The Anchorage Police Department

Recreational Marijuana Now Legal in Alaska

Legalization Day arrived Feb. 24 for the state’s adult residents. The Anchorage Police Department ‘s Know Your Grow campaign has been educating city residents about what is and is not legal.

Feb. 24, 2015, is the day recreational use of marijuana became legal for adults in the state of Alaska. News sources serving the state and law enforcement have been educating the state's residents about the restrictions and what is now legal; the Anchorage Police Department's "Know Your Grow" campaign has tried to inform both city residents and visitors about what they can and cannot do with marijuana within the municipality. "It is still illegal to buy or sell marijuana in the Municipality of Anchorage. The State of Alaska and the Municipality of Anchorage will continue to develop laws and regulations on the production, sale, and use of marijuana," the campaign's website warns.

The site says the Anchorage Assembly on Jan. 27, 2015, passed Ordinance No. AO 2015-7, an ordinance that prohibits consumption of marijuana in a public place within the Municipality of Anchorage. Someone who violates the ordinance is subject to a fine of $100. The ordinance defines a public place as "a place to which the public or a substantial group of persons has access and includes, but is not limited to, streets, highways, sidewalks, alleys, transportation facilities, parking areas, convention centers, sports arenas, schools, places of business or amusement, shopping centers, malls, parks, playgrounds, prisons, and hallways, lobbies, doorways, and other portions of apartment houses and hotels not constituting rooms or apartments designed for actual residence."

Under state law, it is still illegal for persons under 21 to possess any amount of marijuana, but it is legal to share and possess one ounce of marijuana with those who are 21 years of age. Marijuana continues to be a controlled substance, and it is still a crime under AS 28.35.030 to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of any controlled substance, inhalant, alcoholic beverage, or any combination of those substances.

State law also allows residents 21 and older to possess marijuana harvested from up to six plants (three or fewer being mature, flowering plants) on the private premises where the plants were grown. In addition, any person, employer, school, hospital, recreation or youth center, correction facility, corporation, or any other entity who occupies, owns, or controls private property may prohibit or otherwise regulate the possession, consumption, use, display, transfer, distribution, sale, transportation, or growing of marijuana on or in that property.

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