Scott Woodham

This week, a reader asks a question getting to the heart of an issue that will eventually need resolution as Alaska's attempt to structure its legal cannabis industry goes forward.

Other states that have legalized pot have roads leading more or less from every pot store to every potential customer. But a great many Alaskans live off the road system. They rely on small planes for travel and on air cargo parcels for practically everything, from construction supplies to bulk grocery items, and even alcohol.

Courtney asks, “Is it reasonable to expect that if my community in the rural part of the state 'opts out' of commercial cannabis, I will be able to order it like I can alcohol? I live off the road system in Bethel and we have a no-limit local option on alcohol.”...

Scott Woodham

Chris wonders after a previous Highly Informed column noted that alternatives to smoking cannabis aren't without potential risks: “I've been a daily user of edibles and am feeling like I've become allergic: runny nose, stuffed sinus, sneezing etc. Is this a possible side effect?”...

Scott Woodham

This week, Highly Informed will take on a question that may seem a bit absurd on its face but is actually quite interesting to consider.

Sometimes entertaining absurdity can be instructive, and sometimes (as with the famous quotation ascribed to Tertullian defending a core tenet of Christianity, "I believe it because it is absurd") it can serve as the basis for strong conviction.

With that in mind, Let's get to it. “Concerned Citizen” asks: “Dear Highly Informed, if morning conditions are right in the Anchorage bowl, would it be possible for an inversion to trap all the pot smoke and get the whole city high?”...

Scott Woodham

Thanks to everyone for having patience during Highly Informed's hiatus. We start back up this week with an intriguing question from “Lago Prano”: “I know authorities have been saying that selling pot is illegal, but what about buying it? Is the act of buying pot against the law if you don't buy too much?”

This question opens up a few interesting implications for anti-drug policy itself, but we'll keep the discussion focused on Alaska. The short answer is no; the very act of handing someone money in Alaska and receiving a legal amount of cannabis is not illegal for the person handing over the money...

Scott Woodham

"Foxweed" asks, “Now that pot is legal, there are undoubtedly many readers who have never really partaken much in the subculture. Sooner than we think, many options for smoking pot will become available, so how does one pot? I see talk of sativas and indicas , purples and reds and berries and kushes . Joints, bongs, pipes, vapes ? hash, dab etc. etc. I barely have beers and wines figured out here, help me out?”

Well, you're right, when cannabis finally becomes available for legal retail sale to adults 21 and over, the array of products will be dizzying for people who decide to check out the scene. But just like with beer and wine, you don't need to be an expert to find something you enjoy...

Scott Woodham

This week we're following up on the driving under the influence discussion published April 8 . A few Anchorage readers since then have asked for more clarity about how DUI evidence works with cannabis in Alaska's largest city...

Scott Woodham

Update, April 24, 6 p.m.: Big thanks to a Fairbanks reader who sent in a link to a News-Miner story about a new rule in his town that pertains directly to the matter treated below in an Anchorage context. The Fairbanks City Council unanimously added cannabis smoking to ordinances covering disturbing the peace, which could even apply to adults lawfully consuming pot on their own property. The rule would kick in only after a warning has been issued and disregarded...

Scott Woodham

DK wonders a few things: “How is hemp affected in the legalization of cannabis? Is hemp farming legal? Hypothetically, can I have a 5-acre hemp farm? Any information on the legality and reality of hemp cultivation/industrialization is welcomed.”

Well, sorry to bear disappointment, DK. Hemp is not yet legal to grow on a commercial scale in Alaska...

Scott Woodham

This week, we'll examine a two-part question from Roger about cannabis intoxication and impaired driving. It's been a hot topic in states where cannabis is now legal, and laws, policies and technologies are constantly evolving across the nation . The situation in Alaska is relatively stable because it apparently hasn't changed very much since voters approved the legalization of recreational pot. The Legislature has taken no action, and the ballot measure itself didn't include DUI details. Roger asks:...

Scott Woodham

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