Are you confused about Alaska marijuana laws? You’re not alone!
The state of Alaska has a long history with marijuana that dates back to the 1930s when the Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics was quoted as saying that even he did not know for sure about whether the state had marijuana laws.
Don’t worry, though we’ve got the answers to all of the most common questions, including “Is marijuana legal in Alaska?” and “What are the rules when it comes to Alaska marijuana dispensaries?” Stick with us and you’ll know everything there is to know about enjoying cannabis in The Last Frontier.
A Brief History of Alaska Marijuana Laws
Alaskans are known for valuing their rights to privacy, and this came to a head in 1972 when Alaskan resident Irwin Ravin received a ticket for possession of marijuana but refused to sign it – leading to his arrest.
This case eventually made it to the Alaska State Supreme Court. In 1975, the courts ruled on Ravin vs. State, concluding that marijuana consumption is constitutional in the privacy of your home. That same year, the state decriminalized marijuana.
In 1982, the state permitted possession of four ounces of marijuana in private and one ounce in public. However, in 1990, the state criminalized marijuana possession. In 2014, they reversed course again, becoming the third state in the Union to legalize recreational marijuana.
Buying Marijuana in Alaska
Today, any adult over the age of 21 can purchase and carry up to one ounce of marijuana. You can buy marijuana from any of the Alaska marijuana dispensaries that are popping up all over the state.
You’ll need your ID as the law requires dispensaries to check it. Most dispensaries keep the marijuana behind the counter and have a budtender to help you out. Generally, you can look at and smell the product, but you won’t be allowed to touch it.
Under state law, if you’re over the age of 21, you can legally purchase marijuana flowers, cannabis edibles, tinctures, oils, drinks, patches, salves, and topical products. It’s legal to possess one ounce (28.35 grams) of any form of marijuana. You may also give, for free, up to one ounce and up to six immature plants to anyone who is 21 years of age or older.
You do not have to be a state resident to enjoy recreational marijuana use. Anybody who is in the state and is over 21 years of age is free to purchase, possess, and use marijuana – as long as you follow the rest of the state laws.
Dispensaries aren’t allowed to accept credit or debit cards, so you’ll need to make purchases using cash. Unlike some states, Alaska law prohibits home delivery of marijuana to consumers.
Using Marijuana in Public
Alaska state law prohibits the consumption of cannabis products in public. You must consume it on private property or in an establishment that has an “onsite consumption endorsement.” If you’re caught using marijuana in public, you can be subject to a fine of up to $100.
Hotels are considered private property, so it’s generally up to the management whether they want to enforce a “no smoking” policy. Landlords are also not required to allow marijuana consumption on their property, so if you’re a renter, you could potentially face an issue.
You’ll also want to avoid bringing marijuana into the area’s national parks. Since this is Federal land, if you’re caught with marijuana, you could face a Federal citation, which is typically a misdemeanor.
Transporting Marijuana in Your Vehicle
It’s legal to transport up to one ounce of marijuana in your car. However, it must be in a childproof container and out of reach of the driver.
Having an open container of marijuana in the car is illegal, even if it’s the passenger who is in possession of the container. It’s also illegal to consume marijuana in a vehicle. In some places, like Anchorage, you’re required to only transport marijuana in a sealed container that hasn’t been open, and it must be in the trunk or behind the last row of seats.
Driving Under the Influence
It’s illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana. If you’re stoned and you fail a sobriety test, you’ll be charged with a DUI. A first offense comes with 72 hours of jail time, a $1,500 fine, a 90-day license suspension, and the requirement to keep an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle.
Traveling With Marijuana
Under Federal law, it’s illegal to bring marijuana on an airplane whether it’s on your person, in your carry-on, or in your checked luggage. It’s also illegal to bring marijuana on ferries and cruise ships.
Growing Marijuana in Alaska
The Alaska government allows residents that are 21 years of age or older to grow up to six marijuana plants, as long as no more than three are flowering at any time. They also must be grown out of public view and secured from unauthorized access.
If you’re a tourist visiting Alaska, do not try to bring marijuana home with you! Transporting marijuana across state lines is strictly illegal and comes with sharp penalties. Enjoy it while you’re here, but if you have some left over, leave it with a friend or dispose of it properly.
Enjoy Recreational Cannabis Today
Alaska marijuana laws have a rocky history. Today, it’s legal to use in the state so long as you follow the rules above.
If you’re looking for high-quality cannabis products, you can’t go wrong with AKGLD! We’re conveniently located in midtown Anchorage and have been pleasing customers since 2016. Stop by and check us out today!
Marijuana has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming and addictive. Marijuana impairs concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under its influence. There are health risks associated with consumption of marijuana. For use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of reach of children. Marijuana should not be used by women who are pregnant or breast feeding.