuana at home to be legal under the state Constitution's grant of a right to privacy. Selling or even giving marijuana to someone remains illegal, however, so the ruling has limited effect. Legalization advocates are running television commercials largely funded by the Marijuana Policy Project of Washington, D.C. Opposition to Ballot Measure No. 2 mounted last week with a visit to Anchorage by White House deputy drug czar Scott Burns. Republican Gov. Frank Murkowski, his wife and members of his administration have come out against the initiative.


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