Connecting state and local government leaders

Alaska Lawmakers Send United Message to Feds on Legal Weed

The Alaska State Capitol in Juneau

The Alaska State Capitol in Juneau Michael Grass / Route Fifty

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

The recent action at the State Capitol in Juneau echoes sentiments nationally about the use and regulation of cannabis.

The Alaska State Senate, following previous action in the House, approved a joint legislative resolution on Thursday calling on the federal government to “respect the authority of the state to regulate marijuana use, production, and distribution” and “reconsider its listing of marijuana as a schedule I controlled substance.”  

The resolution was unanimously approved in both chambers. Voters in Alaska approved a ballot measure in 2014 that legalized the possession and recreational use of marijuana.

“The people of Alaska have spoken on this issue time and time again. Alaskans overwhelmingly voted in favor of legalization in 2014, and since then we have seen a thriving new industry that has created thousands of jobs and generated millions in tax revenue,” state Rep. David Guttenberg, who sponsored the House resolution, said, according to the Fairbanks News-Miner. “The federal government needs to respect this and not work against it.”

While Alaskans can be fierce supporters of states rights and are sometimes distrustful of the federal government, the action coming out the State Capitol in Juneau echoes sentiments nationally about the use and regulation of marijuana.

A recently released Route Fifty survey of state and local government officials around the nation on attitudes regarding marijuana showed that 60 percent of respondents think that regulating cannabis should be a state and local responsibility, not a federal one.

(Route Fifty)

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Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.

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