Is Alaska The Next Legal State?
With the pioneers in Colorado and Washington, people have really been wondering who will be next in the list of states that allow recreational marijuana. While a lot of people are pointing towards states like Oregon or perhaps California, Alaska is working diligently to bring recreational cannabis to it's citizen. And while Alaska may be a bit out of the way, that doesn't mean that they won't be a hotspot for cannabis tourism.
Alaska was actually supposed to vote on the subject next month in August but the vote has been pushed back to November. The reason for the pushback? The August election will be a state primary election while the November one will be a general election. According to history, these general elections have a greater voter turnout and it is highly anticipated that the state will pass the legal cannabis ruling.
The campaign to get people to vote for the plant is a simple one that provides what people need; information. The Alaskan Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol aims to argue that the legalization of the plant will boost the economy of Alaska, where life is tough for a lot since the state is so barren and cold, not to mention the issues that are discovered with drinking in this state. Not only that but a booming cannabis tourism industry will bring in new people, new money, and create new jobs for the people who already live there. Legal cannabis in Alaska would follow the same basic model as Colorado and Washington, where adults 21 and older would be able to purchase cannabis simply by showing their ID, much like tobacco or alcohol. This change would allow law officials to as always, deal with real problems that need attention and no longer target non-violent stoners.
Although the bill is backed strongly by numerous parties, there is always some sort of opposition. In the case of the Last Frontier State, Big Marijuana Big Mistake is a grassroots coalition dedicated to keeping the plant illegal in Alaska. The group states that this ballot would industrialize and commercialize marijuana and the other products associated with it, including edibles and concentrates. BMBM uses the fear of edibles and concentrates that has been instilled since reports started surfacing that people were dying due to over ingestion of marijuana edibles. However, both incidents of the deaths haven't been directly linked to marijuana and could have been caused by underlying problems. The group also goes on to state that corporations would take away local farmers business and cause problems with mass marketing and advertising. Unfortunately, we already live in a world that's full of media and marketing so it's unclear as to why the group would pick this as one of their main arguments.
The Wall Street Journal reports that not only does Alaska have legal cannabis in their plans but so does Oregon and the District of Colombia for this coming November. California, Vermont, and Nevada all plan to vote on cannabis legalization in 2016 and there are high expectations (haha) that the bills will pass in these states. So be sure to wish luck to those in Alaska and if you're located there, be sure that you get out and vote Yes On 2!
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