The people of Alaska will be voting on whether or not to legalize marijuana this November instead of this August as originally planned. The Alaska Division of Elections confirmed the initiative has been moved to the November 4th general election.
While the measure was first slated to appear on the August 19th primary ballot, the state legislature failed to finish their legislative session by 4/20. Alaska law requires that initiatives which qualify can’t be put on the ballot earlier than 120 days after the end of the next legislative session. Because they went into extended session the legislature has indirectly forced the legalization initiative to be moved to the November ballot.
This is likely positive news for the initiative’s chances. Support for legalization is strongest among young voters, but this age group tends to be less reliable about turning out in what are perceived to be “less important” elections, such as primaries.
Being moved to the general election, which is likely to have a more favorable turnout, the initiative should do marginally better. Polls show the initiative is currently winning, but only by a modest lead. The Alaska House Majority Caucus poll found 52 percent planning to vote for it and 44 percent planning to vote against it.
The ebook version After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy is on sale for $1.99 until the end of Monday.