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Alaska marijuana initiative gathers 45K signatures

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana submitted 45,000 signatures Wednesday in the hopes of putting a measure to legalize recreational weed on this fall's ballot.
Posted By Gabrielle Levy   |   Jan. 9, 2014 at 4:22 PM   |   Comments

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Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Alaskans would like to make theirs the next state to legalize recreational marijuana use, and they're making their voices heard.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana submitted more than 45,000 signatures Wednesday asking to place an initiative on the ballot as soon as this fall, if enough signatures are verified.

"Prohibition is a failed policy," said Tim Hinterberger, a sponsor of the campaign. "It's time for a change. The majority of Alaskans we think will support the idea of this initiative."

The proposed measure would legalize the purchase, growing and consumption of marijuana for anyone over the age 21.

Alaska law currently allows possession of up to one ounce and growing up to six plants, for people who successfully apply for a medical marijuana card.

"We think that adults who chose to use a substance like marijuana, which by all accounts is far less harmful to the individual and society than alcohol, should have the right to do so," Hinterberger said.

But law enforcement aren't so sure.

"Anytime you legalize a drug, even though your saying you're only legalizing it for adults, it makes it more accessible for children," said Sgt. Detective Kathy Lacey of the Anchorage Police Department VICE unit.

A minimum of 30,169 signatures are necessary for a measure to be placed on the ballot in August.

[KTUU]

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