Alaska Marijuana Legalization, Ballot Measure 2 (2014)
The plans to try to place the measure on the ballot were announced by the Marijuana Policy Project in mid-January 2013. In June 2013, Lt Gov. Mead Treadwell announced his office certified a measure allowing adults to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. A citizens' group calling itself The Alaska Campaign to Regulate Marijuana is officially sponsoring the measure.
Text of measure
The official ballot title of this measure reads as follows:
Ballot Measure No. 2 - 13PSUM An Act to Tax and Regulate the Production, Sale, and Use of Marijuana. 
The full ballot summary reads as follows:
|“||This bill would tax and regulate the production, sale, and use of marijuana in Alaska. The bill would make the use of marijuana legal for persons 21 years of age or older. The bill would allow a person to possess, use, show, buy, transport, or grow set amounts of marijuana, with the growing subject to certain restrictions. The bill would ban the public use of marijuana. The bill would prohibit a person under 21 years of age from using false identification to buy or try to buy marijuana or marijuana accessories. The bill would allow validly registered marijuana-related entities and persons 21 years of age or older who own or are employed by these entities to make, possess, buy, distribute, sell, show, store, transport, deliver, transfer, receive, harvest, process, or package marijuana and marijuana products, subject to certain restrictions. Alaska Statute 17.30.020 (Controlled Substances) would not apply to these entities. The bill would require the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board to implement parts of the bill. But the bill would also let the legislature create a Marijuana Control Board to assume these duties. The bill would require the ABC Board to adopt regulations governing marijuana-related entities. The regulations would need to cover certain topics and be subject to certain restrictions. The bill would also create procedures for registering a marijuana-related entity. The procedures would be managed by the ABC board and local governments. The bill would allow a local government to prohibit the operation of marijuana-related entities. A local government could do that by enacting an ordinance or through voter initiative. The ordinances could cover the time, place, manner, and registration of a marijuana entity’s
operations. The bill would allow a person 21 years of age or older to possess, use, show, buy, or transport marijuana accessories. Marijuana accessories are products individuals use to grow or consume marijuana. The bill would also allow persons 21 years of age or older to make marijuana accessories and to distribute or sell them to persons who are 21 years of age or older. The bill states that it is not intended to require an employer to allow marijuana use, transportation, possession, sale, growth, or transfer, or prevent an employer from prohibiting these activities. The bill does not intend to supersede laws prohibiting driving under the influence of marijuana. The bill does not intend to prohibit schools, correction facilities, hospitals, or private persons or entities from restricting marijuana on their property. The bill does not intend to limit the state’s existing medical marijuana laws. The bill would impose a $50 per ounce (or proportionate) excise tax on the sale or transfer of marijuana from a cultivation facility to a retail store or marijuana product manufacturing facility. The marijuana cultivation facility would pay the tax and send monthly tax statements to the Department of Revenue. The Department of Revenue could exempt certain parts of the marijuana plant from the tax. It could also establish a lower tax rate for certain parts of the plant. The bill defines numerous terms. The bill contains a statement of purpose and findings. The bill would impose civil fines and penalties for violations.
Should this initiative become law? 
Full initiative text
Marijuana in Alaska
The state of Alaska has had a complicated relationship with marijuana over the years. In 1975, the state legislature approved a bill to decriminalize private possession of up to one ounce of marijuana in public, thereby replacing the possibility of time in jail with a civil fine of up to $100. Shortly thereafter, the Alaska Supreme Court did away with all penalties for possessing up to four ounces of marijuana and up to 24 plants in one's home, ruling that the prohibition of marijuana possession violated the right to privacy guaranteed in the state constitution. As a result of the ruling, known as Ravin v. State, the legislature got rid of the $100 civil fine for possessing up to four ounces of marijuana in 1982.
Then, in 1990, all of this was undone by the approval of the Alaska Marijuana Criminalization Initiative, which made all marijuana possession in Alaska illegal and punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine. However, in 2003, the Alaska Court of Appeals overturned the law established by the measure and upheld the previous ruling set in Ravin v. State. Legislators once again attempted to criminalize the possession of marijuana in 2006, though they were unsuccessful in overturning the Ravin ruling. Medical marijuana was legalized in the state in 1998 with the approval of Measure 8.
This is the third attempt in the last 15 years to decriminalize marijuana in Alaska. In 2000, voters defeated Measure 5, which sought to "do away with civil and criminal penalties for persons 18 years or older who use marijuana, or other hemp products." The legalization of recreational marijuana was once again defeated at the polls in 2004 when voters turned down Measure 2, which attempted to "remove civil and criminal penalties under state law for persons 21 years or older who grow, use, sell or give away marijuana or hemp products."
2012 marijuana ballot measures
The 2012 elections proved to be groundbreaking for marijuana legalization support groups. Voters in Washington approved Initiative 502, thereby legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. Coloradans followed suit when they approved Amendment 64 during the same election. However, voters in Oregon rejected Measure 80, a similar, though slightly less stringent, marijuana legalization measure. Measure 80 would have allowed adults over the age of 21 to possess an unlimited supply of marijuana and given an industry-dominated board permission to regulate sales.
The Alaska Campaign to Regulate Marijuana is a citizens' group that is officially sponsoring the measure. The measure is also supported by the Marijuana Policy Project. Supporters believe marijuana is significantly less harmful than alcohol and therefore should be legalized.
On their website, supporters of Ballot Measure 2 list various impacts of marijuana on consumers and the community. They argue that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol.
Impact on the Consumer:
Impact on the Community:
—Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, 
The group, Big Marijuana. Big Mistake. Vote No on 2, is officially opposing Ballot Measure 2.
The group Big Marijuana. Big Mistake. Vote No on 2 lists the following reasons why voters should turn down Ballot Measure 2 on their website:
—Big Marijuana. Big Mistake. Vote No on 2, 
Path to the ballot
Supporters of the initiative were required to collect 30,169 signatures by January 9, 2014 in order to land the measure on the ballot. The group, The Alaska Campaign to Regulate Marijuana, said it turned in approximately 46,000 signatures on Wednesday, January 8, a day ahead of the state's deadline. On February 4, 2014, Alaska's Division of Elections confirmed that enough valid signatures were verified to send the measure to the ballot.
All four measures set to appear on the state ballot in 2014 were originally slated to appear on the August 19 primary ballot. However, only one, a veto referendum, appeared on the primary ballot. The three others, including Ballot Measure 2, are now scheduled to appear on the November 4 general election ballot. The 2014 legislative session began on January 21, 2014, and was scheduled to conclude on April 20, 2014. Instead, it ended on April 25, 2014, five days after its scheduled conclusion. Because lawmakers couldn't agree on an education bill, the 2014 session surpassed its deadline. Since legislators failed to end the session on time, the three initiated state statutes were pushed from the August primary ballot to the general one in November, as Alaska law mandates at least 120 days separate the end of the legislative session and Election Day for initiatives. Voter turn out for general elections has historically been greater than that of the primaries. Therefore, more residents may be casting votes on this issue than if the question appeared on the primary ballot.
- Colorado Marijuana Legalization Initiative, Amendment 64 (2012)
- Washington Marijuana Legalization and Regulation, Initiative 502 (2012)
- Oregon Cannabis Tax Act Initiative, Measure 80 (2012)
- Oregon Legalized Marijuana Initiative, Measure 91 (2014)
- Alaska 2014 ballot measures
- 2014 ballot measures
- Alaska Initiative Law
- Alaska signature requirements
- Yahoo News, "Alaska measure to legalize pot qualifies for August vote," February 4, 2014
- Alaska Dispatch, "Marijuana Policy Project plans Alaska ballot measure to decriminalize pot in 2014," accessed January 16, 2013
- StarTribune, "Organizers turn in signatures for Alaska marijuana legalization initiative," January 8, 2014
- Daily News Miner, "Alaska Lt Gov. certifies application for legalizing marijuana," June 14, 2013
- State of Alaska Division of Elections, "Ballot Measures Appearing on the 2014 General Election Ballot," accessed August 18, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, "Full Initiative Text," accessed August 18, 2014
- Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, "About: Alaska Marijuana Laws," accessed August 18, 2014
- OregonLive.com, "With national backing, marijuana advocates file legalization measure," October 25, 2013
- Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, "Facts," accessed August 18, 2014
- Big Marijuana. Big Mistake. Vote No on 2, "Homepage," accessed August 18, 2014
- The Alaska State Legislature, "Homepage," accessed April 22, 2014
- ABC 7 News, Denver, "Alaska legal pot vote pushed to fall; would make it third state to legalize recreational marijuana," April 21, 2014
- Liberty Voice, "Alaska Will Vote on the Legalization of Recreational Marijuana in November," July 20, 2014
State of Alaska
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