ALASKA: Since Colorado began selling legalized recreational marijuana January 1, 2014, and Washington followed on July 8, 2014, the rest of the country has been wondering which state will be next, and while Oregon has been on the tips of most people’s tongues, it could also be Alaska that becomes the next to capitalize on the so-called “green rush.” A vote on legalizing recreational marijuana was originally scheduled in the Last Frontier state for August 2014 during its state primary election, but was delayed until the general election on November 4. Historically, general elections have greater voter turnout so it puts the power of the decision into more residents’ hands.
According to the Alaskan Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, otherwise known as Vote Yes on 2, the current laws against recreational marijuana has been as ineffective, wasteful and problematic as alcohol prohibition was during the 1920s. The campaign references scientific studies showing alcohol to be more dangerous than marijuana, and argues that the legalization of recreational marijuana would boost the state’s economy by creating jobs and generating new revenue through legitimate, taxpaying businesses. Adults 21 and older would be required to show proof of age in order to purchase marijuana from licensed vendors. With this new system law enforcement could focus more on violent criminals.
The Coalition for Responsible Cannabis Legislation also supports the legalization of recreational marijuana in Alaska and seeks to work closely with government officials and agencies to enact recreational marijuana regulations once it is legalized. They are particularly focused on the creation of the Marijuana Control Board, rulemaking, marijuana facility restrictions, local government control and the marijuana tax, which would be $50 per ounce sold by a marijuana cultivation facility.