Pot Now Legal in Other States; Laws Ambiguous in Alaska
Medical marijuana card-holders safe to grown their own marijuana
ANCHORAGE - Residents in Washington State and Colorado have voted to make recreational marijuana use legal, opening the door for regulating and taxing the lucrative industry. We asked some Alaskans what they think of the idea of making the popular drug completely legal.
Opinions were mixed on the subject. Some said they did not believe that legalizing the drug would take it off the black market and that it could still be a problem for those who might become addicted or find themselves advancing to “harder” drugs.
Others said they liked the idea of being able to regulate and even tax marijuana businesses. Still others said they did not believe that “throwing people in jail” over small amounts of marijuana made sense or was a good use of police resources.
But it doesn’t appear that Alaska will be regulating legalized marijuana anytime soon. The state was one of the first to decriminalize small amounts of the drug but another law attempted to turn that around in 2006. The law to recriminalize the drug passed at that time but the higher court has yet to rule on an appeal.
“It is illegal to possess marijuana unless you have a medical marijuana certificate,” said Lieutenant Dave Parker of APD. “Then you can grow up to six plants for personal use and you can’t share that with other people.”
And more Alaskans do carry the cards. There are more than 1,200 medical marijuana users registered with the state right now, compared to less than 60 just four years ago. From a federal standpoint marijuana is still considered an illegal drug. The federal government has chosen not to enforce that law when it comes to medical marijuana.