Marijuana Is Legal in Alaska as of Today | Will Pot Boost AK Skier Visits?

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The best heli skiing in the world and some of the best weed in the world.  Will legal marijuana boost Alaska’s skier visit numbers as it has in Colorado?

Alaskan became the third state after Colorado and Washington to legalize marijuana this past November.  Beginning yesterday, Alaskans over the age of 21 can legally smoke recreational marijuana…  but it’s complicated

Will legal marijuana boost skier visits in Alaska?
Green skies over Alaska. Will legal marijuana boost skier visits in Alaska?

You can smoke week in your house.  You can give other people weed.  You cannot sell or barter for marijuana.  You cannot smoke weed outside nor in public.

Legally right now, Alaskan over 21 can smoke weed in there homes and grow up to 6 plants per residence.  That’s it, for now…

“You can still give people marijuana, but you can’t buy it — or even barter for it.  So, it’s a pretty legally awkward spot. That probably won’t stop people from acquiring it, though.” – Alaska Public Media’s Alexandra Gutierrez

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There are no marijuana stores yet and sales are currently illegal, but that will change by next year.

“There are no stores yet, but black market sales are still illegal.  The state is now crafting regulations for marijuana retailers, and the stores will be licensed and operational by next year.” – Alaska Public Media’s Alexandra Gutierrez

Also coming next year will be the legalization of commercial marijuana farms.

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It’s going to be an interesting spring this year for skiers and riders in Alaska.  The worlds best heli skiing and some of the world’s best weed.  This will be a very attractive lure for many skiers and boarders.  

Colorado legalized marijuana last year and received the most skier visits its ever gotten in history (12.6 million skier visits) the same year.  Coincidence?  Likely not.  Marijuana tourism is a very real thing in the USA since Colorado legalized marijuana.

Alaska may very well benefit from increased skier visits due to their new marijuana policies once stores are in place next year.  Alaska will also certainly be hoping to benefit from the lower crimes rates, lower murder rates, and increased tax income that legal recreational marijuana has brought to Colorado.

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Oregon also voted to legalize marijuana this past November.  Washington, D.C. voted to legalize marijuana as well but congress blocked the law despite the law passing in D.C. by 70% of the city’s voters.

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Below is a message from the Anchorage Police Department explaining exactly what you can and cannot do with marijuana in Anchorage:

Municipal Ordinances Regarding Marijuana

No Public Use
On January 27, 2015 the Anchorage Assembly passed Ordinance No. AO 2015-7, an ordinance amending Anchorage Municipal Code Chapter 8.35 with a new section to prohibit the consumption of marijuana in a public place; and amending the Minor Offense Fine Schedule at AMC Section 8.05.025A. As a result of this ordinance, it is unlawful to consume marijuana in public within the Municipality of Anchorage. A person who violates this section is guilty of a violation punishable by a fine of $100. The ordinance further defines a public place as “a place to which the public or a substantial group of persons has access and includes, but is not limited to, streets, highways, sidewalks, alleys, transportation facilities, parking areas, convention centers, sports arenas, schools, places of business or amusement, shopping centers, malls, parks, playgrounds, prisons, and hallways, lobbies, doorways and other portions of apartment houses and hotels not constituting rooms or apartments designed for actual residence.”

State Marijuana Regulations

Must be 21 to Use or Possess Marijuana

It will continue to be a criminal offense for persons under 21 years of age to possess any amount of marijuana following the effective date of AS 17.38 on February 24, 2015. It is legal to share and possess one ounce of marijuana with those who are 21 years of age.

Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana

Marijuana will continue to be a controlled substance following the effective date of the initiative. Therefore, it will still be a crime under AS 28.35.030 to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of any controlled substance, inhalant, alcoholic beverage, or any combination of those substances. In the Municipality of Anchorage, this offense would be cited under 9.28.020.

Possessing and Growing Marijuana at my Residence

AS 17.38.020 specifies it will be lawful to possess marijuana harvested from up to six plants (three or fewer being mature, flowering plants) on the private premises where the plants were grown.

Property Owner’s Rights 

Under state law a person, employer, school, hospital, recreation or youth center, correction facility, corporation or any other entity who occupies, owns or controls private property may prohibit or otherwise regulate the possession, consumption, use, display, transfer, distribution, sale, transportation or growing of marijuana on or in that property. Persons who violate the policy are subject to prosecution for the misdemeanor offense of criminal trespass in violation of AS 11.46.330. In the Municipality of Anchorage, this offense would be cited under 8.45.010.


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