Pubdate: Tue, 11 Nov 2014
Source: Alaska Dispatch News (AK)
Copyright: 2014 Alaska Dispatch Publishing
Note: Anchorage Daily News until July '14
Author: Suzanna Caldwell

Weed Roundup


It's been almost a week since Alaskans approved ballot measure 2 
legalizing recreational marijuana in Alaska and no surprise: People 
are still talking about it. Here's a quick rundown of quick marijuana 
coverage happening in-state and nationally.

The Alaska Alcoholic Beverage Control Board released a short Q&A 
Monday outlining some of the major questions associated with 
marijuana legalization. Most of the questions deal with people 
looking to get business licenses -- appropriate, given that the ABC 
board or the marijuana control board (if the legislature decides to 
create it) will be in charge of regulating businesses. The most 
interesting question addressed is whether the board is keeping a list 
of businesses or individuals looking to get marijuana business 
licenses. Short answer?

It's not. The Q&A doesn't have answers to many of the questions, 
given the election hasn't even been certified yet. Expect that to 
happen by late November. From there, the initiative becomes law 90 
days after that date. By mid-February, the board should be able to 
begin drafting legislation addressing business licenses and be able 
to better outline how businesses will move forward.

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta was one of the few rural Alaska communities 
to oppose marijuana legalization. Big Marijuana. Big Mistake. Vote No 
on 2 chairman Mike Williams expressed disappointment in the vote 
according to KYUK-radio. In an interview, Williams said villages 
should look at what they can do at the local and tribal levels to 
regulate the substance.

The story also looks at whether or not marijuana could be transported 
down federal navigable waterways like the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers. 
Marijuana is still strictly illegal at the federal level and a U.S. 
Coast Guard spokesman told KYUK federal agents who encounter those in 
violation of the law will have the substance seized and or possiblly 
take individuals into custody.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported students in the Fairbanks 
North Star Borough School District overwhelmingly approved marijuana 
legalization during the Kids Vote exercise last week. Over 3,600 
students participated, with wildly contradictory results -- for 
example, students voted down the Bristol Bay Forever initiative, but 
approved U.S. House candidate Forrest Dunbar by over 400 votes. 
Reporter Weston Morrow found the marijuana vote the most interesting. 
Only 750 students received ballots with the marijuana initiative 
after there was controversy over whether or not to include the 
measure on the mock ballot.

Still, the marijuana measure passed, 63 percent to 37 percent.

The FiveThirtyEight blog noted that with legalization in Oregon, 
Alaska and Washington D.C. 17.6 million Americans now live in states 
where marijuana is fully legal.

In contrast, 141.8 million live in states where cannabis is complete 
illegal and fully criminalized.

In a look at local option laws, last week Gunnison, Colo. voters 
opted to allowed marijuana businesses in the community of about 5,800 
people according to the New York Times. Gunnison had previously opted 
out of allowing marijuana dispensaries (a provision of Colorado's 
ballot initiative, similar to Alaska) while nearby Crested Butte, 
Colo. seemingly prospered with a few dispensaries in place.

With the vote, the community will be able to tax and regulate 
recreational and medical marijuana sales.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom