FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 19, 2018
House Urges the Federal Government to Respect Marijuana Legalization in Alaska
HJR 21 Calls for an End to Federal Interference in Alaska Regarding Marijuana Policy
Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution calling on the federal government to respect states’ rights and the will of the Alaskan people regarding marijuana policy. House Joint Resolution 21, sponsored by Rep. David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks), also urges the federal government to reconsider its listing of marijuana as a schedule one controlled substance. Other schedule one controlled substances include heroin, LSD, and ecstasy.
“Marijuana has essentially been legal in Alaska for decades, but in 2014 the people of Alaska voted to make it fully legal by allowing it to be grown and sold recreationally. We now have thriving businesses that are contributing to the local and state tax base despite the daily fear that the federal government will overstep their authority by trying to shut them down,” said Rep. Guttenberg. “The U.S. Attorney General, working under the authority of President Trump, seems to think he knows better than the people of Alaska, the Alaska Legislature, and the Alaska Governor about what is best for our state. Passage of this resolution sends a strong statement that we will not tolerate this new form of federal overreach.”
Earlier this year, the U.S. Attorney General rescinded a previous federal policy that respected the will of the voters in states that legalized medical or recreational marijuana use. Under President Obama, a document called the “Cole Memo” advised federal prosecutors not to prosecute marijuana offenses in states where it was legalized by the voters, including Alaska. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, and Representative Don Young have all expressed opposition to this shift in federal policy.
House Joint Resolution 21 passed the Alaska House of Representatives today by a vote of 38-0. The resolution will now be sent to the Alaska State Senate for consideration.
For more information, please contact Alliana Salanguit in Rep. Guttenberg’s office at (907) 465-4457.