Alaska Marijuana Decriminalization Initiative, Measure 5 (2000)

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The Alaska Marijuana Decriminalization Initiative, also known as Measure 5, was on the November 7, 2000 ballot in Alaska as an indirect initiated state statute, where it was defeated. The measure would have removed "civil and criminal penalties for persons 18 years or older who use marijuana, or other hemp products."[1]

Election results

Alaska Measure 5 (2000)
Defeatedd No165,32159.12%
Yes 114,321 40.88%

Election results via: Alaska Department of Elections

Text of measure

The language appeared on the ballot as:[1]

This bill would do away with civil and criminal penalties for persons 18 years or older who use marijuana, or other hemp products. These products include hemp used for paper, fiber, food, fuel, medicine, or personal use in private. Marijuana would be regulated like an alcoholic beverage. Doctors could prescribe marijuana. The bill allows for laws limiting marijuana use in some cases to protect public safety. It grants amnesty to persons convicted in the past of marijuana crimes. The bill creates an advisory group to study restitution for those persons.



The 2000 initiative was an attempt to roll back the legal situation for marijuana possession in Alaska to its pre-1990 level, when voters recriminalized it. Prior to 1990, possession of up to four ounces for personal use was legal in Alaska, although the federal government had different laws. The pre-1990 rules in Alaska about marijuana were set up a 1975 decision of the Alaska Supreme Court, which wrote, "Our territory and now state has traditionally been the home of people who prize their individuality and who have chosen to settle or to continue living here in order to achieve a measure of control over their own lifestyles which is now virtually unattainable in many of our sister states."

Four groups campaigned for the measure, most prominently the organization Free Hemp in Alaska, led by Al Anders.[3]

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