Alaska Wants To Cultivate Marijuana Legalization Conversation

Alaska Wants To Cultivate Marijuana Legalization Conversation

With the Cannabis community about to fire up its annual celebration on 4.20.2013 – with particular relevance this year due to the outright legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington. The great state of Alaska has decided to roll out the topic of marijuana legalization again for its citizens.

It will be up to the voters of Alaska to decide if the Last Frontier will follow in the footsteps of states like Colorado and Washington and legalize the recreational use of marijuana. That’s if a new effort to legalize and regulate the sale of marijuana goes forward.

A group of pro-legalization advocates began the latest push to legalize pot in Alaska Tuesday, when three sponsors submitted 100 signatures to the lieutenant governor’s office. The petition included a nearly complete piece of legislation that carefully sets up laws and institutions that would regulate the growing, processing, and selling of marijuana. Critically, petition sponsors point out, the proposal sets up a $50 per ounce tax on marijuana.

“We want to pay taxes on this. We want do our part,” Tim Hinterberger said. He’s the primary sponsor for the petition, an associate professor at UAA, and a proud user of marijuana. He said Wednesday that every adult should be able to make the choice to smoke pot without becoming a criminal.

“We’re proposing some very serious taxes be paid, and I think that Alaska marijuana users would much rather buy from legitimate well-regulated business than have to go through an underground, unregulated market.”

The proposal laid out by Hinterberger and the other sponsors (Bill Parker and Mary Reff) draws heavily from successful legalization bids in other states, and was crafted with input from the Marijuana Policy Project based in Washington, D.C.