Alaska Marijuana Legalization, Ballot Measure 2 (2014)
- 1 Election results
- 2 Text of measure
- 3 Background
- 4 Supporters
- 5 Opposition
- 6 Media editorial positions
- 7 Polls
- 8 Path to the ballot
- 9 Related measures
- 10 See also
- 11 References
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, Lieutenant Gov. Mead Treadwell announced his office certified a measure allowing adults to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. A citizens' group called The Alaska Campaign to Regulate Marijuana officially sponsored the measure.
Below are the official, certified results:
|Alaska Ballot Measure 2|
Election results via: Alaska Division of Elections
Text of measure
The official ballot title of this measure read as follows:
Ballot Measure No. 2 - 13PSUM An Act to Tax and Regulate the Production, Sale, and Use of Marijuana. 
The full ballot summary read 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.
Ballot Measure 2 was the third attempt in 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 officially sponsored the measure. The measure was also supported by the Marijuana Policy Project. Supporters argued that marijuana is significantly less harmful than alcohol and therefore should be legalized.
Yes on 2 TV ad: "The Officer"
- Larry Murakami (D)
- Adam Wool (D)
- Joe Blanchard II (R)
- Bill Parker, former Deputy Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Corrections
- Laurie Constantino, Alaska's former Chief Prosecutor
On their website, supporters of Ballot Measure 2 listed various impacts of marijuana on consumers and the community. They argued that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol.
Impact on the Consumer:
Impact on the Community:
—Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol
Charlo Greene calling on Alaskans to support Measure 2.
Charlene Egby, also known as Charlo Greene, a former reporter for KTVA-TV in Anchorage, Alaska, was discussing the Alaska Cannabis Club, when she outed herself on live television as the owner of the club. She continued on, "[I] will be dedicating all of my energy toward fighting for freedom and fairness, which begins with legalizing marijuana here in Alaska," followed by "f*ck it, I quit." Greene released a video a few days later detailing why she quit on air and calling for people to vote "yes" on Measure 2. The following is a text excerpt from her video:
|“||Who is willing to take a stand? I'm not afraid, clearly. But if you are, I don't judge you or any other man. Nearly a century of marijuana prohibition and stigma have stained America, the land of the free and home of the brave. But we have a chance to start taking back the right. Today it's marijuana prohibition and, once we get that done nationally, we the people will realize that we are stronger than ever and you will feel empowered to take up what you choose to fight. Advocating for freedom and fairness should be everyone's duty. I'm making it my life work, to uphold what America stands for truly: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — ideals that now need to be defended.||”|
| Total campaign cash |
as of December 2, 2014
As of December 2, 2014, The Alaska Campaign to Regulate Marijuana had received a total of $897,230 in contributions.
|PAC/ballot measure group||Amount raised||Amount spent|
|The Alaska Campaign to Regulate Marijuana||$897,230||$1,181,447|
Disclaimer: According to campaign finance reports published by the state of Alaska, the group, The Alaska Campaign to Regulate Marijuana, spent more than it raised. This was possible because the group was able to accrue debt.
Top 5 contributors:
|2013 Marijuana Policy Project||$728,831|
|Drug Policy Alliance||$100,000|
|Marijuana Policy Project||$26,519|
|Thomas Cody Swift||$15,000|
|Chris Cupp Photography||$6,800|
The group, Big Marijuana. Big Mistake. Vote No on 2, officially opposed Ballot Measure 2.
- Anchorage Municipal Assembly
- Alaska Association of Police Chiefs
- Napaskiak Tribal Council
- Bristol Bay Native Corporation
The group Big Marijuana. Big Mistake. Vote No on 2 listed the following reasons why voters should turn down Ballot Measure 2 on the group's website:
—Big Marijuana. Big Mistake. Vote No on 2
As of December 2, 2014, Big Marijuana. Big Mistake. Vote No on 2 had received a total of $180,499 in contributions.
|PAC/ballot measure group||Amount raised||Amount spent|
|Big Marijuana. Big Mistake. Vote No on 2||$180,499||$267,612|
Disclaimer: According to campaign finance reports published by the state of Alaska, the group, Big Marijuana. Big Mistake. Vote No on 2, spent more than it raised. This was possible because the group was able to accrue debt.
Top 4 contributors:
|Robert B. Gilliam||$10,000|
Media editorial positions
- New York Times said,
|“||Ideally, the federal government would repeal the ban on marijuana, so states could set their own policies without worrying about the possibility of a crackdown on citizens violating federal law. Even though a majority of Americans favor legalization, Congress shows no sign of budging. So it’s better for the states to take the lead than to wait for an epiphany on Capitol Hill that may never come. ||”|
—New York Times
- The Daily News-Miner said,
|“||Measure 2 is, bluntly, poorly worded. It is vague to the point of being reckless in that it fails to specify, for example, what controls would be in place to ensure a legalized marijuana market is run properly and without harm to Alaskans. It leaves that task for later, though we don’t know when that would be.
Also, the state would incur a substantial cost if Measure 2 is approved — up to $7 million in implementation costs during the first year, according to information developed by the Legislative Affairs Agency and included in the official election pamphlet. 
- See also: Polls, 2014 ballot measures
On the November ballot, there will be an Alaska Marijuana Legalization Measure. This would allow people age 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and up to six plants. It would make the manufacture, sale, and possession of marijuana paraphernalia legal. If the election was today, would you vote 'yes' or 'no' on this measure? 
In October, pollster Ivan Moore and Dittman Research each published a poll on Measure 2. The question asked of poll respondents in the Ivan Moore poll read as follows:
|“||There is an initiative on the General election ballot that would tax and regulate the production, sale, and use of marijuana in Alaska. Criminal penalties would be removed for adults over the age of 21 who possess up to an ounce of marijuana, and constitutional protections allowing home cultivation would be preserved.||”|
The question asked of poll respondents in the Dittman Research poll read as follows:
|“||Ballot Measure 2 is a bill that would tax and regulate the production, sale, and use of marijuana in Alaska for people 21 years of age or older. The bill would allow a person to possess, use, show, buy, transport, or grow set amounts of marijuana.
If the election were held today, would you vote for this initiative to become law -- Yes or No? 
|Alaska Measure 2 (2014)|
|Poll||Support||Oppose||Undecided||Margin of Error||Sample Size|
|Public Policy Polling|
5/8/2014 - 5/11/2014
|Public Policy Polling|
7/31/2014 - 8/3/2014
|Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to|
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, was on the primary ballot. The three others, including Ballot Measure 2, were 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 turnout for general elections has historically been greater than that of the primaries. Therefore, more residents were expected to cast votes on this issue than if the question had 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
- The Huffington Post, "Alaska Becomes Fourth State to Legalize Recreational Marijuana," November 5, 2014
- Daily News Miner, "Alaska Lt Gov. certifies application for legalizing marijuana," June 14, 2013
- StarTribune, "Organizers turn in signatures for Alaska marijuana legalization initiative," January 8, 2014 (dead link)
- 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
- Huffington Post, "Active and Retired Alaska Law Enforcement Support Marijuana Legalization In New Ads," October 15, 2014
- Alaska Dispatch News, "KTVA reporter quits on-air after saying she owns Alaska Cannabis Club," September 21, 2014
- State of Alaska, "Campaign Disclosure: Forms," accessed December 2, 2014
- Big Marijuana. Big Mistake. Vote No on 2, "Homepage," accessed August 18, 2014
- Alaska Dispatch News, "Anchorage Assembly votes 9-2 to oppose marijuana ballot measure," September 23, 2014
- KTVA, "Police chiefs speak out against Ballot Measure 2," October 9, 2014
- The Delta Discovery "Napaskiak passes resolution opposing Ballot Measure 2," October 1, 2014
- KDLG, "BBNC Opposes Ballot Measure 2 to Legalize Marijuana in Alaska," October 10, 2014
- New York Times, "Yes to Marijuana Ballot Measures," October 5, 2014
- Daily News-Miner, "'Yes' on Ballot Measure 2 wrong choice: The poorly worded, vague language of the measure leaves too many unknowns," October 31, 2014
- Public Policy Polling, "Alaskans down on Palin as presidential candidate," May 14, 2014
- Public Policy Polling, "Begich Leads Challengers in Re-Election Bid," August 5, 2014
- Alaska Dispatch News, "Polls tell two different stories whether Alaskans favor legalizing marijuana," October 8, 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
|State executive officers||
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