Election

Alaska Pot Legalization Vote Pushed Back to November

April 22, 2014
 

A ballot initiative that could make Alaska the third U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana will go before voters in a general election in November rather than in August as previously scheduled, officials said on Monday.

The move means that a broader swath of the public is likely to vote on the issue than if it had gone before voters as scheduled during a state primary election in August.

Alaska ballot initiatives typically go before voters in primary elections. But a lengthier-than-normal state legislative session this year forced the change because, under state rules, initiatives must go to voters no less than 120 days after the end of a session.

Passage of the marijuana initiative would permit adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce (28 grams) of marijuana for private personal use and to grow as many as six cannabis plants for their own consumption.

It would also chart a course for state-regulated commercial sales of pot in a framework similar to systems established by Colorado and Washington state after voters in those states became the first to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012.

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