Alaska Marijuana Legalization Update

With all the negative media coverage that’s been heaped upon marijuana concentrates over the last few months, the Alaska Senate had a lengthy debate about it as part of an amendment introduced by state Sen. Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks. The amendment would have made marijuana concentrates illegal in two years. State Sen. Kelly stated that Alaskans voted to legalize “the leafy stuff” not forms of concentrates.

Kelly cited Colorado’s experience with concentrates, saying problems were mostly due to marijuana edibles. He gave a hypothetical example of going over to “weird uncle Eddie’s house,” where a marijuana cookie would be left out, and a child would eat the cookie.

“It is not a stretch to say that (children) will die” thanks to marijuana concentrates, Kelly said.

The amendment was voted down 14-6. The general consensus was that regulation was the best course to keep marijuana concentrate products safe and to protect children.

The amendment was introduced as part of a bill, SB30, which “addresses marijuana and Alaska’s criminal statutes” in light of voter approval of recreational marijuana in Alaska.  Bill SB30 passed by a vote of 17-3.  The bill now heads to the House for consideration.

Some of the significant items of the SB30 are noted below:

  • Marijuana continues as a controlled substance
  • Possession of 16 ounces or more, or 25 plants would be a felony
  • Giving marijuana to a person under 21 would be a misdemeanor
  • Definition of open marijuana container
  • Penalties for open containers of marijuana in a vehicle
  • Ban marijuana businesses in the unorganized borough.

 

The issue of concentrates, especially edibles, will continue to cause controversy with more of it becoming available. Regulations and labeling are the most likely path to addressing the issue as noted by the Alaska State Senate.

Source: Alaska Dispatch News “Alaska Senate passes marijuana crime bill, shoots down concentrate ban

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