Stevens Says Legislature Moving Forward with Legislation on Pot Legalization Day


Jay Barrett/KMXT

Today (Tuesday) is Day One for legalized marijuana in Alaska. Though Alaskans have for years been allowed to have pot in their own homes for private use, now Alaskans can have it pretty much everywhere. 

“Well, you know, first it passed by a very big vote in Kodiak. Folks wanted to see that legislation passed.”

It seems residents here and statewide might be moving faster than the state. Kodiak Senator Gary Stevens says the state legislature yet hasn’t caught up with the voter initiative which unilaterally legalized the weed, so there’s a lot of confusion and gray area still surrounding possession, use and especially commercialization.

“Those details we haven’t quite figured out yet. We’re struggling with it. There are so many issues that deal with commercialization. Banks can’t accept funds that aren’t legal on a federal level. We’re concerned about things kids can get a hold of, Gummi Bears and that sort of things. So there’s a lot of little specific issues about commercialization. But it is definitely moving ahead on decriminalizing it.”

And until the commercialization details are worked out, there can be no pot stores or dispensaries, and it would still be ill-advised to show up at work under the influence.

“It  doesn’t change the rights of the employer to decide, to say whether you can drink on the job or whether you can use drugs on the job. That’s not going to change that at all. I think it’s moving ahead I think we’re a little concerned about making a mistake and having to clod back at a later date.”

Not only is today the first day of legalized marijuana, Alaskans in November also voted to raise the minimum wage by one dollar effective today.

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