Alaska voters will decide this summer whether America's Last Frontier will become the third U.S. state to legalize the sale and recreational use of marijuana for adults under a proposal that officially qualified on Wednesday for a statewide ballot.
Alaska Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell formally certified that a petition campaign for the measure had gathered more than 36,000 valid signatures from registered voters, nearly 6,000 more than legally required to qualify.
The marijuana initiative, and a separate measure to raise the state's minimum wage by $2 an hour to $9.75 by January 2016, will be placed on the state's primary election ballot on August 17.
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 also charts 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.
Colorado and Washington's marijuana sales are likewise patterned after the system adopted by many states for alcohol sales.