By Steve Elliott
A group which advocates legalizing marijuana said on Wednesday they've turned in more than enough signatures to qualify for an August ballot vote.
The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana in Alaska turned in more than 46,000 signatures, about 50 percent more than the roughly 30,000 needed, reports Niraj Chokshi at The Washington Post. If the Alaska Division of Elections approves the signatures, ballot language will be prepared.
The sponsors of the legalization initiative, modeled on Colorado's Amendment 64, said the next step will be to spread the word and garner support. "We'll be taking our message to the voters in lots of different ways," said Tim Hinterberger, one of the measure's three sponsors and a professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage's School of Medical Education.
"It's clear to everyone that prohibition is a failed policy," Hinterberger said. "The proposed initiative will take marijuana sales out of the underground market and put them in legitimate, taxpaying businesses."
"Replacing marijuana prohibition with a system of taxation and sensible regulation will bolster Alaska's economy by creating jobs and generating revenue for the state," Hinterberger said, reports Faith Karmi at CNN.
By Steve Elliott
Voters could get the chance next year to make Alaska the third state in the U.S. to legalize the recreational use of marijuana by adults 21 and older.
Cannabis advocates on Tuesday took the first step towards getting a legalization measure on the August 2014 primary ballot, report Rob Hotakainen and Lisa Demer at Anchorage Daily News. Three major sponsors of the measure filed their application with the lieutenant governor's office for an initiative petition along with signatures from what they said are at least 100 other supporters.
Tim Hinterberger, an associate professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage, leads the group. The other two main sponsors are Bill Parker and Mary Reff, according to Gail Fenumiai, state elections director.
The measure would legalize, tax and regulate marijuana sales and allow Alaskans to grow their own cannabis for personal use. It would allow the Legislature to create a Marijuana Control Board, but until that board was established, it would allow the Alcohol Beverage Control Board to regulate marijuana sales.
Adults 21 and older could legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana under the proposal. They'd be allowed to grow up to six cannabis plants, three of which could be mature.