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Scott Woodham

On Monday, Alaska Dispatch News put out a call on Facebook for people to come forward and email us what Feb. 24 means to them. That day, in case you've been living under a rock with a set of headphones and a playlist of binaural soundscapes since November, is the day that Ballot Measure 2 took effect. Limited personal use, possession and cultivation of cannabis is now legal here.

So far, no one has sent us anything...

Scott Woodham

“Browerville Bud” asks Highly Informed: “What will be the rules on traveling by plane with cannabis? If I purchased cannabis in Anchorage (once it is legal to do so, of course), could I get on the plane with it in my carry-on? Checked luggage? Is it up to TSA to regulate this? Or the airline? Or FAA?”

Even though statutes are still taking shape, the short answer is yes. You won't be risking a hassle if you get on a plane in Anchorage after Feb. 24 and fly somewhere else in the state with a legal amount of cannabis or related products in your possession, either in checked baggage or your carry-on.

If you're traveling on one of Alaska's famed small bush planes, you won't encounter security screening, so the question doesn't really apply there...

Scott Woodham

Philip wonders if legalized cannabis in Alaska will affect him and his tenants: “I own rental property at which my lessor may currently smoke (tobacco) indoors. Can I prohibit the renter from growing, possessing or using (cannabis) if they choose to rent from me?”

Cynthia Franklin, director of Alaska's Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, the agency currently in charge of the rulemaking process initiated by voters with Ballot Measure 2, said by email she believes that yes, state law allows for private property owners to set the rules regarding herb on their own property...

Scott Woodham

Tristan asks Highly Informed, “Does Alaska have any plans to start or allow a state-backed bank to serve the marijuana industry?”

For several reasons, the answer is not right now, but that's far from the end of the discussion.

Kevin Anselm, director of Alaska's Division of Banking and Securities said via telephone that no, the state of Alaska has made no plans to start or allow such a bank. However, she did say that the possibility is being discussed and that people have asked her office a similar question.

“People are looking at options,” Anselm said...

Scott Woodham

Highly Informed reader Jonathan wonders, "Would we be able to buy weed from out of state and ship it home or take it with us?"

Even though it will be legal for people over 21 to possess and transport limited amounts of marijuana in Alaska after Feb. 24, importing it from somewhere else with legal recreational pot will still be a no-no.

The laws of both Washington and Colorado say that all the marijuana produced there legally for recreation is for in-state consumption, but federal law also says that cannabis is still illegal. That includes transporting it across state lines, whether in person or by mail, and that currently applies to transporting it between states that have legalized it as well...

Scott Woodham

A reader wonders if he'll be able to make a little green on the side once Ballot Measure 2 takes effect on Feb. 24, the day personal gardens containing six cannabis plants, three mature, will be allowed for Alaskans over 21 years of age.

Larry asks, "I am wondering after the law takes effect, will I be able to grow and sell clones to those folks who won't be able to get seeds or plants of their own?"...

Scott Woodham

Jasmine asks Highly Informed about clean air after marijuana becomes legal in Alaska on Feb. 24:

When my new neighbors here in Eagle River smoke on their front porch (8 feet away and below my bedroom window), I can smell it in my home, which is a huge annoyance to me, a non-smoking pregnant mother of two. Will their front porch be considered "private" or "public" if they decide to smoke marijuana?

Two things are at issue here, one legal, another interpersonal. The legal question is pretty clear-cut, and in the ever-shifting world of Alaska cannabis regulation, clarity is rare enough to be cherished...

Scott Woodham

First a bit of Highly Informed housekeeping. Thank you to everyone who sent in a question. We had planned on starting off with a few of our own questions, but the response was so great right from the start that we've put them on the shelf and started on yours. Thanks for sending them in, and please keep them coming.

Today's installment focuses on three medical marijuana questions. Theresa's question is up first...

Scott Woodham

For the inaugural installment of Highly Informed, our new regular feature that seeks to answer your questions about legal cannabis in Alaska, Melanie asks a few related questions about second-hand smoke.

Readers should keep in mind an important context right up front. There are many ways to consume marijuana, and burning it is just one of them. The answers below pertain to smoking, not vaporizing (which involves no combustion) or eating an infused product...

Scott Woodham

On Feb. 24, limited personal possession and small private marijuana grows become unequivocally legal in Alaska for people over the age of 21.

To some people, that date means an end to an injustice that has exacerbated other inequities in America, and an end to unique contradictions inherent to Alaska laws regarding marijuana. To others, it represents a capitulation in the war against intoxication and a shift that brings Alaska closer to vice and indolence. Many others are somewhere between. No matter our perspectives on the personal use of marijuana, it is unavoidable that Alaska is now front-and-center in a nationwide trend and that history is unfolding before our eyes...

Scott Woodham