Alaska has become the third American state to give legal status to the recreational use of marijuana, but smoking pot in public continues to be illegal.
Growing and owning small quantities of marijuana became legal in Republican-leaning state of Alaska on Tuesday after the rising decriminalization mass movement reached the wild northwest frontier of the US.
Alaska, which narrowly approved the measure in November 2014, followed Washington state and Colorado in legalizing recreational use of the controversial drug marijuana.
The major development clearly signifies how rapidly the legal landscape is shifting for the drug, which continues to hold illegal status under federal law.
Legalizing marijuana was the combined motive of small-government Republican leaders, rugged individualists and libertarians who prize the rights related to privacy protected under the constitution of Alaska.
The state police have also released updates on how they are going to enforce the law to keep a check on illegal marijuana use statewide.
Jennifer Castro, spokesperson for Anchorage police, said, “Ultimately the concern of the police department is the safety and health of our public. We want to make sure that people are not operating their vehicle impaired or under the influence of marijuana.”
With the new development, any person aged 21 or older can carry up to an ounce of marijuana across the state and can also grow up to six marijuana plants, out of which three can be flowering.
Buying or selling the marijuana and smoking weed in public remains illegal. However, the exchanges on private basis are permitted if money is not involved.
The Justice Department of US President Barack Obama’s administration has vigilantly permitted the proceeding of the experiments, saying it would look into prosecuting a narrower range of crimes related to marijuana, like selling the drugs to children.
The marijuana supporters have welcomed the move, saying the decision to legalize the recreational use of weeds reflects a sense of personal freedom. According to them, the legal sales will also contribute in generating more jobs and incomes.
Meanwhile, the state regulators are presently working on the draft rules that cover the sale and taxation of marijuana, which should be adopted by November 24.
According to the reports, the applications related to the first business licenses will not be accepted until February next year.