LAW

WELCOME TO LEGAL ALASKA WEED

Recreational weed has arrived in Alaska and Retail stores are open!  Click through the links to explore your options.

Here’s some other important information worth knowing while in the Last Frontier.

Alaska has a long history with legal weed. How did legal alaska weed come to be? Here’s the history of legal weed in Alaska:

It may seem weird that Alaska is one of the first states to legalize weed, but really, the Last Frontier has been ahead of other states when it comes to ending Prohibition. Well before becoming the 49th state in 1959, Alaska has been home to people who valued individualism and their right to privacy, and this has extended to weed use, even before legalization in 2014.In fact, the Alaska Supreme Court (Ravin vs. Alaska) allowed for personal possession of up to 4 ounces of weed as far back as 1975.

Alaska is the birthplace of one of the most prized strains in the world. You’ve probably heard of it;  Matanuska Thunderfuck, which is possibly one reason that adults in Alaska smoke more weed– way more, actually – than in any other state.

Marijuana Law Milestones
  • 1972: The Alaska legislature amends the state constitution to guarantee individuals’ rights to privacy.
    • Additionally, Irwin Ravin, a criminal-defense attorney from Homer, Alaska, is arrested for possession of a small amount of marijuana. Ravin intended to challenge weed’s illegality in the face of the new constitutional amendment. Learn more about Ravin in this Atlantic cartoon.
  • 1975: Ravin’s case goes all the way to the Alaska Supreme Court.
    • The Supreme Court rules that citizens’ right to privacy outweighs laws against weed, and so possession of weed for personal consumption in the home is legalized.
    • Alaskan adults can now possess up to 1 ounce of weedin their homes for home use.
  • 1982: Possession of up to 4 ounces in the home for personal use is legalized in Alaska.
  • 1990: An initiative is passed that criminalizes all possession of marijuana.
  • 1998: Alaska voters legalize medical marijuana.
  • 2000: A ballot measure decriminalizing marijuana fails at the polls.
  • 2004: Another decriminalization measure doesn’t get enough votes.
  • 2006: The state attorney general announces he won’t enforce criminal possession of up to 4 ounces, and the governor downgrades possession of 1-4 ounces to a misdemeanor.
  • November 4, 2014: Ballot Measure 2 is approved in Alaska by a 52-48% vote. Measure 2 legalizes weed for recreational use by adults.
    • We’ll explain the ins and outs of the law later, but basically:
      • Measure 2 legalizes the possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and over, and
      • Creates a legal recreational industry overseen by the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.
  • February 24, 2015: Legalization becomes official in Alaska. It is legal for adults over the age of 21 to possess and consume weed.

For an in-depth look at Alaska marijuana milestones, see this timeline by Alaska Dispatch News.