An Alaska marijuana vote could very well happen this coming August if enough qualified signatures are obtained. On Wednesday a citizens groups submitted over 46,000 signatures to the state election office in the hopes of making pot legal like it is in Colorado and Washington state. FOX News reported Jan. 8 that if the vote passes, Alaska would be the third state in the nation to legalize recreational use of marijuana.
If the 30,000 signatures are from at least seven percent of voters in at least 30 House districts, the Alaska marijuana vote will eligible for consideration in the Aug 19 primary. Election officials in the state have a 60-day time limit to accept or deny the ballot initiative. At this point, no "formal opposition has formed to the proposed initiative."
According to the report, the provisions of the Alaska initiative "is similar to the Colorado measure." It would allow possession of up to one-ounce and a maximum of six plants that includes three flowering for those 21 years of age and older. Public smoking of marijuana would be prohibited and anyone caught doing it could be fined $100. It was reported that this measure would also legalize the manufacture, sale, and possession of marijuana accessories.
If the Alaska marijuana measure makes it to the ballot level, there is predicted to be an abundance of radio and television ads. There have been financial supporters for the pot measure, but they will not be identified until campaign finance forms are turned in. The Marijuana Policy Project, an advocates group pushing for less restrictions on marijuana across the nation, has expressed strong support for the Alaska initiative.
Local communities will have the choice to ban the use of pot, but communities cannot revoke private possession and plant growing in homes. Employers have the right to put restrictions on pot use by employees.
Signatures for the Alaska marijuana initiative was submitted just one week after the substance was legalized in Colorado. 46,000 signatures is over the mandatory 30,000 needed for a primary vote. Will they be qualified signatures and make marijuana one step closer to being legalized in the state?