Pubdate: Tue, 31 Oct 2000
Source: Anchorage Daily News (AK)
Copyright: 2000 The Anchorage Daily News
Author: Jolene Brown


Certain provisions of Proposition 5, 99HEMP, are causing much angst 
and wringing of hands. Of particular concern are those provisions 
calling for amnesty, discussion of restitution and an 18-year age of 

Please consider the following: Proposition 5 is a citizen initiative. 
Under Alaska law, once the voters pass an initiative the Legislature 
has about three months to amend it before it becomes law. The 
Legislature can and will eliminate many of the more progressive and 
controversial measures. If you're concerned this law goes too far, 
don't be. By the time the Legislature gets done with it, the actual 
law will probably not go far enough. Just check out what happened to 
97PSDM, the 1998 initiative allowing the medical use of marijuana. 
Although it passed with more than 58 percent of the vote, the law 
that went into effect was barely recognizable.

The vocal opponents of Proposition 5 would like you to believe that 
an initiative, once passed, becomes law. Scare campaigns focus on 
details that will not exist in the final law. Please don't be 
distracted. The central issue is this: If you live in Alaska, someone 
you love is a responsible user of marijuana. Do you believe that he 
or she should go to jail for that choice? If the answer is no, please 
vote yes on 5.
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