Alaska may be the next state to legalize recreational marijuana, if a ballot initiative can gather about 30,000 signatures by Dec. 1.
“In a free society, prohibition of popular substances is just bad public policy,” said Timothy Hinterberger, the leader of the initiative.
If approved by voters, the measure would permit those 21 and older to use 1 ounce of recreational marijuana, just as Colorado and Washington state allow.
Hinterberger said the U.S. is on the “right track” in legalizing recreational marijuana, commenting on the Department of Justice’s decision not to interfere with states that legalized recreational marijuana.
He added that the decision eliminates one of the arguments against the initiative — that is, it doesn’t matter what a state does locally, because the federal government will step in.
In a news release issued Monday, the Marijuana Policy Project said Alaska was one of the top ten states expected to legalize recreational marijuana by 2017.
“Voters and state legislators are ready for change,” MPP executive director Rob Kampia said, “and the federal government appears to be ready, as well.”
Kampia added that Americans are tired of having their tax dollars wasted to arrest and prosecute adults for a substance that is “objectively less harmful” than alcohol.