You Can Now Legally Smoke Pot in Alaska

Alaskans free to smoke it but not sell it
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2015 4:41 AM CST
Alaska Cannabis Club CEO Charlo Greene smokes a joint at the medical marijuana dispensary in Anchorage, Alaska.   (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
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(Newser) – As of today, Alaskans over 21 are free to smoke, grow, and transport marijuana for recreational use—but they still can't buy or sell it. The voter-approved law that makes the state the third to legalize recreational marijuana will not bring in a legally regulated marijuana market until next year at the earliest. Smoking marijuana in public is still illegal, and with cops in Anchorage ready to start handing out $100 fines, there are unlikely to be any major public celebrations of the change in the law, the AP reports.

For now, Alaskans in need of weed will have to grow their own or rely on friends: It's legal to grow up to six marijuana plants at home and for adults to give each other up to an ounce of pot, the Alaska Dispatch reports in a look at questions surrounding the law. But forget about bartering things like firewood for pot: The director of the state's Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, which is overseeing legalization, tells the Dispatch that trades and barters are still considered sales and the board isn't going to allow a "system with giant loopholes for marijuana." (New research says marijuana is a lot safer than other drugs, including alcohol.)

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