Marijuana Laws in Alaska

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Marijuana Laws in Alaska

Beginning March 1, 2015, voters legalized marijuana in Alaska and adults can purchase, possess, and consume cannabis in their private residence, but not in public. Lawmakers also indicated that they can issue licenses to authorize businesses to allow on-site consumption which would be considered as cannabis café’s. As of May 2017, all of the below information is updated and current.

Marijuana Possession

Individuals in Alaska 21 years or older may possess up to one ounce of marijuana. Anything over the one-ounce amount would be a misdemeanor and can lead to big fines and possible jail time. Possession of more than 4 ounces for personal use would be considered a felony. 

Possession for Personal Use

Quantity

Penalty

Punishment

1 to 4 oz in public

Misdemeanor

1 year in jail and up to $10,000

4 oz or more

Felony

5 years in jail and up to $50,000

Any amount within 500 feet of school/rec. center

Felony

5 years in jail and up to $50,000

 

Marijuana Usage

Usage of marijuana in public will be illegal. Individuals in Alaska can only use marijuana in the privacy of a home (be it their home or a friend’s). It will still be illegal to be under the influence of marijuana while operating a motor vehicle. This will subject the driver to Alaska DUI laws.

Sale of Marijuana

Individuals and businesses should have "marijuana retail" licenses before selling marijuana. The Alaska Alcoholic Beverage Control Board is currently drafting the regulations that license holders should adhere to. Local governments retain the authority to regulate or outright ban sales of marijuana in their own jurisdictions. Any adults who are in possession of marijuana with the intent to sell would be prosecuted with a misdemeanor or felony.

If someone attempts to sell marijuana to a person under the age of 19 or 3+ years younger than the seller (whichever applies) then the seller can face felony charges with 10 years in prison and up to $100,000 fine.

Growing Marijuana

According to the written state law, you can grow up to 6 marijuana plants in your home for personal use so long as only 3 of the plants are mature enough to harvest. But due a decision by the Alaska court system, you can grow up to 25 plants for personal use in your home, so long as you do not attempt to grow it outside. If you grow 25 or more plants, either in your home or outside, then you can face a felony charge and 5 years in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Trafficking Marijuana

Individuals cannot transport marijuana outside of or into Alaska. Federal law still prohibits possession, usage, and/or sale of marijuana. If you attempt to move marijuana out of state lines, you will face federal penalties instead of state. The severity of the punishment depends on the amount of marijuana you are transporting and if it is your first or second offense for marijuana trafficking.

For example, if this is your first offense and you transported either more than 100 to 999 kg (220 to 2,202 lbs) or 100 to 999 plants, then you can face:

What Are the Medical Marijuana Laws in Alaska?

Alaska has a medical marijuana program that predates Measure 2. However, Measure 2 does not modify or restrict the medical marijuana program in anyway. Under Alaska’s medical marijuana program, qualified patients may possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana and 6 plants for medical use, 3 of which may be mature.

Alternatively, a primary caregiver may grow the marijuana for the qualified patient. The primary caregiver must be over the age of 21, not on probation or parole, and have no prior convictions for a drug-related felony. A patient is qualified if the patient has:

They must also have their illness and need certified by a physician in the 16 months prior to registration. Both the patient and the primary caregiver must be registered with the state and possess a valid registry card. A patient can only have one primary caregiver and a primary caregiver may only have one patient.

Regardless of state law, it is important to realize that medical marijuana is still not recognized by federal law, so even if your home state allows medical marijuana, federal agents can still arrest someone at any time and subject them to penalties pursuant to federal guidelines.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

Marijuana laws have been known to be very absurd and complex and it would be important to consult with a experienced knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who knows the ins and outs of Minnesota marijuana laws since it would mean the difference between a conviction and a dismissal.

 

Quantity

Penalty

Punishment

Less than 1 oz

Misdemeanor

1 year in jail and up to $10,000

1 oz or more

Felony

5 years in jail and up to $50,000

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Last Modified: 06-12-2017 12:45 PM PDT

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