Alaska Next Up To Legalize Marijuana?

Marijuana Plant

Alaska looks to be taking the steps to become the third state to legalize marijuana:

Voters in Alaska might get a chance to legalize marijuana in this summer’s election, after a pro-pot group says it gathered enough signatures to put a measure on the ballot.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana submitted more than 45,000 signatures Wednesday asking for a ballot question about legalizing recreational marijuana in Alaska, according to KTUU.

In order to appear on the August ballot, 30,169 of those signatures must be valid. The leader of the campaign told KTUU the group used an independent auditor to verify all of their signatures.

The proposal would allow anyone older than 21 to buy, grow and use recreational marijuana, similar to a law in Colorado that went into effect last week.

There have also been reports that we may see similar proposals in Oregon in the near future and, quite naturally, California, which has led the way on both medical marijuana and decriminalization in the past would be an obvious candidate. In other news Governor Andrew Cuomo is set to announce that he intends to take the action necessary to legalize medical marijuana on limited basis on a in the near future. Much like the same-sex marriage debate, the tide is beginning to turn.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. michael reynolds says:

    Yep. And it only took 50 years of expensive and draconian stupidity for people to figure it out.

  2. Tyrell says:

    Is the President going to support these citizens or will he put Attorney General Holder on this to stop it?

  3. al-Ameda says:


    Is the President going to support these citizens or will he put Attorney General Holder on this to stop it?

    No, actually he is going to ask AG Holder to FORCE the people of Alaska, especially former governors, to either smoke marijuana or eat weed-laced brownies.

  4. James Pearce says:


    Is the President going to support these citizens or will he put Attorney General Holder on this to stop it?

    Who gives a rip what the president says about this?

    Obama is the first black president. He’s not also going to be the first president to support weed legalization. Not after years of birtherism and BENGHAZI and all that nonsense. You thought Obamacare was bad. Wait until you try Obamaweed!

    As for Holder, we already know what he’s going to do. If Alaskan pot smokers are following Alaskan state law…….he’ll do nothing.

  5. JohnMcC says:

    According to Wikipedia, Oregon was the first state to ‘decriminalize’ MJ in ’73 and Alaska was one of a few other states (with Colorado, Ohio & California) to follow close on their heels. So the precedent is there.

    Here in Florida we’re signing a petition for ‘medical marijuana’ use. It’s reputed to be the least restrictive medical MJ law in the country; that is the complaint of the outraged Republican AG, Ms Pam Bondi. Which suits me. When I pulled over and dashed over to the table to sign the petition I had to tell the fellow-old-hippie who was collecting signatures an old, old joke. “You know why we used to say marijuana would never be legal,” I asked him. “Why?” “Because no one will remember where we put the petition! — ‘Christ, it was here, wasn’t it?'”

    To which he replied, “we say it increases traffic safety. Because when a drinker sees a stop sign, he might or might not stop. But when a smoker comes to a stop sign, they stop and wait for it to turn green.”

    We laughed and agreed that the march of time is a wonderful thing sometimes.

  6. RGardner says:

    As a Washington (State) resident, the devil is in the details.

    The legal price in WA will be 3-4x the current medical MJ price = issues with black market won’t go away. (Current $150-250/oz will be legally $450-750/oz with taxes). Not merely killing the Golden Goose, but raping it in the process. The Med MJ price is similar to the street price. So making it legal means it is worth 3x as much? The crime issues won’t go away, the gang issues won’t go away, etc.

    And illegal to grow in WA, unless medical (growing of which might go away if the Liquor Control Board’s recommendations are followed. I’ll be glad to see “medical” grow houses go away, 50-200 plants in a house is s rank jungle. But it is prohibited in your backyard.

    Seriously, medical MJ has been a scam in WA (pay $200 to get a card and you’re good to go, get out of jail free card), but the replacement is all about revenue (and I voted for it – better than the previous system – and can’t be changed for two years by the WA Constitution).

    Agree, watch this spread over the next few years.