In an ongoing attempt to help educate Utah lawmakers about the benefits of cannabis, the next e-mail UtahCARE (Cannabis Awareness, Respect and Education) will be sending in an e-mail blast after the first of the year will be Alaska and the details of Ballot Measure 8, which was approved on November 3, 1998 by 58% of voters (a recent Reuters poll showed 58% of all Americans approve of and support legalizing medical marijuana).
The ballot became effective on March 4 ,1999.
Ballot Measure 8 removed state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess written documentation from their physician advising that they "might benefit from the medical use of marijuana."
Conditions approved for treatment with medical marijuana include cachexia, cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy and other disorders characterized by seizures, glaucoma, HIV or AIDS, multiple sclerosis and other disorders characterized by muscle spasticity, and nausea. Other conditions are subject to approval by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.
Possession/Cultivation: Patients (or their primary caregivers) may legally possess no more than one ounce of usable marijuana, and may cultivate no more than six marijuana plants, of which no more than three may be mature. The law establishes a confidential state-run patient registry that issues identification cards to qualifying patients.
Amended: Senate Bill 94
Effective: June 2, 1999
Mandates all patients seeking legal protection under this act to enroll in the state patient registry and possess a valid identification card. Patients not enrolled in the registry will no longer be able to argue the "affirmative defense of medical necessity" if they are arrested on marijuana charges.
Update: Alaska Statute Title 17 Chapter 37 (36 KB)
Creates a confidential statewide registry of medical marijuana patients and caregivers and establishes identification card.
Chapter 17.37. MEDICAL USES OF MARIJUANA
Sec. 17.37.010. Registry of Patients.
(a) The department shall create and maintain a confidential registry of patients who have applied for and
are entitled to receive a registry identification card according to the criteria set forth in this chapter.
Authorized employees of state or local law enforcement agencies shall be granted access to the information
contained within the department's confidential registry only for the purpose of verifying that an individual
who has presented a registry identification card to a state or local law enforcement official is lawfully in
possession of such card.
(b) No person shall be permitted to gain access to names of patients, physicians, primary care-givers or
any information related to such persons maintained in connection with the department's confidential registry,
except for authorized employees of the department in the course of their official duties and authorized
employees of state or local law enforcement agencies who have stopped or arrested a person who claims to be
engaged in the medical use of marijuana and in the possession of a registry identification card or its functional
equivalent pursuant to (e) of this section.
(c) In order to be placed on the state's confidential registry for the medical uses of marijuana, a patient
shall provide to the department
(1) the original or a copy of written documentation stating that the patient has been diagnosed with a
debilitating medical condition and the physician's conclusion that the patient might benefit from the medical
use of marijuana;
(2) the name, address, date of birth, and social security number of the patient;
(3) the name, address, and telephone number of the patient's physician; and
(4) the name and address of the patient's primary caregiver, if one is designated at the time of
(d) The department shall verify all information submitted under (c) of this section within 30 days of
receiving it. The department shall notify the applicant that his or her application for a registry identification
card has been denied if its review of the information which the patient has provided discloses that the
information required pursuant to (c) of this section has not been provided or has been falsified. Otherwise, not
more than five days after verifying such information, the department shall issue a serially numbered registry
identification card to the patient stating
(1) the patient's name, address, date of birth, and social security number;
(2) that the patient's name has been certified to the state health agency as a person who has a debilitating
medical condition which the patient may address with the medical use of marijuana;
(3) the dates of issuance and expiration of the registry identification card; and
(4) the name and address of the patient's primary caregiver, if any is designated at the time of
If the department fails to issue a registry identification card within 35 days of receipt of an
application, the patient's application for such card will be deemed to have been approved. Receipt of an
application shall be deemed to have occurred upon delivery to the department or deposit in the United States
mails. Notwithstanding the foregoing, no application shall be deemed received prior to June 1, 1999. A patient
who is questioned by any state or local law enforcement official about his or her medical use of marijuana
shall provide a copy of the written documentation submitted to the department and proof of the date of
mailing or other transmission of the written documentation for delivery to the department, which shall be
accorded the same legal effect as a registry identification card, until the patient receives actual notice that the
application has been denied. No person shall apply for a registry identification card more than once every six
(f) The denial of a registry identification card shall be considered a final agency action subject to judicial
review. Only the patient whose application has been denied shall have standing to contest the final agency
(g) When there has been a change in the name, address, physician, or primary caregiver of a patient who
has qualified for a registry identification card, that patient must notify the state health agency of any such
change within 10 days. To maintain an effective registry identification card, a patient must annually resubmit
updated written documentation to the state health agency, as well as the name and address of the patient's
primary caregiver, if any.
(h) A patient who no longer has a debilitating medical condition shall return his or her registry
identification card to the department within 24 hours of receiving such diagnosis by his or her physician.
(i) The department may determine and levy reasonable fees to pay for any administrative costs
associated with their role in this program.
Sec. 17.37.020. Medical Use of Marijuana.
(a) A patient may not engage in the medical use of marijuana with more marijuana than is medically
justified to address a debilitating medical condition. A patient's medical use of marijuana within the following
limits is lawful:
(1) no more than one ounce of marijuana in usable form; and
(2) no more than six marijuana plants, with no more than three mature and flowering plants producing
usable marijuana at any one time.
(b) For quantities of marijuana in excess of the amounts in (a) of this section, a patient or his or her
primary care-giver must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that any greater amount was medically
justified to address the patient's debilitating medical condition.
Sec. 17.37.030. Privileged medical use of marijuana.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in AS 17.37.040 , no patient or primary caregiver may be found guilty
of, or penalized in any manner for, a violation of any provision of law related to the medical use of marijuana,
where it is proved by a preponderance of the evidence that
(1) the patient was diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition;
(2) the patient was advised by his or her physician, in the context of a bona fide physician-patient
relationship, that the patient might benefit from the medical use of marijuana in connection with a debilitating
medical condition; and
2 of 8 1/18/2011 10:29 AM3) the patient and his or her primary caregiver were collectively in possession of amounts of marijuana
only as permitted under this section.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in AS 17.37.040 , no patient or primary caregiver in lawful possession
of a registry identification card shall be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner for medical
use of marijuana or for applying to have his or her name placed on the confidential register maintained by the
(c) No physician shall be subject to any penalty, including arrest, prosecution, disciplinary proceeding, or
be denied any right or privilege, for
(1) advising a patient whom the physician has diagnosed as having a debilitating medical condition, about
the risks and benefits of medical use of marijuana or that he or she might benefit from the medical use of
marijuana, provided that such advice is based upon the physician's contemporaneous assessment of the
patient's medical history and current medical condition and a bona fide physician-patient relationship; or
(2) providing a patient with written documentation, based upon the physician's contemporaneous
assessment of the patient's medical history and current medical condition and a bona fide physician-patient
relationship, stating that the patient has a debilitating medical condition and might benefit from the medical
use of marijuana.
(d) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, no person, including a patient or primary caregiver, shall
be entitled to the protection of this section for his or her acquisition, possession, cultivation, use, sale,
distribution, and/or transportation of marijuana for non-medical use.
(e) Any property interest that is possessed, owned, or used in connection with the medical use of
marijuana, or acts incidental to such use, shall not be harmed, neglected, injured, or destroyed while in the
possession of state or local law enforcement officials where such property has been seized in connection with
the claimed medical use of marijuana. Any such property interest shall not be forfeited under any provision of
state or local law providing for the forfeiture of property other than as a sentence imposed after conviction of
a criminal offense or entry of a plea of guilty to such offense. Marijuana and paraphernalia seized by state or
local law enforcement officials from a patient or primary caregiver in connection with the claimed medical
use of marijuana shall be returned immediately upon the determination that the patient or primary caregiver
is entitled to the protection contained in this section as may be evidenced, for example, by a decision not to
prosecute, the dismissal of charges, or acquittal.
Sec. 17.37.040. Restrictions on medical use of marijuana.
(a) No patient in lawful possession of a registry identification card shall
(1) engage in the medical use of marijuana in a way that endangers the health or well-being of any
(2) engage in the medical use of marijuana in plain view of, or in a place open to, the general public; or
(3) sell or distribute marijuana to any person who is known to the patient not to be either in lawful
possession of a registry identification card or eligible for such card.
(b) Any patient found by a preponderance of the evidence to have willfully violated the provisions of this
chapter shall be precluded from obtaining or using a registry identification card for the medical use of
marijuana for a period of one year.
(c) No governmental, private, or any other health insurance provider shall be required to be liable for any
3 of 8 1/18/2011 10:29 AMlaim for reimbursement for the medical use of marijuana.
(d) Nothing in this section shall require any accommodation of any medical use of marijuana
(1) in any place of employment;
(2) in any correctional facility;
(3) on or within 500 feet of school grounds;
(4) at or within 500 feet of a recreation or youth center; or
(5) on a school bus.
Sec. 17.37.050. Medical use of marijuana by a minor.
Notwithstanding AS 17.37.030 (a), no patient who has not reached the age of majority under AS 25.20 or who
has not had the disabilities of a minor removed under AS 09.55.590 shall engage in the medical use of
(1) his or her physician has diagnosed the patient as having a debilitating medical condition;
(2) the physician has explained the possible risks and benefits of medical use of marijuana to the patient
and one of the patient's parents or legal guardians residing in Alaska, if any;
(3) the physician has provided the patient with the written documentation specified in AS 17.37.010
(4) the patient's parent or legal guardian referred to in (2) of this section, consents to the department in
writing to serve as the patient's primary care-giver and to permit the patient to engage in the medical use of
(5) the patient completes and submits an application for a registry identification card and the written
consent referred to in (4) of this section to the department and receives a registry identification card;
(6) the patient and the primary caregiver collectively possess amounts of marijuana no greater than
those specified in AS 17.37.020(a)(1) and (2); and
(7) the primary caregiver controls the acquisition of such marijuana and the dosage and frequency of its
use by the patient.
Sec. 17.37.060. Addition of debilitating medical conditions.
Not later than June 1, 1999, the department shall promulgate regulations under AS 44.62 (Administrative
Procedure Act) governing the manner in which it may consider adding debilitating medical conditions to the
list provided in this section. After June 1, 1999, the department shall also accept for consideration physician
or patient initiated petitions to add debilitating medical conditions to the list provided in this section and, after
hearing, shall approve or deny such petitions within 180 days of submission. The denial of such a petition
shall be considered a final agency action subject to judicial review.
Sec. 17.37.070. Definitions.
In this chapter, unless the context clearly requires otherwise,
4 of 8 1/18/2011 10:29 AM1) "correctional facility" means a state prison institution operated and managed by employees of the
Department of Corrections or provided to the Department of Corrections by agreement under AS 33.30.031
for the care, confinement or discipline of prisoners;
(2) "debilitating medical condition" means
(A) cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, or acquired immune deficiency
syndrome, or treatment for any of these conditions;
(B) any chronic or debilitating disease or treatment for such diseases, which produces, for a specific
patient, one or more of the following, and for which, in the professional opinion of the patient's physician,
such condition or conditions reasonably may be alleviated by the medical use of marijuana: cachexia; severe
pain; severe nausea; seizures, including those that are characteristic of epilepsy; or persistent muscle spasms,
including those that are characteristic of multiple sclerosis; or
(C) any other medical condition, or treatment for such condition, approved by the department, pursuant
to its authority to promulgate regulations or its approval of any petition submitted by a patient or physician
under AS 17.37.060 ;
(3) "department" means the Department of Health and Social Services;
(4) "medical use" means the acquisition, possession, cultivation, use and/or transportation of marijuana
and/or paraphernalia related to the administration of such marijuana to address the symptoms or effects of a
debilitating medical condition only after a physician has authorized such medical use by a diagnosis of the
patient's debilitating medical condition;
(5) "patient" means a person who has a debilitating medical condition;
(6) "physician" means a person licensed to practice medicine in this state or an officer in the regular
medical service of the armed forces of the United States or the United States Public Health Service while in
the discharge of their official duties, or while volunteering services without pay or other remuneration to a
hospital, clinic, medical office, or other medical facility in this state;
(7) "primary caregiver" means a person, other than the patient's physician, who is 18 years of age or
older and has significant responsibility for managing the well-being of a patient who has a debilitating medical
(8) "prisoner" means a person detained or confined in a correctional facility, whether by arrest,
conviction, or court order, or a person held as a witness or otherwise, including municipal prisoners held
under contract and juveniles held under the authority of AS 47.10;
(9) "registry identification card" means a document issued by the department which identifies a patient
authorized to engage in the medical use of marijuana and the patient's primary caregiver, if any;
(10) "usable form" and "usable marijuana" means the seeds, leaves, buds, and flowers of the plant
(genus) Cannabis, but does not include the stalks or roots;
(11) "written documentation" means a statement signed by a patient's physician or copies of the patient's
pertinent medical records.
Sec. 17.37.080. Short title.
AS 17.37.010 - 17.37.070 may be cited as the Medical Uses of Marijuana for Persons Suffering from
5 of 8 1/18/2011 10:29 AMebilitating Medical Conditions Act.
Title 18. HEALTH, SAFETY, AD HOUSING
Chapter 18.05. ADMINISTRATION OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND RELATED LAWS
Sec. 18.05.010. Administration of laws by department.
The Department of Health and Social Services shall administer the laws and regulations relating to the
promotion and protection of the public health, control of communicable diseases, programs for the
improvement of maternal and child health, care of crippled children, and hospitalization of the tuberculous
and shall discharge other duties provided by law.
Sec. 18.05.020. Department to report activities.
The department shall prepare an annual report of its activities and notify the legislature not later than 10 days
after it convenes that the report is available.
Sec. 18.05.030. Cooperation with federal government.
The department shall
(1) cooperate with the federal government in matters of mutual concern pertaining to public health, the
control of communicable diseases, maternal and child health and crippled children, and other matters within
the scope of this title;
(2) make reports, in the form and containing the information the federal government requires;
(3) cooperate with the federal government, its agencies or instrumentalities in establishing, extending,
and strengthening services for the protection of the public health, and receive and expend funds and receive,
utilize, and maintain equipment and facilities made available to the department by a department or agency of
the federal government, the government of the state or its political subdivisions, and a person or nonofficial
Sec. 18.05.031. Program planning for developmental disability. [Repealed, Sec. 5 ch 165 SLA 1978. For
current law, see AS 47.80].
Repealed or Renumbered
Sec. 18.05.035. Planned parenthood information.
The department shall prepare information regarding planned parenthood. The department shall place the
information in public hospitals, clinics, or other health facilities throughout the state, and upon request of its
administrator, in a private hospital, clinic, or health facility, so that members of the public may obtain the
information voluntarily, without request. The department shall also advertise the availability of the
information and distribute it to any person upon written request.
Sec. 18.05.037. Fetal health effects information.
The department shall prepare or obtain distributable information on fetal alcohol effects and the fetal health
effects of chemical abuse and battering during pregnancy. The department shall make this information
available to public hospitals, clinics, and other health facilities in the state for distribution to their patients.
6 of 8 1/18/2011 10:29 AMec. 18.05.040. Regulations.
(a) The commissioner shall adopt regulations consistent with existing law for
(1) the definition, reporting, and control of diseases of public health significance;
(2) cooperation with local boards of health and health officers;
(3) protection and promotion of the public health and prevention of disability and mortality;
(4) the transportation of dead bodies;
(5) carrying out the purposes of this chapter;
(6) the conduct of its business and for carrying out the provisions of laws of the United States and the
state relating to public health;
(7) establishing the divisions and local offices and advisory groups necessary or considered expedient to
carry out or assist in carrying out a duty or power assigned to it;
(8) the voluntary certification of laboratories to perform diagnostic, quality control, or enforcement
analyses or examinations based on recognized or tentative standards of performance relating to analysis and
examination of food to include seafood, milk, water, and specimens from human beings submitted by licensed
physicians and nurses for analysis;
(9) the regulation of quality and purity of commercially compressed oxygen sold for human respiration;
(10) the registration of midwifery birth centers, except that the commissioner may not require the
presence of a physician or nurse midwife at a birth resulting from a low risk pregnancy attended by a
direct-entry midwife certified in this state.
(b) A regulation may not be adopted under (a) of this section that duplicates, conflicts with, or is
inconsistent with AS 18.60.705 - 18.60.740.
Sec. 18.05.042. Access to health care records.
(a) The department may, during reasonable business hours, inspect health care records maintained by
physicians and other healthcare professionals, hospitals, out-patient clinics, nursing homes, and other
facilities or agencies providing health care services to patients that would identify patients or establish
characteristics of an identified patient with cancer required to be reported under 42 U.S.C. 280e - 280e-4, or a
birth defect or infectious disease required to be reported to protect the public health under this chapter and
regulations adopted under this chapter. Disclosure of these health care records to the department does not
constitute a breach of patient confidentiality.
(b) The department may conduct research using health care data reported under (a) of this section. The
department may provide data obtained under (a) of this section to other persons for clinical, epidemiological,
or other public health research.
(c) Data obtained or a record inspected under this section that identifies a particular individual
(1) is confidential;
(2) may not be further disclosed to other persons except by the department under (b) of this section; and
DOC BodyPage http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/folioproxy.asp?url=http://www.legis.sta...
7 of 8 1/18/2011 10:29 AM3) is not subject to inspection or copying under AS 09.25.110 - 09.25.125.
Sec. 18.05.044. Registry of persons with impairments.
(a) The department shall, for the purposes of case findings, improvement of services, and assisting in
research, keep a case registry of persons who have impairments.
(b) The information shall be furnished on forms prescribed by the department, but a person with an
impairment or the parent or guardian of a person with an impairment may not be compelled to furnish or
consent to furnishing information requested for the case registry. A private or governmental organization,
institution, or individual may not furnish information to the registry without the written consent of the person
with the impairment or the parent or guardian of that person.
(c) In this section "impairment" means a physical or mental condition that materially limits, contributes to
limiting or, if not corrected, will probably result in limiting an individual's activities or functioning.
The grassroots organization UtahCARE vows to continue to send such information to every Utah lawmaker, starting a new campaign in 2014. Suggestions can be sent to email@example.com and may be used in future publications.
All supports of legalizing cannabis throughout Utah are highly also encouraged to contact their representative - which can be found at this link with an interactive map.
The issue of legalizing medicinal cannabis, medical marijuana, CBD, hemp, all falls under one umbrella and UtahCARE is happy to work with fellow advocates from groups such as Hempower Utah, Utah and Salt Lake Moms for Marijuana and SLC Hemp.
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