House Panel Bill Rewrite Will Move Marijuana To Regulated Substances List

ALASKA:  The House Judiciary Committee plans to move marijuana from the state’s list of controlled substances to regulated substances, its chairwoman announced Friday.

The move to rewrite Senate Bill 30, which chiefly deals with updating the state’s existing criminal code, is a departure from the approach taken by the Senate but one state officials say will improve regulation and enforcement.

Cynthia Franklin, the director of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, which is charged with forming regulations for marijuana, testified in support of moving marijuana into a regulated substance, matching the will of the voters who passed Ballot Measure 2 last fall. She said it ultimately will help consolidate existing crimes and penalties for marijuana misconduct, allowing the stronger and clearer standards for regulators and law enforcement.

“It was their intention and desire that marijuana be a legal substance for individuals 21 and older,” she said. “That makes it in the same category as alcohol: a legal, but dangerous and regulated substance. Having those rules in one place makes it easier, we believe for law enforcement to understand them.”