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Timeline: Alaska and marijuana

 Alaska marijuana timeline

August 1972: Alaska voters overwhelmingly approve a right to privacy amendment to the state constitution.

 

December 1972: Homer resident Irwin Ravin pushes a test case under the new right, arranging to get charged for possession of two joints.

 

1975: Alaska Supreme Court rules unanimously in favor of Ravin, declaring that the right to privacy trumps the law banning possession of small amounts of pot in a person's home. It doesn't define how much pot that is.

 

1982: The Alaska Legislature settles on four ounces as the most a person can possess before committing a misdemeanor.

  

1990: Voters pass a recriminalization initiative, 105,263 to 88,644. It's eventually struck down as unconstitutional.

 

1998: Voters approve a medical marijuana initiative, 131,586 to 92,701. But the state never establishes any marijuana dispensaries, and buying and selling pot remains illegal.

 

2000: Voters crush an initiative to fully legalize pot and pay restitution to people imprisoned under the law, 165,315 to 114,321.

 

2004: A less sweeping initiative to legalize pot is defeated, 169,608 to 134,647.

 

2006: At Gov. Frank Murkowski's urging, the Alaska Legislature passes another bill recriminalizing possession of small amounts of pot. Murkowski hopes to use Legislative findings to convince the Supreme Court to overturn Ravin, but Murkowski is voted out of office and no one is busted under the new law to create a situation under which it can be brought to the high court.

 

June 14, 2013: Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell certifies an initiative to legalize pot in Alaska and establish a regulatory framework under which it can be grown and marketed. If backers get enough signatures, it will appear on the primary ballot in August.

 

-- Richard Mauer



Anchorage