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Legalizing Weed: 4 Quotes From Lawmakers After Pot Became Legal in Alaska

By    |   Monday, 18 May 2015 02:36 PM

In November 2014, the state of Alaska legalized recreational marijuana, becoming the fourth state in the nation to take such action regarding weed. The law went into effect on Feb. 24.

The measure, which was approved by Alaskan voters, allows adults, age 21 and older, to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants for personal use. Additionally, the vote cleared the way for the sale, manufacture and possession of devices used for smoking or storing weed, reports The Huffington Post.

In light of the new law, other state laws had to be tweaked. Lawmakers circled their wagons and begin working in the legislature on decriminalization measures. Senate Bill 30 was introduced in an effort to reign in law enforcement and further define the guidelines for legalized pot.

Urgent: Should Marijuana Be Legalized in All States?

Here’s what lawmakers had to say about pot becoming legal in Alaska and SB 30.

1. “As a committee, we found these concerns to be persuasive and we had the bill redrafted to ensure the activities addressed in the ballot measure are affirmatively legal,” said Sen. Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage.

“The Alaska State Legislature has a duty to uphold the will of the people while keeping our communities safe. I believe the new version of Senate Bill 30 is a good starting point to address the desires and needs of Alaskans we serve.” — Her comments refer to efforts of the Senate Judiciary Committee to amend the law and clarify its intent to law enforcement, according to AlaskaSenate.org.

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2. “The people of Alaska have voted to allow 1 ounce or less of marijuana,” said Anchorage Democrat Sen. Bill Wielechowski. “But here we’re going to give the police the ability to go out and arrest people who are carrying that amount of marijuana, handcuff them, put them in a police car, take them to jail, lock them in jail, have them post a bond and have them potentially go through a jury trial while they assert that it’s an affirmative defense?” — Wielchowski was criticizing efforts to draft bills regarding pot regulation now that it is a legal substance, according to Newsminer.com.

3. "This bill upholds the will of the voters, while addressing such issues as: How do we handle someone who tries to give it to someone under 21," said Senate Majority Leader John Coghill, D-Anchorage, KTUU reported.

4. With recreational weed now legalized, some legislators became concerned about pot concentrates. As a result, an amendment was introduced to SB 30 to made pot concentrates illegal. According to Newsminer.com, Sen. Pete Kelly, who put forth the amendment, had this to say: “We’ve heard a lot around this table about what the people of Alaska were thinking or not thinking when they voted on the marijuana initiative. I don’t claim to know what they were thinking, but I have a pretty good of what they weren’t thinking — they did not want to put their kids in danger and I think possibly grave danger.”

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In November 2014, the state of Alaska legalized recreational marijuana, becoming the fourth state in the nation to take such action regarding weed. The law went into effect on Feb. 24.
legalizing weed, quotes, lawmakers, pot, legal, alaska
Monday, 18 May 2015 02:36 PM
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