ANCHORAGE – Alaska voters approved a ballot initiative Tuesday to end marijuana prohibition in the state and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol. The initiative was leading 52.15% to 47.85% with 100% of precincts reporting at the end of the night.
Ballot Measure 2 makes possession of limited amounts of marijuana legal for adults 21 years of age and older. It creates a tightly regulated system of licensed marijuana retail stores, licensed cultivation facilities, licensed manufacturing facilities, and licensed testing facilities, and it establishes an excise tax of $50 per ounce on wholesale marijuana sales or transfers (such as those from a cultivation facility to a retail store). More information about the initiative is available at http://www.RegulateMarijuanaInAlaska.org
Statement from Taylor Bickford, spokesperson for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol:
“Now that the campaign is over, it’s time to establish a robust regulatory system that sets an example for other states. A regulated marijuana market will generate millions of dollars in tax revenue and create good jobs for Alaskans. Law enforcement will be able to spend their time addressing serious crimes instead of enforcing failed marijuana prohibition laws. We look forward to working with state officials and other stakeholders to ensure the new law is implemented responsibly and in a way that reflects the will of the voters.”
Statement from Chris Rempert, political director for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol:
“Marijuana prohibition has been an abject failure, and Alaska voters said enough is enough. People are seeing through the fear mongering and misinformation that have been used to keep marijuana illegal for so many years. One of our campaign’s primary messages was that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, and that adults should not be punished for making the safer choice. The voters agreed. It’s time to move forward and leave marijuana prohibition behind. With public support growing rapidly, it won’t be long before more states follow suit. Alaska is on the right side of history.”