Next Legal Pot State: Alaska?

State will vote on full legalization this summer
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2014 12:30 AM CST
Workers begin processing 20 boxes of over 46,000 signatures for a proposed ballot initiative to legalize recreational use of marijuana in Alaska.   (THE ANCHORAGE PRESS, THE ALASKA DISPATCH)
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(Newser) – High times in the far north could lie ahead: A measure to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Alaska has gained enough signatures to make it onto the primary ballot this August, reports the Anchorage Daily News. Alaska legalized medical marijuana in 1999, but full legalization was rejected in 2000 and again in 2004. Backers, however, say polls show support is now at 54%—and a very high voter turnout is expected this summer. Alaskans can already legally possess up to four ounces of pot, but there is no legal way to obtain it for recreational use.

The measure—which would allow Alaskans to grow their own pot or buy it from licensed retailers—would make Alaska the third state to allow recreational use, after Colorado and Washington. "I think Alaskans are watching other states, and they understand that the sky isn’t falling," a spokesman for the legalization campaign tells the Los Angeles Times. "The effect has been money that was benefiting criminal enterprises and drug dealers is being used to benefit the residents of the state." (Read more Alaska stories.)

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