Marijuana Is Now Legal In Alaska, The 3rd U.S. State With Legal Pot
Leaders of the Alaska Cannabis Club share a joint at their medical marijuana dispensary in Anchorage. On Tuesday, Alaska became the third state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana use. Mark Thiessen/AP hide caption
Leaders of the Alaska Cannabis Club share a joint at their medical marijuana dispensary in Anchorage. On Tuesday, Alaska became the third state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana use.
Alaska’s voter initiative making marijuana legal takes effect Tuesday, placing Alaska alongside Colorado and Washington as the three U.S. states where recreational marijuana is legal. The new law means people over age 21 can consume small amounts of pot — if they can find it. It’s still illegal to sell marijuana.
“You can still give people marijuana, but you can’t buy it — or even barter for it,” Alaska Public Media’s Alexandra Gutierrez reports. “So, it’s a pretty legally awkward spot. That probably won’t stop people from acquiring it, though.”
While marijuana is legal in three states, it’s actually been legalized in four. Oregon passed an initiative similar to Alaska’s that takes effect in July. Another measure adopted by voters in Washington, D.C., has been blocked by Congress.
The ballot measure that was adopted in November allows Alaskans to possess marijuana harvested from up to six plants on private property. For now, that’s the biggest change in the state’s pot practices.
“There are no stores yet, but black market sales are still illegal,” Gutierrez adds. “The state is now crafting regulations for marijuana retailers, and the stores will be licensed and operational by next year.”
The many questions that surround legalization in Alaska prompted the Alaska Dispatch News to run a story urging its readers to be “highly informed.” In Anchorage, police have posted a “Know Your Grow” page.
Since November, local and state governments have been trying to clarify legal questions such as how much pot a person can possess (and in what form) and the places where consumption will be off-limits.
Also coming into play next year will be the legalization of commercial farms.
On Monday, Alaska’s Gov. Bill Walker filed legislation to create a marijuana control board, similar to the body that controls alcohol sales.
The new law means people over age 21 can consume small amounts of pot — if they can find it. It’s still illegal to sell marijuana in Alaska.
Alaska Marijuana Laws
In November 2014, Alaska legalized the production, sale and use of marijuana by adults 21 years of age or older.
Under Alaskan law, individuals 21 years of age or older are allowed to possess up to one ounce (28 grams) of marijuana. Additionally, adults are allowed to lawfully possess up to six marijuana plants as long as three or fewer are mature and flowering. Ballot Measure 2 also specifies that it is legal and lawful to possess marijuana accessories. Medical marijuana patients have the same possession limits as recreational consumers.
Unlike other states like Colorado who have created purchasing limits for different products, Alaska does not have any specific laws regarding purchasing limits. However, the possession limit is one ounce of cannabis, meaning adults 21 years of age or older are only able to purchase up to one ounce of marijuana at a time.
To be able to purchase recreational marijuana in Alaska, you must show proof of your age in the form of a government-issued identification card. Any person found falsifying their age is subject to a violation and possible fine up to $400. Where to Buy
Similar to other states where cannabis is recreationally legal, you are not allowed to consume cannabis on any federal or public land. Adults 21 years of age and older are allowed to consume marijuana on private property out of view from the public, or in specially designated marijuana retail stores. Public consumption is strictly banned and offenders found guilty of violating this ban are subject to a fine up to $100. As of April of 2019, dispensaries can apply for a permit to allow on-site consumption in specially designated areas. Some of have already been granted, but the opening of such spaces is currently delayed due to concerns with COVID-19. Social Lounges
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal in Alaska. Similar to alcohol, those found guilty of driving under the influence of cannabis will face DUI charges and penalties. The risks of driving under the influence of marijuana always outweigh the benefits, so be sure to only consume cannabis in a legal manner.
It is legal to transport up to one ounce of marijuana and no more than six marijuana plants. Marijuana must be kept in a child-proof container that is out of reach of the driver. It is not legal to transport an open container of marijuana, even if a passenger is in possession of the open container. Additionally, it is illegal for passengers to consume cannabis in a vehicle as well.
Exporting marijuana across state lines is strictly illegal and can result in a steep penalty if you are caught. It’s best to consume your legal cannabis in a safe and legal manner. If you have extra cannabis, be sure to leave it with a friend or dispose of it accordingly before you travel out of the state.
Adults 21 years of age or older are allowed to cultivate up to six marijuana plants, with no more than three flowering at one time. Marijuana plants must be cultivated in a location where the plants are out of public view. Plants must be secured from unauthorized access and must be cultivated on property that is in lawful possession of the property. These rules are the same for both medical and recreational marijuana consumers. Explore Strains
Alaska does not allow medical or recreational cannabis delivery.
Alaska legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2014. We offer practical information about marijuana laws and legal issues for those planning a trip or vacation to Alaska.