Alaska’s marijuana laws are different from those in other states. It is legal to possess up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use, and you can possess up to four ounces for personal use in your own home. But, beyond this, possessing marijuana is still a crime in Alaska. The Alaska Statutes establish separate offenses for sale, delivery, cultivation, and driving under the influence of marijuana as well, and these crimes carry severe penalties. If you have been charged with any type of marijuana crime, you need to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense lawyer promptly.
What is Legal in Alaska?
While it is legal to possess a small amount of marijuana for personal use, there are still many marijuana crimes on the books in Alaska. Many of these crimes are felony offenses that carry the potential for multiple years of imprisonment and tens of thousands of dollars in fines. In Alaska, marijuana crimes include:
What is Illegal in Alaska?
In addition to these crimes, it is also illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana in Alaska. Under Section 28.35.030 of the Alaska Statutes, driving under the influence of marijuana (or any other controlled substance) is subject to the same penalties as driving under the influence of alcohol. These penalties are determined based upon the defendant’s prior record (if any):
Skagway voted 75 per cent in favour of legalization. After the state enacted legislation, it was up to individual municipalities to decide whether they would to grant licences for things like recreational pot shops and grow-ops.
One of the biggest changes Briody and Metz have noticed since legalization is the openness of the community to talking about cannabis.
'Positive changes in culture'
Remedy Shoppe owner Tara Bass said her business has no specific clientele. She says she sees everyone from elderly women to middle-aged businessmen in her shop.
Federal banking regulations prevent U.S. banks from knowingly working with marijuana businesses, forcing all cannabis operations in Alaska to deal strictly in cash in order to operate.
'Alaskans love their weed, so there is definitely a demand for it,' says the owner of a Skagway grow-op
In March, Alaska collected $1.1 million in state cannabis taxes. Monthly state taxes are expected to stay well into the millions, according to Alaska Department of Labour. Marijuana is taxed at $50 an ounce when being transferred or sold between cultivators and retail shops.