Alaska Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell

It is possible that the next battleground for legalizing marijuana could be Alaska. On Friday, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell certified the initiative language for “An Act to tax and regulate the production, sale, and use of marijuana.” If supporters gather 30,169 valid signatures the initiative can be place on the ballot. The aim is to put in on the primary election ballot next year.

The initiative is based on the new laws adopted by voters in Colorado and Washington State. It would make it legal for adults 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of marijuana. Individual would also be able to grow a limited number of plants at home in a secure location.

It would also create a system for the retail sale of marijuana. Marijuana sales would be subject to an excise tax and would be regulated by either the Alcohol Beverage Control board or a newly created Marijuana Control Board.

While a Republican leaning state like Alaska might seem to be a strong choice there are several factors make is a surprisingly good target for a legalization effort. Alaska has by far the youngest demographics in the country and support for marijuana reform is highly correlated with age.

Photo jkbrooks85 released under Creative Commons License