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Alaska: Medical Marijuana Law Overview and State Fines/Penalties - Archive

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Julie Gardener

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Alaska Medical Marijuana Law Overview​

SUMMARY: Fifty-eight percent of voters approved Ballot Measure #8 on November 3, 1998. The law took effect on March 4, 1999. It removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess written documentation from their physician advising that they "might benefit from the medical use of marijuana." Patients diagnosed with the following illnesses are afforded legal protection under this act: cachexia; cancer; chronic pain; epilepsy and other disorders characterized by seizures; glaucoma; HIV or AIDS; multiple sclerosis and other disorders characterized by muscle spasticity; and nausea. Other conditions are subject to approval by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. Patients (or their primary caregivers) may legally possess no more than one ounce of usable marijuana, and may cultivate no more than six marijuana plants, of which no more than three may be mature. The law establishes a confidential state-run patient registry that issues identification cards to qualifying patients.

The medical use provisions in Alaska do not include reciprocity provisions protecting visitors from other medical use states.

AMENDMENTS: Yes.

Senate Bill 94, which took effect on June 2, 1999, mandates all patients seeking legal protection under this act to enroll in the state patient registry and possess a valid identification card. Patients not enrolled in the registry will no longer be able to argue the "affirmative defense of medical necessity" if they are arrested on marijuana charges.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA STATUTES: Alaska Stat. §§ 17.37.10 - 17.37.80 (2007).

APPROVED CONDITIONS: Cachexia, cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy and other disorders characterized by seizures, glaucoma, HIV or AIDS, multiple sclerosis and other disorders characterized by muscle spasticity, and nausea. Other conditions are subject to approval by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

POSSESSION/CULTIVATION: Patients (or their primary caregivers) may legally possess no more than one ounce of usable marijuana, and may cultivate no more than six marijuana plants, of which no more than three may be mature. The law establishes a confidential state-run patient registry that issues identification cards to qualifying patients.

• 1 oz usable; 6 plants (3 mature, 3 immature)

CAREGIVERS: Yes. The caregiver must be 21 years of age or older. The caregiver can never have been convicted of a felony controlled substances offense. The caregiver must be listed by the patient as either the primary caregiver or an alternate caregiver. Only one primary caregiver and one alternate caregiver may be listed in the registry for a patient. A person may be a primary caregiver or alternate caregiver for only one patient at a time, unless the primary caregiver or alternate caregiver is simultaneously caring for two or more patients who are related to the caregiver by at least the fourth degree of kinship by blood or marriage. Alaska Stat. §17.37.010 (2007).

PATIENT REGISTRATION FEE: $25 new application/$20 renewal

• Registration is mandatory

For further information and Becoming a Patient in Alaska

CONTACT INFORMATION: For more information on Alaska’s medical marijuana law, please contact:

Alaskans for Medical Rights
P.O. Box 102320
Anchorage, AK 99510
(907) 277-AKMR (2567)

Application information for the Alaska medical marijuana registry is available by writing or calling:

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
P.O. Box 110699
Juneau, AK 99811-0699
(907) 465-5423
Attention: Terry Ahrens
terry_ahrens@health.state.ak.us

Go online to access Bureau of Vital Statistics: Medical Marijuana Registry

Source: NORML
 
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Julie Gardener

New Member
Alaska Marijuana Penalties​

Possession
Personal Use

♦ 1 oz or less in your residence or home - misdemeanor 90 days Fine $2,000.00
,,
♦ 1 oz to 4 oz - misdemeanor Incarceration 90 days Fine $1,000

♦ More than 4 oz, or 25 or more plants - felony Incarceration 5 years Fine $50,000

♦ Any amount within 500 feet of school grounds or rec. center* - felony Incarceration 5 years Fine $50,000

* If charged with possession of marijuana in a school zone, an affirmative defense may be raised in court that the conduct took place entirely within a private residence.


Sale or Cultivation

♦ Sale less than 1 oz - misdemeanor Incarceration 1 year Fine $10,000

♦ 1 oz or more - felony Incarceration 5 years Fine $50,000

* To a person under 19 who is 3 years or more younger than the seller.- Felony 10 years $100,000

Miscellaneous (paraphernalia, license suspensions, drug tax stamps, etc...)

Maintaining any structure or dwelling for keeping and distributing marijuana - felony Incarceration 5 years Fine $50,00


Details

Possession of one ounce or less of marijuana in the privacy of the home is legal. The status of possessing an amount between one ounce and four ounces is unclear, pending clarification by the courts. Possession of 4
ounces or more of marijuana is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

Possession of less than 25 plants is protected under the Alaska Constitution’s right to privacy (See Ravin v. Alaska). Possession of 25 or more marijuana plants is “Misconduct involving a controlled substance in the fourth degree” and is punishable by a fine of up to $50,000 or five years in prison.

Any possession within 500 feet of school grounds or a recreation center or possession on any school bus is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

Sale, delivery or manufacture of marijuana of less than one ounce is a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. For amounts of one ounce or greater, the crime is a felony which
can be punished with a sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

It is an affirmative defense to possession, manufacture or delivery that the offender is a patient or caregiver who is registered with the state for medical use of marijuana.

Maintaining any structure or dwelling, including vehicles, to use for keeping and distributing marijuana, is a felony offense and punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

Decriminalization: The state has decriminalized marijuana to some degree. Typically, decriminalization means no prison time or criminal record for first-time possession of a small amount for personal consumption. The conduct is treated like a minor traffic violation.

Medical marijuana: This state has medical marijuana laws enacted. Modern research suggests that cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications. These include pain relief, nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders. Marijuana is also a powerful appetite stimulant and emerging research suggests that marijuana's medicinal properties may protect the body against some types of malignant tumors, and are neuroprotective.

Warning: The information contained in this report is for informational purposes only. Individuals are encouraged to confirm their state's laws before engaging in any particular behavior, or before going to court without a lawyer. Marijuana laws and penalties change rapidly and are enforced and interpreted differently even in the same legal jurisdiction. Please consult a criminal defense lawyer if you have been busted or if you want to know how a particular conduct might be punished. If you spot an error or have information that should be included please let us know.

Source: NORML web site

Be informed, be well and let's change these state fines and penalties as they are unfair to everyone.

:Namaste:

See Alaska: Medical Marijuana Law Overview and State Fines/Penalties for more up to date information regarding state laws and penalties.
 
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