Tuesday, Alaska became the third state in the country to allow legal possession and consumption of marijuana, following an initiated state statute that passed as a ballot initiative last November. The state is now beginning the arduous task of creating systems that allow dispensaries to open for legal sale.
Currently there is no method of legal sales in the state, but possession of up to one once, for people over 21, and cultivation from up to six plants is legal. Residents can also give marijuana away, but are not able to barter with the drug for goods or services.
State lawmakers have stated publicly that regulations for sales and commercial harvesting in the state could begin as early as next year. At least part of this process began Monday when Alaska Gov. Bill Walker filed legislation that seeks to create a marijuana control board that would oversee those the creation of those regulations, according to a story filed by NPR.
Until a regulatory board forms there will be many questions in the air, but some regulations are already in place.
One of the most notable allows police to issue citations for $100 for smoking in public, but The Associated Press reported yesterday no tickets had yet been issued.
The state of Oregon passed a similar ballot initiative that will take effect in July, making that state the fourth to legalize the drug.
A Gallup poll in November found a majority of Americans are in favor of legalization, although by a razor thin margin.