ALASKA: Ballot Measure 2 will become effective on Tuesday, and many Alaskans are wondering what will change on that date. The simple answer is: Everything, and not much at all.
Beginning that day, it will be lawful for someone 21 years of age or over to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana. Those with a green thumb may legally grow up to six marijuana plants (only three of them can be mature at any time) in their homes. Generous Alaskans may gift, without payment, up to 1 ounce of marijuana to someone age 21 or over and give them up to six immature marijuana plants. Private consumption will be completely legal for those 21 and over. So, for adults, personal cultivation, possession, and consumption will be lawful within certain limits, in private, and as long as no money changes hands. For those who have been consuming for years, this may not seem significant, but from a legal perspective it represents a huge shift.
So, what doesn’t change on Tuesday? Everything else. Don’t expect retail marijuana stores to pop up next to your favorite pizza place for at least one more year. Commercial marijuana businesses — whether they are planning to grow, process, bake, or sell marijuana products — won’t be able to legally operate until spring or summer of 2016.