Alaska has an interesting history with regards to cannabis. In 1975, Alaska’s Supreme Court established that the right to privacy includes the possession of small amounts of marijuana. In 1982, Alaska decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis, before recriminalizing it in 1990.
Alaska’s chequered history with cannabis ought to indicate to others that it is a state that seems to have been traditionally sympathetic to cannabis legalization/decriminalization. Therefore, it should perhaps not be a surprise that Alaska adopted medical and recreational marijuana a bit sooner than many other states.
1998 – Ballot Measure 8 is approved, allowing those with a valid recommendation letter signed by a physician to legally possess, use and cultivate cannabis for personal medical use.
1999 – Senate Bill 94 is amended. This means that medical marijuana patients and their caregivers must enroll in the state’s registry and possess a valid medical marijuana card. Registry is confidential.
Patient possession limits in Alaska are the same for medical and recreational users alike – up to one ounce on their persons whilst in public.
A recreational user may Possess up to 4 ounces of marijuana in their residence.
Both medical and recreational users may cultivate up to 6 plants in their own residence, with a maximum of three mature plants.
Due to right-to-privacy laws, a person may be able to grow up to 25 plants in their own residence. Those who live within 500 feet of a school or recreation center may be able to use right-to-privacy laws if they are using cannabis within their own residence and are taking precautions with regard to their growing sites and where they use cannabis (i.e. keep it out of public view!).
However, even though there are right-to-privacy laws on the state level, federal charges may still be brought against those who are unlucky enough to be targeted as such. Therefore, it is recommended that those wanting to cultivate keep it relatively under wraps.
Distribution and sales without license is strictly prohibited. However, a person may convey less than an ounce of cannabis to anyone aged 21 or over without remuneration.
You must be aged 21 or over to apply for a medical marijuana card for yourself in Alaska. Caregivers must also be aged 21 or over in order to apply.
Those who fill out an application form for a medical marijuana card must ensure they get it right – mistakes can lead to a denial of application, and you cannot apply again for 6 months after the decision’s been made.
There is no reciprocity in Alaska, meaning medical marijuana cards from other states are not seen as valid.
Caregivers can only look after one patient at a time, unless they are simultaneously looking after other patients related to them via blood or marriage.
Hash and concentrates must be made using non-solvent methods. This means that the laws surrounding hash and concentrates in Alaska is still a little uncertain in some regards, and possession may be charged as a misdemeanor, with some incarceration time and/or a fine.
Assets like vehicles or other property may be seized in a civil proceeding.
Consuming cannabis in public is considered a violation, and can bring a fine of up to $100.
Cannabis is a Schedule VIA substance under the Alaska Controlled Substances Act. Concentrates, however, are Schedule IIIA substances.