Alaska Legalization Petition Beats Deadline

Legalizing marijuana is such a popular topic in Alaska that local advocates have submitted their petition two weeks before its due date.

Marijuana Business Daily reported last month that the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana was on track to submit its legalization petition to Lt. Governor Mead Tredwell by its end of January deadline. The group beat that target date with more than 46,000 signatures of people who favor legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes.

If the state’s Division of Elections can verify at least 30,169 of those signatures, the initiative will appear on Alaska’s ballot this coming August. Alaska residents would then vote on whether or not to legalize marijuana.

The petition included a proposed draft of legislation which would legalize marijuana consumption for residents over 21 and allow adults to possess an ounce of marijuana and up to six plants. The proposal also outlined a $50 per-ounce tax that would be levied at the point of sale.

Alaska legalized medical marijuana in 1998 and it has decriminalized possession of small amounts of the plant. The state tried and failed in 2000 to pass a recreational marijuana bill. A 2013 poll conducted by Public Policy Polling found that 54 percent of Alaska voters support marijuana legalization.