Alaska Officially Legalizes!
As of today, Alaska has become the first "red" state to implement their legalization laws. In November 2014, Alaskans took to the polls to vote to legalize cannabis possession, consumption and personal cultivation. “Legalizing marijuana just makes sense now to voters across the political spectrum and – as we’ll likely see in 2016 – across the country,” says Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance.
Those in Alaska are now allowed to possess up to an ounce of marijuana if over the age of 21. Alaskans can also grow up to six plants in their home, as long as only three of them are mature at once. It is also allowed to share up to one ounce of marijuana with someone of legal age and give, not sell, up to six immature marijuana plants. Private consumption is completely legal now however, public consumption still remains illegal.
Today marks the beginning of a nine-month rulemaking process. The state is expected to begin accepting applications for operating permits by February 2016. Beginning summer 2016, commercial marijuana businesses will be allowed to grow, process, bake, or sell marijuana products to those of legal age. With the addition of cannabusinesses in Alaska, there will be a boost in the state's economy, creating jobs and generating new revenue from the legitimate tax-paying businesses. The new law will also cause the attention of law enforcement to focus more on dangerous and violent crime.
Congratulations, Alaska, on becoming another state to legalize cannabis!