Alaska to vote on pot legislation this August

Reuters / Baz RatnerMarijuana advocates in Alaska have obtained more than enough signatures to ensure voters there will have the opportunity this year to weigh-in on a measure that could legalize recreational marijuana, state officials admitted this week. As of Tuesday, a petition that would let residents of the forty-ninth state vote to make pot legal for adults surpassed a 30,169 signature threshold, all but clearing the way for the issue to appear in ballot booths during elections there on August 19. “The initiative has met the state requirement for signatures,” Gail Fenumiai, the director of the Alaska’s Division of Elections, told Reuters. “It’s a matter now of officially getting the certification documents signed by the lieutenant governor.” If that measure succeeds, then Alaska will join Colorado and Washington to become the third state in America that has outright bypassed a long-standing federal pot prohibition. Nationwide, United States law currently considers marijuana a Schedule I narcotic on par with heroin and ecstasy. Voters in the states of Washington and Colorado elected in 2012 to ignore federal legislation, however, and instead work towards ways to implement legal, recreational weed for adults over the age of 21. The latest effort out of Alaska involves advocating for a bill modeled after the Colorado law currently in place, and if approved would let residents possess up to an ounce (28 grams) of marijuana and grow up to six plants, as well as pave the way for creation of a system to tax and regulate sales of the drug. More
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