Alaska legalizes marijuana for recreational use on Tuesday, becoming the fourth state in the nation to do so. The state joined Oregon and Washington, D.C., both of which also voted Tuesday to legalize the drug for recreational use. Colorado and Washington state legalized recreational cannabis use in 2012.
Alaska voters approved Measure 2, which legalizes the possession, use and sale of the drug for recreational use. Adults age 21 and older may possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants (with no more than three being mature) for personal use. The measure also legalizes the manufacture, sale and possession of marijuana paraphernalia, such as devices used for smoking or storing the plant.
In a statement early Wednesday morning, Marijuana Policy Project Executive Director Rob Kampia said, “The folks trying to keep marijuana illegal are relying on the same scare tactics today that they have relied on for decades, but voters just aren’t falling for it anymore. The results are particularly encouraging since voter turnout during a midterm election is typically smaller, older, and more conservative. Clearly, support for ending marijuana prohibition spans the political and ideological spectrums.”
Though Alaska was not the only place to weigh the issue on Tuesday, the fate of the measure in that state seemed the most uncertain. Two polls released on the same day last month appeared to reach near-opposite conclusions about the sentiments of Alaska voters, with one poll finding 53 percent opposing legalization and the other finding 57 percent supporting it.
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