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Santa Claus Of North Pole, AK Says “No Coal In Stockings” For Medical Marijuana Users

North Pole, Alaska – Communities across Alaska have been struggling with the state’s recreational marijuana program, and some are voting to ban sales of legalized marijuana. One of those is North Pole, Alaska. Voters approved Proposition 7, which bans the sale of marijuana within city limits. But legal cannabis has a surprising advocate there. Santa […]

Hemp, Inc. (OTC Pink: HEMP) Industry Update: Pot Stocks Expected to Surge During the …

LAS VEGAS, NV — (Marketwired) — 09/06/16 — As the 2016 U.S. presidential election nears, Hemp, Inc. (OTC PINK: HEMP) has strategically positioned itself as a leader of the re-emerging industrial hemp industry. With the country’s largest industrial hemp processing facility and milling operation in Spring Hope, NC nearing completion, CEO Bruce Perlowin, says, “I […]

Medical Marijuana Users Can't Buy Guns

Two controversial issues have merged into one as a new ruling states that people who use marijuana — including for medical purposes — are prohibited from buying guns because of the link between pot use and gun violence. A ruling from the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals says that illegal drug users, which include […]

US: Few Adults Think Marijuana Is Risky

URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v16/n603/a05.htmlNewshawk: http://www.drugsense.org/donate.htmVotes: 0Pubdate: Thu, 01 Sep 2016Source: Herald, The (Everett, WA)Copyright: 2016 Associated PressContact: Website: http://www.heraldnet.com/Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/190 FEW ADULTS THINK MARIJUANA IS RISKY NEW YORK ( AP ) – Marijuana use is becoming more accepted among U.S.  adults as states loosen pot laws, new national survey data shows. More are using marijuana, using it […]

State of the Leaf: U.S. News Updates

U.S. News Updates Alaska Cannabis social clubs have existed in a legal gray area since the state legalized cannabis for adult use in 2014. But this week Alaska Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth weighed in, the Associated Press reports, saying that under his office’s interpretation of the law, the clubs are illegal. Cannabis social clubs are […]

Court Upholds Ban on Gun Sales to Medical Marijuana Card Holders

A federal appeals court has ruled that an existing federal ban on the sale of guns to holders of medical marijuana cards does not violate the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits infringement of the right to keep and bear arms. The ruling pertains to the nine states under the jurisdiction of the 9th […]

As Perceptions Shift, Marijuana Use Among Adults At An All-Time High

More people in the United States are using Marijuana than ever before, a new study finds as the perception of smoking pot is changing among Americans. Over 13 percent of adults of 500,000 surveyed in 2014 said they had used cannabis in the previous year, up from close to 10 percent in 2002, the study published Wednesday in The Lancet Psychiatry […]

Cannabis Social Clubs Are Illegal, Alaska AG Says

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska’s attorney general said Wednesday that marijuana social clubs are illegal, addressing what had been a hazy area following the state’s legalization of recreational cannabis. The legal opinion does not apply to licensed retail marijuana shops, for which state regulators are considering rules allowing cannabis consumption. The first retail shop licenses […]

Ninth Circuit Rules Medical Marijuana Card Holders Can't Buy Guns

Possessing a medical marijuana card may allow you to buy, posses, and consume marijuana in one of 25 states (plus DC!), but as CBS 5 reports, it also comes with some limitations: Namely, you can’t buy guns. So ruled the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today, upholding a previous ruling banning a Nevada woman […]

Survey: More US adults use marijuana, don’t think it’s risky

By MIKE STOBBE AP Medical Writer NEW YORK (AP) – Marijuana use is becoming more accepted among U.S. adults as states loosen pot laws, new national survey data shows. More are using marijuana, using it more often and far fewer think it’s risky, the government survey found. That’s understandable, experts say, as dozens of states […]

CHARLO’S PLACE | WURK – The Payroll Solution the Cannabis Industry Has Been Waiting For

 August 31, 2016 Charlogreene.com Today on Charlo’s Place, Keegan Peterson of Enjoy Wurk swings by to discuss the payroll solution the cannabis industry has been waiting for. SHARE and SUBSCRIBE at CharloGreene.com for the latest cannabis news, exclusive interviews and useful reviews. About Charlo Greene Charlo Greene is a broadcast journalist and media expert turned activist and businesswoman who […]

Court upholds gun ban on medical marijuana card holders

A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld a government ban that prevents medical marijuana card holders from buying guns, Fox News reported. ADVERTISEMENT The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers nine Western states including California, Washington and Oregon, ruled the federal ban is not in violation of the Second Amendment. The states in […]

US PA: Editorial: Adequate Time For Minor Crime

URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v16/n599/a03.htmlNewshawk: http://www.drugsense.org/donate.htmVotes: 0Pubdate: Wed, 31 Aug 2016Source: Standard-Speaker (Hazleton, PA)Copyright: 2016 The Standard-SpeakerContact: Website: http://www.standardspeaker.comDetails: http://www.mapinc.org/media/1085 ADEQUATE TIME FOR MINOR CRIME Gov.  Tom Wolf ‘s call last week for decriminalizing small-scale marijuana possession is not as controversial as it might seem.  In effect, it is a call for a uniform state policy to ensure […]


CHARLOGREENE.COM THE LYNCHING OF CHARLO GREENEFacing 24 years in prison over legal pot, this is a blog documenting my fight. A friend asked me a really good question today: “Where is everyone that you helped and said they supported you, now that you’re facing 24 years in prison for ‘F*ck it?’” We were arguing over […]

US PA: Wolf: Pa. Can Do More To End Marijuana Arrests

URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v16/n597/a06.htmlNewshawk: http://www.drugsense.org/donate.htmVotes: 0Pubdate: Tue, 30 Aug 2016Source: Standard-Speaker (Hazleton, PA)Copyright: 2016 Associated PressContact: Website: http://www.standardspeaker.comDetails: http://www.mapinc.org/media/1085Author: Marc Levy, Associated Press WOLF: PA.  CAN DO MORE TO END MARIJUANA ARRESTS HARRISBURG ( AP ) – Pennsylvania needs to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana possession, Democratic Gov.  Tom Wolf said Monday, yet he remains guarded about […]

US PA: Wolf: Decriminalize Small Amounts Of Pot

URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v16/n597/a04.htmlNewshawk: http://www.drugsense.org/donate.htmVotes: 0Pubdate: Tue, 30 Aug 2016Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA)Copyright: 2016 Associated PressContact: Website: http://www.philly.com/inquirer/Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/340Author: Marc Levy, Associated Press WOLF: DECRIMINALIZE SMALL AMOUNTS OF POT HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania needs to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana possession, Gov.  Wolf said Monday, yet he remains guarded about the kind of recreational legalization that is […]

FL: Company Eyes Property For Medical Marijuana Store

Bradenton – A Tallahassee company has closed on two vacant buildings on 14th Street West near downtown Bradenton for a potential medical marijuana dispensary. Trulieve currently has dispensaries in Tallahassee and Clearwater, with two more in the planning phases in Orlando and Miami-Dade County. Bradenton would be the company’s fifth location. “Bradenton has been on […]

US CA: Editorial: No On Prop 64

URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v16/n587/a03.htmlNewshawk: http://www.drugsense.org/donate.htmVotes: 0Pubdate: Sat, 27 Aug 2016Source: Signal, The (Santa Clarita, CA)Copyright: 2016 The SignalContact: http://drugsense.org/url/942n6o2yWebsite: Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/4221 NO ON PROP 64 Among the 17 statewide ballot measures on Californians’ Nov.  8 ballots will be Proposition 64, which claims to legalize recreational marijuana use in the state. Plenty of good reasons spring to mind […]

Former Head of Alaska Marijuana Board Booted by Governor

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The former chairman of the board tasked with regulating Alaska’s nascent cannabis industry has been removed by Gov. Bill Walker. Bruce Schulte was ousted from the Marijuana Control Board on Friday. Grace Jang, a Walker spokeswoman, said Tuesday that board members serve at the governor’s discretion and Walker decided it was […]

AK: Vote Delayed On Cannabis Cafe Ban

Fairbanks – The assembly postponed its vote on a ban of marijuana consumption facilities after the regular meeting Thursday ran long – seven hours long. The measure will come up again at the Aug. 11 meeting under unfinished business, according to John Davies, presiding officer of the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly. The panel took […]

US AK: OPED: Questions About Marijuana Businesses Persist, and

URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v16/n515/a10.htmlNewshawk: http://www.drugsense.org/donate.htmVotes: 0Pubdate: Sat, 30 Jul 2016Source: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (AK)Copyright: 2016 Fairbanks Publishing Company, Inc.Contact: Website: http://newsminer.com/Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/764Author: James F. OstlindNote: James F. Ostlind has been a borough resident for 44 years. Heis the founder of Drug-Free Fairbanks. QUESTIONS ABOUT MARIJUANA BUSINESSES PERSIST, AND ANSWERS ARE ELUSIVE Although the initiative to prohibit marijuana […]

Tickets For Alaska’s Weed Week Now On Sale

SAN DIEGO, Calif., (July 22, 2016) –  Tickets for Alaska Weed Week are now on sale, organizers announced today. Weed Week is a six-day event bringing together cannabis entrepreneurs, investors, thought leaders, professionals, and students to share insights, information, and ideas through education, experiences, and entertainment. Alaska Weed Week is centered-around Pitch Fest and Demo […]

AK: Pro Marijuana Group Reports $339,982

A ballot committee backing the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Amendment raised $339,982 last month, according to a report released Thursday. For the first time, Arkansans United for Medical Marijuana received money from more than one donor. Broadleaf PSG LLC gave $7,500 in monetary contributions and $167,565 in non-monetary contributions to pay for professional signature gatherers from […]

Alaska Weed Week Tickets Go On Sale This Friday

Tickets for Alaska Weed Week go on sale Friday, July 22, organizers announced today. Weed Week is a new and exciting six-day event where cannabis entrepreneurs, leaders, and students come together to share information, insights, and ideas through education, entertainment, and experiences.  During the six-day event there are an array of activities centered-around three days […]

Alaska tweaks draft rules for use of pot at licensed stores

Published: Jul 19, 2016, 10:10 am • Updated: Jul 19, 2016, 5:19 pm By Becky Bohrer, The Associated Press JUNEAU, Alaska — Alaska marijuana regulators aren’t ready to buy into Amsterdam-style cannabis cafes just yet and are going back to the public for more feedback. Earlier this month, the Marijuana Control Board considered a draft […]

How To Make Marijuana Fettuccini Alfredo

Who doesn’t love a giant bowl of Fettuccini Alfredo? The creaminess, the al dente noodles, the strong Italian cheese. Perfection in a bowl! The only thing that could make it any better is if you could get stoned from it too. Luckily, I have a reliable stoner friend with some serious chef skills to boot.

Why Are We Celebrating Again? Flags, Fireworks, and Betrayal

Happy Fourth of July, A.K.A. “Independence Day!”

You know the drill, flags waving from everywhere, gluttonous sociopaths marching up and down main street desperately seeking out the next distraction, paid patriotic content blasting from every device with a screen or speaker, and the inevitable “thank you for your service, we’re able to enjoy these freedoms because of your sacrifice for our Nation” from some doe-eyed fuck who has no idea what they’re thanking you for.

When tweets from the celebrity of the news cycle get more attention than people killing themselves at the VA, there’s a dangerous disconnect between society and reality.

What does my service mean to these people? Nothing.

If asked, the average person on the street isn’t able to explain to me what we’re doing in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, South America, Africa, Europe, or anywhere else that isn’t a Spring Break hot spot. All they’re able to regurgitate is that “we’re fighting terrorists who threaten our way of life, our freedom.”

Granted, these words are coming from a jaded and somewhat pessimistic disgruntled veteran who by no means speaks for everyone out there. Aside from my personal experience and perspective, I happen to know there are other veterans who feel the same way.

This is a way of life.

We proclaim and celebrate Freedom & Independence every year, yet there are glaring contradictions within those proclamations we refuse to acknowledge. Our Founding Fathers rejected tyranny, rejected the abuses of a government that did not represent them. Our society seems to welcome both. Freedom & Independence meant something very different in our Nation’s infancy.

The idea of Freedom is alive and well. However, after an honest assessment of our shared environment, do you feel free? I don’t.

We incarcerate more of our citizens than any other country on earth, many times over. The majority of those individuals are behind bars for possessing, using, growing, or selling cannabis, while at the same time there are select few who are getting rich doing the exact same thing in”legal”states.

Our own government has been funding scientific research into this herb that could be used to help veterans suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury, and other service connected injuries/disabilities while at the very same time denying these wounded warriors access to it. On the flip side of legitimate scientific endeavors our government has been covertly engaged in, remember Iran-Contra? Freeway Ricky Ross?

We avoid these discussions because they’re uncomfortable and require action on our (what’s more, our elected officials) part after engaging in them.

We’ve become complacent and now those with specific, self-serving agendas have firmly entrenched themselves. They’re able to do as they please without fear of consequence or penalty.

Our laws have been auctioned off to the highest bidder, and science has been hijacked by special interest groups dead set on maintaining their profitable status quo.

Veterans Shut Out of VA By Back Door SchemesIt takes a real special kind of individual to do this to our Veterans.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/29nCPws

Posted by Illegally Healed on Sunday, July 3, 2016

When I can’t, by law, have an open honest and free conversation about an herbal medication with my physician at the VA or, when I can’t travel from state to state with my herbal medicine without risking prison time and the loss of my federal benefits, I don’t feel Free. I don’t feel Independent. I feel trapped, and I feel controlled.

Case in point, the Veterans Equal Access amendment that just got shot down right before the Holiday break:

“Blocking this amendment at the conference committee stage is an assault on democracy and those Americans who risked their lives and health to defend it,” said Michael Liszewski, Government Affairs Director of Americans for Safe Access (ASA). “It’s shocking that House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers would allow a veterans health care provision that won by wide margins in a Senate committee and on the House floor to be stripped from the bill behind closed doors.”


It is what it is.

This year I’m celebrating my Freedom to Choose, and my Independence from harsh pharmaceutical narcotics. I’m celebrating once again belonging to something bigger than myself and my happy little Tribe here in Tucson, Arizona.

There are many passionate souls out there doing the lion’s share of work to keep this fight going, despite frustration, obstruction, and constant setbacks battling a rigged system. These beautiful advocates keep pushing. They refuse to quit. They don’t know what it means to quit.

I’ve struggled in my transition from the military, but you’ve probably been able to pick up on that by now. I’m doing everything I can to remain focused on the many blessings in my life, and there are many. I’m one of the lucky ones. This article is for those who aren’t as fortunate.

Anyway, the party has already started and I’m sitting here like a buzzkill.

Dabs up!

Cheers to the Fallen, Rest Easy.

Have you claimed Independence from dangerous pharmaceutical narcotics? … Share your story.

About the AuthorRicardo Pereyda

Ricardo Pereyda

Ricardo Pereyda is U.S. Army Veteran from Tucson, Arizona. Advocating for federal & state cannabis law and public health reform, he has been outspoken in calling for veteran access within the VA and research into the safety and efficacy of cannabis. He’s worked closely with Patients Out of Time, Drug Policy Alliance, the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), the Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association, The Weed for Warriors Project, Operation OverMed and Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access among others.

The post Why Are We Celebrating Again? Flags, Fireworks, and Betrayal appeared first on #illegallyhealed.

Alaska Cannabis Regulators Poised to Award First Licenses

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska regulators were poised Thursday to award the first licenses for legal marijuana businesses in the state, another milestone for the fledgling industry.

Priority is being given to growing and testing operations to ensure that retail stores, once authorized, will have legal product to sell. The Marijuana Control Board could issue its first retail licenses in about three months, which Cynthia Franklin, director of the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office, has said coincides with a crop life.

Thirty applications are up for consideration during Thursday’s Marijuana Control Board meeting. Two of those are for testing facilities. The rest are for grow operations.

Testing facilities will play an important role in the industry, with cultivators and processors needing to have their product tested for such things as potency and potential toxins.

It’s not yet clear how many testing facilities the industry will need because it’s not clear how much product will be tested, board chairman Bruce Schulte said in an interview Wednesday. Alaska needs at least one functioning lab, he said.

“Whether the right number is two or four or one, that remains to be seen,” he said.

Both of the businesses up for consideration of testing licenses Thursday are in Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city. But for businesses in communities not connected to the road system — accessible by air and/or water — getting samples to a lab in Anchorage could be tricky. While cannabis has been legalized in Alaska, it is still prohibited under federal law.

Schulte said that’s a problem but he said the board hasn’t been involved in how businesses should go about getting their product tested. The board just wants to know that it has been tested and meets quality standards, he said.

Jeremy Woodrow, a spokesman for the state ferry system, said the system is in a tough spot because it’s regulated by the U.S. Coast Guard but it’s trying to be as lenient as possible within the confines of the state law. The system has allowed marijuana that meets personal use limits of one ounce or less but use on board is banned and any larger amounts could be reported to the Coast Guard, he said.

The system isn’t telling anyone not to bring cannabis on board but anyone who does so needs to know the risk, he said.

Denver and Alaska Set to Push Legalization Envelope

News out of Anchorage and Denver this week was good for marijuana smokers, as both the city of Denver and the state of Alaska moved closer to the legalization of marijuana social clubs. Smokers could thus socialize in a venue with other adults where marijuana smoking would be legal.

Until now, in the states that have legalized recreational use (and in the District of Columbia), marijuana smokers are only permitted to exercise their newly won freedom in their home or as a guest in someone else’s home. Holland-style coffee shops or marijuana lounges were not legalized by those early voter initiatives.

That is about to change.


Denver NORML and The Committee for the Responsible Use Initiative in Denver have announced the final language for their municipal initiative. They expect to be cleared this week by the city to begin circulating petitions seeking the signature of registered voters, putting the issue on the ballot for voters to decide in November.

The proposal would license and regulate private marijuana social clubs and special events where adult marijuana smoking would be legal. The state legislature had earlier indicated some interest in amending state law to permit marijuana social clubs, but when that stalled, Denver NORML began to move forward with their municipal voter initiative. Clubs could not sell or distribute marijuana, and bars, nightclubs and restaurants could not become private marijuana clubs or host special events.

The most current polling suggests the proposal is favored by a clear majority (56%) of voters in Denver.

Denver NORML executive director Jordon Person offered this appraisal of the proposed initiative. “Passage of this ordinance would be a historic first step in moving towards the ultimate goal of normalizing the consumption of marijuana in our country. The initiative would provide responsible adults a legally defined space where marijuana could be consumed and shared with other like-minded adults — a simple, yet necessary accommodation for states that have passed some form of legalization. This is a pragmatic approach that focuses on the basics and provides the city of Denver a solution to an issue that is not going away.”

Proponents have until August 15 to collect 5,000 valid signatures to qualify the measure for the November ballot.


In Alaska, the decision to license some version of marijuana lounges was made by the Alaska Marijuana Control Board last November, and this week the board issued draft regulations to define when and where “on-site consumption” would be permitted.

The proposed regulations are now open for public comment before the board finalizes them.

While the outline is still tentative, marijuana cafes would be permitted only in conjunction with an existing marijuana retail store, on the same premises, either indoor or outdoor, but with a separate entrance and separate serving area. A separate license would be required for on-site consumption.

Customers could purchase small amounts of marijuana ( 1 gram of marijuana, edibles with up to 10 milligrams of THC, or .25 grams of marijuana concentrates) to consume on-site and would not be permitted to bring their own marijuana to smoke on-site. Strangely, they would be required to leave any unfinished marijuana behind to be destroyed, and “happy hours” would not be permitted. Marijuana lounges would be permitted to sell food and non-alcohol beverages.

Marijuana Control Board chair Bruce Schulte explained the board was proceeding with a degree of caution, because this is new territory for state legalization regulatory agencies. One of the more difficult issues the board had to deal with, according to board member Brandon Emmett, was whether to permit dabbing.

Laboratories of Democracy

As former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously said, “a state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” Denver and Alaska are exercising that important role as we move forward with better and better versions of legalization. What we learn from these initial experiments with marijuana social clubs will inform subsequent states in the coming years.

This column first ran on Marijuana.com.


State of the Leaf: Alaska OKs Cannabis Clubs, and Vancouver Licenses its First Dispensary

Here’s the latest new legalization legislation: Alaska just released retail cannabis regulations that will make it the only state to allow legal, on-site consumption in recreational shops. Michigan legalization is this close to earning a spot on the November ballot, Ohio tweaked the rules in its medical marijuana initiative in a big way, Oklahoma started gathering signatures for a medical cannabis push, and one Tennessee congressional candidate was caught with cannabis — and refuses to apologize.

Internationally, Australia’s New South Wales may extend medical cannabis to non-terminally ill patients, Vancouver, B.C., just issued its first marijuana business license, and Macedonia could start allowing medical marijuana in pharmacies by the end of the month!

U.S. News Updates


The Alaska Marijuana Control Board has released draft regulations for cannabis consumption in the state’s soon-to-be-licensed retail cannabis shops. Customers will be able to purchase up to one gram of cannabis, edibles containing up to 10 mg of THC, and up to a quarter-gram of cannabis concentrates for on-site consumption. The regulations include stipulations that there be security, ventilation, and separation between the retail purchasing area and the area for consumption. The regulations also allow consumption of food and beverages not containing cannabis, which could open the door for cafes and eateries to join the cannabis industry (or vice versa).

The Marijuana Control Board began accepting applications on Feb. 24, with the intent to begin handing out licenses within 90 days. The latest target to begin issuing licenses is June 9, but the process may take more time in Anchorage, which requires special land-use permits and local licenses.


The group hoping for a legalization bid is facing a June 1 deadline to submit the 252,523 signatures needed to qualify for the November ballot. MILegalize has already gathered more than 300,000 signatures. They’re hoping to submit a total of 350,000 before the deadline. Extra signatures are crucial, as a portion of signatures in any petition drive are inevitably disqualified. Maine’s legalization efforts were nearly thwarted when more than 20,000 signatures were nixed due to a signature discrepancy. The next few weeks will be important for Michigan’s chances at full legalization. If you’d like to show your support, you can find the nearest MILegalize petition locations here.


A new tweak to Ohio’s medical marijuana bill would allow qualified patients to use cannabis from other states during the implementation process. The Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee made several changes to House Bill 523 that would spur the timeline forward and encourage patient participation. The committee moved the program from the Department of Commerce to the state Pharmacy Board, which would begin licensing cultivators six months earlier than previously anticipated. Unfortunately, the bill still contains a clause that would allow employers to maintain drug-testing programs and fire workers who fail, even employees are registered under state law.

In an effort to avoid a monopoly (one of the complaints about the ResponsibleOhio amendment last election cycle), there is a requirement that minority businesses owners receive 15 percent of all cannabis business licenses. “It’s not an intent to have a monopoly,” said Sen. Dave Burke (R-Marysville), “but to have a market of equity and equal participation.”


Oklahomans for Health held a rally for medical marijuana support last week and are launching a petition drive to gather signatures. May 14 was the first day the group could begin collecting signatures to gain a spot on the November ballot. Oklahomans for Health will have 90 days to collect the needed 65,987 signatures for the initiative to make the cut. If you’d like to see medical cannabis come to Oklahoma, you can find petition locations here.

In the meantime, Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill to expand the medically supervised use of cannabidiol for patients who experience epileptic seizures. The previous law allowed only children under 18 to access the medicine. The new law removes the age restriction.


East Tennessee Democrat Florence “Flo” Matheson is running for a seat in the 6th Congressional District, but she could face criminal charges after a cannabis growing operation was found in a barn on her property. Matheson maintains she was unaware of the growing operation and says the 180 plants belong to Stephen Harrington, a disabled veteran and tenant in her home. Matheson admitted to possessing two ounces of cannabis for personal medical use but refused to back down from her congressional bid, telling media that the incident would motivate her to “work even harder now” for decriminalization in Tennessee.

International News Updates


Premier Mike Baird announced that the state of New South Wales has submitted an application to grow medicinal marijuana under the new licensing infrastructure being put in place by the federal government. Trials are already under way in New South Wales, and the state is hoping to get one of the first licenses available for cultivation to ensure a steady supply for the trials. The trials are currently limited to individuals suffering from epilepsy, undergoing chemotherapy, or diagnosed with terminal illnesses. However, Baird recently revealed that the state government is considering expanding medical marijuana to non-terminal patients. Baird addressed attendees of the Medicinal Cannabis Symposium in Western Sydney by saying, “I can assure you with everything I have, and every resource in government, we are doing everything we can to move as quickly as we can.”


Vancouver just issued its first business license to a marijuana dispensary as the city begins the enforcement of municipal bylaws aimed at regulating cannabis businesses. The Wealth Shop was granted a license to operate in the Point Grey neighborhood, near the University of British Columbia. For-profit stores that are awarded a license must pay an annual licensing fee of $30,000 (or $1,000 if the shop operates as a non-profit “compassion club”). Since the bylaws have been enforced, 30 shops have closed and 139 have been issued tickets for remaining open without a license. Unfortunately, even storefronts operating within the bounds of the bylaws put themselves at risk by operating, as any cannabis sold in stores is technically illegal because it is produced through individual patient production licenses and not businesses.


Macedonian Health Minister Nikola Todorov announced that medical cannabis will soon be available in pharmacies. New amendments to the Law on Control of Drugs and Psychotropic Substances legalized the use and possession of cannabis products for patients suffering from serious illnesses, such as malignant diseases, multiple sclerosis, HIV, and childhood epilepsy. The Macedonian Health Ministry and the Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices are planning to invite foreign experts to help train pharmacists and medical specialists on the safe and effective uses of cannabis. Medical cannabis products are expected to be available on the market by the end of May this year.

Hope you’re all having a fantastic week!

The Shake: Alaska’s VIP Bags Raise Hackles, Reefer Madness Meets Fargo, and the Clash of the Cannabis Titans

Tongues wag over swag bags in Alaska. Last weekend’s cannabis hot spot was the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage, which hosted the Northwest Cannabis Classic trade show for the second—and possibly last—time. Alaska is famously legal, of course. Adults may possess and gift up to one ounce of cannabis. But that doesn’t mean local authorities have to like it. Last year the Anchorage Assembly prohibited cannabis giveaways inside municipal buildings during trade shows, a measure aimed directly at the Cannabis Classic. This year’s show, which took place over the weekend, saw Anchorage Police patrolling the Dena’ina to keep the air clear and the edibles unmedicated.

Any trouble? Just a house manager irritated by swag bags. A $299 VIP ticket got you a gift bag with party passes, breakfast and dinner tickets, and a few samples of actual cannabis. “They can’t do that,” said Steve Medina, the Dena’ina Center operations manager. But show organizer Cory Wray said it was all legal and by-the-book. “If Dena’ina wants to sue me because I broke their contract, then that’s up to Dena’ina,” Wray said. Anchorage Dispatch News has the full story. Extra tip o’ the cap to Radical Russ Belville, who kept us entertained all weekend with his live tweets from the show.

California and Canada battle over cannabis supremacy. Everybody wants to be the Napa Valley of cannabis. Canada thinks it’s got a shot. California laughs at the notion. The Guardian makes the case for the Great White North, while the Los Angeles Times shows why California remains the once and future king.

Maine hosts impaired driving summit today. On the heels of its groundbreaking report on cannabis and impaired driving — which concluded that science doesn’t support impairment charges based on THC blood levels—the AAA hosts an impaired-driving summit in Maine, which will vote on cannabis legalization in November.

Cannabis comes to West Virginia. But not in the way you’re thinking. For the first time in 70 years, cannabis will be planted legally in West Virginia, in the form of hemp. West Virginia University researchers will sow the hearty fiber as part of a project to investigate the plant’s ability to remove contaminants from the soil.

Legalization fights racism but doesn’t end it. It’s a point we’ve made before, and others have rightly highlighted. The London-based Independent carries the news overseas.

Speaking of which… Prohibiting people with criminal records from receiving cannabis licenses is an ongoing problem that extends the racism inherent in the drug war. Now California is considering an initiative that would end this barrier to market entry. The Christian Science Monitor has the story.

Prohibitionists emerge in Florida. The Vote No on 2 campaign announced itself earlier this morning by releasing a video alleging the state’s proposed medical marijuana amendment would lead to the opening of dispensaries. “Looks like Amendment 2 is still a scam to legalize pot,” the ad says. Interesting side note: Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who gave $5.5 million to defeat the MMJ measure in 2014, is now a leading contributor to the Donald Trump campaign, which raises questions about his financial commitment to Florida’s 2016 cannabis race.

Relax, Fargo, it’s not marijuana. An alert dog walker in North Dakota’s glamour capital spotted what he thought might be a sprig of cannabis peeking through the soil. Alarmed, he called the cops. They checked it out. Turned out it was just a tree putting up shoots. You betcha.

And finally… USA Today is on the case when it comes to cannabis moving beyond the borders of Colorado. But it appears that they missed the larger story here, which is Colorado’s clandestine takeover of its northern neighbor, Wyoming. Never bury the lead, folks.

Image Source: USA Today (since updated)

Alaska: Proposed Cannabis Café Rules Now Available For Comment

I received the following alert out of Alaska: Thanks to pressure from advocates and the public, Alaska will become the first state to allow regulated cannabis cafés later this year! The Marijuana Control Board recently published proposed rules governing the cafés and is accepting public comments. We encourage you tocheck out the rules and weigh

Alaska to Weigh Rules for On-Site Consumption at Retail Stores

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Marijuana regulators in Alaska plan to consider rules this week for consuming marijuana products at authorized retail cannabis stores — a first among states that have legalized adult use.

Late last year, the Marijuana Control Board voted to allow people to use marijuana at certain stores that will sell it. But rules surrounding in-store use still need to be ironed out.

No licenses have been issued yet.

At its meeting in Anchorage on Wednesday, the board plans to consider three sets of proposed rules for onsite consumption. Whatever is settled on is expected to be put out for public comment.

Board staff, board chair Bruce Schulte and board member Peter Mlynarik each proposed a set of draft rules to be discussed. Schulte said each is conservative in its approach and it will be up to the board to pull something together from the proposals.

All three call for separation between consumption and non-consumption areas, with varying details for how that would look. Two, for example, propose a separation by a securable door.

Differences between the drafts crop up in areas such as quantities and whether to allow for marijuana purchased for in-store use to be taken off site if not fully consumed.

Schulte said he expects some discussion Wednesday about the timeline for approval of applications. He said concerns have been raised about the schedule.

The board began accepting applications in February. A tentative timeline has suggested the first licenses for cultivation and testing could be approved in June, with the first retail and product manufacturing facility licenses approved later in the year.

State lawmakers last week approved legislation allowing for national criminal history checks for license applicants. That bill will go to Gov. Bill Walker for consideration. Cynthia Franklin, director of the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office, said the impact of waiting for that language has been “very minimal to none” because few applications have gotten to that point.

One of her more immediate concerns is the level of office staffing to handle the workload. She said the office doesn’t have enough staff and the idea of doing more with less is a fallacy.

“You cannot have a highly regulated industry where people are carefully examining documents and then skimp on the number of people that are available to do that and have the expectation that that is going to have no effect on the time that it takes to process the application,” she said.

Alaska Passes Law to Peek into Retailers’ Pasts

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Legislature passed a bill Friday allowing national criminal history checks on people applying for licenses to open legal marijuana businesses.

The provisions, sought by marijuana regulators, were tucked into a broader bill dealing with state alcohol laws that had gotten tangled up in the Senate after the House attached provisions related to the Board of Barbers and Hairdressers.

The Marijuana Control Board has begun accepting business license applications. State law prohibits the issuance of licenses to individuals who have had felony convictions within five years of their application or are on probation or parole for that felony.

The House tweak caused the bill to stall in the Senate early Monday during the final throes of a marathon floor session. At the time, the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Peter Micciche, suggested there could be an issue with attaching the Board of Barbers and Hairdressers’ provisions to it.

On the Senate floor Friday, Micciche, R-Soldotna, said he spent some time with legislative counsel evaluating whether the add-on would compromise the bill. The conclusion was that the House change was unlikely to do so, he said.

The underlying bill addresses the makeup of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, so adding another board to the bill appeared to be OK, he said in an interview. With the Senate’s actions Friday, the bill passed the Legislature and now goes to Gov. Bill Walker for consideration.

Background check provisions for marijuana business applicants also were included in a Senate rewrite of a marijuana bill on which House and Senate negotiators so far have been unable to reach a compromise. The main sticking point has been a proposal to bar legal marijuana operations in unincorporated areas outside organized boroughs but allow communities in those areas to hold local elections to allow cannabis businesses.

Anti-Smoking Bill Would Kill Alaska Cannabis Cafés

I received the following message out of Alaska: A bill designed to protect Alaskans from the harmful effects of tobacco smoke is being hijacked as a way to shut down cannabis cafés before they are given a chance. If SB 1 passes in its current form, adult consumers would once again be limited to consumption

Cannabis Classic Alaska VIP Passes Available Now

For those that are in the area, I received the following press release. I won’t be at the event, but I hope to visit Alaska someday to check out the scene! I know others that have been to the NW Cannabis Classic events, and had great things to say: Designed for the cannabis enthusiast looking

State of the Leaf: Montana Dispensaries Going Dark, Alaska Considers Punishing Villages, and Jamaica Readies for License Applicants

Major changes are afoot! Alaska wants to regulate retail cannabis shops by jurisdiction, and Idaho and Utah have hit speedbumps in their fight to legalize medical cannabis. Montana’s medical program could be in serious jeopardy, and West Virginia has found an unlikely new advocate for cannabis. On the international scene, Jamaica is accepting applications for cultivators, and the U.K.’s Liberal Democrats are calling for nationwide legalization.

Here’s the news you need to know:

U.S. News Updates


Alaska’s retail cannabis market is slowly coming into focus. The Alaska Marijuana Commission is now accepting applications to enter the retail market, and jurisdictions, which in Alaska have the power to set local rules, are enacting business regulations. Many small communities, which are plentiful in the rugged Alaskan landscape, are waiting to see how bigger cities, like Anchorage and Fairbanks, regulate the burgeoning industry. Recently introduced legislation, House Bill 75, would ban cannabis businesses in small communities and allow them only in larger cities.


A misinterpreted statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics is to blame for the latest snafu in Idaho. New Approach Idaho made the decision to pull its medical cannabis petition after scrutiny from the AAP and Idaho Office of Drug Policy Administrator Elisha Figueroa. A statement from the group clarified the oversight as a misunderstanding, not the deliberate manipulation that Figueroa suggested.


A Montana Supreme Court ruling could spell disaster for dispensaries. The court upheld a 2011 law that limits dispensaries to just three patients each. The same law limits individual doctors to providing medical cannabis recommendations to no more than 25 patients — going over triggers a state review. All Montana dispensaries will be affected by the ruling, and the majority of access points are likely to close. There currently are more than 13,000 patients and more than 30 dispensaries that will be affected. Enforcement of the ruling will begin March 11, and patients still have the right to possess up to an ounce of cannabis and to grow up to four plants.


The Campaign to Regulate Like Alcohol in Massachusetts held a public hearing this week for H.3932, or the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act. The measure faces major opposition, most notably from Gov. Charlie Baker and House Speaker Robert DeLeo. The initiative could still move forward despite their opposition, however, as the campaign needs only 10,792 signatures by early July to qualify for the November ballot. In the meantime, the state Senate seems to have accepted legalization as inevitable, having released a comprehensive report studying the effects of legalization in Colorado and Washington and comparing those state’s laws to Massachusetts’ proposed initiative.


Bad news for Utah. The state’s most comprehensive effort to legalize medical cannabis has all but died in the legislature. Senate Bill 73, sponsored by Senator Mark Madsen (R-Saratoga Springs), did not gain enough support to move forward. Madsen was upset, as this isn’t the first time he’s introduced MMJ legislation in the state. He accused House leaders of deliberately sending his bill to a committee full of opponents, which spelled the legislation’s demise. Following the defeat, Madsen announced that this will be his last attempt to legalize marijuana in Utah. He told his colleagues that he will not seek re-election and instead he will be moving, along with his family, to South America due to a desire for “more freedom.”


The window to apply for a retail cannabis permit in the state of Washington is closing. The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board announced that they will be ending the application period on March 31 at 5 p.m. So far the board has processed 162 so-called Priority 1 applications, 63 Priority 2 applications, and 879 Priority 3 applications. Twenty-nine communities in the state have already closed their application periods after licensing the maximum allotted number of stores. There are 222 new retail licenses available in addition to the 334 licenses already issued. If you haven’t already submitted an application for consideration, apply now before it’s too late.

West Virginia

West Virginia gained an unusual new cannabis supporter in the House of Delegates. Delegate Bill Flanigan (R-Monangalia) went before his colleagues this week to speak out against House Bill 4576, which would increase the penalties for bringing drugs into the state. Flanigan, visibly nervous, told the story of his recent cancer diagnosis: the pain and nausea, the medications that he’d been prescribed, and the struggle he underwent. During his treatment, a “very dear loved one” brought him chocolate chip cookies infused with cannabis, presumably illegally transported to the state. The cookies changed his entire experience, the lawmaker said, helping him manage his pain and nausea without relying on the heavy narcotics he’d been prescribed. Flanigan’s speech was unplanned and emotional, and it had an immediate effect on colleagues. Delegate Mike Caputo (D-Marion) moved to table the bill, and 59 delegates agreed to set the bill aside.

International News Updates


The Cannabis Licensing Authority of Jamaica will be ready to accept applications for “ganja licences” starting April 4. The approved regulations specify 11 different types of licenses available under five main categories: cultivation, transportation, processing, retailing, and research and development. The regulations were revised as an amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act (DDA) and make special provisions to accommodate small famers and cooperatives. The licensing fees have also been waived for small growers to encourage participation. The next step will be a series of town hall meetings to hear publiic comments building infrastructure for the newly legal industry.

United Kingdom

The Liberal Democrats are calling for the legalization cannabis. The party has endorsed a new study that calls for the sales of cannabis to anyone 18 or over through licensed specialty stores and social clubs. The study also calls for home cultivation rights and a new regulatory agency to oversee the licensing and implementation process. The report, authored by former Chief Drugs Advisor Sir David Nutt and Mike Barton, estimates that the industry could produce between £500 million and £1 billion annually through taxes and licensing fees. Cannabis is currently scheduled as a Class B drug in the U.K., with penalties of up to five years in prison and an unlimited fine for possession.

US AK: OPED: Cannabis Clubs Provide A Valuable Service

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 09 Feb 2016 – Cannabis clubs have been in the news a lot, from the front page of the News-Miner to the top news story on TV to the community perspectives on the opinion page. It is a new industry, and the new business is causing some concern and trepidation. But very little has been said about why Fairbanks needs a cannabis club, and what such a business has to offer. AS 17.38, passed by the majority of Alaska voters, legalized recreational marijuana use and possession and set out guidelines for how much a person can grow at home and posses in public.

Alaska to Become the First State With Legal Cannabis Cafés

Alaska is poised to become the first U.S. state to allow cannabis consumption in businesses open to the public. The Alaska Marijuana Board has been hard at work drafting regulations, and cafés could become part of Alaska’s cannabis culture as soon as this summer.

Clubs for medical patients in Alaska have existed in a legal gray area for some time and began springing up after the state legalized medical marijuana in 1998. The medical rules were ambiguous, and combined with a lack of regulatory oversight allowed social clubs with onsite consumption to fly under the radar. They operate in a sort of loophole: Patients in Alaska are allowed to grow cannabis and consume it in private, which proponents say allows for clubs open only to members, not the public.

Law enforcement and other authorities allowed the clubs to exist presumably because the state never established a clear system for medical dispensaries. As a result, patients were stuck between growing their own cannabis or resorting to the black market.

But with the Last Frontier’s legalization of recreational cannabis, things are about to change. Before long, consumption in Alaska could look a lot more like the coffeeshops of Amsterdam.

One important distinction is that the proposal as it currently stands will allow only cannabis-infused edibles to be consumed on site. The Alaska Marijuana Board, which will have ultimate authority over the cafés, is still debating whether the establishments will be able actually to sell cannabis edibles or whether consumers will have to bring their own.

In addition, municipalities will still have the option to ban cannabis businesses, and Anchorage is already seeing problems on the horizon. Anchorage has a ban on public consumption, which means retailers that might otherwise be licensed for onsite consumption could face bureaucratic red tape in trying to open a business within the city limits.

The state’s legalization initiative technically forbids public consumption, too, but it doesn’t define what constitutes a public place.

Potential legal battles aside, this announcement bodes well for the future of cannabis in the Land of the Midnight Sun. The state board is slated to begin accepting applications for cannabis business licenses on Feb. 24 and is expected to start issuing licenses in late May.

Alaska’s Draft Recreational Cannabis Need Public Comment Now!

By Lindsey Rinehart Alaskan’s are anxiously waiting for their recreational market to begin licensing in February of 2016. Once approved, recreational cannabis sales will begin as early as May 2016, but first the rules need finalized. Often when rules are being formed, there is a medical cannabis program to balance with, but this is not

Alaska Senate Kills Proposed Ban on Concentrates

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In a decisive 14-6 decision on Monday, Alaska senators voted down an ill-advised amendment that would have banned extracts, edibles, and concentrates in 2017.

During yesterday’s debate, our opponents continued to insist that voters did not know what they were Over the weekend, hundreds of supporters called and emailed their elected officials, and their voices were heard loud and clear.

Without licensed and regulated businesses producing marijuana extracts and edibles, the criminal market would continue to thrive. Without tested and clearly packaged concentrates, patients would suffer. Senators finally got the message. Your respectful and articulate comments changed minds.

But we still have a lot of work ahead of us. SB 30 now heads to the Alaska House of Representatives, where it will undergo another series of committee hearings. Stay tuned for further updates, and we’ll let you know when your voice is needed.

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The Sky Hasn’t Fallen in Alaska

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Marijuana as the legalization initiative approved by voters in November took effect on February 24. As we (and state lawmakers) expected, the sky did not fall in The Last Frontier, which is now the third state in the nation to allow adult marijuana use.

Under Ballot Measure 2, it is legal for 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, grow up to six marijuana plants in their homes, and possess the yield of those plants in the location where it was grown. It also creates a system of regulated marijuana cultivation and sales — which the state legislature is currently in the process of developing — that will allow for licensed businesses to sell marijuana to adults.

The Marijuana Policy Project was the largest backer of the campaign in support of Ballot Measure 2, and we are now working with state and local activists, organizations, and officials to implement the best possible regulatory system. MPP also used “legalization day” as an opportunity to introduce its Consume Responsibly campaign to Alaska. The initial effort entailed ads on the side of city buses in Anchorage reminding adult marijuana consumers that, “With great marijuana laws comes great responsibility.”

KTUU reports:

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Marijuana Legal In Alaska Today!

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Marijuana is officially legal in Alaska today!

Ballot Measure 2, which was approved by 53% of Alaska voters in November, allows adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, grow up to six marijuana plants in their homes, and possess the yield of those plants in the location where it was grown. It will remain illegal to use marijuana in public.

Proponents of Ballot Measure 2 held a news conference in Anchorage today to discuss the implementation of the law, as well as the

The post Marijuana Legal In Alaska Today! appeared first on MPP Blog.

Alaska Legalization Law Takes Effect

Legislation enacted by voters in November legalizing the personal use and cultivation of marijuana takes effect today.

Fifty-three percent of Alaska voters approved Ballot Measure 2 on Election Day, permitting those over the age of 21 to lawfully possess up to one ounce of marijuana and/or to grow up to six marijuana plants (no more than three mature) for non-commercial purposes. Sharing or gifting personal use quantities of marijuana is also permitted under the new law; however the consumption of cannabis in public remains an offense.

Lawmakers will now begin the process of establishing licensing requirements for those who wish to commercially produce cannabis and/or engage in the plant’s retail sale. State regulators have up to nine months to enact rules to govern these commercial entities and are expected to begin granting operator permits by February 2016.

Since 1975, Alaskans have enjoyed personal privacy protections allowing for the possession and cultivation of unspecified quantities of cannabis in one’s home. However, state lawmakers had never before codified these protections into law or permitted a legal market for marijuana production and sales.

Alaska is the third state – following Colorado and Washington – to legalize the personal possession of marijuana by adults and to license the plant’s retail production and sales. Oregon voters in November approved similar legislation (Measure 91), which is scheduled to go into effect later this year.

Tuesday: Alaska Marijuana Legalization Law Takes Effect

Tomorrow will mark a major step forward in the implementation of Alaska’s marijuana legalization law, as personal cultivation, possession, and consumption become legal. Last November, Alaskans voted 53-47% in favor of marijuana legalization, making it the first “red” state to pass such a law.

“First Colorado and Washington, now Alaska and Oregon – and all with levels of support higher than the winning candidates for governor and U.S. Senate achieved in those states,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “Legalizing marijuana just makes sense now to voters across the political spectrum and – as we’ll likely see in 2016 – across the country.”

Starting tomorrow, it will be legal for someone 21 years of age or over to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, grow up to six marijuana plants in their homes (provided that only three of them are mature at any time), and to share up to 1 ounce of marijuana with someone 21 or over and give them up to six immature marijuana plants. Private consumption will be completely legal for those 21 and over, though public consumption remains illegal.

Commercial marijuana businesses that grow, process, bake, or sell marijuana products won’t be able to legally operate until spring or summer of 2016. In January, the Alaska legislature began working to bring existing criminal statutes into line with the voter initiative. Tuesday marks the beginning of a nine-month rulemaking process during which the regulations for marijuana businesses will be developed and refined. Under the provisions of the voter initiative, the state is expected to begin accepting applications for operating permits by February 2016, a full year from now. This timeline was clearly defined in the voter initiative and, so far, the process is on schedule.

Alaska’s new law is expected to increase law enforcement resources available to focus on dangerous and violent crime. Once retail sales begin next year, the law is also expected to bolster the state’s economy by creating jobs and generating new revenue, as marijuana sales will be conducted by legitimate, tax-paying businesses that test their products and require proof of age.

November’s election solidified drug policy reform’s place as a mainstream political issue, as voters across the country accelerated the unprecedented momentum to legalize marijuana and end the wider drug war. Marijuana legalization measures passed in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, D.C., while groundbreaking criminal justice reforms passed in California and New Jersey. These successes are boosting efforts already underway in California, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, Maine, Nevada, Arizona and elsewhere to end marijuana prohibition.

Date Published: February 23, 2015
Published by Drug Policy Alliance

ALASKA RESIDENTS: North Star Borough Officials To Consider Marijuana Regulations TODAY

On Nov. 4, 53% of Alaska voters approved Measure 2 to legalize and regulate the cultivation, possession, and sale of marijuana in Alaska. Tomorrow, the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly, City of Fairbanks, and City of North Pole city councils will hold a special public forum to discuss potential marijuana regulations at the local level.

Local governments have authority under Measure 2 to impose reasonable regulations, such as limitations on business hours and zoning. If you are a Fairbanks North Star area resident, please let your local elected representatives know you appreciate them taking this …read more

Marijuana is Now Legal in Alaska, Oregon, South Portland, Maine, and the Nation’s Capital

Voters in two states, the fourth largest city in Maine, and the nation’s capital approved ballot measures to end marijuana prohibition and implement more sensible marijuana policies, capping off a

Alaska and Oregon are now the third and fourth states to regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol, following Colorado and Washington. As of early this morning, Oregon’s Measure 91 led 54-46 with 75% of the votes counted. Alaska’s Ballot Measure 2 led 52-48 with 97% of the state’s precincts reporting.

Voters in South Portland, Maine approved Question 2 52-48 as well, making it the second East Coast city to …read more

Alaska Becomes the Fourth State to Legalize Marijuana


Alaska voters approved Measure 2, to legalize and regulate marijuana, with 52% voting in favor (94% of the total vote counted as of writing). The state now joins Oregon and the District of Columbia in legalizing marijuana this election.

“This victory in Alaska is the coda to a perfect evening for marijuana legalization supporters,” stated NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri, “In a year where Republicans swept many state and local races, marijuana reform brought voters of both parties together in their support for ending marijuana prohibition. Lawmakers in Congress should recognize that a majority of Americans are ready to see marijuana …read more

Legal Marijuana In Alaska Could Generate a Multi-Million Dollar Industry

The state of Alaska stands to gain $23 million in annual tax revenues from a fully legal marijuana market, according to a report released this week by the Marijuana Policy Group — a research organization that does not take a stance on issues associated with making marijuana legal.

The report estimates that the total sales from a legal marijuana market would generate $56 million in 2016 and would climb to $107 million in 2020, if Alaska’s resident voters approve Measure 2 on the ballot next week.

The report was conducted by the same non-partisan group of academics and private …read more

The Vote to Make Marijuana Legal in Alaska and Oregon Only a Week Away

The Alaska and Oregon ballot initiatives to make marijuana legal in both states will be voted on a week from today. With the important election just another week away, here is an overview of the existing and pending legislation in each state:

In Alaska, laws eliminating criminal penalties and replacing them with civil penalties already exist for the possession of up to four ounces of marijuana. Moreover, the state has already implemented a medical marijuana program. In the upcoming election, the state will vote on Measure 2, which would establish a recreational marijuana market that would allow marijuana to …read more

Great Uncertainty Ahead of Alaska Measure 2 Vote

In what may be the most difficult ballot initiative to evaluate in advance of the upcoming mid-term elections, the voters in Alaska will decide on November 4 whether to approve full marijuana legalization for all adults, including retail sales.

For most of us, Alaska, the largest state in the Union by area, and the least densely populated, is an exotic location, far removed from the Lower 48 both geographically and culturally. The largest city, Anchorage, has a population of only 292,000, and the second largest, Fairbanks, has only 32,000 residents. The Alaska territory was purchased from Russia in 1867 and only …read more

NY Times Comes Out Strong for Marijuana Legalization in D.C., Oregon and Alaska

After making history this summer by becoming the first national paper to call for marijuana legalization, the New York Times doubled down today with their strong editorial in support of the marijuana legalization initiatives on the ballot in D.C., Oregon and Alaska. Marijuana reform and mass incarceration are taking center stage in 2014’s election as public opinion has shifted dramatically over the last decade against the failed drug war.

When the Times came out for legalization in August, what made the news so huge was not only their position, but the passion and space they gave to the issue. In …read more

Alaska, Oregon, and the District of Columbia Next to Decide Marijuana Ballot Measures

According to a New York Times editorial, this November, voters in Alaska, Oregon, and the District of Columbia will decide whether to make recreational marijuana legal and regulated — effectively disregarding the misguided federal ban on a substance that is far less dangerous than alcohol.

Alaska’s Ballot Measure 2 would make the use and purchase of marijuana legal for those 21 and older, create a marijuana control board and tax the drug at $50 per ounce wholesale. It is already legal for Alaskans to possess small amounts of marijuana in their homes, and surveys indicate that 18 percent …read more

Alaska Coalition of Parents Forms in Support of Measure 2

The Alaska Dispatch News reports that a group of more than two-dozen concerned parents from across Alaska have formed a coalition in support of Ballot Measure 2, the statewide initiative on the November ballot to regulate marijuana like alcohol. They believe that regulating marijuana like alcohol will be a more effective means of keeping it out of the hands of their children, noting that marijuana prohibition has failed to prevent teens from accessing marijuana, and illegal dealers are not limiting their sales to adults over 21.

The chair of Parents for Ballot Measure 2, Kim Kole, an Anchorage high …read more