measure 2

Alaska: Marijuana Proponents Say Measure Would Amount To A Ban On Rural Cannabis Shops

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Backers of the 2014 initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol in Alaska are urging legislators to oppose a measure that would severely limit marijuana business locations and access to marijuana for adults in rural Alaska. The amendment was recently snuck into HB 75, an otherwise non-controversial bill intended to clarify marijuana rules following the passage of Ballot Measure 2.

HB 75 was originally intended to establish the maximum number of marijuana plants that can be cultivated per household and define key terms in the law. It was recently expanded to allow the state government to request background checks on marijuana business applicants, at which time Sen. Lyman F. Hoffman (D - Dist. S) introduced an amendment that would make it very difficult to establish marijuana businesses in any unincorporated area of the state.

"Alaskans spoke loud and clear when they adopted Ballot Measure 2, and this amendment would defy the will of the voters,” said Tim Hinterberger, an official proponent of Ballot Measure 2 who served as chair of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. “It is disappointing that some senators would use the state's need for background checks as an opportunity to ban marijuana businesses in rural Alaska. We strongly urge members of the House to oppose this offensive proposal and either amend HB 75 or oppose it and address background checks in a separate bill."

Alaska: Marijuana Legalization Measure Sponsor Says On Site Consumption Should Be Legal

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Alaska's marijuana legalization measure, Ballot Measure, was meant to end cannabis prohibition and replace it with a system under which marijuana is treated similarly to alcohol -- and under such a system, business owners should be allowed to provide locations where adults can consume weed with other adults, the sponsor of the measure said on Sunday.

"By far the most troubling is the fact that the proposed rules do not allow for social consumption in any establishments," wrote Measure 2 sponsor Dr. Tim Hinterberger, chair of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, in the Alaska Daily News.

"When we drafted Ballot Measure 2, we also made it a point to protect the rights of responsible business owners who wish to provide a location where adults can consume marijuana with other adults," Dr. Hinterberger wrote. " Those who choose to consume marijuana should have the same right to congregate as those who choose to use alcohol."

"By allowing adults to consume marijuana legally inside businesses, we reduce the likelihood that they’ll consume illegally outside in vehicles, on sidewalks and in parks," Hinterberger wrote. "This is especially true when it comes to visitors who often don’t have other legal options."

According to Dr. Hinterberger, "[W]e certainly did not intend to prohibit consumption inside licensed, regulated marijuana retail businesses."

Alaska Becomes Fourth State To Legalize Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Alaska on Tuesday became the fourth U.S. state to legalize marijuana, joining Oregon, where voters had approved a legalization measure earlier the same day, and Colorado and Washington, both of which legalized in 2012.

Measure 2, which was approved by 52 percent of Alaska voters, allows adults 21 and older and possess up to an ounce of cannabis, grow up to six plants at home, and transfer up to an ounce at a time to other adults "without remuneration," reports Jacob Sullum at Reason. State-licensed growers, cannabis product manufacturers, and marijuana retailers will be regulated by the Alaska Alcoholic Beverage Control Board or a separate agency created by the Legislature.

"Now that it's been shown that putting marijuana legalization on the ballot can succeed even in midterms, we can expect to see a huge surge of additional states voting to end prohibition during the 2016 presidential election," Tom Angell of Marijuana Majority told Hemp News early on Wednesday. "And because the issue has been proven to be mainstream as far as voters are concerned, we may even see lawmakers in several states jumping ahead to legalize marijuana legislatively in the meantime."

U.S.: Marijuana Legalization, Medical Marijuana, Sentencing Reform Measures On Ballot

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A Crucial Election Season for Legalizing Marijuana and Ending the Drug War

Marijuana Legalization, Medical Marijuana, and Sentencing Reform Initiatives in Oregon, Alaska, D.C., Florida, California, New Mexico, New Jersey and More

Voters across the United States on November 4 will have a chance to accelerate the unprecedented momentum to legalize marijuana and end the wider Drug War. Voter initiatives – primarily reforming or repealing marijuana laws – appear on the ballots in seven states, at least 17 municipalities, and one U.S. territory.

Here are a few of the key ones:

Oregon: Passage of Measure 91 would make Oregon the third state to legally regulate marijuana.

Alaska: Measure 2 would make Alaska the first red state to legalize marijuana for adult use.

Florida Amendment 2, the only statewide medical marijuana initiative this year, would be the first comprehensive medical marijuana law in the South.

California: Proposition 47 would take a significant step toward reducing mass incarceration by changing six low-level, nonviolent offenses (including simple drug possession) from felonies to misdemeanors.

District of Columbia: Initiative 71 would make it legal for adults to possess and cultivate small amounts of marijuana in our nation’s capital.

U.S.: States, Cities and Nation's Capital To Vote On Marijuana Policy Ballot Measures Tuesday

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Alaska and Oregon could make marijuana legal for adults and regulate it like alcohol; Washington, D.C. and two of Maine’s largest cities could make marijuana legal for adults; Florida could become 24th state to allow seriously ill people to access medical marijuana

States, cities, and the nation’s capital will vote on marijuana policy ballot measures on Tuesday.

“From Alaska to Maine, there is a whole lot of enthusiasm for ending marijuana prohibition,” said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “It’s not easy to overcome 80 years of prohibition and anti-marijuana propaganda. But public attitudes are clearly shifting on this issue, and it’s only a matter of time before that is reflected in laws nationwide.”

In Alaska and Oregon, voters are considering statewide ballot measures that would make marijuana legal for adults and regulate it similarly to alcohol. The initiatives — Ballot Measure 2 in Alaska and Measure 91 in Oregon — would remove all legal penalties for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by adults 21 and older.

The measures would also establish a regulatory framework for licensed businesses to cultivate, process, test, and sell marijuana to adults. If the initiatives are approved, Alaska and Oregon would be the third and fourth states to end marijuana prohibition.

U.S.: Law Enforcement Officials Tour States To Lend A Hand To Drug Policy Reform Initiatives

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As the midterm election approaches, representatives of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) are hard at work educating voters about the need for drug policy reform in states with relevant initiatives on the ballot.

A pair of police chiefs, Retired Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper and sitting Police Chief Larry Kirk, are in Alaska, where voters are about to weigh in on an initiative to legalize, regulate and control marijuana (Measure 2). The two went to seven towns between them, from Anchorage to Kodiak, to educate voters on the public safety benefits of legalization.

In the meantime, a former prosecutor and a retired lieutenant sheriff are doing a similar tour of Oregon (Measure 91) and a former police officer and former Customs agent are speaking to Florida voters about medical marijuana (Amendment 2). These tours have included meetings with civic clubs, conversations with the media and debates with opponents.

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