Alaska Legalization Efforts on Track

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A group circulating a petition to legalize marijuana in Alaska appears close to getting a measure on the 2014 ballot.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana has so far gathered 44,845 signatures for the petition – far surpassing the 31,169 needed to get the measure in front of voters.

The group said it hopes to reach the 45,000 mark before formally submitting the petition to lawmakers.

If 31,169 signatures are validated, the initiative will go before voters on the August 2014 ballot.

A common rule of thumb in petition campaigns is that one quarter of signatures will be ruled invalid – meaning most groups try to get a sizable buffer.

The petition includes a seven-page document that outlines how legislators should regulate the growing, processing and sale of marijuana in Alaska.

According to the plan, the state would levy a $50 per-ounce tax on marijuana. Local law enforcement estimates the street value of marijuana at between $250 and $350 an ounce, which would make the tax roughly 20% of the price.