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Published on April 23rd, 2015 | by News Feed

Alaska Adds More Marijuana Legislation

Marijuana is a hot topic around the country. Currently there are 23 states, plus D.C., that have legalized the medical use of marijuana. There are also 4 states, plus D.C. that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Perhaps this is why Alaska is continuing to add more and more legislation regarding the plant.

Saturday afternoon saw a flurry of action regarding marijuana. There were 2 pieces of legislation that were presented in congress. One bill is called the Marijuana Control Board while the other is known simply as house bill 75. This bill would seek to offer more understanding to local governments regarding the restrictions and regulations regarding marijuana.

House Bill 123 seeks to create a new bureaucracy known as the Marijuana Control Board. This bill passed 20-0. Sen. Lesil McGuire from Anchorage said the bill was a responsible step forward. The residents of Alaska wanted legalized marijuana but they also wanted to make sure public safety was not harmed.

This marijuana board will be made up of 5 members appointed by the governor. The board will operate under the auspices of the ABC board and they will share a director as well as staff.

Followers of this bill will also be quick to point out that there had previously been a line that held 1.57 million dollars. That line is no longer there since the money has been moved to a new part of the budget. The point of this money is to allow for more staff as well as more resources.

This bill still has one final vote to get through but the current mood in the capitol is that the bill will pass without much fanfare or problem. The 2nd marijuana bill failed to receive enough votes to pass. It fell in a 10-10 vote.

Members that failed to vote for this legislation are as follows; Sens. Mike Dunleavy, R-Wasilla; Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage; Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel; Charlie Huggins, R-Wasilla; Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks; Anna MacKinnon, R-Wasilla; Donny Olson, D-Golovin; Bert Stedman, R-Sitka; Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak; and Bill Stoltze, R-Chugiak.

House bill 75 would have helped clarify municipal processes for registering marijuana businesses as well as giving the local authorities the ability to set civil and criminal penalties. This bill would have also placed a limit on the number f plants a home could have at 24.




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